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The wheel transfer


A pedal hop can bring your rear wheel exactly in place of your front wheel (or even further). In some situations, you can also use a pedal kick to boost a straight static hop.

Useful when bridging a gap

trials riding tutorials Marc Caisso resting across two concrete pipes.

trials riding tutorials Body language is essential to get proper acceleration and tyre rebound.

The wheel transfer is one of the most useful techniques in trials. It can be performed from any trackstand, even when the bike is not level or if you are bridging a gap in a complex section.

The back wheel should be securely positioned on top of an edge, a short flat, or down a wedge, but not stuck into a recess.

Body language is key when you start from a trackstand position because you cannot lower the front wheel further to build up extra torque. You should build as much momentum as you can with your hips to assist the pedal kick and clear the gap you are bridging.


The best way to learn it

trials riding tutorials Hannes Herrmann's bike is wedged between two wood logs.

Hold a trackstand with your wheels precisely positioned on edges, control your front wheel position and adjust your balance with your knees and hips. Make sure you are steady before you flex on the bike. When ready, crouch back with your bum well over the rear wheel to prepare for an upward extension.

From this crouching position, arms fully stretched, bounce the front wheel up and pull yourself on the handlebars to surge forward. Finish up your extension with a very brief pedal kick.

You should end up with your arms fully stretched before the rear wheel takes off. In mid-air, pull up the bike in front of you while extending your legs to aim the rear wheel at the obstacle in front of you.

With increased body language, you will be able to target a landing spot even further or higher than the initial position of your front wheel.


Click on any step below and use the scroll-wheel to move through the animation.

The wheel transfer

trials riding tutorials
1° Hold a trackstand with your wheels across two edges, control your balance with your knees and hips.

trials riding tutorials
2° Crouch back with your bum well over the rear wheel to prepare for an upward extension, pre-load your front pedal.

trials riding tutorials
3° Arms fully stretched, bounce the front wheel up and pull yourself on the handlebars to surge forward.

trials riding tutorials
4° Finish up your extension with a very brief pedal kick to take off.

trials riding tutorials
5° In mid-air, pull up the bike in front of you, extend your legs forward to aim the rear wheel at next edge.

trials riding tutorials
6° Upon landing, flex to absorb the impact and regroup over the bike to secure your position.


Biketrial video Watch all the slow-motion video clips for this move Biketrial video


What makes it so unique?

trials riding tutorials Once in mid-air, Carles Diaz tilts the bike up.

If you tried to pull a plain pedal hop with the rear wheel on uneven terrain, the back wheel would not be able to roll smoothly like on a flat surface, and instead of rolling forward, you may be sent over the bars (the rear wheel being stuck).

Having both wheels steady on the ground or supported across two edges, you should thrust your body forward and build as much momentum as you can with an acceleration of your hips.

You can't lower the front wheel to add torque to your pedal kick hence you should only use the pedal kick to finish-off the move and boost your impulse from the ground, without all your weight and the bike sticking the rear wheel to the ground.

This is especially important if the rear wheel is stuck against a wedge or in difficult terrain with recesses.


Bridging a gap: front wheel up

trials riding tutorials Benito Ros will land directly on top of the concrete pipe.

trials riding tutorials Keep your torso close to the stem as you jump.

In a situation where the front wheel is up against an edge, you have to use a lot more body language and exaggerate the movement, crouching as much as you can over the rear wheel before you thrust your hips and shoulders upward. You can pull yourself a bit more onto the handlebars to accelerate the spring action of your legs.

Only at the very end, finalize the extension with that brief pedal kick to propel the bike and make it lighter to pull up. The higher the front wheel, the more difficult it is to give the right pedal-kick impulse, and the more you should rely on precise body language during your extension upward.


Click on any step below and use the scroll-wheel to move through the animation.

Bridging a gap: front wheel up

trials riding tutorials
1° Crouch back with your bum well over the rear wheel, but your torso close to the bike, pre-load your front pedal.

trials riding tutorials
2° When ready, pull yourself onto the handlebars to accelerate the spring action of your legs as you surge forward.

trials riding tutorials
3° Only at the very end, finalize the extension with a brief pedal kick to propel the bike and make it lighter to pull up.

trials riding tutorials
4° Pull the bike up underneath you as you tuck your knees, an regroup over the bike as your tyre grips the upper edge.


Bridging a gap: front wheel down

trials riding tutorials In one kick, Kenny Belaey will place his rear wheel in place of his front wheel.

If your front wheel is positioned lower than the rear wheel, you must perform a quick push up to unlock the front wheel from its lower position if need be. This push-up also unloads your weight from the front tyre just before you kick in your front pedal.

Keep your bum well over the rear hub with your arms fully stretched, to ensure that the pedal kick won't throw you over the bars.

During the pedal kick, bring back the handlebars to your abdomen to tilt the bike vertically, from its initial diving position to a standing position on the rear wheel. You don't have to use as much body language, but make sure that your rear hub is positioned beyond the edge (on the gap side).


Click on any step below and use the scroll-wheel to move through the animation.

Bridging a gap: front wheel down

trials riding tutorials
1° Before the actual pedal kick, perform a quick push up to unlock the front wheel from its lower position.

trials riding tutorials
2° Keep your bum well over the rear hub with your arms fully stretched, to ensure that the pedal kick won't throw you over the bars.

trials riding tutorials
3° Pull the handlebars closer to your abdomen to tilt the bike vertically, from its initial diving position to a standing position.

trials riding tutorials
4° To compensate for your forward momentum, make sure the bike lands vertical with the rear brake locked.


Biketrial video Watch all the slow-motion video clips for this move Biketrial video


Adapt your effort to the terrain
This combination of a pedal hop with body language can be applied to various degrees, up to a pure static hop (with no pedal kick, involving only body language) or down to a plain pedal hop with all the impulse given during the pedal kick (with no push-up on the handlebars).

It all depends on the initial position of the bike, and the grip you can expect from the rear wheel. If there is little grip or if the rear wheel is stuck into a recess, it is better to use a higher proportion of body language. If there is plenty of grip or if the rear tyre is on a flat surface, you can give a strong pedal kick.


Reminders

trials riding tutorials The only exit when the bike is wedged between two rocks.

As a rule of thumb, when the bike is rather horizontal and the rear wheel on a flat edge, then you should rely more on the pedal kick, because the distance would be difficult to cover only with a weight transfer.

In a situation where the bike is standing really vertical but with your front wheel resting against the upper edge, then you don't have much choice but to pull the bike up in one go, because leaning further back would throw you off-balance.

If your wheels are positioned on precise edges like railings or wedges, make sure that the rear hub is positioned right above the crest or slightly beyond it (on the gap side). This will ensure that the rear wheel can roll off the edge rather than being blocked by it.

If the rear wheel is resting against a wedge and off-centred behind the edge, compensate the downward drop by pulling up a bit more on the handlebars when you kick.


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