This technique is one of the coolest looking moves you can do on a mountain bike and it’s also an epic way to gain a ton of speed in the blink of an eye. It’s an absolute crowd favourite at the races and a sure-fire way to be the envy of your mates out on the trails each and every ride.
Here are a few key pointers to help you master the technique of raising your front wheel up out of a corner whilst applying maximum torque through your legs and down into that rear wheel.
Words // Blake Nielsen Photos // Matt Staggs
First things first; before you go attempting to snap a sick power wheelie out of a corner you need to make sure that you are confidant and component in pulling a standard wheelie and you also must be comfortable at exiting corners with a lot of speed. When you start to practise this technique, you’ll want to find a nice berm on a relatively flat section of trail. The steeper the trail the harder and more sketchy your power wheelie exist will become.
Before we think about reefing up on the bars and stomping on the pedals out of the corner, we first need to have a clear point, or marker, picked out in our mind as to whereabouts in the corner, or at which part of the exist of the corner, we’re going to ‘pull the trigger’ and lift the front wheel. So, to do this it is best to get off your bike and go and inspect the corner and decide on your marker. Once you’ve got that sorted and set in your mind your body position whilst you’re in the corner will naturally change in body position compared to riding through the corner normally.
Once we have our point in the corner where the wheelie will start decided upon, we want to come into it as if we were going to ‘square it off’, but without the intent of breaking tyre traction. We want to push the front end of the bike into this point and once under compression begin to pull up on the bars again while looking through the exit of the rest of the turn.
At the same time as we begin to pull up on the bars, we want to shift our body weight further back than normal for the exit of a corner, this will help us raise the front wheel naturally.
Once we have the front wheel up, we can now get on the gas and pedal as fast and hard as possible whilst holding the balance point of wheelie. And that in itself is quite tricky because your balance point is going to be constantly shifting with each pedal stroke.
Now, depending on what is coming up ahead of you on the trail you’re going to want to pick out a spot where you’re going to put the front wheel back down. Obviously the longer your power wheelie the better, however inevitably at some point you’re going to run out of trail before you arrive at the apex of the next corner… Or not, maybe you just want to wheelie all the way home! [R]