rolling hops in muni...what is realistic

I’ve been practicing rolling hops casually in a local carpark over some white lines and can do this comfortably. (26" muni with tioga white tiger tyre)

My end goal is to be able to use this skill in a muni situation to clear big logs, obstacles such as v dips and so on. How realistic is this expectation? Do many people employ rolling hops in a muni setting or is static hops (by that I mean hops from a stationery position) better for getting over things such as logs?

At the moment I simply roll over some of the smaller logs, but like the idea of hopping over them.

A “proper” rolling hop is performed when one has his pedals at a specific orientation, allowing him to achieve as high a hop as possible. Rolling hops can be performed with pedals in non-optimal positions, but the hop height is not nearly as large. This does just fine to get over small ruts and roots.

Whether you use a rolling hop or a static hop to clear an obstacle comes down to your personal style. Some people prefer muni rides to flow as smoothly as possible, and others prefer to see a run as an outdoor trials course.

As is the case with many skills, it all comes down to practice. Practicing rolling hops on concrete or asphalt won’t do as much for your muni riding as would practicing muni. I suppose you could practice off-position rolling hops on flat ground if you really wanted to… but that’s not nearly as fun as doing so off-road.

Never discount a skill, learn it, and put it in your tool box. On my ride the other day, I was doing a technical section, and I stalled at one point, and instinct kicked in and I idled in the middle of the tech, then continued. I had never needed to do that before, but it’s a good thing I learned how to idle.

It’s really satisfying when you’re charging at an obstacle and you realize about 5’ in front of it “Oh shit, my pedals are going to be perfect” and you launch over it.

jacob spera does like 102cm rolling hop on a 24"… nuff said :stuck_out_tongue:

another dood on the forum, real tall, also does just regular sidehops on a 24, at least 100cm.

Cool. I raced in a mountain bike race a few weeks ago with laps. As I hear mtb’ers approaching from behind, I get out of the way… typically dismounting, sometimes moving off the trail and grabbing a tree for a moment. One time I was able to do a few idles just off the trail, let the mtb’er pass, and then move on.

Staying on the uni is always a high priority of mine. I want to be able to ride anything a good mountain biker can. So I too hope to learn good rolling hops for muni.
And I too wonder how practical it is. If the cranks don’t end up in the right position as you approach a log, what do you do? Revert to a sidehop I guess. But you’d have to predict that several meters ahead I would think.

If the pedals don’t line up for a rolling hop, I just try to roll over it. If it’s a particularly large log, sometimes I crash. But I amaze myself with some of the stuff I’m able to roll right over, even on a smaller muni wheel like a 24"

I try to do things I have seen good riders do, you gotta keep trying and trying.

Depending on how much space you have as you approach an obstacle, you can do a small zig-zag in order to get your cranks lined up for the hop. You can also hop once when the cranks line up, land in front of the obstacle, and then hop again to get over the obstacle. These methods aren’t as smooth as a perfectly lined up rolling hop, but they are smoother than stopping to hop or falling.

Don’t worry about being proper or not. Practice it, I do at least one, functional rolling hop every ride and it helps when you encounter large obstacles… No matter where your pedals are, gaining a little verticality while keeping your forward momentum will translate to Muni if you learn the skill.

I specifically learned it because I don’t like stalling, hopping and side hopping, I’d rather keep the flow moving forward :slight_smile:

Ooh, another thing to try. Never thought about pre-hopping a rolling hop. Nice tip!

I don’t know where the idea came from that I was discounting the skill, I was simply asking how realistic it is to expect to clear large obstacles with rolling hops on a 26" in a muni situation (rather than simply off road).

I’m all for learning every skill possible and aim to reach level 10 before my 2 year riding anniversary. Currently I’m stuck between level 5 and 6, so please don’t think I was asking whether or not it worth getting rolling hops down, the question is rather one of efficiency/practicality.

So far I have found that rolling over BIG logs are hit and miss, often I simply bounce off. Often I make it over :slight_smile:
Could one realistically get enough air to get over a twenty to thirty centimeter obstacle with a rolling hop? (DSchmitt you mentioned Jacob Spera’s 102cm rolling hop, is that in a street or muni situation? The tall rider with an impressive side hop. I am VERY short,is length a prerequisite for nice high rolling hops? I can hop far but not high.)

