104 - AMB
WORDS: JARED RANDO IMAGES: NICK WAYGOOD
Bunny hopping is hands down one of the most
important skills any mountain biker can develop.
Not only is bunny hopping useful in its own right
to clear gutters, logs, rocks or anything else on
the trail, it’s also critical as a gateway skill in
learning to jump and pre-jump correctly.
Those are key skills for any intermediate level
trail and above – especially when you throw
racing (or Strava if you are so inclined...) into the
mix. There’s no doubt that clip in pedals make the
process a whole lot easier, but relying on having
your feet clipped in is certainly the wrong way
to go about it. If you really want to learn how to
bunny hop correctly and effectively, buy a cheap
set of flat pedals to practice with as you learn.
WHAT GOES UP, MUST GO DOWN FIRST
Bunny hopping with suspension is a much different
beast to bunny hopping a rigid bike. To start off, keep
your weight centred and pre-load your suspension by
pushing down predominantly with your legs but also
with your arms. This all happens in a split second and
the bunny hop effectively starts from the point your
suspension is compressed and begins to rebound back.
This skill is also not something
which is mastered in a day or two –
give yourself months or even years
to get comfortable and don’t get
frustrated if you can’t get it straight
away. It may seem impossible at
first, but time and patience are the
key ingredients to learning.
Here’s the fundamentals and also
some tips to help master the bunny