How To Do A Bunny Hop on your Mountain Bike

The bunny hop might look pretty cool, but that’s not the only reason to learn it. A bunny hop can get you out of tonnes of awkward situations when riding particularly tough mountain bike trails.

It’s quite easy to explain a bunny hop; it’s simply jumping with both wheels off the ground at once. However, mastering this skill is a wee bit harder than that.

There are a couple of ways to do a bunny hop; the more traditional method of lifting the bike off ground using your weight, or the slightly easier (some might call it cheating!) way of using your clips, assuming you’re clipped in.

Learning how to do a bunny hop is essential to making your life easier when up on the mountain. There are all sorts of things that can get in the way of a smooth ride, just think of all the roots and rocks that you could sail over if you can bunny hop.

Mastering the craft of the bunny hop can be quite frustrating as it usually does take a while and feels like you’re getting nowhere fast. Here are a few tips that should help you learn how to do a bunny hop that little bit quicker.

1: Lift the Front Wheel

Before you can even think about learning how to do a bunny hop you need to be able to lift your front wheel comfortably.

By pulling on the handlebars and shifting your weight to the back, your front wheel should lift up off the ground. This is generally called a ‘manual’ if you do it for any distance, or a wheelie if just for a second. Take the time to master this skill before progressing to the bunny hop.

2: Lift the rear wheel

Many people go wrong here – rather than learning to lift the back wheel alone, they try to tackle the bunny hop right away.

By tucking your legs up to your bum and keeping your feet firmly pressed into the pedals you should lift your rear wheel. It might take a few goes before you get close to lifting the back wheel but it’s worth the practice.

Unless you can lift your front and back wheels separately, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do a bunny hop.

3: Suspension

Learning how to do a bunny hop is much easier if you know how to use your suspension effectively. By pushing down on the pedals and handlebars you will compress the front and rear suspension, allowing it to spring up naturally.

4: Full Bunny Hop

Now it’s time for the real thing. Ride along at a medium speed; push down and then lift up the front wheel as quickly as possible, using the rebound on your push to help. Keep your legs straight and both feet in the pedals. Next, lean forwards and push the handlebars forward and down letting the suspension rebound some more. When you land, make sure you bend your elbows and knees so that you can absorb the impact.

You’re essentially lifting up the front of the bike, and then turning it around the handlebars to lift the rear. Easy, huh?

So, there have you have it. Four simple steps to do a bunny hop. As they say, practice makes perfect. If you want to learn how to do a bunny hop, as frustrating as it might be, the best thing to do is just keep trying.

I’d love to hear your experiences of learning to bunny hop – How did you teach yourself? Do you use the bunny hop when riding rough trails? Let me know how you managed to master the bunny hop in the comments below.

Image Credit – Sweet Bunny Hop: S. Diddy on Flickr


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

3 Responses

  1. MTBeer says:

    Thank you for this. I’ll try this later when I get home. 🙂

    BTW Does this work easier on duallies or hardtails?

  2. Colin Gray says:

    Definitely easier on a full-sus bike, because of the extra help you get through the suspension rebound, but it’s certainly possible on a hardtail! Just takes a bit more practice 🙂


  3. Satadal says:

    Where i live, there is no flat road, it’s a hilly town. Will it, by any means, help me in the practice? Will be tougher to learn on uphills and downhills than have learnt on a flat?

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