Lifting the rear wheel without using brakes is the first step towards lifting off the ground with the entire bike. Don't be swayed by trial videos, as they often don't show the principle of lifting the rear wheel. Lifting the rear wheel without brakes might seem redundant by itself, but it's a key technique when looking at other trial techniques. Its mastery is thus essential and should take no more than half an hour.

How to start?

To understand the forces at work during the lifting of the rear wheel, imagine that you're a wedge placed between the pedals and the handlebars. By wedging yourself between these two bike components, you have the capability to lift it.

We shift our body weight to the handlebars. Then, we wedge ourselves against the pedals (having good shoes and grippy pedals helps) and throw the bike upwards by pulling and bending our knees. Over time, as we get more accustomed to this movement, we can add a bounce - a prior compression of the legs followed by an upward thrust before pulling the bike up.

The better we get at lifting the rear wheel, the less we'll have to push against the pedals.

  • It's crucial to set the pedals at the right angle - even 45 degrees to the ground. This ensures our foot won't slip off the pedal when we're pushing back.
  • The more familiar we become with this technique, the smaller the pedal angle required to lift the bike.
Check out other basic moves we cover in Level 1