Hopping for muni

I’m a primarily muni rider looking to take my riding to the best level by learning to hop over things. I exclusively ride a KH29 and I’ve just been hitting most obstacles with some speed and relying on my big wheel to just pop over them. However, this obviously only gets me so far. Right now there’s a log that’s maybe 1’ high that I have to just go around and I’ve made it a goal to learn how to clear it.

Now, there’s plenty written about learning to bunny hop and I’ve progressed rather quickly there. However, I can’t seem to find enough about what works best for muni.

I’m sure with enough practice I could learn to side hop over it, but I’d much rather do a rolling hop so things flowed better. Is this possible?

I’ve seen lots of different suggestions when it comes to rolling hops. I’ve seen plenty of people suggest lining up the pedals at the obstacle then rolling the uni back however this obviously means I can’t hop obstacles as i encounter them. Alternatively, I’ve seen people suggest changing the angle of your approach so your pedals are in the right position when you reach it. Finally, I’ve seen people suggest practicing rolling hops from every position so you can always hop when you need to.

The last two things sound most useful to me. Is this the right way to go about this or does someone more experienced have more/different advice?

Wish I could help, so I will just read and learn from others say. I’ve been practicing hopping and doing pretty good. I can hop in place, forward , backwards and side to side. Problem I have I think is mental. Every time I try to hop on or over an obstacle I screw up my set up. I think too much on the approach and screw up before I get a chance to actually hop!

Hi there

From my experience I find rolling hop the most difficult to get done when doing Muni. I have a 26 Muni and as you say it is very difficult to have time to get into the right pedal position as you encounter the obstacle. Also you are busy going over roots/mud etc…I guess the ideal is to do it without having to think about it. I think the bigger the wheel the more difficult is to do tricks. I found that it helps a lot to practise tricks (hopping, still stands etc…) on a trials or a freestyle Uni.

I have been working on the same issue as the one you mention and I think that being able to still stand for a litte bit/hop to the side or forward on your non dominat foot/pedals set up helps a lot in Muni when doing hops or drops forward on the go…

I don’t think there are many riders who are able to perform such a trick on a 29" mUni. If I encountered the log, and if I were feeling confident and not too tired, I’d pull the seat out in front, side hop onto it, then drop off the other side.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong: You’re not going to increase the vertical extent of your jump by rolling it. So, first, find out what you’re able to achieve, vertically, in a static hop. If that’s much less than 1’, you’re out of luck for the time being. Keep in mind that, during a static hop, you’ll have the pedals exactly where you want them and a moment to catch your balance prior to the jump. Adding the variable of moving pedals to the equation makes things a lot harder, so you shouldn’t expect to jump higher, but rather lower, while rolling.

If the log has a rounded profile, there is something (referred to a couple times on the forum) called “de-weighting”, which could get you over the log. My best description of this is: imagine that you are pulling your legs and feet up toward your head; so, you are less jumping than you are compressing your body from the feet upward. So, in the end, you’re still driving the pedals, but the wheel is lifting up, somewhat, as you’re clearing the obstacle.

Most of my practice of rolling hops has been done on my 20" street unicycle. I suggest that, because of learners’ inefficiency, jumping should be first learned on a smaller unicycle. Being inefficient on a larger wheel is a recipe for pain and injury. In other words, if you want to learn something, but you know you’re going to suck at it at the beginning, start with a smaller wheel.

Good luck, and keep riding!

I’m in the process of getting a smaller uni, but it’ll still be a couple of weeks before I have it. The idea is to learn new things there then translate them to the larger wheel, but that’s no excuse to just stop practicing, especially since my goal is to hop with my big wheel.

I realize that 1’ log isn’t something I’ll be going anytime soon, I just mentioned it as an example of where I want to get. Currently my static hops are less than half that and I’m not yet hopping onto or over anything.

I was under the impression that rolling hops might have the potential to be higher than static (like when jumping without a unicycle), but I’m primarily interested in them since they flow better with my riding. I definitely know I can’t expect my rolling hop to even be as high as my static hop without a lot of practice.

Part of why I’m asking is to hear if this is even reasonable. I haven’t seen much information about hop height on larger wheels. It’s also possible that the right thing to be doing here is to turn sideways and do a side hop. I’m hoping to learn what works for other people in these kinds of situations.

I also ride a 29 exclusively for muni and the log you mention is about my dead max for rolling hops and I am by no means consistent, but what has helped me a lot is just to jump over every little stick, rock, or whatever you find in the trail while rolling, its really just about figuring out your timing and form while riding. Squared off concrete curbs also are great to rolling hop because they help deal with the fear of pedaling into something squared off and tall. The easiest way over the log is of course a static side hop, but that’s not very flowy.

