Rolling Hop vs. SIF Sidehop

Physics only(pretend the rider is as good as it gets) wich one has the highest potential height? (no pedal grabs.) so far it seems that sidehops are the highest, but is that because not enough experimentation has been done with rolling hops? dan heaton is really good at them… it could be an interesting debate.

Judging by what I’ve read/seen riders once they get really good seem to be able to hop slightly higher with a rolling hop, only like 5cm or something though.

By far, side hops are way more usefull. The thing with rolling hops, is that you need a lot of space to build up to the hop. As opposed to side hops, side hops can be done in small spaces and would over all be more usefull in trial comps.


I’d say that depends almost completely on the situation at hand. Anytime one is “just” riding along and a single hop is all that is needed to continue the flow of the ride, I would say the rolling hop is more useful. So the rolling hop would be more useful for curbs, parking blocks, ledges, and single obstacles in otherwise “smooth” trail sections, …

Rolling front hops are perhaps more of a trials trick than something useful on muni, but for harcore muni, rolling forward drops are an indispensible skill. Before I put in a stack of sessions riding stairs and learing to do linked forward drops, there were a lot of muni runs I couldn’t do–and still can’t do. Before, I tried to make them by stopping and side dropping–but this never worked very well.


Oh i know that both hop styles have their uses. i’m just wondering what people will be doing in high jump competitions once both sidehops and rolling hops have been fully developed by the trials/street riders of tomorrow.

To say what has already been said, you can’t compare usefullness
of rolling hops to the usefullness of side hops. It all depends on your personal style and chosen form of unicycling.

I believe the question was, wich method will lead to a higher hop in it’s fully developed potential.

I think that experienced side hoppers can jump as high as they can from their feet. I think the same is true for rolling hoppers.

One difference I can see, is that rolling hoppers can use a greater momentum to assist hopping, because speed is built up pre-hop. This allows more distance/time above the height of the obstacle.


how useful a hop is depends on the persons style in street the rolling hop is more useful in muni and trials a side hop is more useful

If you’re talking about ideal situations in both cases, this has yet to be decided. Currently the only measured situation for records purposes is jumping over a bar. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the unoffiicial records for sidehop and rolling hop over a bar are about 95cm (Ryan Atkins) and 87cm (Dan Heaton or Jacinto, not sure), respectively. So in this case sidehop is bigger so far, but since there are less than a dozen riders worldwide who can come close to these numbers, we really don’t know which is highest.

For Munis, the heavier wheel means that sidehops are probably the way to go for high sidehops. The unofficial record sidehop over a bar for a 24" MUni is 87.5cm, interestingly not much less than with a trials uni.

For any hop in less than ideal situations, even slightly less than ideal, sidehops will always win, because you aren’t nearly as disadvantaged by a bad takeoff.

For ideal takeoffs, a rolling hop may win out for riders with equal skills in both types (which is usually no one!), because you can impact near but not actually on top of an obstacle, and let momentum take you the last little bit. This is especially advantageous for hopping onto less than vertically sided obstacles, because you can boof up the last bit to the top.


Go Tomsey!

But back to the subject… I think sidehops are bigger for over a bar, because with seat out you can lift the wheel higher than you can with a rolling hop. But when onto something, you are able to push the wheel out in front of you in a rolling hop because you have the momentum, then once it’s up stop it on the table and your momentum will carry you up.

So sidehops have a clear advantage over rolling hops overa bar… but it’s a bit of a different story onto something. Ryan Atkins said in Universe 2 that his rolling hop was better than his sidehop. 97cm to 92cm or something. That’s obviously not the updated version because someone said he can do 95cm sidehop now but I dunno whether they’re both over a bar, both onto something, or whether sidehop over a bar and the roling hop is over something.

How high in cm was the pallet stack that Dan Heaton did in U2? I think rolling hops will always lack the consistency of side hops, but I personally feel that rolling hops have more potential for height but not by much.

This one’s obvious, rolling S.I.F. hops are the way to go.

I’m not sure about that. It seems obvious and I’ve worked on it and so has Ryan Atkins and probably others, and it works OK but so far not at the level of either regular SIF hops or static hops.

So far, it seems like you require even more perfect takeoff surfaces than regular rolling hops, and you can’t launch with the same speed although maybe you could if you were super good at SIF riding. I’d love to see someone get really good at this though.


Yeah one of the things I’ve been practising is seat out rolling hop.
It works some of the time but then again some of the time it doesn’t. I also find it very tiring to keep more than for a few run-ups.

i disagree. while my best rolling hop (71) is not as high as my highest SIF (i like the acronym) hop (85), i can land rolling hops every time, very rarely failing. with the SIF hop the consistancy is far less. i prefer SIF hops because you dont need preparation space.

By conisistancy, I mean that you often have to line up for rolling hops so unless you’re in the right place, it’s more difficult to land. With side hops, you’re pretty much good to go and perhaps because of this are easier to practice.

Hi All*

I’ve been riding on the UC Santa Cruz campus lately and I have to agree with muniracer on the rolling hops. Past about 28.5" on a sidehop, my consistency goes to crap, while I haven’t missed any rolling hops in the last month in a half, including some that were somewhere around 30". Rolling hops are much more consistent.

Also, consistency has nothing to do with terrain, it’s just whether or not you can land the move every time or not. It’s another thing to say sidehops are more versatile. In muni, to keep the ride moving and to keep rythm, rolling hops are much more useful, while SIF sidehops can be used in cases where the terrain is simply un-rollable. I tend to use a rolling hop if I think I’ll only need one hop to get past the obstacle, but I usuallly do a form of “extreme pecking” where I do a series of big SIF sidehops to get over the obstacle if I don’t think I’ll make it in one hop. This is last ditch, though, as SIf sidehops ruin the rythm and slow everything down. It’s also rude to the person behind you if they want to keep any continuity. For trials, though, SIF sidehops are much more useful.

As for the question of pure height, rolling hops, no question. Just use your feet and see which works better, a running hop or a static hop. I can running hop about 10-12" higher than my static hop. Also, you don’t necessarily need to clear all the way onto the obstacle with a rolling hop, while you do for a sidehop. I wouldn’t be surprised if my SIF sidehop stays in the 71-80cm range for the next year or so, until I get stronger. On the other hand, my rolling hops are already as high as my sidehops and I still think I have room to improve. The physics of the moves favor rolling hops, too. You don’t have to lift your torso as high to get the same amount of height. Also, you have a mechanical advantage because you have the entire rolling up time to build up speed and power. Sidehops are much more explosive and harder to time and land.

*I haven’t posted in about a month, so hi. :slight_smile:

I am straying from the topic a little bit, but it seems like we are slowly but surely catching up to bike trials records. Does anyone know what the bike sidehop record is? last I heard, it was like 110cm or something like that.


i have seen a 110+cm sidehop on video at a demo (on a stock bike) but i would guess that the record is probably around 48 inches (120cm) on a stock and even higher on a mod. rolling goes much higher, especially if you include it when they hook their front wheel and then go to rubber, which is literally dozens of cms higher. and i dont think we could ever really catch up, as the mechanics of it are working aginst us.

But the thing that differs here with unicycling is that we are doing rolling hops seat in and sidehops seat out. The way your explaining it on our feet is more like comparing a rolling hop to a seat in side hop.