5 Reasons Why You Can Not Wheelie

This post gives you the 5 reasons why you can not wheelie, as well as the ways to avoid getting hurt.

The wheeling technique allows you to be balanced on your bike, to better understand obstacles, but also to have a better position on jump calls.

If you can do this, you will be much more comfortable on the trial and technical parts of the trails you take.

5 mistakes that keep you from doing a wheelie

5 Reasons Why You Can't Wheelie

You are completely wrong if:

  • You pull the hanger
  • You move your pelvis or bend your elbows
  • You stand up
  • You use speed to keep the front wheel lifted
  • You don’t practice enough to keep practising

8 great tips for wheelie


This is what you are going to need first.

Do not believe that in 5 minutes you will master the movement. In 5 minutes of practice, you will rather have a feeling of discouragement. But persevere. 30 minutes a day for 2 weeks and you’ll be done. Sworn!

Set goals: wheelie from point A to point B (it helps psychologically).


  • If possible, take a mountain bike without rear suspension and not too heavy, and a bike with a frame of your size (not too big, because it would become very difficult)
  • put on a helmet,
  • 2 gloves to prevent blisters and protect your hands in the event of a fall,
  • Do not use clipless pedals or toe clips,
  • The rear brake must be perfectly adjusted and progressive,
  • No backpack with hard objects that can hurt you in it,
  • If you can, a back protector
The place: Find a gentle uphill slope

1. The place: Find a gentle uphill slope

Ideally, find land on a very, very slight slope, in short grass, with good soil. Avoid the road. Grass and dirt cushion and the slight slope will prevent the bike from picking up speed on its own.

Choose a windless day or a sheltered location.

Choose a place that is not very frequented: there is no need to submit your first failures to the eyes of others, which can be a demotivating factor.

2. Lower the saddle to half the usual height

Lower the saddle so that, installed on the saddle of the bike, you can touch your feet to the ground.

3. Put the bike on an intermediate development

In the beginning, middle plate and a middle gable.

Indeed, with great development, you will have to make a lot of effort to lift the mountain bike, and especially to reach too high a speed. On the other hand, if you grind too much, the mountain bike will get up very easily, but it will be almost impossible to keep it balanced.

4. Bend your arms and lower your chest towards the handlebars

Start by driving at a reduced speed, a maximum of 10 km/h. You need a constant speed without you having to force yourself to move forward, you absolutely have to avoid the feeling that you have to go up a gear.

Keeping one or two fingers on the rear brake lever, bend your arms and lower your torso toward the handlebars of the mountain bike.

5. Push in one motion and lift the front wheel while continuing to pedal

When your leading foot is “pedal up”, you must simultaneously push backwards with your shoulders (by bending your arms very slightly to start), and suddenly accelerate the effort on the pedal without jerking.

If you jerk, the transmission takes the shock and the risk of breaking the chain is high.

6. Straighten your arms once the front wheel is lifted and hold your weight back to keep the front wheel in the air

Straighten your arms once the front wheel is lifted and hold your weight back to keep the front wheel in the air

Stay seated in the saddle. Keep your back straight.

Above all, do not bend your arms once the bike lifts. Keep your arms straight.

it’s a reflex: to lift the bike, most people will bend their arms to pull, rather than shoulder movement. Doing this lifts the wheel, but moves the center of gravity of the bike-rider assembly forward, and the consequence is that you have to lift much higher to reach the balance point. In this situation, it will be very difficult to maintain balance.

7. Pull up on the handlebars and keep pedalling forward

Above all, once the front wheel lifts, continue to pedal at a constant speed. If you accelerate too much, the bike will turn over. If you slow down the pedalling pace, unless you are exactly at the balance point, the bike will fall, gently… but it will fall.

If you’re sitting straight up, arm outstretched, you’re “comfortable” pedalling and keeping the bike balanced, if you’re bent, your chest flat against the handlebars, it’s uncomfortable, inefficient and difficult to hold.

8. To maintain the balance point, use the hanger, brake, knees and upper body

If you are starting at the rear: brake lightly from the rear. You should always keep one finger on the rear brake so you can react as quickly as possible.

You are unable to keep the front wheel in the air despite pedalling: take a smaller development, and position yourself further forward on the saddle.

You get there: normally, it feels like being in an armchair, you can even stop pedalling for a few meters: it holds!

If the bike corners, watch out! because if you put the bike down violently with the front wheel turned, it’s guaranteed to fall! The best thing, at the beginning, when the bike begins to lean or veer to one side, is to let it descend slowly, and do your best to rest the front wheel on the axis of the trajectory.

With a little practice: you have to keep your pedalling rhythm; by gently spreading the knee on the opposite side of the bike’s corner grip, it can be held back and straightened. It is also possible to gently pull on the hanger on the same side to straighten it too.

Once you understand the protocol, all you have to do is work it out to get it 100% every time. And there is no choice, it takes practice.

Once you can do it with your favourite bike, you’ll quickly realize that almost any bike can wheelie, and then you can move on to manual practice.

A wheelie machine

A wheelie machine?

To learn safely, Sender Ramps markets a machine model to learn how to do wheelies easily and safely.

It is ordered exclusively on the net, manufacture on demand and 15 days later it arrives by the carrier. The assembly is very easy and fast (less than 20 minutes of unpacking included with a screwdriver).

It is a very solid wooden base that secures your mountain bike with a strap to prevent it from turning over. This allows you to train at home in peace.

After about ten sessions of about fifteen minutes (because it really requires the arms) you manage to lift the bike on the machine and maintain your balance!

This makes it easy to discover that balance is managed by pulling with the shoulders and pushing with the legs and pedals.


Marcelline is a writer and covers several categories thanks to her multidisciplinary expertise.

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