How To Do A Wheelie On A Bike- Expert Tips and Tricks

I have got just the right trick to land the perfect wheelie! Read on to find how!

Believe it or not, the wheelie has been around since the 1890s. It was invented by a telegraph messenger called Daniel Canary. Isn’t doing a wheelie a fun trick? You lift the front wheel off the ground while your rear wheel balances the weight. Sounds dangerous but there is a trick to it. 

And this trick is not reserved only for the racers! I learned this trick from a fellow racer friend and I have been doing wheelies ever since then. Want to know what it is? Well, you have come here at the right time because I am in the mood to let this secret out once and for all! 

So let’s get started!

Biker Doing Tricks Bicycle

How To Do A Wheelie On A Bike

When I attempted my first wheelie, I was nervous but the adrenaline rush as the front wheel of my bike lifted off of the surface changed my nervousness into excitement! Here’s what you need to do:

Step Description
1 While going in a straight line, pedal hard
2 Shift weight to the back; buttocks outward towards the seat
3 Pull the handlebars to initiate the wheelie
4 Ensure arms are vertical and parallel for balance
5 Use dominant foot forward; position it at the top of the pedal circle
6 Non-dominant foot starts from down, dominant foot starts up
7 Create a stronger pulling force than pushing force
8 Maintain strong forward motion to prevent falling backward
9 Sync knees with pedals before thrusting forward
10 Bend elbows slightly; keep arms straight
11 Move handlebars forward and backward for balance
12 Don’t stop pedaling; exert enough torque to lift the front wheel
13 Check back wheel and rear brake to prevent sideways falls
14 In an emergency (falling forward), pedal hard and quickly
15 To stop, slow down pedaling, or apply rear brakes for an immediate halt

Step 1: Start By Learning How To Control Your Bike

The first thing that you have to do here is to control your bike when both the wheels are on the ground. This has to be done before you attempt any trick. It does not matter what kind of bike you have in the first place, master yourself at controlling it first!

The perfect balance will allow you to do the wheelies smoothly and without any kind of problems. Check aspects:

  • Maximum Speed
  • Stability
  • Maneuverability
  • Comfort

Read our guide to discover how to install front brakes on your bike and ride with confidence

Step 2: Choose A Large Area For Training

Next up is choosing a large area. Strap on those elbow pads and let’s get going. The area that you will choose for practicing must be flat and without any kind of obstacles. 

While practicing, make sure that you gain enough speed so that you can ride the bike without pedaling for a while. This helps prepare for the wheelies. Flat pedals come in handy here because they give a lot of speed.

Tip: Focus on maintaining the grip on your handlebar. It should be firm when you shift your weight to the back.

Get Into Low Gear (For Mountain Bikes)

If you tried going upslope then this one is for you. Make sure that are in low gear. This will help when you have to pop the front wheel. The combination of flat grass and flat pedals does wonders here. It’s easier to practice with them.

Select the ring at the front and four gears below the easiest gear. When this is done, pedal the bike while dragging both brakes with you. 

Get your posture right and improve your cycling performance! Read our guide to learn how to maintain proper cycling posture

Step 3: Time To Put The Dominant Foot Forward

Now that you have gotten comfortable with whatever bike you have, it is time to put the dominant foot to work. Make sure that you put your non-dominant foot down. If you are right-handed then that will be your left, and vice-versa. Put that foot at the bottom of the pedals, your dominant foot must be at the right here.

Put your knees in parallel. Some people don’t do that and they end up going out of balance. Make sure that they are parallel, or you might go out of balance. Having a sideways balance is necessary while doing wheelies.

Step 4: Now Lift The Front Wheel 

Your feet need to be in the same position as the bike when it is in motion. After doing that, stand up on your seat gently and slowly. Then lift the front wheel by pulling the handlebars back. Stop pedaling at the exact moment when you lift the bike. Keep on practicing this step, it is completely okay even if manage to lift the wheel by a few inches.

Lifting the bike like this syncs the upper body with the bike and makes balancing easier. You will also get to know how much force is required for you to lift off the bike.

Is your bike stuck in one gear? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read our guide to learn about the reasons why your bike won’t shift gears and how to fix it

Step 5: Practice Manuals Frequently

Doing manuals and practicing over and over again will help you out. What you have to do here is put your weight back and pull the handlebars so that the front wheel lifts. You counter this by putting your weight forward again but slightly.

Lean forward slightly, just make sure that all of this is done without pedaling. Here are some tips to make the manuals easier:

  • Keep your bike 40 degrees off the floor
  • Your arms should be vertical
  • Bend your legs. This will push you inward and backward, this is very necessary for balance

What To Do If You Feel Like Falling Forward?

In case of an emergency like falling forward, you need to pedal hard and quickly. If you want to stop doing wheelies then just slow down pedaling and the front wheel will come lower down itself. You can also apply the rear brakes to put the bike to an immediate halt!

Congratulations, you have just done a successful wheelie. Now only thing that will make you perfect here is practice!

How To Wheelie – Better Wheelies In 1 Day

Why Would You Want To Wheelie?

What is the reason for learning to do a wheelie anyway? Wheelies are the main epitome of happiness when you are going for stylish cycling. They help you learn the skill of maneuvering different obstacles while cycling while also keeping the bike up.

Other than that, it makes you feel like a professional! Once you learn how to do a wheelie perfectly, may it be a mountain bike or regular bike, you will feel spectacular. 

Bring your vintage bike back to life! Check out our guide on how to restore a vintage bike in 12 simple steps


Is wheelie on bike easy?

Wheelie can be challenging if you are a beginner but with practice, they can become easy. 

Are wheelies useful?

No, wheelies are just for fun. Although they can help improve your maneuvering skills, there is no use for them in particular. 

Is doing a wheelie illegal UK?

It is not illegal but it can be prosecuted under road traffic laws. 

Does wheelie increase speed?

No, a wheelie does not increase speed. 


Executing a perfect wheelie takes practice. With the steps I have shared, it will be easier for you to follow through. Now you can use any kind of bicycle but I must say that having a wheelie bike will make it easier. These bikes have a stronger frame and a heavier front wheel. Plus the higher handlebars also make things easier. 

This ability to defy gravity while floating on two wheels leaves a sense of accomplishment. I hope I have answered all your questions by now! If there is anything you might be confused about, just hit me up in the comment section below! 

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Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Rhodes Perry by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes is a writer, social justice advocate, and passionate cyclist. He primarily spends his time in the saddle commuting or riding multi-day, self-supported tours, and volunteers time wrenching at his local bike coop.


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