Youngsters, OK...But can a big guy learn pedal grabs

I’ve got a Summit. I’ve seen video of kids with [my] Summit jumping seat-in over benches. Or they pedal grab and shproing up to the obstacle no problem.

I’m 185 pounds and too old [45] to be invincible. I’m having some trouble just hopping 12". (But I’m working on that, and improving). The riders in this video are 16 to 18 yrs old. They might weigh 135 pounds. They don’t even grunt.

I hate to admit it, but my problem is …limited guts. I’m still nursing a sore tailbone from the giraffe kicking me in the arse. (Watch out superkids…injuries linger after 40)

I’ll position myself as if I’d pedal grabbed onto a bench. Then I just stand/hang there thinking it through. Minutes go by, then I bail.

Is there a sequence of skills leading up to this manouvre? Someone list the baby steps for this big old baby.

I’ve seen the crank grab, but that seems like a flatfooted launch. No shproing. Those pedal grabs I’ve watched appear fluid. What 185 pounder is doing crank grab launches?

I know that the answer is practice, practice, practice. But practice what first? I may not be able to hop 24", but I see myself pedal grabbing 18"-24" and up and over. I can see it, I just cant do it.

ive only ridden for 2 months but from my experience, just try and pedal grab the lowest possible object, then move up. How does your summit hold up to drops? what have you broken on it so far? how long have you owned it? im getting one soon

Being one of them spry youngin’s I feel it’s worthy of mentioning that at one point not all that long ago, I was terrified of crankhangs, let alone crankgrabs. I didn’t even bother trying just from pedal. At first, I did whast you did, and then Igot up the guts to go for up to rubber. I always failed, and things sucked. then I met Chex, and he set up an obstacle where in order to get to crank, I just had to jump about 1". I got a crankhang withing 5 tries. Then, after a while of pratice (unusually long 3 months), I got crankgrabs.

The trick to overcoming fear of crankhangs is to find a ledge for a 20" that’s only about 11-12" high, and try to crankhang that. It’s not nearly as scary. It also helps to get someone else to stand by you goading you on. It worked for me, and I’ve since used that technique to teach others who were shy or scared of trying. Start with crank, then go to pedal. Once you can do 13-14", you should be able to go to rubber, although you probably already could if you were encouraged in person enough. Having someone ther for encouragement made a huge difference for me.

Re: Youngsters, OK…But can a big guy learn pedal grabs

Hey MM.

I’m 44 and 180 lbs. I learned crank grab to rubber about a year ago on my freestyle and later got my the Summit. My inspiration was some tall 200 pound 50 yr old geezer with a pony tail, and he had the advantage of long legs.

I still haven’t figured out pedal grab to rubber. It looks so much easier and is so fluid but I find the uni is so much more stable to launch to rubber from a crank grab.

Re: Youngsters, OK…But can a big guy learn pedal grabs

On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 22:39:43 -0500, “gerblefranklin” wrote:

>I was terrified of crankhangs, let
>alone crankgrabs.

Am I right in assuming that the difference between the two is that a
crankgrab involves hopping up, and a crankhang skips that and allows
you to get into the position any way you want? In other words, a
crankgrab is an upward (hop/jump) move that will result in a

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

Clearly a system of 1/14 and 1/16 is not decimal - Mikefule on the English weight system

Summit does my drops fine. My biggest ever was only about 3 feet tho. Haven’t broken anything yet. I’ve yanked on the KH seat enough that it has developed some flex. Nothing to worry about tho. Very happy with it. I like the flat crown for 1 foot riding/idling.

I’m understanding crankhangs like you Klaas Bil. That sounds like a good intermediate step. Hang and hop OFF. Then Hang and hop ON.

I’m encouraged that “terrified” is a common condition that is curable.

Thanks to all. This will continue as my next area of focus.

Something else I can’t get out of my head since I saw it in Universe is Hopping straight up in the air, pedalling the wheel 180 or, dare I say, 360 degrees before landing safely. Doesn’t get you anywhere, but flashy.

I think in UNiVERsE that guy was on a trampoline. But you can get 180 fairly easily before landing. And off of a drop, you could get 360.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen somthing near a 540 on flat :astonished: . I have a friend who can 360 crankflip on flat. I’ve 180’d out of a pedalgrab over a 2x4 (27" off the ground, so it was wierd at first. Then it was scary because I landed goofy-footed. I landed it, though. I can also 180 crankflip on flat. i just roll, and then do a rolling hop and flip the pedals. It’s scary at first, and then gets easy.