Most people ride with the saddle lower for muni than they do road, but you still want it pretty high if you’re doing XC, which makes it really difficult to get high jumps, and I know there’s no way I could pull the seat out for a sidehop, even if I wanted to. The 29 has some nice rollover, sometimes if you get your bodyweight moving upwards and “de-weight” as it was called above, that’s really all you need for a log. a 1 ft log is beyond what I’m usually comfy with though unless it has at least a little ramp on each side. I’ve had good luck getting that much height off of a small ramp with some speed, but a straight 1 ft rolling hop seems really difficult.

Great to hear from someone else who does 29er muni! Any tips about pedal position for your rolling hops? Do you try and angle yourself so the pedals are in the right position or do you hop from all positions?

Once I’m considerably leaving the ground with my rolling hops I definitely intend to jump over everything.

Currently my strategy for curbs is to hit them with enough speed to pop over even when they feel like they’re 3-4", so I don’t think I have too much fear towards pedaling into things. I’m always amazed at what my wheel will roll over. I even tried this with the log just to see if it would work.

If there was any ramp on this log I’d definitely be trying to roll it, but in my previous attempts i came to the conclusion that rolling it isn’t very reasonable. Certainly though, this isn’t something I’m in a rush to accomplish. It just seemed like an ambitious goal to practice towards that’s not completely out of reach.

If I just wanted to get over it I’d be focusing more on my side hops.

I don’t focus too much on pedal position overall. The way I handle it is to jump a little early if I need to. There’s a small window of about 30 degrees worth of pedal rotation (where the cranks are mostly vertical) that is incredibly hard to get any vertical momentum from while hopping, so if you jump a little earlier, and push forward more rather than up, you can compensate for the timing. You have to give the jump a little more juice to make up for the longer jump to get the same height you normally would. I jump with the cranks at least somewhat level and with both feet (I don’t care which foot is in front).

but yea, with a 29er, you can basically just roll right over a 6" log, so I don’t get much practice with jumping to get it nice and efficient. At least not yet.

For ungeared stuff, I still think 29er or 26+ the way to go for Muni :stuck_out_tongue: Got the need for speed!

if you have a pump track or skills area near you, take advantage of it to learn what it feels like to be in the air and land on a unicycle. Once you get above an inch or two, it’s can be a bit of a jarring experience if you aren’t ready for it, and the pump track is nice and smooth, and lets you use a small ramp to get controlled, safe jumps without rock gardens, roots, etc around to ruin your day if you fall.

Interesting thread, this rolling hop over stuffs is one of my muni goals.
I don’t think I will be able to roll hop over obstacles with the other pedal position that the one I use for all my hops (which are very limited for now)

The “jump over every single stuff you see” advice is a good idea, it will learn you to “feel” when you can hop over something and when you can’t, but if the obstacle isn’t at the right place (which means that your pedals configuration doesn’t matches the obstacle’s place), and if you don’t know how to rolling hop with the opposite pedal positions why not making two or tree rolling hops in a raw until you are closer enough to the obstacle?
Thus you keep the same pedal position while approaching the obstacle.
I can’t do that for now but I have seen someone doing it and I thing it could be the way to go.

Since I started seriously practicing hopping I’ve been making sure I can hop with either foot forward to keep my options open when I take them off-road.

That extra hop idea had occurred to me, but I want sure if it could actually work. Glad to hear it does.

I’m not great at this, but here’s what I do - I basically learned four different ways to get over a log, based on where my pedals are:

  1. rolling hop with pedals horizontal, left foot forward
  2. roll over, starting with left foot down (end up on top of log with pedals horizontal, right foot forward)
    3,4) and the two mirror images that start with my right foot instead of my left foot.

For the rollover, I don’t just run into it, I try to jump/rise up first so that the unicycle sort of rolls up into me without any weight on it.

That basically covers the entire pedaling cycle, so the only other thing to learn is to recognize far enough in advance which of the four scenarios is going to happen, so that you can be set.

Sometimes I screw up, especially if I’m changing wheel sizes, and I’ll get to the obstacle set up for the wrong thing. In which case I try to stop, roll or hop back a little until I’m positioned for a rolling hop with a one-revolution approach (I can recognize that distance every time), and do that. No style points, but I get over without dismounting. Hopefully.

