Ask Pinkbike: Dirt Jumpers, Wheelies, and Extra-Soft Springs

Feb 20, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.






Will a Dirt Jump Bike Help My Skills?

Question: Pinkbike user @BrilliantNeon asked this question in the Dirt Jumping & Street forum: I'm 33 and I've been mountain biking for 2.5 years. I started with XC, moved after a year into all-mountain/enduro stuff and bike park riding. I'm not into racing. There is a small bike park close to where I live - few drops, few jumps, few berms - cool stuff though.

I'm trying to find a way to improve my skills as smoothly as possible while still having fun. I've heard a lot of people telling I could learn some skills easier on a smaller bike. Thus, my question. Will I learn to manual, bunny hop, jump better on a DJ bike?


bigquotesIs a dirt jumper required to improve your manuals, jumping, and bunny-hops? Absolutely not. Should you still consider getting one? You bet. You can learn all of the skills you mentioned on your 'regular' bike, but adding a hardtail dirt jump bike to your quiver is a great idea.

One of the best ways to get better at manualing and cornering is to spend time practicing on a pumptrack, where a dirt jump bike is ideally suited to the hardpacked rollers and berms. The lack of rear suspension does mean that you'll know right away when you case a jump, but you'll also be able to more efficiently pump your way around the track. You'll find that the the skills you pick up from the pumptrack translate very well to the trails, especially when it comes to cornering and working the terrain to maintain speed.

Dirt jump bikes, especially singlespeeds, also tend to require less maintenance than a full-suspension rig. That means that on the days when your trail bike needs a little work, you can procrastinate by grabbing the hardtail and heading out to the dirt jumps or the skills park. You may also want to consider investing in some lessons to go along with your new bike - a few hours of coaching could be all it takes to really speed up your skills progression.
Mike Kazimer


If you feel good you ride good... Ropelato felt right at home here in Innsbruck.
Pumptrack laps are always a good time - just ask Mitch Ropelato.





Wheelie 101

Question: angushall19 asks in the All-Mountain and Cross-Country Forum:I have been experimenting with wheelies lately and doing it nonstop, yet I can't really figure out what I am doing wrong. I am in a mid gear so it is easy enough to push down and boost up without accelerating too quickly, I have my seat at a little over half way up for seated riding. I start sitting down then preload and explode on the pedals and lean back yet this is not enough to get me up to my balance point. I see many people have a different problem where they always go too far and fall off the back, but in the rare occasion I do get up I can at least get in a pedal rotation or two. It has been very frustrating and I have been practicing for hours the last few weeks, yet I am making little progress. Anyone have some tips?


bigquotes(Disclosure: I suck at manuals, but I know how to wheelie.) Your issue is your entrance move. Yanking the front end up is an advanced move that only works for riders who know where their balance point is, and who have mastered the rear brake check maneuver. Drop your seatpost an inch so you can move your knees around (more about that later). Start on a gradual uphill in fourth gear (from the big cog) so your front wheel is rotating briskly, but you will still have a generous spurt of acceleration available. (The front wheel acts as a gyro and helps keep the bike vertical.) Pedal smoothly, about 25 percent of your normal cadence in a relaxed, straight line up the grade.

In preparation to loft the front wheel, stay in the saddle. Your upper body should be straight up, 90 degrees in relation to the bike, and your arms should be slightly bent with some tension in them. Lean back on your arms and accelerate sharply and the front wheel should loft about five inches off the ground. You aren't trying to yank the wheel up with your arms, you are using your upper body as a rigid counterweight and accelerating the bike forwards, out from under it. So, if the front wheel doesn't pop up easily the first time, lean your upper body further back and repeat until you get the front wheel to loft five or six inches on command with one push on the pedals and a minimal yank on the bars.

The key step to get to the balance point (which is easier than most believe) is to get there in two easy pedal strokes - not one big one. Use your first push to get the wheel up that first six inches, and then push the front wheel up near the balance point with your other foot. Keep your upper body tense and don't pull your arms towards you for assistance - you will be feeling for the balance point with gentle acceleration only. Your third pedal stroke is the winner; ideally, the first two will get you close to the balance point, so the third push on the pedal will be a soft one - just enough to ease the front wheel close to, but not at the balance point. Let the front wheel drop to the ground and repeat that sequence: "one up, two to find the balance point, and three to sustain."