And yes, a crankhang is just on, hang, and then off, while a full crankgrab is on, hang, up to rubber. I find that it’s really hard to pedalhang, although i can go to rubber from pedal. It’s just soo wierd.

I’m thinking I’ll start on the ledge on the crank. Then I’ll hop off. As I practice this, I’ll try adding height to my hop off. When I’m sure I can get the height needed for ascent to rubber, I’ll try going the other way for a hop up.

Meanwhile, I’ll be working on my ascent to the crank on ledge.

I rode my Niner around town yesterday and all I could focus on was ledges and benches and walls. [On the Summit] I can hop up about 12 inches. The Summit’s pedal at the 12 oclock position is at least 12" up. If I could grab a pedal at the top, and swing up, I’m thinking 18" - 24" walls are doable…

I can get the crankhang 75% percent of the time. I’m just having trouble making it to rubber. It just feels so awkward. Is there a trick. Last night in bed I thought about the idea of more driving up then hopping up but haven’t got a chance to try it and don’t if it works. All help is appreciated.


I, too have been having trouble learning the pedalgrab. I can go to rubber from crank about 99% of the time on a 24 with fireball (so bigger than a trials uni) but I can’t seem to go up from my pedal. I haven’t been trying very long or hard, though. Any tips on the technique?

I am youngish, at 17. But I am also largi and fattish at 6’1’’ 225.

As for pedalgrabs, I could crankgrab for over three months before I could do pedal. Now I can do both. Being able to do pedal has liberated my riding. I can now get to rubber on poles, and I’m working on going over straight 1" round handrails. I can already get over the thin edge of a 2x4 and a chain link fence. I couldn’t do that if I needed to use the crank.

As for pedal, I practiced for ever, and it just wasn’t happening. Then, on a trials ride I was sitting on a massive concrete ledge about 16" high that just went on forever in all directions. I looked at it, and thought, “oh, what the heck, I’ll try a pedalgrab. It’s not like I’ll hurt myself.” I got it on my second try. I think the trick was to be on a ride where I was “feeling good” and be on an obstacle with almost 0 chance of injury. Now I’m pretty consistent. Funny, I’m more oconsistent on hard stuff like fences and poles than ledges, because I get careless…

As for going up and off the obstacle for crankgrabs, conceptually it’s a good strategy, but that’s where it ends. The motion is completely different going on than off. Just go for the full up, don’t bother practicing going off. You’ll be fine. gotta go, I’ll try to clarify later.

When I was trying to figure it out, I was always trying to go to rubber with the seat in. Then I tried it with the seat out and got it first try. There’s definitely more technique to it that just jumping with the seat out, but I would probably have a hard time trying to explain it. Ryan Atkins is far more qualified to explain that sort of thing than I am. Now that I think about it, there was a thread a little while back explaining the technique to it. If i find it I’ll link to it.

maybe it’d help u oldies if u could find somewhere where u can jump from both ur pedals. I have a gutter outside my house that’s missing one of its rails so u can drop the tyre down the gap and land on both pedals and then jump back out again.

I dunno how you’d go about breaking your very own gutter so if you just setup a couple of boxes or something close enough to each other so the tyre can fit between them then you’d be able to get the feel for jumping off pedals/cranks.


I had seen this thread. It will be applicable to me after I get past the initial stage. I’m struggling with crank/pedal grabs 101. That thread is Sophomore or Junior level.

Pete66, your idea is great. That is a fantastic intermediate step! Just what I was looking for.:smiley:

i’m a 185lb 37 year old who is also not invincible. the crank grab just clicked one day, but i have big time trouble on the pedal grab. the fear factor is fine, the getting to pedal is fine but i feel off balance and i can’t even figure out jumping from that position for now. tips?

the crank grab for me feels like a seat out jump when i go to rubber. so maybe it can be thought of that way because the position is stable (somewhat). hope it helps!


Is it possible to do it with the seat in? I am not used to jumping with the seat out.

I learned to crankgrab seat in. It’s easier in the beginning, but eventualy you want to be able to do it seat out, as it’s more versatile.