How To: Front Wheel Pivot

This is where you hop your front wheel either to your left or right, keeping your rear brake locked.  This is a crucial basic bicycle handling skill you'll use every time you ride.

First learn to pop your front wheel up:

  • Keep your rear brake locked

  • Squish your body and arms over the front of your bike

  • Then push up and lean back a little

After learning to pop up the front wheel, learn to pivot:

  • After you get the popping your front wheel up thing down, try leaning to one side when you squish down (so if you didn't bounce up, you would fall off your bike to that side). Then when you pull up, you'll automatically pivot that way.

  • Another thing to remember is that if you land with your weight directly over the bike and with the bike straight up, you'll lose your balance in that same direction. So land with your weight away from the bike, and maybe with the bike angled a little bit, so when you land and soak up the impact sideways like that, you'll be perfectly trackstanding again.

  • Try going around in a complete circle with little pivots (it'll probably take you like 20 or more little pivots to get all the way around). You won't be able to make it all the way without practice, so do it until it makes sense

  • Once you've got that down, try to get further in your pivots (this is much more advanced, you should probably skip it and come back to it later...):

  • You still want to lean in the way you want to go, but you'll want to do a kind of preload FIRST.

  • A preload is where you lean the BIKE the opposite way of the way you want to go (it's weird, I know, but you'll thank me later on)

  • So to do it, lean your bike the opposite of the way you want to go, and turn you handlebars opposite, too (if you can, straight is ok). Also twist your hips the opposite way. This is all something you do at once, for a very brief moment, then you explode into your turn, twisting your hips, pulling the handlebars in the direction you want to go. You can get up to 180 degrees with this method, and if you toss in leaning way back and keeping the handlebars real close, you should be able to make 360 degrees.