Wheelies

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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matt2matt2002
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Wheelies

Postby matt2matt2002 » 31 Aug 2010, 5:15pm

There is an ad on tv at the moment showing lots of school teachers celebrating the end of term - or something.
At the end they all jump into a swimming pool
In one of the shots a teacher is seen doing a wheelie on his bike.
Anyone any ideas how to practice doing one?
I am 56 but quite fit.
Do I need a fixed wheel of will I be able to do it on my Dawes Sardar touring bike?
Thanks folks
:)
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Nutsey
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Re: Wheelies

Postby Nutsey » 31 Aug 2010, 5:31pm

Small wheels seem to help - I sometimes do accidental wheelies on my Brompton when accelerating!

Basically ride like you're accelerating very fast, but ride really upright. The wheely should do itself. Controlling the wheely once its up is not quite so easy :oops:

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Wheelies

Postby matt2matt2002 » 31 Aug 2010, 5:40pm

:?
I dont want to do a back flip!
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TwoPlusTen
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Re: Wheelies

Postby TwoPlusTen » 31 Aug 2010, 5:43pm

Just go right down the gears.

As you try to crank it, your front end will naturally lift up.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Wheelies

Postby matt2matt2002 » 31 Aug 2010, 5:47pm

Clarify please - right down the gears?
From low to high or high to low?
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TwoPlusTen
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Re: Wheelies

Postby TwoPlusTen » 31 Aug 2010, 5:53pm

matt2matt2002 wrote:Clarify please - right down the gears?
From low to high or high to low?

Sorry, should have made that clearer.

Down the gears as in... largest chainring, smallest cassette ring (away from the wheel!) is top gear, smallest chainring, largest cassette ring (nearest wheel) is bottom gear. Same principle as in a car - the more you have to spin to get speed, the lower the gear.

I went down to the middle chainring and fairly large cassette ring by accident once and ended up nearly pulling a wheelie going across a busy main road in Reading. As previously mentioned, controlling it was the harder part - I just about managed to stay on (although my balance isn't the best on a good day!).

iandriver
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Re: Wheelies

Postby iandriver » 31 Aug 2010, 5:55pm

I believe the balance point is larger on your wheels than on a BMX, so you should be fine.

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/s ... elie-19946

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mill4six
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Re: Wheelies

Postby mill4six » 31 Aug 2010, 6:21pm

Start in a low gear. Acellerate hard, lean back, pull on the bars, the front should lift when you are pushing the pedal down hardest, you're not going fast, if it flips you just stand up off the back. Or at low speed apply the front brake to compress the forks if you have suspension and acellerate and pull up on the rebound as you release the brake. Using features like potholes or dipped kerbs as ramps to get you up works too. Once up, pedal just hard enough to maintain the balance point, I can't do this :oops: Shorter bikes are easier than long ones so a tourer will be more difficult. You'll ruin your headset and may bend your forks landing, never mind the potential for a fatal injury to your dignity. Don't cross the front up before landing!!

pete75
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Re: Wheelies

Postby pete75 » 31 Aug 2010, 7:36pm

Buy yourself an early seventies Kawasaki 500 or 750 two stroke triple motorbike - ride one of those evil beasts and your question will change to how can I stop doing wheelies..

tooley92
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Re: Wheelies

Postby tooley92 » 31 Aug 2010, 7:43pm

pete75 wrote:Buy yourself an early seventies Kawasaki 500 or 750 two stroke triple motorbike - ride one of those evil beasts and your question will change to how can I stop doing wheelies..


Or an early Yamaha R1 - oops officer I hit a fag end and the front wheel came up all on it's own :oops:
Remember folks 'A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!'

stoobs
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Re: Wheelies

Postby stoobs » 31 Aug 2010, 7:53pm

And when your front wheel comes back down, make sure that it's pointing roughly forwards!

Bring your weight backwards toward or over the rear axle, too. It helps the tipping point/force.

DevonDamo
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Re: Wheelies

Postby DevonDamo » 16 Dec 2020, 11:42pm

(I couldn't resist the chance to bump a 10-yr old thread. I've done a forum search on 'wheelie' and in the 27 pages of results, this is genuinely the only thread on this subject. Two thirds of the results were about wheelie-bins, which I guess reflects on the age of us lot using this forum.)

I took up mountain biking at the start of the year, which was fortuitous as it meant I had a nice two-wheeled activity I could do during the first strict lockdown where no curtain-twitchers would be any the wiser about how long I'd spent out (socially distanced from the rest of the world) on the local trails in the woods each day. I quickly realised that, despite a lifetime of cycling, I had terrible bike control, as evidenced by a few nasty over-the-bars incidents which I was lucky to escape without serious injury. I therefore quickly accepted that I'd need to swallow my pride and leave all my younger pals to go racing off down the trails whilst I took a more methodical approach to developing my skills. One of the core skills to safely navigating obstacles and jumps is the 'american' bunny hop, which is in turn a development of the 'manual,' which is in turn a trickier variant of the wheelie. Or, to cut a long story short, at the age of 51 I've decided it's time to try to learn how to wheelie like a 13yr-old hooligan.

