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The bunny hop (mountain biking) or bunnyhop is a bicycle trick that allows the rider to launch their bike into the air as if jumping off a ramp. The pedals on the bicycle stick to the riders feet as the bike becomes airborne with the clipless pedals that have clips. The pedals on the bicycle seem to stick to the rider's feet as the bike becomes airborne, much like how a skateboard seems to stick to the feet of the skater performing an ollie. While the bunny hop can be quite challenging to learn, once mastered it gives riding opportunities for both BMX and mountain bike rider alike.
The bunny hop is also a useful skill for an urban cyclist/commuter, allowing the avoidance of potholes, trees and other hazards, and allowing for quick mounting of curbs.
More often, bunny hops are done on BMX bikes, which are smaller than mountain bikes and, because they are lighter, can be lifted more easily.
There are two methods of performing a bunnyhop. The first, sometimes known as an "English" bunnyhop, involves lifting both wheels into the air at once, and is typically easier to do using bicycles with clipless pedals, and is usually considered a bad habit and is frowned upon. The second, known as an "American" bunnyhop, is the superior one because the bike flies higher and the pedals can be flat (geometry). Involves the rider lifting the front wheel of the bike before the back wheel, and requires precise balance and body movements.
The bunny hop is executed by approaching an obstacle with a medium rolling speed, arms and legs slightly bent. Upon reaching the obstacle, the rider first needs to shift their center of gravity towards the rear wheel of the bike and pull back on the handlebars, causing the front wheel to lift as if doing a wheelie. As the front wheel reaches maximum height, they 'scoop' up the rear of the bike by pointing their toes downwards and applying backwards and upwards force to the pedals, while pushing down and forward on the handlebars. It helps to think about the lifting of the back tire as snapping one's wrist forward and shifting their weight at the same time. The combination of these two motions allows the rider to first raise their centre of gravity, and then pull the bike into them while keeping the bike underneath them, to achieve greater ground clearance. The second technique, more easily performed on a bicycle with full suspension, is applying a weighting compression force downwards into bars and pedals, once partial compression is achieved then springing upwards un-weighting both bars and pedals equal amounts so that both front and rear wheels leave the ground. This technique can also be combined with a lifting of the bike through clip less pedals and is sometimes termed the English bunny hop.
- Mountain biking
- Freestyle BMX
- Dirt jumping
- Single track (mountain biking)
- Glossary of cycling