How to hop up onto an obstacle

Trials phenomenon Danny MacAskill shows you how to get on up

This is a technique where you use a front wheel tap to help you get onto an obstacle. Hitting your front wheel onto the obstacle is what generates the upward momentum to get the bike on top of it, especially with a full-sus.

This technique involves precise timing of both the pedal strokes and the front wheel placement to make it work.

1. Get in gear

Choose a medium gear — somewhere around the middle of an 11-speed cassette with a 32-tooth chainring.

You don’t want a gear that’s too easy because your feet will spin too quickly, while a gear that’s too hard means you won’t have enough power in your pedal strokes.

2. Roll in

Approach the obstacle at walking speed with your leading foot forward.

About 3m away start to pedal so your back foot comes around as you're about 1.5m from the obstacle.

When your back foot is at the top of the pedal stroke, start putting the power down in order to lift the front wheel.

3. Lift the wheel

As your front wheel lifts off the ground, aim to hit the edge of the obstacle you want to get up with your front tyre.

Your leading foot should be at the front now. When you hit the edge, push your hips and arms forward to lift the back wheel up and land on top of the obstacle with both wheels.

Danny’s tips

Follow these pointers to improve your technique

  1. The obstacle needs to be at least 60cm high for this technique to work. Any lower and you’re better off bunnyhopping up it.
  2. Only do this hop-up with a bashguard or chain device on your bike to stop your chainring and chain getting smashed.
  3. Put your saddle down to the lowest position to give you the most space to move around on the bike.
  4. Put a little more air in your front tyre so that you’re less likely to pinch flat when you tap it against the obstacle.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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