From that point, you'll have it. Every pedal past that third one is just a correction to bring the front wheel back near the balance point. The long, gentle uphill will govern your acceleration, so your speed won't increase with each successive pedal stroke.

Warning! Learn this with flat shoes and a helmet - if you wheelie, it is inevitable that you will go over backwards. Nobody is smart or quick enough to react EVERY time that balance point has been exceeded. Most of the time, if you keep a light finger on the rear brake, you can ease (or slam) the front wheel back from disaster with a gentle squeeze of the lever. I suggest that you practice that technique from day one, because once you start shifting through the gears, you'll probably want to develop a method to slow down.

Lastly, steering and holding a straight line is not too hard. As long as the front wheel is spinning fast enough, you can counter steer with the handlebar to keep the bike on line, but that must be done gently. The most sustainable balancing tools are your legs, As you pedal, hang one knee out to keep the bike on line. In a while, you can combine the knee-out with the counter steer to initiate turns as well.
RC

Wyn Masters shows how it's done on the Wheelie Wednesdays compilation edit.





Extra-Soft DH Springs

Question: Pinkbike user @Taris asked this question in the Downhill: I'm looking for a 140-150lbs coil for the RS Kage RC in 10,5"x3,5"/267mm x 89mm. It's for our son's YT Tues. The Tues comes with pretty soft shock coils; even on my size "L" the standard coil is just 250lbs, on our son's "S" it's 200lbs. 200lbs is the softest coil that Rockshox offers for the Kage RC: The range for this (longest) version of the Kage is 200-550lbs.

Since our son weighs not much more than 100lbs geared up (he's tall but light for his almost 13 years), we'll switch the coil in the Boxxer from standard "medium" two steps softer to x-soft, but we can't find any coil options to adjust the spring rate for the shock accordingly. The 200lbs coil is definitely too hard for him. For his last DH bike, a Commencal Supreme FR, we had switched both Fox coils for fork and shock from medium to the softest option and this setup worked perfectly.

I've had a Tues CF Pro before, but with the air shock I didn't notice how low the shock spring rates on the Tues are. Any ideas where to get a softer coil?

bigquotesThe easiest way to solve this would be to sell the coil suspension and buy air shocks via a reputable tuner because running such low air pressures might require some work on the negative spring and compression/rebound stacks from day one to get the right setup – negative springs work best between a general range of pressures and your 100lb son will be on the lower limit. This, however, will not be a cheap option, but increasing the air pressure and getting the shock re-tuned as he gets older/heavier/faster could save money in the long run.

Even if you do source a sub 200lb spring (which I can't find anywhere online) you should be considering a re-tune as the standard Kage will most likely be overdamped for his needs. Ti-springs.com offer a pre-order service to get the right spring, it might be worth firing them an email to see if they can make a one-off order as 200 lb is the lightest option on their website. You might also want to consider a custom wound, progressive fork spring from RaceOnlySprings if you need an even lighter fork spring.

The final option is the cheap/ghetto version – it is possible to machine down the outside of the spring to remove material and lighten the spring rate just like on this Ancillotti prototype below, this was done by an expert who makes builds his shocks from scratch and is not officially recommended! (Please, please, do not try this at home. -- Ed.)
Paul Aston

Ancillotti Scarab Prototype
Tomasso Ancillotti removed some material from the outside of this spring to tune the preload of his bike, he also makes the shocks and frames himself so we can assume he knows what he is doing.



Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


131 Comments

  • 103 2
 Nothing will improve your freeride skills like a dirt jumper. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't dirt jump.
  • 58 5
 A BMX bike.
  • 11 36
flag Ron-C (Feb 20, 2018 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 So, from what I gathered, riding my road bike on the trails or pump track will deteriorate my skill level. Noted.
  • 49 1
 Also for my money DJ bikes have the best looking proportions/lines in the whole bike world. So even when you're at home not riding you can sit at look at it and smile.
  • 5 1
 @brassinne: So so true.......
  • 1 0
 I agree with CMK. But should add to it. It improved my trail riding skills immensely. I think it changed the way I ride trails from XC to DH. Hip this to trail transfer there type of thing. I found myself playing with the trail more.
  • 5 0
 bmx for life
  • 4 0
 Real talk: Can anyone recommend a DJ bike for tall guys? I'm 6'5".
  • 4 0
 @Chadimac22: At 6'3" I can only imagine your pain. I hit my knees on the handlebars of my DJ bike sometimes while pedalling.
  • 3 0
 @Chadimac22: crucero BMX bike could help
  • 3 0
 @Chadimac22: Have a look at the Transition PBJ. It comes in two sizes and the bigger one has the reach of a modern m-size enduro-rig.
  • 2 0
 @Chadimac22: I'm "only" 6"1 with long legs, and the best I could find is Transition PBJ. Best geometry for a dirt bike. And for the first time it doesn't feel too small, like every dirt bike I ever had previoulsy. But I guess with 6"5, you almost good for a "tailored made" frame.
  • 2 0
 @Chadimac22: @Chadimac22: Check out Black Market bikes. They offer the Edit DJ in an XXXL...no joke. And he may be able to build a custom size if that's not long enough.
  • 1 0
 @cmkneeland: Those Black Market bikes look legit!
  • 1 0
 @Chadimac22: Nukeproof made a 27.5 scout that would work as a pump track bike and a good do bike for someone tall.
  • 1 0
 @cmkneeland: Pretty strange that their XXXL is smaller than a Transition in L. But good to know that they can do custom .
  • 1 0
 @Chadimac22: I’m 6’4”, I rock the og Devinci dirt jumper and it’s works! Just find yourself a large frame with a larger cockpit and you’ll be set, higher riser bars also help super!
  • 72 0
 As far as the extra soft DH spring, Formula SAE race cars use shocks that evolved from mtb shocks, with an option from Ohlins that is manufactured by Cane Creek and appears to use the same size springs. FSAE cars need softer springs than most mtbs, and Ohlins has springs available down to 150 lb/in. See if those fit. www.ohlinsusa.com/suspension-products/Automotive/Auto+Racing/Shock+Absorber/70/TTX25+MkII
  • 61 0
 Well done. Not sure what something so sensical and informative is doing in the PB comment section, but well done.
  • 6 0
 @MTBrent: Ha ha, thanks
  • 1 0
 The ones we used we're 200x57mm strokes sounds like the tues uses a pretty long stroke shock. As far as I know there wasn't much longer for that style of car...
  • 2 0
 @rclugnut: Click the link, they also have 90mm stroke versions listed
  • 1 1
 @m-t-g: my bad i clearly didn't click it, guess they've added long stroke unit in the past few years.
  • 2 0
 My additional twopence - super soft springs may be more available for shorter stroke shocks. You might be able to use 2 if you use a plastic thingy. I can't remember what they're called, but they're normally used for having 2 different spring rates, I think to make like a progressive rate. I think Foes did something like this a few years ago
  • 3 0
 ...something like this
goo.gl/images/9Z49S3
  • 2 0
 Actually, thinking a little bit more about it, I reckon it might be worth a phone call to Brent Foes to ask him for advice. I wouldn't be surprised if he has just the spring you're after.
  • 1 0
 Those shocks should've stayed on a Formula SAE or Moto. Ohlins created the tech and Cane Creek put their name on it. Poppet vales suck! Inconsistent high speed rebound.
  • 1 0
 @ryane: what about poppet valves causes inconsistent HSR?
  • 1 0
 @xeren: I'll word it differently. Only in terms of the DB not other brands. Could never get a consistent rebound low speed or high speed and I couldn't trust what the transition would feel like, too much on or off feeling. I ran 2 other non-twin tube shocks on the same bike and it felt great!
  • 1 0
 @xeren: Moar Shims!!!
  • 1 0
 If all else fails find a local spring manufacturer and have a chat, they are often very helpful and might enjoy doing something a bit different.
  • 1 0
 I had the same problem looking at a Tues last year but I couldn't figure out the Kage spring issue (I'm 110lbs) so I ended up splurging on the C.F. Pro with the float X2. I find the air shock is no problem but now I'm looking at what to do with my Fox elite. I have an x-soft spring and it's still on the stiff side. So I'm stuck with spending big $$$ for something air or riding with a pack full of bricks... With the amount of crazy groms and girls getting into the sport it would be nice to see some lighter (and cheaper) spring options!
  • 65 1
 One excellent piece of wheelie advice? Look suuuuper far ahead, like a mile away. People always look at their front wheel for some reason and tend to flail around. Looking way ahead calms you right down, this also works on skinnies.
  • 6 0
 u may have right, I do look at the front wheel.
  • 15 1
 I like to look at my buddies and give them sh!t as I wheelie by them. Just another option if looking far ahead doesn't pan out for ya...
  • 9 0
 If the sun is shining I like to look at my shadow when doing wheelies and manuals. It like switching to third person mode.
  • 1 0
 Kudos man best advice ever helped me with trials in hopping on things picknick tables in particular looking past the lip and knowing/believing you will make it helps you make it.
  • 2 0
 @MTBrent: As hilarious as it is cruel. So awesome!
  • 5 4
 @Dally666: the best is to start popping wheelies 2h into the ride when at least half of the pack is tired and some are frustrated. When you are tired yourself it may just give you an edge...
  • 2 1
 And keep your arms locked out straight.
  • 7 4
 @LlamaLlama: disagreed about locked out, it’s terrible for your joints especially when yanking on the bars to get the wheel up. I got shoulder issues from this when learning to manual. Keep the slightly bent in elbows but firm.
  • 1 0
 @LlamaLlama: Locked out might not be the best option for those 'front wheel crash down' moments when you grab the back brake, but definitely keep them extended. All the times I've seen people not able to 'get it up' when learning to wheelie is when they bend their arms when the front wheel starts coming up and try to bring the handlebars to their body.
  • 7 5
 to make it easier for some: first learn to repetitively lift the front wheel into the tip back point until it feels easy. There is no point trying to pedal the sht out of yourself if you can't do that. It has to feel nearly effortless to synchronize pulling on bars and stomping on pedals. Then get comfy to cross the point of tipping back and start pulling the rear brake. It has to be a movement pattern burned into your brain so that you don't feel affraid of tipping backwards. Then you can learn side to side balance by 1.turning bars 2.putting knees out, 3.turning your torso. Train each side to side balance moves sepearately. Most people try to do everything at the same time - lift, pedal, side balance.

