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Thread: Bunny Hop

  1. #1
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    Bunny Hop

    Hi, when i bunny hop, i can get up, but my front fork always lands before my back fork, i think this happens because whe i twist my grips to pull up the back of my bike it pushes the front fork down, does anyone have any advice to how i can make my front fork land at the same time as the back?
    NorthShoreRider

  2. #2
    Old man on a bike
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    Well, just where is this back fork you've got on

    your bike? That could definitely be the problem. You could try not rotating your wrists as much, or maybe getting more initial lift of your front wheel to counter those powerful wrists ya got there...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  3. #3
    Awesome Man
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    I think you're kicking to hard with your feet which results in your weight shifting too far to the front. I had the same problem years ago where my back end would actually go higher than the front. just keep your weight centered on the bike. most times it's better to have the back end land later for when you're clearing obstacles. think about it, what if you clear it with your front end but don't go far enough for your back end it might clip. you might end up hurting yourself. of course, if it's smaller objects, landing both would be ideal.

  4. #4
    Youngbuck
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    I just got bunny hopping a while ago.I think the most impoortant thing is centering your weight/balance.And dont flick your wrists back too much,just enough to help get your front end up.
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  5. #5
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    a couple of things that helped me out when i was trying to bunny hop the real way (not just lifting but the two stage bunny hop like the type you are doing) i found that hopping onto something rather then over something was much better for learning. If you are hopping over something like a minipole vault bar or something, that might make you arch over the bar and let your front wheel land uneven with your rear. Try finding something like a table top structure. Something that you can hop onto with both wheels, ride alittle, and then hop off. Find something that you can hop up without killing yourself, like maybe a foot or alittle higher platue, and then concentrate on landing with two wheels touching at the approximately the same time. I think this will help you level out your hop at the top height of your jump and will help you land more level on your decents when you just hop over something rather than on something. This way of bunny hopping helped my roomate over come the same problem you are struggling with.

  6. #6
    Youngbuck
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    Would a curb be good?I can already bunnyhop but i could use some practice.
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  7. #7
    Awesome Man
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    Curbs are a start. It's pretty satisfying when you learn to bunny hop and you start cruising around town and instead of taking the ramps onto the sidewalk, you just jump. Makes you feel faster too. Hehehe
    Friends, don't let friends ride junk.

  8. #8
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    curbs are good but if you want to really help your bunny hopping and level out the jump find a curb that is almost as high as you can hop. when you are at max height you want to be some what flatten out in the air so you can land in a controlled manner. when you find the right height you will know because you'll jump up onto it and it won't feel like you landed you'll just touch down real smooth. when you do that you know you are more level in the air.

  9. #9
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    Practice hopping

    The only problem with practicing on something as unyielding as a curb is that if you get tired or just goof, and the front tire stubs on the curb, you're going to endo. Personally, if I'm going to make a large number of repeated attempts, I do it over something forgiving, on a nice patch of grass with nothing nasty to fall on to either side or run into ahead.

    By the way, there's not necessarily anything wrong with your front wheel hitting first. Check the photos on p.87 of Ned's book, where he is explaining how to hop, and you'll see him hitting front wheel first after hopping over a log. It's not even close... his rear wheel is still at least 12" in the air.


    My impression is that the goal of landing on the back wheel is more applicable to flying off of bumps, and taking drop-offs at speed, not to bunny hopping. Besides Ned's illustration, here's what the discussion of bunny hopping in "Mountain Biking Skills" (p.52) says:

    "The trick that makes bunny hopping work for me is envisioning the bike smoothly lifting off and soaring over the obstacle, then landing on the rear wheel just before the front hits. At least that's my objective. In truth, my flights are rarely so accomplished. Usually, my rear wheel bumps over because I didn't get it high enough. Which is okay because I've passed the obstancle without dismounting, and the rear wheel was unweighted so no harm care to rim or tube. I also tend to land on my front wheel first, but again, that's no problem if I shift my weight back in time and stay off the front brake. But once in a while I hit a jump just right and land on both wheels so smoothly I barely even notice."

    He seems to be saying his best hops involve landing on both wheels at the same time, not on the back wheel first. Landing back-wheel-first is something he apparently doesn't manage very often, if at all.


    Happy landings, Bro!
    Last edited by Rollin' On; 08-02-2004 at 10:26 PM.

