MTB Techniques - mountain bike skills and techniques

Manual Front Wheel Lift

Rolling manual front wheel lift.


Rolling or manual front wheel lifts allow you to lift the bikes front wheel by using momentum generated by shifting your bodyweight around the bike. The unpowered rolling front wheel lift requires you to have enough forward momentum to carry your lofted front wheel and trailing rear wheel over the trail obstacle typically when riding on on flat or downhill trails.


When first learning the front wheel lift, start on a flat or gently downward sloping area of ground. Draw a line in the dirt or place a small twig across your path to use as your practice 'obstacle' to get your timing correct.


Push the bike away.


Crouch down and slightly forward towards the bars as you approach your 'obstacle' to get the front suspension to pre-load (sink a bit into it's travel). As the suspension of your mtb firms up, push off the handlebars moving your shoulders up and back. At the same time drive your feet down pushing the pedals forward and away from you.


Allow your arms to extend and push your hips back as your body moves away from the handlebars to get your weight towards the back wheel. Allow the rear wheel to come under your body as your legs fully extend.


This technique is simialr to unweighting, we have just added the rearward body movement which gets more weight off the front wheel.


Cover the rear brake with at least one finger at all times. If at any point in this move you feel you are going to loop off the back of the bike, applying the back brake will bring the front wheel back down.


Your bodies rearward momentum being applied to the handlebars combined with your feet pushing the pedals forward should lift the front wheel as most of your weight will now be over the rear wheel.


Remember that rear brake if it you past the rear wheel balance point and feel you may be falling off the back of the bike..


The front wheel should lift as your weight goes over the back of the bike. This is a manual front wheel lift. If the front wheel doesnt lift, make the initial push against the bike more explosive.


Coming down.


Bring your riding position back to it's normal neutral riding position as your weight returns to the bike.


Practise this technique to perfect your timing so your front wheel stays light until your rear wheel has cleared your 'obstacle' every time.


Once comfortable with this technique, move on to Small Drops.