A bike setup check: get roundest possible tyres on wide rims. it plays a giant difference for side to side balance. squirming knobs on narrow rim is the wors you can have. Then make sure your rim is dished as perfectly as possible. Even 3mm to the side can play a big role. Then a bike with as symmetric chainstays as possible is more than welcome. assymetric rear triangles often makes for unbalanced wheelies. Hence, get a hardtail. Fullies make it harder to manage balance point as well. Especially for manuals.

Finally try to mix practice with stoppies or rocking or hopping, bunnyhops or anything. If you just hammer practicing wheelies you'll burn out and imprint some bad habits. Find a way to reset your brain.
  • 2 0
 @acali: if you try the shadow method while riding toward the sun, please have a buddy film you for next month's Fail vids. PB readers thank you in advance.
  • 34 0
 If 18 years of MTB has taught me anything, it's that a dirt jump bike is mandatory, the rest is optional.
  • 35 2
 "Dirt jumpers are sick" - everyone
  • 23 0
 That chrome Ancilotti......sorry what was the question?
  • 4 0
 Pure sex.
  • 15 1
 Also, practice looping out on your manuals/wheelies a few times. It gives you a very good idea of where that tipping point is and it helps shape those reflexes. Manuals and wheelies become a little less scary when you know how to land on your feet.
  • 6 1
 This. Only got my manuals dialled after I started riding a brakeless bmx.
  • 2 15
flag pinnityafairy (Feb 20, 2018 at 18:55) (Below Threshold)
 If you are taking your feet off you obviously know nothing about brake control
  • 7 1
 @properp: this is about building confidence, not one upping #wynswheeliewednesday edits. Gotta start somewhere dude.
  • 9 1
 @properp: brakes?
  • 1 1
 @PaulLehr: compliments of Google talk to text
  • 1 3
 @BobbyLite: this was never about trying to one-up anyone. The comment was trying to keep you from starting a bad habit. Removing your feet and bailing is a bad habit. Learning brake control is proper technique.
  • 1 0
 @bonkywonky: the smaller the wheels the easier the wheelie
  • 2 1
 I learned how to manual on a brakeless bmx bike as a kid, now I don't have the instinct to grab the rear brake when looping out... I can't tell you how many times I've ate shit manualing my mtb.
  • 1 3
 @LukeBurgie: kudos to you for understanding brake control.
@bobbylight tried bailing in jumping off the back at 15 or 20 mile an hour instead of using your brakes and let me know how that works out for you. Once you have programmed your body to bail every time you get scared instead of using the break you will become a master at eating s***
  • 2 1
 @properp: Bailing shouldn't be your go-to, but you should know how to do it. Lots people are a little too eager to grab that brake because they're afraid of landing flat on their ass.
  • 1 1
 @BobbyLite: let's be honest with ourselves if we were really worried about landing on our asses we would never get on mountain bikes in the first place
  • 1 0
 @properp: strongly disagree. Ive always found that as wheel size increases, the flexibility of the balance point grows, meaning you have a larger margin of error before the front end drops or you loop out. I have no science to back it up, other than riding everything from BMX to 29ers.
  • 1 0
 @cstishenko: I was simply talking about popping it up. Getting it up . The bigger the wheel the larger The Sweet Spot. The smaller the wheel the more torque generated.
  • 16 0
 Ryan Leech has an EXCELLENT video series on how to wheelie, I highly recommend it.
  • 5 5
 My biggest outtake of Ryans approach is that breaking the skill into small bits keeps you motivated. Same by seeing progress and struggles of people in the group. Makes you feel less stupid. How many have said: I’m going to learn to wheelie! Went out 10 times and thought I’ll never learn this
  • 1 0
 Yep, a good series. However, I don't remember hearing Ryan talk about the three pedal progression that the author here does. Maybe smash the advice together?
  • 1 0
 @alwaysOTB: this is the progression designed by RC, I followed Ryans way, I cannot comment on which is better. Ryans worked forme. It took me 2 years to get really proficient with 9/10 success ratio on almost any bike, doing serious distances. After 6 months I was able to fully utilize wheelies on the trail
  • 13 0
 Getting a dirt jumper and riding pump tracks / dirt jumps has improved my skills on the trails like nothing else. Not only do you learn the proper way to turn, pump, and jump, but it is also a great way to get quick full body workout.
  • 11 0
 I had a dream last week that I learned how to wheelie and manual forever with total easy. Like God shared the secret with me directly. It was so real that when I woke up I thought I could do it. Later that morning I got on my bike rolled out on the street and pulled up...only to slam down instantly! God damn dreams!

