Does pedal orientation affect sidehop height?

People who ride trials know that the most of the top riders sidehop towards their front foot. But is that really preferable? Lately I’ve been watching some bike trial vids and it seems like it is the opposite. I think this may have something to do with clearance. Generally trialists sidehop at a 45 degree angle and maybe if you hop towards the back foot side the cranks may not be in the way as much.

This sort of contradicts what has been proven to work…I mean Ryan Atkins has a sidehop of what - 43 inches? Is there some fundamental difference between bike and unicycle trials that I’m missing? Or does your foot position even matter?

Missed the edit limit.

For comparison purposes:

Ryan Atkins

James B.



Do you know how high that bike is hopping?

If I remember correctly around 45 inches.

It’s all personal preference.

I hop to the left with my left foot forward, but I’ve seen videos where the rider has their right foot forward and they hop to the left, or left foot forward and they hop to the right, or back foot upward and hop to the pi…

It’s really all just what feels best for you. You should already know which is best for you and what feels natural.

talking about SIF
1)yes, it means the Kickup from a pedal grab is on the front foot, which I have always seen to be smoother. 2) for the big ups you are starting from as much as 2-3 feet away (with a prebounce) and you usually tilt the tire in(towards the landing zone) so I think it doesn’t affect it. 3)it contradicts what has been proven to work in bike trials, not unicycle trials 4)he does 5)the fact trials bikes have 2 wheels while a Uni has only 1, so the style is completely different. 6) I think what matters most is not what foot is foward, but that you use opposite hand and foot and jump toward you foward foot. if you are right foot foward and left hand, you pinch the seat between you hand and leg where as if you use your right hand it isn’t pinched between them.

I think what foot is foward, what hand you use, and what side you jump to affect your hight, but not an extreme amount.

their are really good riders who do do same hand/foot, or jump backpedal, but the top riders jump towards their foward foot and are opposite hand/foot

I go right foot forward, hop to the right. I can go left, but right has an edge.

It’s all personal prefernce, just like right handed versus left handed we have a natural side we hop to.

I’m right foot forward and hop left, with my left hand on the seat…

I hop to the left with my right foot forward, but if im on my trials bike then i hop to the left with my right forward i cant do it any other way.


Bike trials riders can hop way higher than unicyclists for many reasons. This isn’t one of them.

Physics. It’s all in the way that they hop.

I used to hop right with my right foot forwards, but now I hop to the left, left foot back, right hand saddle. It added about a foot to my hopping height, and allows for much more convinient pedal grabs. Switching to this layout, or the left hand, right hop, right foot back setup seems the best, by far.

I can hop with either foot forwards, either way. I grind on the right front pedal, pedal grab the left back pedal, and ALWAYS hold my saddle with my right hand.

Hopping the opposite direction of the hand that holds your saddle IS BEST. Right hand, hop left. I’m pretty positive that hopping towards your back foot works better, I’ve watched a lot of pro riders use the same methods.

For bikes or unicycles?

Because with unis, most people hop towards their forward foot, because most people want to pedal/crank grab with the forward foot, since it’s a lot easier.

Unis. Pedal grabbing with the back foot is easier to me. But pedal grabbing with my front foot isn’t difficult, in fact, it’s how I learned to pedal grab. I just prefer using my back foot because going from pedal to rubber is just one fluid stroke away, allowing you to move your wheel under you, rather than behind.

More often then not, I use either side, whether it be right front or left back, screw pre-hopping to turn around.

I hop towards my back foot…So left. Yup that works for me.

mawesome said all there needs to be said in this thread. end of issue. it’s personal preference… however you learn the skill is how you’ll do it best… obviously if you go against your personal preference you won’t be able to hop as well.

physics doesn’t care what foot goes forward or back. either way you do it, you’re still using the tire’s compression to get your hop height.

really? then why do I find it easier to grab with my rear foot? oh, it must be because you’re full of sh*t. :wink: