Introduction: Basic Bike Tricks and Skills

Picture of Basic Bike Tricks and Skills

Ok this is my instructable about your basic bike tricks, so far I'm covering:

*Stoppies or Endos
*Other bits and pieces.

This instructable is likely to be added to from time to time, however since I had such a good day today I wanted to get photos and start writing away...

Written as a follow up to My guide to urban cycling

Also this is entered in the Bike month contest, please do vote or rate this 'ible if you like it...

Another Also, it is best advised to wear a helmet for cycling, was being naughty and arrogant by not, even though most of these were performed at low speed, to help the camera, I know I have no excuse at all for the jumping and I would like to make it clear that a helmet is the most important accesory a person can have for their bicycle...

Step 1: The Slide...

Picture of The Slide...

Ok we're starting with the most basic showing off you can do, alway fun on loose ground and wet days, also it's the easiest trick to pull off.

Basically the plan is to lock the back wheel up and get the back end to step out by turning like that so.

Going at moderate speed on loose ground or on wet ground, you can do it on any surface but it'll wreck your tyres...

See a turn you'd like to slide around...

Pull the back brake hard, once the wheel locks up you'r e free to turn whenever...

When you're turning allow the end to step out and if you get uncomfortable you simply let go of the brake and go on as normal.

You can either skid to a halt or slide around a turn and let off the back brake and continue on.

If you don't know this one already you can get more comfortable by starting on slippy ground and just going at medium speed, lock the back wheel and make small turning movements to get used to the feeling of it.

Once you get better you can start fishtailing etc. this is where you add turns in the opposite direction to eachother and swing the end about.

Sliding can come in handy in lots of situations, on forest trails when you seriously misjudge a turn sliding around it at high speed can be alot easier than attempting to brake and turn with the front which leads to washing out...

If you go too low and start to fall you can kick the ground with the inside leg to lean up or just drop down and slide to a halt, in most cases I find falling from a badly judged slide far less painful than when you wash out.

Step 2: The Wheelie...

Picture of The Wheelie...

This is an easy trick again, the objective being to lift the front wheel in to the air by pedalling hard and leaning back...

Ok so select a lowish gear, like 2nd and 2nd or 3rd and 1st On a fixie you have no choice and on a bike with a single derailleur I'd say 1st or 2nd.

Now If you want to do a high angle wheelie that wont hold for as long but is easier to do with less falling off pains I'd suggest doing them standing up.

For a wheelie you can hold for longer and travel with sitting down is better.

So start moving slowly and get ready...

When you feel good to go, pedal hard while pulling up on the handlebars and leaning back a bit, if you're standing and go too high simply hop off on to your feet.

So if you're having trouble lifting up, take a gear lower than before and work on timing, naturally if you pedal down hard all of a sudden the front end will lift, you need to combine this with leaning back and lifting the handlebars.

Don't let your front wheel turn sideways more than a few degrees, otherwise when you land you'll be bucked off the bike.

Step 3: The Stoppie or Endo.

Picture of The Stoppie or Endo.

This trick is about getting the back wheel off the ground by using your weight and the front brake, it's a little scarier than doing a wheelie but in reality much easier...

For this one you're best learning at lower speed and building up the big angles.

So coming along at a speed you're comfortable at, standing preferably to avoid the seat invading you when you come back down.

Pull the front brake in and slowly pull harder while leaning forward a bit, once slow enough to try tipping up lock the wheel and lean in a bit, no too much or you'll fall off the bike before it tips over anyway.

At any point let go of the brake or lean back to stop tipping forward.

If you go too far forward jump off the pedals and let go of the brake, let your feet land nearer the front wheel, if you forget to let go of the brake the back end will attempt to cut your leg off, not particularly painful but not pleasant.

So coming up start braking and when you're happy yank the brake and lean in, after a certain point where you feel like you're going face first, straighten your body a bit and that will slow you faceward progress...

just build up the speeds you do it at until you get it the way you like.

Once you get more skilled you can start turning around during endos I'm quite close to straight in this photo though urges are hard to resist...

Step 4: The Bunnyhop.

Picture of The Bunnyhop.

This one is a culmination of the leaning and lifting you learn from doing wheelies, also some people know it as a 'horse hop'.

In this the objective is to jump both wheels off the ground.

This is done by lifting the front of the bike up like a wheelie and then lifting the back to level.

So coming at any speed you're happy with.

