Bunny hops can be a great way to get over small obstacles on the trail. Riders of mountain bikes can travel the entire outdoors on trails. On these routes, the outdoors, however, can occasionally make it difficult to enjoy yourself.
Large rocks, downed trees, and other debris may require you to get off your bike and remove the obstruction before continuing to ride.
But so many people struggle with exactly how to bunny hop.
You can do just that by doing a bunny hop correctly. With a bunny hop, you can lift your bike’s front wheel and then the rear wheel off the ground and clear whatever is in your way.
You can also use it to get over obstacles that are too tall to ride around. It takes practice and skill to do it correctly. However, it can be a valuable tool for mountain bikers who want to ride on more challenging trails.
Before getting into the tips and tricks on how to bunny hop on a mountain bike, let’s go over the basics of what a bunny hop is.
Bunny Hop Basics: What Is a Bunny Hop?
A bunny hop is when you use your legs to jump and lift both wheels of the bike off the ground at the same time. The front wheel lifts first, followed by the rear wheel. When done correctly, you will land on your bike in the same position that you took off from.
How to Do Front Wheel Lift and Rear Wheel Lift
Prior to attempting a bunny hop, you should be able to do a front-wheel lift and rear-wheel lift. These are the two main components of a good bunny hop.
- Front Wheel Lift: A front wheel lift is when you use your legs to jump and lift the front wheel of the bike off the ground.
- Rear Wheel Lift: The rear wheel lift is when you use your legs to jump and lift the back wheel of the bike off the ground.
Putting It All Together: How to Bunny Hop on a Mountain Bike
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to put it all together and learn about bunny hopping on a mountain bike.
Start by Rolling at a Slow to Moderate Speed
Consider starting by riding at a slow to moderate speed. This will help you gain momentum without going too fast. You’ll also have more time to react if things don’t go as planned.
Starting at a higher speed may cause you to lose control and crash. As you become more comfortable bunny hopping, you can increase your speed.
Keep the Wheel Off the Ground
When you are ready to bunny hop, make sure that you keep the wheel off the ground. This will help you generate more height and clear the object more easily.
To do this, position your body weight backward and push forward with your legs. Also, you can use flat pedals to help keep the wheel off the ground. Flat pedals provide more traction and will help you keep the bike in a straight line.
Position Your Body Over the Bike Properly
When you’re ready to bunny hop, position your body over the bike properly. You want your weight to be evenly distributed between the bike’s wheels.
If you put your body weight forward, you’ll generate more height. However, you will also be less stable when landing. On the other hand, if you put your body weight too far back, you won’t generate as much height. However, you’ll be more stable when landing.
Squat Down Low
As you approach the object you want to bunny hop over, squat down low. This will help you generate more power when it’s time to jump. Also, it can help you keep your body positioned over the bike properly.
When you’re ready, explode upward with your legs. As you jump, lift the front wheel of the bike off the ground first. Then, follow it with the rear wheel. Keep your arms relaxed and let the bike move beneath you.
As you jump, tuck your chin down to your chest. This will help you keep your balance and avoid going over the handlebars.
Extend Your Legs When You Land
Once you’ve cleared the object, extend your legs when you land. This will help absorb the impact and keep you from bouncing on the bike.
If you land too hard, it can damage your bike or cause you to lose control. So, be sure to land softly to avoid injury.
Once you’ve landed, stand tall on the bike. This will help you maintain your balance and keep control of the bike. Once you’re comfortable, you can start pedaling again and continue on your ride.
The best way to get better at bunny hopping is to practice, practice, practice. Find a spot where you can safely practice and try to bunny hop over different objects.
Start with small objects and work your way up to larger ones. You may also want to practice on a variety of different terrains, such as dirt, grass, and pavement.
Bunny Hop Tips and Tricks
Now that you know how to bunny hop on a mountain bike, here are a few tips and tricks to help you master the move.
Try Different Ways of Jumping
There are many different ways to jump when bunny hopping. Some people prefer to tuck their legs in close to their body while others like to keep their legs more extended. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you.
Use Your Arms for Balance
Your arms can be a great tool for keeping your balance while bunny hopping. When you jump, gently extend your arms out to the sides. This will help you stay balanced and avoid going over the handlebars.
Keep Your Eyes Up
When you’re bunny hopping, it’s important to keep your eyes up. This will help you see where you’re going and avoid obstacles.
If you’re having trouble keeping your eyes up, try looking at a spot on the ground a few feet in front of you. This will help you stay focused and keep your balance
Consider starting at a slow speed, position your body properly, squat down low, and explode upward when you jump. Also, consider keeping in mind to extend your legs when you land! Continuous practice can help you bunny-hop like a pro in no time!
As you become more comfortable with the move, you’ll be able to clear larger objects.
Bunny hopping can be a valuable tool for mountain bikers who want to ride on more challenging trails.
Mountain biking skills like bunny hopping will help you take on more difficult terrain. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll be able to master the move in no time.
How to Bunny Hop – Mountain Bike | Liv Cycling Official site. (2022). Retrieved 14 September 2022, from https://www.liv-cycling.com/global/campaigns/how-to-bunny-hop-on-a-mountain-bike/19043
Sweet, K. (2022). How to Bunny Hop on a Mountain Bike. Retrieved 14 September 2022, from https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/mountain-biking-bunny-hop.html
Mountain Bike Skills for the Hills: How to Bunny Hop | PRO TIPS by DICK’S Sporting Goods. (2022). Retrieved 14 September 2022, from https://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/mountain-bike-skills-for-the-hills-how-to-bunny-hop
How to bunny hop, in 5 simple steps. (2022). Retrieved 14 September 2022, from https://www.bikeradar.com/features/how-to-bunny-hop-in-5-simple-steps/