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Skills Fundamentals

This mountain biking skills section will teach you a set of fundamental skills that will make your riding safer, better and faster. This section's content is brought to you by Julien Lallemand. Julien developed a mountain bike skills teaching method and taught regular mountain bike skills clinics in Hong Kong

Front wheel hop

Lifting the front tire can be necessary to go over an obstacle too large to just roll over. It isn’t a common move on trails. You may have to hop your front tire over a tree trunk or a single large step. The move is almost the same as rolling over a small step.

To start, try the move with a small object lying on the floor – you must be able to lift your front wheel at least half a wheel high. Then try curbs

Photo sequence: Spring load, extension, front wheel lift

lift front wheel
  • Approach the step at moderate speed. You must give yourself about two bike length to prepare for the move
  • Spring load! Press hard on your bike, you want to compress the suspensions and the tires as much as you can and immediately spring back – pushing back on your arms and your legs
    The move must be swift. Imagine jumping on a train track and realizing that a train is approaching full speed – meters away: you would jump back.
  • As soon as your arms are extended pull on the bar to lift the front hand
  • Your legs should at that point be extended
  • Let the back wheel hit the obstacle
  • Flex your legs to get over the obstacle and push your bike forward. The impact against the back wheel should bring your back on to of your bike in a stable position
hop step
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