Take a curb or something, to get used to the movements jumping off or over something is easier.

When you come to the obstacle lift the front wheel up.

***A far better explanation from ledzeppie, who also like his bikes...

push your bars forward... i lean back like **** and once my front wheel is high enough I throw my body up and push forward on my handlebars and that will level my bike out... i suggest learning these on speed bumps.

Make sure you have still got 'landing room' for your giblets, this applies to girlies aswell, that bike seat hurts either way.

once you master this it becomes a natural thing and is great for hopping curbs at speed instead of worrying about blowing the rear tyre...

I have to apologize for the bad photos in this step, try as we might we couldn't get a good mid-bunnyhop photo, I'll get the SLR and a helper and get it done soon. The first one shows me starting to take off, the second is of the 'lift' portion of the trick.

Step 5: Jumping.

Picture of Jumping.

So jumping, this involves most of the elements of a bunnyhop but without the work of removing yourself from the ground...

So coming up to your jump in question, speed is dependant completely on how high and far you'd like to go, start with ramp jumps or even sloped curbs, just to get used to the ideas involved, rather than land in a ditch...

So coming up to your jump at a speed you're comfortable with.

As you come off your jump, lift your legs in a bit and bring the bike to lean backward a bit, this give you a more stable position for both landing and 'flying'

When landing keep your legs bent, as you come in make sure the front wheel is straight.

Once you've landed on hard ground again you'll usually realise that jumping is not difficult as it's quite a natural maneuvre...

In the picture I'm actually shifting gears as I jump, the second one shows more landing...

Step 6: Other Bits and Pieces...

Picture of Other Bits and Pieces...

These aren't hard, to start with practice by going very slow and keeping your balance until you can do it with minimal turning of the handlebars. Find a slight slope, now the idea here is not to try and keep super still but to use your back brake and pedals to rock back and forth with the handlebars turned slightly to keep your balance, handy for lots of things, one of which is muddy places, means you don't need to keep slipping on your pedals later on...

I like to dismount both with a little grace and in a way that involves minimum effort, my favourite is definitely coming along and swinging one leg over the bike so I'm standing on one pedal and my other leg is tucked in behind me, start with both hands on the handlebars, you need to lean in to keep your balance, eventually you can get this by leaning over the bike with one hand and one foot, which is cool for saluting people and whatnot.

Future additions:

Well anything you'd like to see in here please do comment me or PM with requests, I'm sure there are tricks I'd know and others I'd like to learn.

Coming soon, ledzeppie's 'ible on more advanced tricks on you bike.

Another coming soon will be my more advanced 'ible, with some help from prometheus...


GabrielC228 (author)2017-04-03

i am using unicycle how could i do that using my bike???

SuperBuilder456 (author)2015-11-18

Please make a video or post more Tricks!

MaikanoS (author)2015-10-16

Wow I made it I got three out of it

SavannahT (author)2015-06-04

im a female, so how would that work for me? I want to learn how to ride without my hands... downhill

MehulJ1 (author)2015-04-25

what bike are you using

shadow spirt (author)2015-03-17

I finnaly figued out the name f it dismounting i thougt me and my broter were the only ones who did that.

wokwithme (author)2014-02-17

Would be nice to see the tricks done in a video.

Jackson k (author)2014-01-01

I got skills.

nasahansn (author)2013-12-08

hey thanx lot man.......

msaxena (author)2013-11-09

can any sort of trick be done on this bicycle? it hasn't got gear or disc brakes or suspension

B-RADD (author)2013-04-23

I live in the middle of the forest. I am OBSESSED with biking. I figured out a much easier way. What I do, and this depends on ur natural position on the bike. I go at a considerably slow speed. Then before I pull up, like a wheelie, I hook one of my feet under one of the pedals, the pedal is at its peak, and pull up. Both of my tires to up in the air, however I do have to lean forwards a bit but that is just normal for me. Hope this helps!!

Skullani (author)2012-08-09

I do the slide a lot and it kinda finishes my tire and a also do a trick where i cross my legs and ride

jackjackboom (author)2012-07-05

Some friends of mine built ramps and would jump the ramp to ramp. Its was awesome till my sister got around 4 feet of air and wasn't prepared for the landing.
She wrecked bad and had to get stitches.

Know that feeling... Last time I crashed I fractured my left elbow, had road rash half way up that forearm, tore up my leg, dented a hip bone, fractured/broke a bunch of bones in my wrist and got to work on time. Though I was covered in blood and my nasty work shirt was burnt to my arm...

