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  1. #1
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    Best FS manual hop wheelie

    Too old for hardtail
    My 429 isn't cooperating
    Want to bunny hop, manual and wheelie, haven't been able to
    Recommendations appreciated

  2. #2
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    Abou the only 29er i can sucessfully sustain a longer manual are stumpjumper fsr with 60 mm stem and tall boy with a short stem and higher bar.

    Assume u know how to manual, jhop, wheelie on a regular 26 inch bike? Otherwise it is a bit hArder to learn on a 29 er unless u are tall.

  3. #3
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    There's a guy around here that does all that and more on some sort of a Niner dual suspension bike. He could probably do it on a trike though.
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  4. #4
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    After 40 years on a hardtail (BMX then MTB), I bought a FS 29er last month. The first time I tried to bunny hop - just a small puddle on a forrest service road - I realized the technique would need some adjusting.

    The next attempt went a bit better. I essentially wheelie hopped in slow motion. As I approached the puddle, I leaned back, started to pull the front tire of the ground... but did this part a bit slower - and earlier. Then, I unloaded the rear as I would on a hard tail. That slight pause was enough to compress the rear suspension.
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  5. #5
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    Have you learned how to bunnyhop with flat pedals? It's a good skill to learn. Or you can just practice the checkbook bunnyhop and buy some clipless pedals.

    My 29er is a lot harder to wheelie than a 26" but no more difficult to bunnyhop. Larger bottom bracket drop and longer chainstays on 29ers help to keep the front end down - good for confidence and pedalling up steep grades but terrible for playing around.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtaoist View Post
    Too old for hardtail
    My 429 isn't cooperating
    Want to bunny hop, manual and wheelie, haven't been able to
    Recommendations appreciated
    Devinci Atlas

    Check out the wheelbase and chainstay measurements vs what you are on. I was really surprised how easy it is to manual and bunny hop this thing.

    Best FS manual hop wheelie-photo.jpg

  7. #7
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    Get a 26er. I'm a huge fan of 29ers but their strength is their weakness ... stability. What you are asking is for your bike to destabilize and toss all or part of it in the air. 26ers are better at doing that.

    In the 29er world, I think the most unstable FS bikes are the Lenz bikes. The relatively high bottom bracket and short chainstay make them great for tossing around.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    Get a 26er. I'm a huge fan of 29ers but their strength is their weakness ... stability. What you are asking is for your bike to destabilize and toss all or part of it in the air. 26ers are better at doing that.

    In the 29er world, I think the most unstable FS bikes are the Lenz bikes. The relatively high bottom bracket and short chainstay make them great for tossing around.
    I actually found the FS 29er (Scalpel) to be very easy to toss around, wheelie, etc. And once I figure out a technique, I'm hopping over stuff on the trail just as easily as I was on the HT 26er. I think you just have to analyze what you're doing on the bike and adapt.

    Side note: I do recognize that my version of a FS 29er (Carbon Scalpel 1) may be working in my favor on this stuff - it's light and comparatively stiff. And I have no experience on other 29ers.
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  9. #9
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    My 2013 Kona Satori is very easy to manny and bunny hop, the only 29er I tested that could. It will be even better when I change the stem from 100mm to a 60mm
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  10. #10
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    Quick show of hands - how many here can actually, say, bunnyhop up a curb on flat pedals in their Nikes?

    Ok, now how many can actually manual (meaning, reach the balance point on the rear wheel and stay there for at least a few seconds without pedaling)?

    If you can't do the bunnyhop on flats, your skills need work, not your bike. If you can't do the second, that's ok - the only people I know who can are pro DH and BMX riders, really, along with some very serious trials guys. You will never really do a manual on the trail anyway, so don't worry about it (lifting the front wheel for a split second to drop off a little drop is not a "manual"). If you can get the front end up/land rear wheel first off ledges when you want to, that's all you need.

    That said, Lenz or the new Enduro are the two bikes I'd look at, depending on the travel and other features you want.

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  11. #11
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    Walt ^that^ was solid info. To your point, I can bunnyhop on flats/platforms or clipped but can't manual worth a #$*^... and kinda don't care. Even in my BMX days (could bunnyhop 33" on platforms), I couldn't manual for more than a couple feet. But on the trail, on the mtb, I've yet to encounter an obstacle that required a sustained manual. So, yeah - as long as you can bunnyhop 6-10", can manual enough to clear a whoop or set up for another obstacle (like a creek!), you're golden.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Quick show of hands - how many here can actually, say, bunnyhop up a curb on flat pedals in their Nikes?
    Here! Nikes are too flashy for me, so I substituted them with a pair of Wally world steel toe work boots in the vids. I'm pretty sure I can do most of the stuff on a 29" HT, though I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be as easy.