  10. #10
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    I disagree with landing on the front wheel first... even if its only slightly first. First off you'll never see a trials guy land front wheel first. I ride ALOT of urban stuff and I can't think of a good time to land on the front wheel first. Speaking from experiance landing on the front wheel from nearly any height leads to toco'ed rims and bent steerer tubes... and not to mention face plants into concret. If you ever try to attempt to jump on a 2 - 3.5 foot thing, you should always have the front wheel pointing up high in case you do not reach that height and you need to land on the object with your rear tire (or if you are luckly like me and have a bash guard you land on that).

    If you are a trail rider... (which i still do alot of) bunny hopping isn't as important but landing on the front wheel could be potentially even more dangerous due to the higher speeds. Jumping over a 3/4 of a foot log, moving at a fast clip, and touching your front tire first over bumpy terrian isn't a good idea. Hitting a bump with your front tire while already unbalanced is a good way to break a neck. I suggest at minimum learn to bunny hop with landing on two wheels, and off of bigger stuff you should really land back tire first and front last in a smooth motion (if you want to save your bike and your wrists).

  11. #11
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    Front wheel landing

    Duke, could it be that we are talking about different versions of the bunny hop, that apply to different situations? The one I'm talking about is sometimes called the "Dolphin Leap", and involves an arcing movement over the obstacle. It would occur at slowish-to-medium speed, be over a not-so-small obstacle, and perhaps be the most do-able option on a 26" mountain bike for most riders. The front wheel usually comes down first because the bike rotates around its center when the back wheel is pivoting up.

    I don't doubt the authors of the two references I cited would agree that coming down on the back wheel first would be preferable, but I'd speculate that they would say that most people can't do it in most situations they would want to find themselves in on a 26" bike. I don't know that many people could get the rear tire high enough to clear a log without pivoting it up while rotating the front tire down in a manner similar to the way a pole vaulter snakes over the bar. (Personally, I can't pop the whole bike into the air almost at once - not very high, anyway.) Nor, if they are doing the Dolphin Leap, would they be able to consistently lift the front tire up to the rather high height it would need to be at for the rear tire to be subsequently lifted to a clearance height without the front tire coming down past level as the bike pivots.

    If the tires were nearly level going over the log, and the bike wasn't particularly high, the bike would have to be moving fast for both tires to get clear... a slower-moving bike wouldn't have enough hang time for its low speed. Personally, I won't approach something I'm going to have to hop while going fast. But that's my own choice, and relates to the risk level I'm prepared to accept. Of course there does have to be enough speed for the back tire to get clear before it comes down.
    Last edited by Rollin' On; 08-03-2004 at 11:42 AM.

  12. #12
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    I ride a 35 poundish specialized P2Ö it weighs that much because I donít have stock forks and I have a bash guard along with some other stuff (and its REALLY heavy to begin with). It has 26íí wheels, and I consistently hop up onto 2-2.5 foot this cleanly (ie without use of a bash guard and with landing on my rear wheel), and a little over 3.5 foot things with a slight bump on the bash guard or rear wheel.

    My point is simple. Why not learn how to bunny hop correctly to get max height and be safe as possible. I only started riding urban stuff a six months ago after riding XC for like 10+ years, and I have learned more in those six months then 10 years by myself, because someone taught me how to jump correctly. All Iím saying is that landing nose first is a bad habit and should be avoided, and my advice to north is to level out his jump and land flat (since it sounds like heíll be doing trail stuff and at a faster pace then trials stuff). And also bunny hopping really doesnít take all that long to get good at if you donít pick up on bad habits. Practice doesnít make perfectÖ it makes permanent. Good quality jumping will help more than just trying to clear something high using poor technique. Also even if I did do the arc hop I donít think I could clear any more heightÖ itís a useless method if you can hop correctly (not to mention it beats on your bike).

    My advice is to take a look at some trial videos and mimic what they do since they can hop higher than almost any other type of biker (they obviously know the physics behind the bunny hop). As for hopping on a true XC bike, obviously you canít get as high as a trials guy. However with proper technique youíll out hop anyone trying to just heave the bike upward (or anyone that uses clip in pedals). My XC friends see me hop up 1.5 foot things on my rock hopper without clip ins and stare blankly with confusion, because they havenít learned proper technique. If you take a little extra time just to study some videos you can learn to bunny hop over extremely large objects, and all your friends will poop their pants in amazement.

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