Did you get the day off?

Aye, but hospital was really boring...

I can totally see why.

Did meet a guy who broke his toe because he dropped a frozen turkey on it. Was kind of funny...

Other ways a frozen turkey can hurt you:
-If you don't thaw it before you drop it in a turkey frier. (The water and ice boils to quickly that it will send a giant column of boiling steam and oil high up in the air.)
-Frozen turkey launched out of a compressed air canon used for airplane windshield testing.
(To name a couple.)

jeaton0817 (author)2012-06-28

This is great I can't wait to start doing tricks like this. I finally got me a real nice bike from

TheEvilFrog (author)2012-04-28

:O no helmet!

Aron313 (author)2012-03-12

That is a mountain top not bunny hop!!!!!!!!! :P

the stig06 (author)2008-09-14

what jump? ya cant call that a jump... u guys need to check out a real bike...

You call a norco a "real" bike? you should check out a

cove foreplay
cove shocker
NS suburban
NS majesty
BLKMRKT killswitch

those are real bikes

That Weasel (author)the stig062009-07-06

yes! thts wat ive been tellin thm! to get a REAL bmx bike

monkeybiker24 (author)the stig062008-10-07

ye and you have to go BIGGER. I think anybody can do those. Basic tricks are tables, one handers, tweeks, etc. I second what stig06 said, that isn't a jump. This is a SMALL jump

Why is it people don't understand basic, no that's not a big jump, the fact that I couldn't even get a good photo of some stuff because at the time I was using a very old camera and my brother as a cameraman doesn't help but starting small, I was considering doing a second instructable about more advanced stuff.

Bike Master (author)2011-04-25

if your bike is to heavy to lift up the front wheel i go off curbs and pull up as i go off the curb it works pretty good.

3d60 (author)2008-05-15

for what its worth? I tried for ages, to bunny hop by chance wobbling home drunk on me bike, i did one..... took me ages to get there again, until I realised its about shifting weight, Stand up on your pedals as you roll slowly, you have to push down with both your arms and feet like compressing a spring, then push up on the handlebars and pedals, releasing explosively your body mass upwards, as your body weight reaches the top of its travel, pull your legs and arms closer in to you, effectively recompressing your body like a spring again, you will find the the mass of the bike rises off the ground. Now either hang in the air and land in this compressed manner or push down again so the bike touches down with your arms and legs bent to absorb it. This with practice makes a flat horizontal bunny hop, pulling up on the bars and then your feet makes the bikes front wheel get up quickly followed by the back, I call this an American bunny hop or up and over as I use to clear obstacles

Bike Master (author)3d602011-04-01

lol 3d60 i was 8 when i learned it

killerjackalope (author)3d602008-05-15

I use the technique of shifting my feet up directly aswell, I can do a bunnyhop, my brother just can't take a photo of one... No he can't do one, which made the whole thing more difficult because he's an ok photographer but our camera is awful, need to get my new one...

Wesley666 (author)2009-12-29

Not a Wheelie.  Its a Cat Walk.  A Wheelie you stay seated and ride on your back tire.  If I am correct you actually stand up and pedal up and keep pedaling, which is a Cat Walk.  Also your Bunny-hop is incorrect.  Your doing a Curb Hop.  Curb hop you bring the front wheel up first before raising the back tire.  A Bunny-hop is bring both up at the same time.

Other then that good Instructable.

mrdepo96 (author)Wesley6662010-01-07

 naw, sorry but your wrong. A bunny hop is when you bring front, then back tires off the ground. It helps you clear obstacles and fly higher. And also a "Cat walk" is actually a Manuel

PeachyPete (author)mrdepo962011-03-05

Wesley is correct: a bunny hop is when you bring both wheels up at the same time, however, where you may be getting confused is that when some people do a bunny hop, IF their technique is not super-clean, the biker will indeed FIRST lift the front wheel, then (but VERY shortly after, maybe 2 tenths of a second) will bring up the rear, but the essence of the bunny hop is that BOTH wheels should be off the ground at the same time, and for most of the duration of the hop.
I hope that clears it up.

mrdepo96 (author)PeachyPete2011-03-06

Well, i think there is a difference in style here...
the point of raising the front wheel first is to actually hop higher, as you can lift the front wheel off the ground, above the obstacle and then push off with your back wheel to the level of your front wheel and over the obstacle. If that makes any sense, you will understand what i am saying.
But, then again, as long as it works, who cares? I certainly stopped in March of 2010.

