English vs. American Bunny Hop
There are two ways to bunny hop on a bike. One is the American method, where your front wheel leaves the ground first, followed by your rear wheel. The other is the English method, where both wheels leave the ground at the same time. In this tutorial, we’ll be talking about how to do a bunny hop the English way. Before learning to bunny hop, you should be able to lift your front wheel up and ride on and off of curbs, do track stands for at least a few seconds, and have an overall good control of your bike. Let’s get into it!
How to Bunny Hop
Bunny hops are incredibly useful to know how to do and do well. If you’re a mountain biker, bunny hops allow you to seamlessly hop over logs, roots, and obstacles in a trail. They’re also just fun and add style and smoothness to your riding. With the English bunny hop, your entire body initiates the hop, as opposed to an American bunny hop where the motion is initiated like a manual. When first starting, get yourself into a track stand. With both brakes pulled in so you so stay in place, bend your knees and arms. Pop up as if you were jumping without a bike beneath you. This means your legs should extend as you pop, and then bend as you rise. Your arms will follow a similar motion, although a small amount of pull on your bars will be necessary.
Essentially you want your front end to be weightless and let your arms and hands guide the front of the bike up as the rest of the bike rises with your body. It can be a tough concept to grasp at first, but think of it as jumping and bringing your bike with you – not so much jumping your bike directly. Once you manage to get a couple inches off the ground in a track stand, it’s time to learn it rolling.
Applying Your Skills with Movement
Now that you’ve hopped in place, start moving. You can do this in the street, on a dirt road, or wherever you’re comfortable – just start coasting with your pedals flat. As in the track stand, bend your knees and pop. As you rise, bend your knees to allow your bike to come with you. You don’t need to be clipped in for this – if you’ve ever ollied a skateboard it’s a similar concept. You have your handlebars to initiate some rise in your bike, and you just need to apply that through to the rear of the bike as well. Make your bike weightless and let it rise with you.
It’s a tricky one to explain for sure, so hopefully the videos on this tutorial page will help clear things up. I prefer the English bunny hop, but most of my friends prefer the American method. It’s all about what clicks best in your head! Best of luck with the trick, and I hope you’re hopping logs in the middle of trails in no time. The bunny hop is also a pretty fundamental part of learning to jump a bike. Comment below with questions or progress!