Lol I recognise that fully. I think it is best to not think about it and trust your body to make it work. I have a long way to go for that though :slight_smile:

Really, how brave. I also mostly ride 29" as it is the best size for my height 6’2", but when I want to practice such obstacles, I always chicken out and either de-weight too early or if I do get over, I am so surprised it worked, that I UPD right after :slight_smile:

Look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BavoJ0VbNFQ&feature=youtu.be

You’ll notice that this rider nearly always hops with the same foot in front (left one), so it doesn’t appear necessary to learn to hop with both sides.
It’s like skateboard, streetsurf or snowboard, once you know the position you are comfortable with it’s ok to keep this position. but if you want to learn both sides, why not?

I skipped over most of the posts for now (will come back), so hopefully not repeating…

I so both 26" muni and 36" muni. The main thing that makes the rolling hop so much harder on a big wheel (in addition to typically more weight) is that the wheel circumference is greater, so the chances of the pedals being totally wrong is higher so it makes it way harder to line up the pedals consistently: i.e. on a 20" wheel you can maybe swerve 2" to the left as you approach and effectively rotate the cranks by maybe 20 degrees, but on a big wheel this may only by 10 degrees…

For muni this is also the skill that I am presently really trying to work on (and bigger drops too). On my local trail I try and jump over any logs/roots I can for practice and I am improving a lot. I have never measured, but I would guess I do probably 4-8", maybe 10" on the 26" wheel so yeah, 12" on a bigger wheel is getting up there, although I think it’s possible and about my goal in the next months.

On the 36" I don’t always jump over but often just aim to jump up onto the log and then keep rolling. The main difference here is I have the Nightrider tire (I think 2.25") so it’s not the tank that my 26" Duro is and I don’t want to just crank right into logs for fear of hurting my tire/rim.

On the 36" I often can’t clear logs that I can on my 26", but the main difference is consistency: As I’m not lining up by riding backwards but just cruising along and jumping however the cranks are, on the 26 I can usually clear mid-size stuff almost every time, but on the 36 I sometimes arrive with the cranks totally wrong near vertical and have to bail. I’ve been thinking it would be very helpful to be able to jump with either foot forward, but my off-foot jumping is presently just not nearly as good. The other option is being able to jump without the pedal flat horizontal but this also reduces my vertical way too much.

I’m presently trying to also practice (for muni) riding my trials uni and riding along and repeatedly randomly picking a crack on the sidewalk and jumping. I was surprised how hard this initially is as if it lines up with flat pedals and right foot back then it’s easy and smooth but if it’s totally off and vertical then way hard and sometimes I don’t even manage to jump. I’ve been trying the off-foot but it’s feels weird.

Whenever I’m doing anything more than commuting I generally ride covered in enough pads that I feel borderline invincible which has really helped me push myself. The first few times I’ve rolled up curbs I was definitely shocked it worked. That’s why every now and then I’ll run into something like this ~1’ log just to see if I’m still underestimating what I can roll up.

UniDreamerFR: Wow, I’m amazed he manages so much jumping with primarily just one crank position. Also, that’s an awesome video! That guy is who I want to be.

So far I’ve been focusing on developing my hopping with both feet and I’m I can keep developing it that way so it doesn’t end up like my static mount which only works on one side.

MUCFreerider: The difficulty you mentioned with larger wheels has definitely been something I was wondering about. I was wondering if eventually I could develop a sense of when I’ll need to adjust my approach from far enough away so that it’s possible. I’d certainly call my goal accomplished if I could jump onto this log and just roll over it.

BTW, thanks for all the advice everyone! All the perspectives are great to have and reading everything here just makes me want to go out and practice more.

I’m interested to know how long you have been at this Rofer? I haven’t begun to think about hopping, but have enjoyed the thread. Right now, I’m happy to roll over a partially exposed baby root without dismounting :slight_smile: I’m also armored up so much so that I only need sunscreen on my fingertips and cheeks. But, I still haven’t mustered up the courage to attempt a single hop.

The best advice I can give is to learn with a trial 19er and then transpose it to bigger wheels.
This week end I only trained on 19er, I made a DIY stand with a white wire taut between two sticks, trained side hop with rebound and without rebound (started at 5cm, finished at about 40 cm = 16"), and front rolling hop (stayed at about 5cm).

The side hop learned me to pull the seat and to flex the knees when I am in the air so that the wheel can artificially rise higher and pass over the wire.
Proper landing to the other side was also a challenge for me.
Now that I know that it is possible, maybe I will have the balls to try it on a bigger wheel.

For front rolling hops I didn’t train enough backward riding so it was not easy to stand in front of the wire at the good distance, then pedal backward for a few meters and then forward to hop over the wire, but I managed to hop over it few times (but didn’t try more than 2").
I also worked on my front rolling hops in term of distance instead of height which seams as much important for muni.

Next time I’ll try those kind of training with the G26.