Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bunny Hoping Skills

Bunny hopping is a technique that everyone wants to master, but some riders have a lot of trouble learning. If you’re having trouble and feel hopeless, this tutorial is just for you. If you already know how to bunny hop, I need your help in the comments section. There will be others with questions, so do your best to offer them helpful and friendly advice. No one should be deprived of bunny hopping.
Let’s start with a quick overview, then we’ll go into detail.
To bunny hop, you need to lift your front wheel off the ground, jump upwards, and push your bars forwards.
To do this, you’ll need to get your front wheel off the ground, so let’s start there and talk about what could go wrong.
First of all, if you’re small like me, you’ll need a small bike. If you’re big, you’ll be okay on a big bike. This is important because you’ll need plenty of space between you and your bike to pull up and transfer weight around. If your bike is too big, you’re going to have more trouble. So, make sure your bike is the right size for you.
Second, bunny hops are much easier on a mountain bike with an aggressive slanted back geometry. By this, I mean that the top of your seat tube is lower than your bars. Dropping your saddle is an obvious way to achieve this geometry, but some bikes just aren’t shaped right for this. In that case, you can get riser bars or a taller stem, which should help a little.
Third, you probably have front suspension, and maybe even rear suspension. Because suspension is designed to absorb changes in the terrain, it will also absorb your movements, thereby dampening your efforts at a bunny hop. To counteract this, you need to preload. Preloading is when you compress your suspension and use the recoil to work with you instead of against you. On suspension forks, this means pushing down before you pop up, kinda like the spring on a pogo stick. You see how the shocks can actually help pop you off the ground? Well, they won’t unless you preload.
For bikes with rear suspension, you’ll need to pull back even further to preload the rear suspension before you pop up. I find that it’s just as easy to hop on a full suspension as it is on a hardtail, provided you take the suspension into consideration and get a feel for the recoil.