Ahh, the wheelie. One of the most classic moves that impresses the ladies and proves to your homies that you’re a ripper. Everyone wants to know how to wheelie. You should too. Let’s get to it.
First off, this isn’t a trick like many that you can watch a tutorial and learn in a day. It’s gonna take some time to dial. Many hours up and down the street. But they’ll be so worth it! Start off by learning to bring that front wheel up. Start with small pops, and then learn to start putting your weight into it and really yanking the front of the bike off the ground. As soon as you have a scary moment where you felt just a little too high, it’s time to learn to feather the brake.
Start doing those same high pops with your finger ready to go on the rear brake. Bring the tire up, and smoothly pull the rear brake to bring yourself down. Don’t slam it. Be smooth and controlled, as this is the key to the mile long wheelie. Without the rear brake, you’re going off the back or you have to go faster and faster to keep the front up until you eventually drop it. Feathering is key, so take your time with this step.
Getting Pedal Strokes In
Once you feel comfortable with that rear brake, start trying to get a few pedal strokes with that finger ready on the brake. Even if you’re not to the balance point yet that’s okay – just get the feel for floating that front wheel for a few seconds. To where you don’t really need your rear brake yet, but you’re ready for it. This is the step that once you get good at, you can start getting 10 or so second wheelies that aren’t really in control, but you’re stoked on. Dial this in, get the feel for it floating, and then commit to that balance point.
Maintaining the Balance Point
A proper wheelie sits in the balance point pretty much the whole time. By balance point, I mean lean any farther back and you’re going off the back of the bike. This is where those brake feathering skills are utilized. Pop it up high, use that brake, and ride your wheelie to the next state. Like I said – this really doesn’t come quick. I think it took me a year of casually trying to ride wheelies to campus to really have it dialed in. If you want it bad I bet you could learn in a few weeks with enough persistence. Best of luck!
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