Having issues with bunny hopping

When you guys first started, did you have a lot of issues bunny hopping? Or am I one of the few that has yet to learn it? I can ride the street a bit (5 miles round trip), ride down stairs, ride backwards, somewhat idle, ride standing up, some minor trails. Recently I learned to ride with one hand holding the seat which helps a lot on going down curbs and dealing with bumps.

I’m trying to learn hopping on 26er oracle and it’s heavy and hard!

I also heard some people that don’t even know how to ride forward can do bunny hops?

I also tried holding the fence and practicing a bit and the highest bunny hop I can do is 6-8" or so?

So did you guys have so much trouble with it when you first started? How do some of you guys jump so high (without SIF)? I really tried to push my weight down and jump on the pedals and pull my handle up to gain height but I only managed 8"~. I see some of you guys jump pretty darn high and through major gaps.

So far I’m only able to hop without holding anything…4 times or so before I lose my balance. It’s tiring. I can’t ride and stand up to bunny hop to stabilize myself like some of you guys do it either.

Yes, I had a lot of trouble with it.

I also don’t recommend holding onto fences or anything when learning to hop. It’s something to get in the way, and possibly hurt yourself on!

Don’t worry about jumping high right now. Lets focus on jumping at all.

Here is going to be your first hurtle: It’s not like jumping on flat ground off your feet. With a uni, the best hops come from depressing the unicycle into the ground first, and THEN jumping up while holding onto the handle. It’s a mixture of tire pressure, and how you apply pressure. Too high of pressure and your tire won’t be able to squish down at all. Too low of pressure and you’ll hit your rim on the ground. If you can find this nice middle-ground, it’s going to help you learn to hop a lot.

I suggest after setting your tire pressure, try riding forward, stopping with your dominant foot backwards, and just bounce up and down a little. Don’t try to get air. Just try to press your tire into the ground a few times, and get comfortable with your pedals parallel to the ground like this (horizontal pedal position)

After you get comfortable doing that, and your muscles get used to it, hopping should come pretty naturally. But I would focus on those first :slight_smile:

This was the first thing I learned to do. I’m still having problems idling so I just hop if I need to stay in one place. I’ve only been riding for about a year but I don’t ride every day. I’m just now startng to ride more since it’s too cold to ride a bike. It’s a wind chill thing. :). Are your pedals at 3/9 o’clock?

Yeah, but I also got the issue where sometimes one of my foot pushes on the pedal with just a bit less power than another and that’s when I really lose my balance. Need to practice more to push on them with equal strength. I have seen some videos of where people hop off in a 4/10 position.

I’ve been riding for a little over two months, guess I should have more patience :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been trying to get the bunny hop right for a few weeks now, but for me bunny hopping bores me a bit fast so the practice time on it has been low.

Yeah, before this I was using the hookworm, but the rainy season is starting and I didn’t like the weight so I switched to holy rollers, not to mention because I want to do more trails. I currently roll with 40 psi. I noticed on the tires that if it’s too low, when I do drops I tend to get bounced off and so I pump it up a bit to deal with the road crown, less road contact for faster rolls for speed. I also noticed that around 30 psi or below the tires seem to fold up when I do turns.

I’m thinking rider weight falls into play? I’m pretty light 145lb. Maybe with lower weight, some people are unable to keep the weight on the tires so they get bounced around more?

When you bunny hop do you just pull the seat handle hard when you jump up or do you just pull it enough so that your feet doesn’t slip from the pedal? I would think keeping your feet on the pedals is the number one reason of even holding onto the seat handle, right?

I don’t conscientiously think about what I’m doing, so hopefully others will correct me if I say something stupid.

  1. The first mistake I made in learning to hop was to try to incorporate a hop while riding. I didn’t start having success with it until I started to attempt to hop directly after mounting. Nothing fancy, no ride to a halt, just mount with the sole purpose of practicing a bunny hop. After that I had it in 10 minutes.

Learning to ride into a hop and subsequently out of a hop came after I learned to bunny hop. Just reiterating that I saw success when I focused on hopping directly after a mount with the only intention of the mount being to learn to bunny hop, not even churn so much as one rev.

I literally had no progress until I did this and after that it was nearly instantaneous.

  1. Don’t jump high when learning to bunny hop. Maybe even just keep it at a few millimeters off the ground.

  2. Again, not conscientious of what I do so this is a guess. I think I lock my knee on the back leg for stability and allow the play to be in my ankle (when learning and not going for height).

  3. You snagged that 36er I had my eye on. Take care of her. :angry: ;):stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, I’ll sometimes have the back leg a bit lower than the front leg, using the back leg for stability and the front leg for tweaking/adjusting. Maybe not 4/10… 3:30/9:30. That’s for stationary hopping.