Real secret to wheelies/manuals- blood transfusions from someone who can do it. Pint for a pint?
  • 2 0
 I think I actually had this same dream. Gutting.
  • 10 1
 I've told quite a few people that wanted to learn wheelie/manuals. Learn how to wheelie in a wheel chair. It's the easiest way to establish the feel of a balance point. And when you fall backwards just hold the wheels and slowly fall back. Of course no one will believe me.. try it though
  • 5 0
 True story!! I can wheelie a wheelchair for hours.
  • 2 0
 It's true, I can sit in a wheel chair and wheelie for ever... and I'm a pretty decent wheelie dude on a bike.
  • 25 2
 I followed your advice and broke my back. Now I get to wheelie everywhere!
  • 2 0
 This is true - I can wheelie a wheelchair better than a bike - around corners, even down a few stairs.
  • 6 0
 One thing I would say about the wheelies is that bike skills aren't for everyone. I've been biking for 25 years, and can honestly say I'm pretty mildly okay. I tried to be the best, and really only made it to pretty mediocre, so keep that in mind.
  • 3 0
 Kramz: you’re the voice I hear in my head constantly.
  • 2 0
 My mid pack brotha!
  • 8 3
 DJ bikes are great at honing skills, much better investment than some pretentious long travel ht if you already have a Fully. The bike is just the best tool for pumptrack dirt jumps and parking lot. Skill is most effectively learned off the trail and DJ is the best translator of those skills to the big bike.

Wheelies? I learned to wheelie and manual with Ryan Leech Connection online courses. Once you learn to whelke you feel like you can learn anything. And don’t listen to folks who say, just pull on your bars 10 000 times. A good course breaks the skill in parts that are easier to swallow.
  • 2 0
 Ryan Leech's classes are legit. I'm still bad at manualling but I'm slowly getting better thanks to his master class. I have toyed with either buying a DJ for skills or a Guerilla Gravity Pedalhead. I wonder how much better the DJ would be for skills work. I live right at the base of a mellow trail system that is fun but even my 115 mm Transition Smuggler is VERY overkill, a rad HT would be perfect. But the new Transition PBJ in Chrome makes me feel funny, like when I used to climb the rope in gym class....
  • 7 1
 Is it better to get a BMX or a dirt-jumper? Legit question, I do not have sufficient experience to tell.
  • 12 0
 Dirt jumper probably more-so just due to more similar wheel size. That said, I have a BMX and I've found a lot of benefit from riding the local pump track.
  • 6 0
 @BobbyLite: You hit the nail here. I didn't mention it, but this is purely about "the progression bike", the main one has bigger wheels. And it will remain the main bike and the transition of skill from the secondary to the main bike should also be as easy as possible.
  • 4 0
 @fanatyk-bb: Glad you asked this question. I just picked up a bmx bike (because #cheap) but curious to think what people's opinions are in terms of learning. Had a dirt jumper once... hated it.
  • 5 0
 @microfiz: Also, if low maintenance is your thing, get a BMX.
  • 3 2
 Split the difference and get a 24" cruiser.
  • 4 0
 You can also get BMX bikes in 24, 26 and 29-inch wheels. I don't know how the 29ers actually handle -- if they are legitimate race machines or just something cool for old guys to tool around on and pretend they're 10 again -- but the 24 and 26-inch race bikes are pretty sweet. I prefer 24. The main thing I notice is on BMX bikes is the really rough ride. After you get used to riding a 160-travel full suspension rig, the ride on a BMX bike can be pretty jarring.
  • 13 0
 I opt for a DJ since I like the error margin. BMX has none. I’m too old for instant karma
  • 22 3
 One cool thing about BMX is you save money by not having to buy a helmet.
  • 33 0
 @Icaru5: you also save money by stealing your sisters blue jeans
  • 5 0
 fanatyk-bb: it depends on what your doing if you want to learn to be a djer or slope style rider a bmx would be better it's easier to learn tricks like 360s and tail whips. But If you want to improve your bike handling skills on the trail and be more confident or doing dh or freeride than its going to be better to learn on a dj. It is closer to your bike A bmx bike is an awesome option but there are limitations and doing tricks or jumps you learned on a bmx may feel totally different on your all mountain or dh rig. As brassine above was inferring that a bmx was better than a dj I would say a dj is much better to learn on than bmx if your doing freeride or big dh jumps or road gaps. Bmxers are cheap thow and still can give great benifit to any rider so a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
  • 2 0
 @fanatyk-bb and @loganflores - Also a big difference will be the absence of a front suspension on a bmx bike. I just grabbed a cheap bmx bike for the pumptrack and DJ (because moneys as @microfiz stated) but there is a distinct difference in the takeoffs and control while pumping due to the lack of front suspension. On my legit mtbikes, it's much easier to properly throw your weight back after preloading the front shock going off a lip (i.e. not simply pulling up on the bars but actually snapping your arms and throwing your weight over your back wheel manual-style). Similarly, I've found the lack of front suspension helps you dial in pumping and other control techniques in a much more fundamental manner.
  • 3 0
 I got BMX to improve dirt-jumper riding. Go short cut. At first your wrists may soar if center of your body mass is not really on BB. Also you will easilly learn to bend your elbows and knees like a cat for taking off jumps and pumping at landing. BMX frame is so small for adults that you will learn that naturally to ride smoothly.
  • 4 0
 @RXN059: I think the best part about BMX on pumptrack is that it makes those few mounds of dirt seem as challenging as a giant flow line when on a DH bike while consequences are less drastic, at least theoretically. But at the same time a DJ is just this bit more encouraging to try to clear doubles and some tricky combinations of rollers
  • 3 1
 BMX -it's much, much cheaper and you can ride in the park without looking like a knob.
  • 2 0
 You guys are just awesome! Thank you so much for legit answers (and the fun ones too!)
  • 1 0
 BMX is going to be alot more unforgiving / responsive so a DJ will be easier to learn on, but in the long run a BMX will make you a better rider. Just my opinion tho.
  • 1 0
 I got both. I think both a bmx and dirt jumper are good to have. The bmx scares me on the bigger jumps, so I always try the new stuff on my DJ or enduro bike
  • 2 0
 "Warning! Learn this with flat shoes and a helmet - if you wheelie, it is inevitable that you will go over backwards. Nobody is smart or quick enough to react EVERY time that balance point has been exceeded."

Lol...I always see people saying this. It really isn't that bad learning to wheelie on clips, just have to rely on balance and rear brake to prevent looping.