Wesley666 (author)mrdepo962010-01-07

No, I'm 100% sure a bunny hop you bring both up at the same time, Curb Hop is bring front up then the back.  You also should note that the internet isn't a very good source.  80% of the internet is porn, 15% is incorrect and only 5% is actually correct, factual information.  And I am also correct about the Cat Walk.  Wheelie you stay seated while coasting or pedaling, a Cat Walk is a standing position while pedaling.

mrdepo96 (author)Wesley6662010-01-16

 alright, but anyway the top bmx MAGAZINE and web site says otherwise. i haven't heard the term "cat walk"... Ever. 

Wesley666 (author)mrdepo962010-01-17

Really?  Wow!  I live on my bike and I have always heard them called that. 

mrdepo96 (author)Wesley6662010-02-11

 Well, two different areas i guess... still cool names though!

Wesley666 (author)mrdepo962010-02-11

I'm Canadian that explains everything...I'm talking polar bears, your talking bikes, makes complete sense!  LOL! : )

Wesley666 (author)mrdepo962010-01-07

I am 100% sure about this, I would even put my buddies life on the line for this.

airsoft1017 (author)Wesley6662010-04-17

all the books and websites ive read have said it is to get more height but call it what ever you want

Wesley666 (author)airsoft10172010-04-17

You haven't read enough...  He describes a Curb Hop or J-Hop.  Bunny hop is still a different trick.  So you get more height of a curb hop then a bunny hop.

airsoft1017 (author)Wesley6662010-04-17

the way he is saying to do it is to get more height out of you bunny hop it is still a bunny hop

Wesley666 (author)airsoft10172010-04-17

Bunny hop is both wheels up at the same time.  Curb hop or J-hop is where your front wheel comes up first before bring the rear wheel up.  They seem very similar but they are in fact two different tricks.

BMXMatt (author)Wesley6662010-04-05

Ok you are correct on the bunny hop but youre wrong on the curb hop or not but I went to the park the other day and people were calling it a J-hop. You could also do a wheelie while pedaling but I guess it doesnt really matter what you call it. 

Wesley666 (author)BMXMatt2010-04-06

J-hop is another name for curb hop, I have heard it called both.  With the wheelie, some stuff is a bit wishy washy.  Depends where your from sometimes.  Its like Americans and British, Americans say Aluminum and British say Aluminium, Americans say Caterpillar, British say Caterpillar.

BMXMatt (author)Wesley6662010-04-06

yeah I asked my friend yesterday about that he said J hop is another name for a curb hop so either way works.

lincer556 (author)2010-10-10

The slide is nice, but dont do it often! Or you'll regret the damage you do to the weells.

My bike is BRAND NEW, well i've got it since 3 months ago, and thanks to the slide now i need to change weels XD

PeachyPete (author)lincer5562011-03-05

The WHEELS or the tires?? Because if you damaged the actual wheels just from doing some slides, then they were not strong enough to start with, which can usually / also mean they were not well built enough / not adjusted well (specifically, the spoke tension, and possibly the dish at the rear). Factory built wheels on bikes cheaper than $500 are built pretty badly in most cases, in addition to being made with cheap, weak rims.

If it was the actual rims that damaged, either look at getting stronger rims and possibly hubs with more holes for more spokes, particularly if you are a heavier rider - you should have 32 at the back, or 36 if you're a heavy rider, and 28 at the front if you're of average weight, 32 if you're heavy.

Your best bet is to get a pair of hand-built rims from your local friendly bike shop, even with mid-range rims and basic butted spokes, these will outlast all cheap factory built wheels by years if the builder knows his craft and will not cost much more.
You can re-use the hubs from your old wheels if they are not super-nasty, cheap ones and they are not showing signs of roughness, or get some Shimano XT ones 2nd hand from ebay, which will be very good value if you hunt around and don't overbid and will be bomb-proof - nothing below XT from Shimano, the bearing races (the surfaces) are like cheese on the LX and below. Or get hubs with cartridge (replaceable) bearings,from the likes of the excellent UK makers Hope.

Remember, after the frame, the MOST IMPORTANT part of a bke is the wheels, and if you are planning on doing all sorts of air tricks like bunny hops, you might even say a well-built pair of wheels is even a little bit MORE important.

About This Instructable




Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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