How to Bunny Hop on a Mountain Bike

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A bunny-hopping mountain biker.

A good bunny hop gets both your wheels off the ground to get your bike over roots, rocks and obstacles without slowing you down.

 

Video: Mountain Biking: How to Bunny Hop

 

Bunny Hop Technique

You can break down bunny hops into two parts: the front wheel and the back wheel. 

Front Wheel

Getting the front wheel up takes a similar technique to a manual. If you haven’t mastered manuals, see our Mountain Biking: How to Manual article. Basically, you need to 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 the front wheel up rather than pulling it up with your arms.

Back Wheel

As the front wheel is coming up and almost to its peak, it's time to get the back wheel up. At this point, your manual has moved your weight over the rear wheel and pre-loaded the back of the bike. Now you want to quickly spring up and just a little forward. Your sudden weight shift will get the rear wheel off the ground.

 

How to Practice Bunny Hops

When you're practicing your bunny hops, work on each wheel individually. Start nice and slow with a line on the ground and work on 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.