How to roll with the punches on the trail

Ratcheting and hopping

How To Video
There are often tricky sections of trail that require a combination of ratcheting and hopping.

There are often tricky sections of trail that require a combination of ratcheting and hopping (click to enlarge).

This fabulous technical riding skill combines two techniques: ratcheting and hopping – like many things 1 + 1 is greater than 2!

Trials riders have a toolkit of skills that can add so much creativity and fun on many technical trail rides, and I think this fits that category!

It is best utilized on flat or slightly uphill terrain. I love being able to read the terrain and use this technique proactively – I can trust this technique more than spinning cranks when the terrain is really slow, tight and rough. It can also be used for those times that you do lose momentum and need to generate forward flow once again.

The prerequisite skills for this lesson, Hopping and Ratcheting, are thoroughly taught and progressed as part of my Baseline Balance Skills online course.

This tutorial however is borrowed from the weekly flow of content I deliver to members of my private mountain biker coaching website called RL Connection.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Ryan Leech

Ryan Leech is Pro Mountain Biker & Coach sponsored by @shimano, @norcobicycles, Nutcase Helmets, and Ryders Eyewear. He has performed thousands of bicycle stunt shows around the world including Cirque du Soleil and been featured in dozens of mountain bike films. He credits a dedicated yoga practice for a thriving and sustainable career as a pro-athlete and began teaching to share these benefits. As an avid explorer of human potential, he earned his certification as an Integral Master Coachâ„¢, and now is dedicated to creating the highest quality, most comprehensive and effective online technical skill training programs for mountain bikers at ryanleech.com


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  • loll says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Seems like you are trying to do a lurching rear wheel hop, without the one wheel? Do you do the crank ratchet along with letting go the brake just a hair and lunge forward? Or were your brakes never on and you roll to a stop?

    It didn’t seem like you offered too much instruction (unlike the other video you offered)

  • Ryan Leech says:

    This can be done with brakes in certain situations, though I didn’t want to complicate things as this is already a fairly advanced move – so yes it’s a hop + a punch/ratchet of the drivetrain. I do have a series of video progressions that dial in the pre-requisites skills of hopping and ratcheting for this skill inside my Baseline Balance Skills course, just in case you or anyone else is keen – otherwise I hope this video provides some insight at the least!

  • I'mright says:

    Is it me or can other people watch a how to video 1000 times and not even come close?
    I watched 2 million how to manual videos only to find out I can’t put my butt behind the rear axle. I wanted to sign up for some of Ryan’s videos but even simple hops I can’t do on flat pedals. Ryan, if your out there — help!

    • Ryan Leech says:

      I’m hear buddy and I hear ya! Your frustration is the exact same feeling I’ve felt as an instructor for years – hence my mission to create learning progression videos. The video in this article is the LAST video in a series of 42 gradual progressions. So yes, please do check out some of my offerings on my website, and stay tuned for my manual program!

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