I remember way back when I learned I avoided learning for a while because I thought it was too precarious on clips and I never had a pair of flats around.
  • 4 0
 Yeah but looping out clipped in SUCKS. You don't need good flats, a $10 steel pair will suffice and everyone has an old pair of sneakers laying around they can use. So if you're gonna practice wheelies just take the 30 seconds to switch your pedals so you can stop being afraid of looping out.
  • 4 0
 @BullMooose: I feel like test ride flats and running shoes might actually be better than good flats and fivetens, since slipping off of the bike is a desired trait when you loop out:
  • 1 0
 The Tomas dhp is still amazing, if only thay would do a 2018 carbon version,with olins front and rear,if I win euro millions it will my first call,obviously after a mandatory coke and prostitute binge....ohhh yeah get a kona bass..
  • 1 0
 Those springs from Raceonlysprings sound like total snake oil. I mean I'm completely ready to be proven wrong here, but they just sound totally unfeasible.

For example. They do an x-hard spring suitable for a 200lb rider. I assume this is something in the region of a 100lb/in spring. They claim this hardens up by 15% in the last 30% of its travel.
This would require the dual rate set up to consist of a softer stage rated at 115 lb/in, which is perfectly reasonable. However the hard stage would then have to be rated to something like 800lb/in and reach coil bind after about 3/4" of compression. Trying to wind a spring that performs like that out of a single piece of wire just seems utterly impossible. If the spring was made from two separate wires with a divider between them things would seem a bit more believable, but even trying to construct an 800lb spring that would fit in a boxxer stanchion seems like a very difficult task. None of what they are claiming makes any sense at all. I call bullshit. Someone please prove me wrong though. I'd love for these to actually achieve what they claim and do hope I've got my maths wrong somewhere.....
  • 1 0
 @paulaston
have you used these springs? can you shed any more light on how they work/are constructed?
  • 2 1
 Shoot me down, just thinking aloud but would offset bushes help the lad that needs the softer spring, slightly changing the geo / compression?? As I say I dunno just wondering
  • 3 0
 I can see many people at the moment who try to cut the outside of the spring at home....
  • 1 0
 Breaking out the file now for some "customization" LOL
  • 3 0
 Better make sure its a solid spring, lol. Don't try with a Fox coil!
  • 8 0
 My spring rate is also too high. I'm gonna take the air can off and put in the lathe.
  • 1 0
 It can sound like a new idea to many but this was the way to customize springs back in the day when it was not so easy (or cheap) to find parts as it is today...
  • 1 0
 @CaptainBLT: too late Frown
  • 1 0
 I could never wheelie or manual for years, then one day a friend had a unicycle over. For some reason or other after learning how to find my balance on it, wheelies became much easier on the bike afterwards.
  • 1 0
 I would love to try out a DJ bike but it looks like all the stores have dropped them from their selections - and many manufacturers too. Even the local used market seems pretty dead.
  • 1 0
 Dirt jumping is great for keeping you sharp durning the week so you're no wasting too many shuttles on the weekend "warming up" .
  • 1 0
 Not sure if anyone covered this yet but I always tell beginners to have a little lower PSI in the back when first trying wheelies.
  • 2 1
 I want to build a wheelie/manual rig. Basically some 2x4's that allow you to practice in the garage.
  • 10 0
 Manual rig just doesn’t work. Doing a manual comes down to synchronization of first pulling on the bars and then pushing with legs. Not both at the same time. It takes learning to move your body backwards without straightening the legs initially. The first move exclusively lifts the front wheel, while the second one is aimed at pushing the rear wheel under the BB. You may think that pivot point for manual is the same as for wheelie, that is rear axle. Well it isn’t. You should think of bb as the virtual pivot point for manual. Manual rig does not involve the second move at all by eliminating the possibility of the rear wheel to go under bb. It is a waste of time and potentially a promoter of bad habits that will only make your learning process longer. You may also get some nice shoulder and lower back pain from it.

Learn to wheelie first. It is a less frustrating way to learn the rear brake control and side to side balance. Once you can wheelie proficiently you can do coaster wheelies and from there it’s a very short way to manual.
  • 1 0
 saw one on bmxgroms where they use an old tube as a limiter.
  • 6 0
 Three words for you, my friend: Wham-O Wheelie Bar.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWDprSdH2xQ
  • 2 0
 @TheR: that's a blast from the past! I can almost remember those!!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Excelent.
  • 1 0
 Have the same problem with my tues
  • 1 0
 Love my DJ bike. I’ll never give it up !!!!
  • 3 4
 That Wynn video is cool but those are all manuals, not wheelies. A wheelie is when you're pedaling, a manual is coasting.
  • 4 0
 I like to coaster-wheelie.
  • 3 2
 @endlessblockades: coaster wheelie aka manuals for brake pulling cowards!
  • 1 0
 *oops, posted twice*
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