How to Ride a Wheelie for a Beginner
You may be wondering what a wheelie is. Well, you are not alone. There are many people who are not well conversant with stunt biking. A wheelie is a bike stunt that a cyclist moves for a short distance with the front wheel raised into the air. Riding a wheelie is a skill which is very technical to learn and master. Therefore, we are going to have a look at the steps followed when learning how to ride a wheelie. However, we advise that you need to be a good cyclist before trying out this move. This is because wheeling requires a delicate art of balancing and control.
There are several reasons why wheelie is important. First, it enables you to get over obstacles on the road. This is particularly important if you intend to be riding along biking trails with obstacles such as rocks, boulders, large tree roots, pot holes and small trenches. In addition, wheeling comes handy when learning how to balance a bike. Through the act, you are able to enhance your skills on bike control and balance. Likewise, if you are an attention seeker, you are going to love wheelie so much. The reason why is it has the potential to turn you into a local sensation instantly. And if you are a social media person, you now have a reason to make a video clip.
How Different Is Riding a Wheelie from a Manual
Many a times, people confuse wheelie move with a manual. The only similarity between the two moves is that, the front wheel comes off the ground. However, on a manual, the wheel remains suspended because of the shifting body weight while on the wheelie, the wheel rises as a result of hard pedaling. On the other hand, you perform a manual stunt while standing and a wheelie while seated.
How to Ride a Wheelie
As we look at how to ride a wheelie, it is important to note that the act is done while you are seating. Therefore, it is important to lower your saddle. Consequently, this lowers your center of gravity thereby enabling you to do wheelie with ease. Riding a wheelie also requires a lot of stability from the cyclist.
Secondly, you need to select a lower gear so as to do the wheelie. The heaviest gear will cause you to pedal too fast to keep proper balance. So, the best bet is to choose the second gear from the easiest.
A wheelie cannot be done on a bike with a rear spring suspension because the bouncing wheel can push you off balance. You can do a wheelie as follows:
- As you begin the act, you need to hold the handlebars firmly in order to balance your body weight on the bike. This will prepare you to begin riding a wheelie.
- Start by giving the bike some hard strokes on the pedal. This will create some resistance which you need to counter by clutching firmly on the handlebars. Soon, you will start to feel the front wheel coming up. Ease a little on the pedaling.
- Adjust your body for comfort depending on how the front wheel is rising.
- If you feel like the bike is about to flip on the rear, you need to feather the rear brake accordingly. This should get the front wheel to the desired height.
- While the front wheel in the air, it is important to learn how to maintain proper balance. For example, if you feel that the front wheel is coming down, lean your body backwards. Similarly, if the bike starts leaning on the left, either use your right knee to counter the balance or turn the bar towards the right to balance off the bike.
- When you need to bring the bike back down to the ground, ensure that the handlebar is straightened out. This is to put you in a straight path so that you do not lose balance.
Additional tips on how to ride a wheelie
Dangers of Riding a Wheelie
Although wheeling is an interesting act to learn, it sure comes with some risks on its own. Obviously, there is the predictable risk of falling when it comes to doing a wheelie. If you have ever tried learning the art, you probably understand what I am talking about. In the beginning, you will have many minor falls as you try out wheeling. So, you might just be wheeling on grass at first.
Though this might not be too dangerous, there comes a time when the act becomes considerably risky. When you master the act, you may want to show off to your friends and that is when real danger comes in. There may be times when you want to wheelie on the main street which puts both you and other road users at risk. If you crashed on a paved road, you would get serious injuries including big bruises and broken bones. To make things worse, you may either cause injuries to others or have your bike do damage to other properties. For example, if you lost control of your bike while wheeling, you could hit other people’s cars thereby causing unnecessary damages. Below are some of the risks associated with riding a wheelie.
- Personal injuries such as bruises and broken bones
- Damaged bikes
- Possible litigations
- Damaged properties
- Annoying other people
How to Protect Yourself
If you are bent on riding a wheelie, it is advisable to do them right. I mean, it is wise to reduce the dangers associated with the move so as to avoid the possible consequences. In so doing, there are some things that you need to do to ensure both your own safety and those of others. This includes:
1. Get the right gear
To do wheeling safely, you need to have the right gear. Before going out to wheelie, it is advisable to have a good pair of gloves, a helmet, tough biker’s attire with modified elbows and knees, right shoes and a first aid kit. Those items will minimize your chances of having serious accident.
2. Master safety moves
As you learn how to wheelie, it is important to have safety moves on your fingertips. For example, you need to learn how to disembark on a moving bike. As you wheelie with the front wheel lifted on the air, you will sometimes notice that the bike wants to tip over backwards. If you do not get off the bike quickly, you risk tumbling along with the bike. However, if you have the right disembarking skills, you will remain safe.
3. Learn wheeling on a safe area
The best place to learn wheeling is on a grassed field as this will offer you with the least amount of risk. Falling on grass is not the same as falling on a concrete surface. And if you are able to, go to a field with a small gradient as this will increase your chances of success.
4. Find help
If you are not confident in learning how to wheelie, you should ask for help from an experienced biker. The people can guide you in learning how to wheelie as well as offer support when you are about to fall down.
Which Bike Should I Use?
The best bike for learning how to wheelie is a mountain bike. This is because a mountain bike is light, fast and agile but most importantly, has a straight handlebar. You will find that even the most experienced cyclists use a mountain bike while wheeling.
As you strive to learn how to ride a wheelie, it is important to realize that it takes sometimes to master the skill. To get there, you need to try it over and over so as to grasp the skills fully and with time; you will effortlessly enjoy wheeling over anything you want.
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