Joe Sheehan

Video - What's wrong with my front wheel move technique?

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I'm trying to learn front wheel moves. Not sure if the easiest trying to get up to front on a high ledge, or trying to gap to front.

Either way, I'm doing it wrong but I can't really feel what. I'm not holding the rear brake as I've read that can make your feet slip off, but I just can't get to grips with the move.

Any advice would be great. I do feel that the area where the front wheel is landing isn't big enough, so next time I try I'll find a big flat ledge. 


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You'll find it much easier taking off from an edge as you get the pop from the tyre bouncing you forward, it's a nightmare from flat as it's purely pedal power and you get that unnecessary roll before you take off.

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Lately I've been trying to "re-learn" my progress on sidehops and up to fronts in a proper way by letting the cranks spin. Couple of months ago I intentionally "cheated" and kept my rear brake locked so I could stay on the pedals easier, resulting in a few relatively high sidehops and sketchy up to fronts to a log. It sure helped to clear some "mind blocks" and learn the body positioning and stuff like that, but I'm not sure if it really was that useful in the end so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. At that point I could already pedal kick comfortably and gap my bike length easily, but for some reason found it really hard to turn that movement into sidehop or up to front, without loosing my pedals and shooting myself off the bike.

Now after a couple of months practicing and switching to a pogo bike I know that I was lacking a tons of important basics, and decided to improve them a lot before trying anything too fancy. 

Finally yesterday I succeeded to up to front a small rock in a proper way, and it actually just happened surprisingly easy after couple of days focused training.
Here are the keys that worked for me:
1. Learning to jump forward on a flat and wide rock to two wheels. Actually got the basic feel of tapping as well with this.

2. Doing stoppies and thinking I was landing to a front wheel. This helped A LOT to get comfortable with the "flying phase" when the rear brake is open, letting cranks spin freely and your front pedal sink a bit -> allowing knees to drop, pushing your body against stem. However dropping the front foot too low few times caused slipping the rear pedal quite painfully.

3. Like LEON said, take off from something that helps to naturally bounce forward. In my case it was a slightly angled surface facing to the rock I was trying to jump on and it really helped.

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I'm far from an expert at front wheel moves but from that vid a couple of things that spring to mind are:

1) You need to start further away from the ledge. If that feels wrong just pick a line on the ground (change in surface, parking bay line, whatever) and get yourself a bit further away before you begin the move. In the video you're almost on top of the kerb when you start the move which means you're not able to do much more than drop the front wheel onto it and do an endo.

2) Combined with that try getting your bum lower when you preload for takeoff. It sounds wrong but if you start low and relatively far back it forces you to lunge forward with your body when you start the move which in turn helps with getting the front wheel planted when it lands.

3) Focus on the edge of what you're landing on (or the line). Particularly on ups to front I always find that if I'm looking at the wall (either face or top) I don't judge things right but if I'm focused right on the edge your brain takes over and gets you where you want to be.

4) Wear a helmet ;)

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