I've found it to be an a remarkably difficult thing to learn. YouTube videos have been extremely helpful and have almost got me there, but I've noticed that the vast majority of YouTube 'how to wheelie' tutorials are by youngsters and are absolutely useless. The few genuinely helpful tutorials are from people around my age, and the difference is basically that they are trying to anticipate what you'll need to know rather than showing off what they're able to do.

So... I thought I might as well ask whether any of my fellow CTC-vintage riders have any wisdom to impart in this respect. Over the past 10 months, I've got to the stage where I'm able to reliably 'pop' my front wheel up straight, which occasionally leads to a longish wheelie, but it's all a bit frantic and inconsistent. I'm wondering if there's a septuagenarian wheelie expert who can demystify the whole thing for me.

Brucey
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Re: Wheelies

Postby Brucey » 17 Dec 2020, 12:11am

much easier if you start with most of your weight over the back wheel. You know those bikes with banana saddles that were popular in the 1970s? Practically built for wheelies, they were. Getting close to the balance point (without flipping over backwards) is the trick and realising that you can recover from going 'too far' briefly using dab of back brake, provided you are prepared to slow down slightly, is gold. Long sustained wheelies are actually slightly easier on a bike with a (lowish) fixed gear than a freewheel, because keeping near the balance point is easier. In fact a long sustained wheelie on a fixed gear bike is a lot like riding a unicycle.

If you want a bit of relevant fun, learn to ride a unicycle; once you have the knack of that, being on the back wheel only of your bicycle won't seem like such a big deal.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DevonDamo
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Re: Wheelies

Postby DevonDamo » 17 Dec 2020, 12:31am

Brucey wrote:much easier if you start with most of your weight over the back wheel. You know those bikes with banana saddles that were popular in the 1970s? Practically built for wheelies, they were. Getting close to the balance point (without flipping over backwards) is the trick and realising that you can recover from going 'too far' briefly using dab of back brake, provided you are prepared to slow down slightly, is gold. Long sustained wheelies are actually slightly easier on a bike with a (lowish) fixed gear than a freewheel, because keeping near the balance point is easier. In fact a long sustained wheelie on a fixed gear bike is a lot like riding a unicycle.

If you want a bit of relevant fun, learn to ride a unicycle; once you have the knack of that, being on the back wheel only of your bicycle won't seem like such a big deal.

cheers


This is the thing Brucey - the better YouTube guides provide you with a pretty comprehensive set of instructions on most aspects of 'how to wheelie' (including getting your weight back to, and beyond, the 'balance point') but there are two specific aspects where you're left to your own devices:
1. How to reliably 'pop' your front wheel up so it comes up straight and gives you a few yards of easy straight-line travel in which to fine-tune your rear-brake feathering and side-to-side balancing.
2. How to actually do the side-to-side balancing.

I've recently made a lot of progress on both, and I'm optimistic that I'm on the home-stretch to cracking it. However, I already think I could provide a much better guide to doing all this than I've so far found on YouTube or via Googling. For example, one key learning point which has genuinely taken me months to work out is that you simply have to exert equal finger pressure on the forward-edge of your handlebars during and after the 'pop' in order to lift your front wheel up straight - none of the YouTube videos tell you that. If someone had been able to explain that to me, it would have saved me months of frustration(!) So the reason for bumping this ancient thread is to see whether there are any elderly-but-articulate wheelie-ninjas who'd be able to suggest short-cuts on my road to becoming a 13yr-old hooligan wheelie master.

Brucey
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Re: Wheelies

Postby Brucey » 17 Dec 2020, 1:03am

Getting a straight lift is the first thing to learn and many people take it for granted. Once up, wheelie steering is a lot like unicycle steering; you shift your bodyweight upstairs and this twists the (rear) wheel slightly and in combination with your pedalling effort and forward motion this helps to maintain the side-to-side balance.

FWIW this is one of those things that is most likely to be easier to learn when you are younger; you will be less likely to hurt yourself falling off, and sense of balance is one of the things that tends to get worse not better with passing years. But don't let that put you off if you are keen.

FWIW I built and learned to ride a unicycle when I was a teenager, without the benefit of anyone or anything to help me. It took a lot of practice before I was any good at all. I have since concluded that had I tried to learn later in life, by myself, I'd probably have given up; the mental and/or physical attrition would have been too much.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~