Jacob rides a custom 24" street that he has assembled, so I think it’s a lot lighter than a standard 24 or 26" muni.

Hi Unirox,

I’ve seen some serious muni riders utilise the rolling hop technique in really technical situations (David W and Kevin Wharton are the best two i’ve seen). People have bought up the obvious issue of pedal alignment which is a big limiter of how often and effective this technique can be used in a flowing (ie: not sessioned) riding situation.

Occasionally the stars align and I am presented with a situation where the obstacle and the pedals work out so I can simply clear the obstacle or piece of trail with a rolling hop. More often than not I hit it at a non-ideal pedal orientation.

If its a drop i’m hitting, usually I keep the flow and rotate the pedals to the ideal 3/9 o’clock landing position in the air. If its a log or series of large rocks that i have to get over (usually on a flat or climbing situation) I use a different technique. Its not really hopping, i’d more call it something like ‘taking your weight off the wheel’. As you approach the obstacle you get your centre of gravity behind the wheel (so that when you hit it it comes back to the normal slightly forward tilt). Just as you hit it you stand up on the pedals as if you are going into a hop- this can conveniently happen at any point in the pedal revolution. By standing up at the right time and relaxing your legs the wheel will climb the obstacle without leaving the ground- your soft knees will allow the unicycle to have a bit of give underneath you (think suspension) and as you crest it your balance point will be back over the wheel so you can finish your line over it.

I hope that made a bit of sense. I hate interrupting the flow of a ride with static hops and do anything to avoid it- so this is my usual technique to get around it.


Hopping is a great skill to develop, my son is a hopper and uses it to climb hils and manage technical spots that he can’t roll. I’m a roller, my next skill build is gonna be hopping. I’m thinking of spending some time on our trials uni to develop timing and to push my limits, then hopefully it will come a little more naturally while doing muni.

In some muni videos I’ve seen some pretty fancy hopping action, but it seems to be used more often to improve positioning or to maneuver through a rock garden that’s not rollable. I can’t hop high, but I do a significant amount of “lifting/rising” up to roll over bigger roots/logs.

Yeah it’s kind of like a half-hop, your body jumps but your uni stays to the ground.

I enjoy doing rolling hops over shadows of telephone poles, over manholes, etc, while going through town. The idea of prehopping intrigues me. I can hop the shadows when my pedals line up…if they don’t… no way. How does one pre hop? Every time I try it I instantly find that I have to keep rolling or fall on my face, so I always roll on. I can multiple hop when stopping at a stop sign, from full speed to a stop, but in this case my wheel never rolls, I keep it from rolling until my forward momentum is stopped. If I were to do this of course, I would no longer be doing an effective rolling hop. Secondly I don’t know whether my pedals will line up or not until I am about 10ft from what I am going to hop and in order to get any distance I don’t slow down. So advice please on this prehop idea or is it just pie in the sky. Do any of you actually do it?

What they are talking about is doing a very small rolling hop so that when you get to the spot where you are going to jump, your cranks will line up.

A prehop is usually done when you are static (but not always). It’s so you can compress the tire more to get more rebound for a higher hop.

I did a perfect pre-hop the other day (instinctively :)) while I was riding muni. Worked better than I thought, and I hope to incorporate it into my riding more often, since I love to hop obstacles.

So to explain the pre-hop in this situation: There was a small tree across the pathway ahead, as I was approaching, I could tell that my pedals would not line up (by about half of a revolution) so I hopped early, landed in front of the log, and immediately bounced off my tire again, which made it so that I cleared the log.

I will try to make a short video clip later today if that still doesn’t make enough sense.

You could have instead hopped on the log and then over, using the same total # of hops. I don’t know which would have been faster or smoother. I think this method would take less effort/be more consistent if it’s close to your max.

I don’t see why not. You don’t necessarily have to get the wheel all the way over the obstacle if you can get enough air to roll up on top of it and jump down the other side. The pedal position thing is a problem. It helps if you learn to hop with either foot forward.

I’m working on rolling hops now, and I’m still not very good at them. I can say that it’s particularly satisfying when you do a good one and fly right over the obstacle. It may be worth learning just for that.

I don’t think I could have long-jumped that far. But yes it’s the same idea, using a pre-hop to overcome the obstacle.