Mountain Biking Technique: How to Bunny Hop. Learn how to bunny hop on your mountain bike from downhill mountain bike champion and certified instructor Kat Sweet. In this REI Expert Advice video, Kat explains how to get your front and rear wheels off the ground so you can clear rocks, roots and other obstacles in the trail without slowing down. Check out REI’s selection of mountain bikes at rei.com/c/mountain-bikes.
I'm Kat Sweet, a professional coach, jumper, downhiller, and I live and breathe mountain biking. A good bunny hop gets both your wheels off the ground to get your bike over roots, rocks, and obstacles without slowing down. You can talk about bunny hops in two parts: the front wheel and the back wheel. Getting the front wheel up takes a similar technique to a manual: pre-load and punch. Pre-load down into the bike and then punch it forward with your arms and legs. The key thing here is to use your weight to get that front wheel up. Check out our video on manuals to nail this technique.
As the front wheel is coming up and almost to its peak, it's time to get the back wheel up. Your manual has moved your weight over the rear wheel and pre-loaded the back of the bike. Now you want to quickly stand, or spring up, and just a little forward. Your sudden weight shift will get the rear wheel off the ground.
When you're practicing your bunny hops, work on each wheel individually, one wheel up and then the other. Start nice and slow with a line on the ground and work your timing to make sure both wheels clear it. Slowly increase your speed until both wheels are in the air at the same time. When you've nailed that, add a small stick and start again. Once you can clear the stick at speed, you're ready to take it to the trail.
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