    I agree with you that I wouldn't select a bike based solely on its agility if its primary usage is trail riding. If you seriously want to practice tricks, I'd get a beater 24" or 26" DJ bike in addition to a nice 29" trail bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar
    But on the trail, on the mtb, I've yet to encounter an obstacle that required a sustained manual. So, yeah - as long as you can bunnyhop 6-10", can manual enough to clear a whoop or set up for another obstacle (like a creek!), you're golden.
    Exactly.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/56326990" width="960" height="540" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/56326990">middle aged guy urban riding</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user13522577">Katz</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/60452594" width="960" height="540" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/60452594">30inch bunnyhop</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user13522577">Katz</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katz View Post
    Here! Nikes are too flashy for me, so I substituted them with a pair of Wally world steel toe work boots in the vids. I'm pretty sure I can do most of the stuff on a 29" HT, though I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be as easy.

    I agree with you that I wouldn't select a bike based solely on its agility if its primary usage is trail riding. If you seriously want to practice tricks, I'd get a beater 24" or 26" DJ bike in addition to a nice 29" trail bike.
    Katz - that's pretty badass right there!
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  14. #14
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    Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Quick show of hands - how many here can actually, say, bunnyhop up a curb on flat pedals in their Nikes?

    Ok, now how many can actually manual (meaning, reach the balance point on the rear wheel and stay there for at least a few seconds without pedaling)?

    If you can't do the bunnyhop on flats, your skills need work, not your bike. If you can't do the second, that's ok - the only people I know who can are pro DH and BMX riders, really, along with some very serious trials guys. You will never really do a manual on the trail anyway, so don't worry about it (lifting the front wheel for a split second to drop off a little drop is not a "manual"). If you can get the front end up/land rear wheel first off ledges when you want to, that's all you need.

    That said, Lenz or the new Enduro are the two bikes I'd look at, depending on the travel and other features you want.

    -Walt
    There goes Walt again, interjecting wisdom and common sense into random threads again.

  16. #16
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    Sustaining manual on the trail: Rollers, waterbars, stupid jumps that is way too close to the landing that you just immediately landed, smooth watercrossing, water puddles so that you can keep your toes nice and dry, and last but not least, streams...You guys dont read MBA I guess....In the 90s, almost always there is a test rider manualing across the stream on a test bike while the other guys are either getting wet or wheelieing.

    Once you know how to do J-Hop (not bunny hop a curb)/manual/wheelie...etc, it just take some slight adjustments to do it again on a 29er. However as I originally stated, it is much easier to learn on a 26" bike, and much much easier on a 20" BMX/Trialsin bike

  17. #17
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    I don't feel so bad now reading this thread! It's been a while since I've ridden a MTB and just picked up a '12 Anthem X 2 29er. I simply cannot manual for poop, but I have figured out how to bunny hop a curb with the flat pedals without too much effort. I thought I was just getting too old!

    I'll be cheating by next week though. Really missing clipless pedals while climbing since switching from a road bike, so I have a set of Mallet 2's in the mail...

  18. #18
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    I cannot manual, wheelie or bunny hop, been riding 5 years, all on a 29er full suspension.
    I'm getting, if you want to learn, go 26" with flats. Flats I got, 26" not.
    I do have a Lenz Leviathat 3" and a Pivot 429, never ride the Lenz, that may change.
    I'm 67, if that makes a difference, any pointers?
    Buuny Hopping would make logs, large rocks and and gaps more doable .
    I thought a manual was a prerequsite of a bunny hop.
    thanks
    dirtaoist

  19. #19
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    You, my friend, are awesome.

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  20. #20
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    The biggest obstacle to manual/j-hop a 29er is not really the CS length (IMHO), it's the relationship of the bb height compared to the axle height. On a 29er, the axle height is higher than the average bb height, which requires more rearward thrust from the hips to loft the front. Once you get that figured out (if you can manual a 26"), the rest should be a piece of cake. The shorter CS on a 29er can help you cheat the front up, but if your technique is solid...even an 18" CS won't hold you back


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maheoway View Post
    I cannot manual, wheelie or bunny hop, been riding 5 years, all on a 29er full suspension.
    I'm getting, if you want to learn, go 26" with flats. Flats I got, 26" not.
    I do have a Lenz Leviathat 3" and a Pivot 429, never ride the Lenz, that may change.
    I'm 67, if that makes a difference, any pointers?
    Buuny Hopping would make logs, large rocks and and gaps more doable .
    I thought a manual was a prerequsite of a bunny hop.
    thanks
    I don't think your age matters much as long as you are in decent shape. It certainly takes more time to recover from a crash, however.

    I'd start with wheelie. I think it's the easiest among the 3 you mentioned.

    - Shift into low gear (small ring front, middle to large cog in the rear). Lower the saddle where you can get both feet flat on the ground with your butt on the saddle.

