I was first introduced to BikeTrial while on a company trip to Krabi, Thailand, when a MTB friend showed me a video on his Windows mobile phone (yeah, before the Android and iPhone's time), Ryan Leech hopping on and over a hand railing on his Norco 26 inch bike. I was amazed and became a big fan of Ryan Leech's Mastering the Arts of Trials which I watched diligently on YouTube. The rest is history.
In this tutorial, I will share what I think is the fastest and quickest way to learn the rear wheel hop in a methodical way.
What you need to know
Before you can start to learn the rear wheel hop, you will need to have mastered track stand, pivoting and hopping. Without these 3 prerequisite skills, it will be a very painful learning process... LOL.
1. Practice balancing your front wheel resting on an object.
Position your bike with the front wheel resting on an object about 6 to 7 inches off the ground. Then start hopping on the spot to maintain balance and keep the front wheel on top of the object. Engage your brakes fully all the time when you are hopping. Also, lower your tire pressure. This will make hopping easier. See the animated photo below.
|Rest the front wheel on the object. Next, align the wheels in a straight line. Similar to a track stand, with your favorite foot on the fore pedal, raise your left foot to the pedal and start hopping to maintain your balance.|
|Another way is to start off with a track stand, then quarter pedal down down to put the front wheel on the object. Next, start hopping and pivoting to maintain balance.|
2. Practice balancing your front wheel resting on a object that is higher.
In this next step, you can raise the height of the front wheel by practicing on a larger or taller object about a foot or more off the ground.
|Similarly, rest the front wheel on the higher object. Next, align the wheels in a straight line. Similar to a track stand, with your favorite foot on the fore pedal, raise your left foot to the pedal and start hopping to maintain your balance.|
|The other way is to start off with a track stand, then quarter pedal down to raise the front wheel onto the object. Next, start hopping and pivoting to maintain balance.|
3. The first rear wheel hop.
Now you are ready for the next step. Remember, do not disengage your brakes when doing this. Keep it on at all times!! Also, keep your tire pressure low to make hopping easier.
While in step 2 position on a higher object as described above, lean your body slightly backward when you are hopping. Lean until your front wheel is off the object and you are hopping on your rear wheel only. Then, rest the front wheel back on the object.
|Keep practicing as you will need to be very comfortable with balancing on your rear wheel by hopping before we move to the next and final step.|
4. Use pivoting to transition to a rear wheel hop.
This next move will rely on pivoting and the "quarter pedal" to bring the front wheel up and into the rear wheel hop. See the following animated photo.
|This is the most common way to transition into the rear wheel hop. Timing the braking and brake release is crucial to this technique.|
That's it. That's all you need to know to get started on the rear wheel hop. Practice, practice practice. This is what you will need to do, to master this dynamic skill. It will be needed in many many situations and will be one of the most important BikeTrial skills that you have to master.
In the next tutorial, we will look at the "pedal hop". This is another useful and essential skill that will help you enjoy BikeTrial!