I can’t comment on psi because I dialed into a pressure that I felt out long ago - no idea if I’m right or if I’m wrong. Depending on the tire I hop at pressures just above or just below 20 psi… and you are probably 50lbs lighter than me, meaning you could get away with even less pressure than I can. Experiment with pressure. If you are getting bounced off perhaps your tire isn’t absorbing enough of the impact of the drop. I think you’d want your tire to compress a bit.

Haha yeah I was surprised no one bought it on the original post sale price.

I definitely will! I was sadden that he had to sell it because of an injury, then I read up on some of his old posts about how much fun he had with it :frowning:
I told him I’d cherish it a lot and appreciate the sale. He’s an unbelievably nice guy too.

I think once my gf sees the delivery person with the giant box behind them, the one that I “forgot” to mention to her :D…I’ll be a happy but dead unicyclist. So yes I snagged it, but I might get killed for it :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah I’ll try to mess with the pressure of the wheel. I try not to too much because it takes me a bit of time to get use to the pressure changes. It’ll even affect when I mount it. I’ve fallen a few times once (not on the ground, just had to jump off due to bad dismounts) when I tried to suddenly pump it up max psi to see how it feels like, didn’t like that at all, really stiff ride.

On low PSI I think when I go around corners my wheel folds. I hear some stuff about tires with thin/thick wall sides, the ones with the thicker walls can run on lower psi without folding on on sharp turns. How do you know if your tire has a thin wall etc, is there a number that I’m not aware of? Especially before buying it.

What do you mean? How do I make it absorb more? Lowering the pressure for it to absorb more?

I found it very difficult to learn bunny hopping. But once I buckled down I was able to learn it in a couple days. Remember that you get the hop from your legs while holding the uni up with your hand and you should be fine with practice.

This sounds a quite bit like what Kris describes in his book. I think we can agree that it is sound advice;)

Kris describes it better for sure.

I first learned to hop with my feet on the cranks…I had 100mm cranks on my 20", so I guess that also made it harder to hop with my feet on the cranks.

I don’t think I would recommend that. You could easily roll an ankle, and that’s not fun. It could also really hurt your arches depending on shoe type. Plus you get more leverage and control from feet on the pedals.

hm, yeah, I never hop on my cranks anymore because it feels more awkward and harder…but that’s how I learned…I started trying before I could ride inside my hallway with door frame to hold onto. :thinking:

Without my 20" uni, I can easily jump onto a picnic table, but while riding I seldom even get more than an inch into the air. Is deflating my tire really necessary? Oh, and how much should I lower the seat for hopping if I don’t figure out how to do SIF?

Jumping off the ground with your feet is different than jumping off the ground on a unicycle. A high pressure tire will have no bounce to it, making it quite difficult to hop any kind of height. Too low pressure and you will also have no bounce… because you will be rolling on your rim. I’d recommend dropping your seat at least 2-3 inches from max. But it will be a feel thing.

I mean if the tire is pumped up to be hard as a rock there’s not going to be much give to it. With a bit lower pressure (not extremely low, like low enough to get a rim strike) the tire will act as a shock absorber of sorts. Air will displace, the tire will compress, and it will effectively take some of the edge off.

I don’t think it will make a difference either way if the drop is curb height, but I think air pressure does make a difference if you’re doing serious drops.

Think about it like jumping on a pogo stick; you use your weight to compress the spring, and then jump with the momentum of the spring return to get off the ground. It’s about getting the timing right. It’s harder on a uni because the tire/spring isn’t as springy, and you have to correct for the fact that the pedals are not in the same vertical plane.

Sometimes it helps to think about flexing your ankles down and then up.

Good news! :sunglasses:

I took everyone’s advices and encouragements. Just now towards the end of my mix practice on the uni, I was able to do 10 hops. Wasn’t a fluke either, did it again a few moments later. I was also able to ride, hope once, continue riding. Did that 3 times during one straight line. Then it got dark and it’s been two hours so I packed it in.

Now to try to do it even more times, without moving too much, and forward hopping which is a very big goal for me :stuck_out_tongue: (those darn youtube videos…)

I wonder how long it’ll take to learn forward hopping. OH! And learning how to do higher hops. I lowered the PSI down quite a lot, a little below 30 and I’m not sure if it helps but it’s a bit more bouncier. However, idling seems a bit harder because the wheel rolls slower. Still able to idle 30-40 times now and I’m moving side to side a bit less.

It takes a while to get comfortable with hopping so be patient with it. Try to incorporate it into your rides. I started by hopping over cracks in the pavement. With some practice you’ll be able to hop up and down curbs and then stairs. Eventually it will feel completely natural.