    - Position the crank so the pedal for your leading foot is 45 degrees up from level. Keep the bad foot on the ground. Stay seated on the saddle.

    - Crouch down, and just as you pull up the handlebar, give the pedal a good kick and lean back. If you get the timing right, your front wheel should come up without much effort. If not, try pedaling sooner or later. Experiment with the timing, as well as gearing.

    - Keep doing that until you nail the timing, then start practicing with both feet on the pedals.

    EDIT Here's a video.
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/62913838" width="960" height="540" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/62913838">Wheelie practice</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user13522577">Katz</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


    Manual is a lot harder, at least it was to me. The way to get the front wheel up is a little different. You pull the handle bar more towards back (as opposed to up for wheelie), while pushing the bike forward and away from you with the pedals. The PDF file in the following link helped me a lot.

    Mountain Bike Action Magazine Article on “the Manual” by Bikeskills’ Joe Lawwill


    If your objective is to go over logs, rocks, etc, and don't mind slowing down, you could also try pedal up. It's an old school trials skill. Kind of like a bunnyhop in slow motion. You pedal to get the front wheel up, which makes it a lot easier on a 29er. It is easier and safer to practice it on a ledge like in the video. I'd start with something a little taller than a typical curb. Logs are slightly more difficult as the front wheel rolls off as you get the rear wheel up, but the body motion is the same.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57293584" width="960" height="540" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/57293584">Pedal-up Jackal & Distortion</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user13522577">Katz</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    Last edited by Katz; 03-28-2013 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Added a video

  22. #22
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    Unstable can be a GOOD thing, I currently swap rides between my Lenz 3.0 and my Mojo 650b/26. Mojo is a little plusher.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katz View Post
    I don't think your age matters much as long as you are in decent shape. It certainly takes more time to recover from a crash, however.

    I'd start with wheelie. I think it's the easiest among the 3 you mentioned.

    - Shift into low gear (small ring front, middle to large cog in the rear). Lower the saddle where you can get both feet flat on the ground with your butt on the saddle.

    - Position the crank so the pedal for your leading foot is 45 degrees up from level. Keep the bad foot on the ground. Stay seated on the saddle.

    - Crouch down, and just as you pull up the handlebar, give the pedal a good kick. If you get the timing right, your front wheel should come up without much effort. If not, try pedaling sooner or later. Experiment with the timing, as well as gearing.

    - Keep doing that until you nail the timing, then start practicing with both feet on the pedals.


    Manual is a lot harder, at least it was to me. The way to get the front wheel up is a little different. You pull the handle bar more towards back (as opposed to up for wheelie), while pushing the bike forward and away from you with the pedals. The PDF file in the following link helped me a lot.

    Mountain Bike Action Magazine Article on “the Manual” by Bikeskills’ Joe Lawwill


    If your objective is to go over logs, rocks, etc, and don't mind slowing down, you could also try pedal up. It's an old school trials skill. Kind of like a bunnyhop in slow motion. You pedal to get the front wheel up, which makes it a lot easier on a 29er. It is easier and safer to practice it on a ledge like in the video. I'd start with something a little taller than a typical curb. Logs are slightly more difficult as the front wheel rolls off as you get the rear wheel up, but the body motion is the same.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57293584" width="960" height="540" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/57293584">Pedal-up Jackal & Distortion</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user13522577">Katz</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    Great vid & spot on advice!


  24. #24
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    Good freakin' grief!
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  25. #25
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    I'm pretty sure Katz has made the point here. That's some pretty slick riding. You being a couple years older than me is going to make my age a lame excuse for the reason I don't do stuff like that any more. Back in the day, we used to bunny hop trash cans out in the street on BMX bikes, and I can still make my Anthem 29'er do a very respectable height/distance - but then I'm clipless doing that too. Last time I tried to bunny hop without clipless, I very nearly hurt myself. Of course, if I had actually put flats on to try it, rather than trying to ride with my not-quite-walmart steel toed boots on my clipless pedals, that may have turned out differently.

    Short version - all of what you're talking about can be done on most FS 29ers, it's just a matter of how much effort you have to put into it to do it, and changing technique a little to allow for suspension. All of these things are easier on my rigid SS 29er than my FS bike.

  26. #26
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    QuickTip #114: When practicing manuals, swap your clipless pedals for platforms.
    QuickTip #115: If ignoring QuickTip #114, wear a helmet, your biggest hydration pack, two pairs of padded baggies and gloves
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    QuickTip #114: When practicing manuals, swap your clipless pedals for platforms.
    QuickTip #115: If ignoring QuickTip #114, wear a helmet, your biggest hydration pack, two pairs of padded baggies and gloves
    QuickTip #116: If ignoring QuickTips #114 and #115, remember a light squeeze on the back brake will stop you from abruptly landing on your tailbone
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    ...and I can still make my Anthem 29'er do a very respectable height/distance - but then I'm clipless doing that too...
    My personal feeling on that matter is...

    It's ideal to learn these skills on flats, but if you are learning them strictly for the purpose of making trail riding more enjoyable, I think it's perfectly fine to rely on clipless pedals.

    That said, some skills are simply safer to learn on flats, or at least not clipped in.

  29. #29
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    Absolutely. An stability can be a bad thing.

  30. #30
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    dirtaoist, thanks for asking the question. Katz, thanks for the great videos in your replies.
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  31. #31
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    You're welcome. Glad I could offer some help.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    In the 29er world, I think the most unstable FS bikes are the Lenz bikes. The relatively high bottom bracket and short chainstay make them great for tossing around.
    Unstable? I'd disagree. High BB? Relative. Maneuverable? Yep.

    My '05 Behemoth remains my most funnerest FS 29er ever and I've owned/ridden many. My '11 SJ FSR is more planted but not as *fun*. My first gen Ventana El Capitan was a mixed bag. The front end of the 'Moth comes up predictably and effortlessly and the stout/short rear end is a hoot.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy View Post
    Unstable? I'd disagree. High BB? Relative. Maneuverable? Yep.

    My '05 Behemoth remains my most funnerest FS 29er ever and I've owned/ridden many. My '11 SJ FSR is more planted but not as *fun*. My first gen Ventana El Capitan was a mixed bag. The front end of the 'Moth comes up predictably and effortlessly and the stout/short rear end is a hoot.
    "Unstable" isn't a negative characteristic. That more effortless maneuverability of you Lenz 'Moth is what I call instability. The more planted feel of your SJ FSR is what I call stability. I do agree, Lenz makes fun bike.

  34. #34
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    Good stuff Katz, that's exactly the technique I use to get up on stuff like that. Lots of my friends say it's the big 29er wheels that allows it, I just laugh and tell them good technique, is good technique. BTW, I can't wheelie or manual for $hit, but I can get up on some fairly big ledges, tallest being just a little lower than that. I tell people when they ask me to wheelie I can't, but I can get the wheel up enough and when I want to to clear objects, which for me is what's important, doesn't matter full rigid or 5"+ FS. Have tried to explain this technique to several people, but a lot just don't seem to get my description of put the front wheel ontop the ledge, then throw the bike up
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    ... BTW, I can't wheelie or manual for $hit, but I can get up on some fairly big ledges, tallest being just a little lower than that. I tell people when they ask me to wheelie I can't, but I can get the wheel up enough and when I want to to clear objects, which for me is what's important, doesn't matter full rigid or 5"+ FS. Have tried to explain this technique to several people, but a lot just don't seem to get my description of put the front wheel ontop the ledge, then throw the bike up
    Good job

    I'm usually riding or online when people ask me, so I just do a quick demonstration with whatever is available nearby (rock, log, curb, etc) or post my video. Otherwise, I tell them it's just like bunnyhop (or J-hop to those who are hell bent on distinguishing the two names), except you pedal to get the front wheel up and then the front tire taps the obstacle.

  36. #36
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    We find ourselves in violent, irreconcilable agreement.
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  37. #37
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    dirtaoist,
    Learning to wheelie is easy. I'll let others advise on bunnyhops and manuals. For the wheelies:
    Find the steepest paved road. Use your lowest gear, (granny gear) and ride uphill slowly, very slowly. Ride as slowly as you can while maintaining a straight line. Keep your arms straight and stretched. Lean your body as far back as possible while still sitting on your seat. Your seat gives you a balance point for when the front wheel leaves the ground. Slow your cadence down almost to a trackstand and as your dominant leg comes over the top on a pedal stroke, lean back and stomp down on that pedal with all you've got. Keep your arms straight, it's your pedalstroke and backwards lean that will initiate a wheelie, you don't have to pull the bars closer to you. 1 powerstroke of your dominant leg should be enough to get the bike to stand straight up or beyond, and that's a problem you need to be ready for. If you go beyond a balance point you could land on your rear. Be ready for this by jumping off the pedals and landing on your feet. Modulate the strength of this initial stroke to get you to the balance point. Modulate the strength of the next pedal strokes to maintain this balance point. As you practice and progress, you can start keeping 2 fingers on the rear brake and tapping the brake handle before you go beyond your balance point. I like to keep my vision halfway between the straight down and the horizon. This allows me to maintain balance w/ the horizon and still keep an eye on upcoming obstacles. Be prepared to fall, gloves, elbow protection and of course a helmet should be worn. Strength, practice and determination all help. Good luck and feel free to ask if you've got any questions.

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    Nice riding katz, you just gave me something to aspire too!

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