A stoppie is a nose wheelie on a bike. It can be a little intimidating at first, but is super fun once you learn it. This tutorial assumes you have a front brake, so if you’re on a dirt jumper or a BMX bike, you may want to check our BMX section. Before doing this trick, you should have good control of your bike and be a comfortable rider. Let’s get into it!
Getting Your Back Wheel Up
A proper stoppie uses a combination of weight and front brake. If you just slam your front brake, you will have very little control and might end up over the bars. If you don’t use enough front brake, you’ll have a hard time bringing the rear wheel up more than a few inches. It’s a fine balance of the two. To do a stoppie, start rolling with your weight centered on the bike standing up. I’d recommend doing this on pavement so that your tire doesn’t skid. Slowly pull your front brake lever to slow you down.
As you roll to a stop, you can pop your weight slightly forward to help bring your wheel up. By now your front wheel should be locked and your back wheel should be rising. To slow your rise, you can pull your weight backwards to act as a counter balance. When you first learn, you’ll likely only get the back wheel a couple inches off the ground. That’s fine. Take the progression nice and easy. I have gone over the bars for taking stoppies too high, and I really wouldn’t recommend it. So how do you prevent that?
Keeping It Controlled
As you start to get your stoppies higher and higher, you’ll need to start being cautious of going too high. The balance point is a fun place to find and you can sit in a stoppie for seconds at a time, but going past the balance point is no fun at all. There are two ways to handle this. One is tossing your weight back as a counter balance as mentioned above. The second is releasing the brake lever. It sounds obvious, but if you’re worried about going over, it’s not always your first thought in a moment of panic.
Slowly and smoothly release the front brake to drop back down. If you immediately release your lever, your back end will slam down. It’s not terrible, but ideally you want to roll away smooth. Do this by slowly releasing the brake as you shift your weight. The back of the bike will drop slowly and smoothly and you can ride away clean. Overall, stoppies are not all that technical and just require commitment and practice.
Taking It Up A Notch
Have your stoppies dialed to the balance point? Great. There are lots of fun combos to take from there. One is whipping your weight to one side as you initiate a stoppie. This will cause the tail end of your bike to swing around in the stoppie, allowing you to turn 90 degrees or even a full 180. It’s really fun, and can actually be useful and awesome for tight turns. For example, on some of the trails we ride in Montana, the switchbacks are so tight it’s easier and more fun to stoppie around them than to try and ride them regularly.
Another option is the no footer. Instead of standing the entire time, do a stoppie until your seat hits your butt. Once you’re sitting in the stoppie, kick your feet off your pedals and bring them back before your wheel drops. Lastly is the rolling stoppie… This one’s tough and I still can’t do it. It deserves its own tutorial, and I’ll link it here once we have one up. Best up luck with your stoppies! Comment below with questions or progress. I look forward to seeing more rear wheels off the ground.