Endos and roll-backs can prove seriously useful when you get back on the trails

Spending time learning how to play on your bike will mean that, once you’re out on the trails, you have better familiarity and more control.

>>> How to go for a bike ride in your back garden

We’re going to look at using a combination of braking forces, and how moving your weight to get your wheels off the ground will give you more control and balance. With a little practise you can then use this to get round steep, tight corners, or even feel like you have more balance and time to react at slow speeds. You can then take that to steeper trails or loose ground and enjoy a better level of control.

Try moving your weight forward to load the front wheel and raise the rear end, but moving it back again once you’re off the ground to help balance the tip

The endo

This is a skill that you can practise almost anywhere with stable ground. It shows good control over your braking and will be a great way of you learning how to move your weight to achieve different things with your bike and balance.

To try an endo roll forwards at a good walking pace and make sure your seat is down. You’re going to want to pull your front brake lever pretty hard, but as you do so try and lean your weight forwards so that you really load the front wheel of your bike. You’ll feel your forks compress and your front tyre start to dig in. As this happens your rear wheel will start to lift. With very little practise you should be able to roll onto your front wheel by bracing the deceleration and really leaning on the front brake. Remember that if you lock your front wheel, or feel like your rear wheel is coming up too far, you can always release your lever and let your back end fall back down again.

90 degree endo

Once you’ve got the hang of how you can raise the rear of your bike by braking hard and bracing your weight, you can try putting a bit of a spin on it by turning into the endo as you initiate it. The first time you try this make sure you have plenty of room around you. The rear of the bike will be swinging out and if you’re never done this before then it will likely be a little out of control. You can always release the brake lever to cancel anything you’ve started, or even jump off if it really goes wrong.

Make sure that you come in and start to carve quite a tight arc with your turn as you start to pull the brake. Remember that this will test the amount of traction that you have in your front tyre, so you won’t get away with really hammering on the brake with this one. Instead you’re going to have to balance the grip with the lean, and ultimately the swing of the rear end too. It sounds more complicated than it is though, and pretty soon you’ll be able to turn into the carve, squeeze the front brake lever, and let your rear end lift. The momentum of the turn will allow your back end to swing out once it’s off the ground. Turn left and your back end will swing out into space to the right. Turn right and your rear wheel will be stepping out to the left.

01. Roll in, load the front end bt braking, turn into it a little more before the front wheel stops

02. Let the rear wheel swing outward and round, help it with your legs too. Turn the bars as you and your rear end are swinging round

03. When the rear wheel lands, push off the locked front wheel to create more rearward momentum. Release the front brake so all the momentum transfers to your bike

04. Once you’re rolling backwards, pull the rear brake hard. Lift your front wheel

180 roll back

To really get your back end to spin a full 180 you’re going to have to help it out by driving it round further with your legs. You really need to work up to this, but if you’ve managed to master an endo in a straight line, and you’re having fun with how far you can rotate your back end once it’s off the ground, then this is a good progression.

If you can get it to land the opposite way you came in, then you can actually let go of the brakes and start to roll backwards. Be ready to just jump off your pedals initially as you’ll never crack this first try. Once you work out that you can abandon ship fairly easily you’ll have the confidence to try again and get further into the trick.

If you’re pivoting 180 and landing in a roll back, then the next step is to keep that rotation going by turning your wheel so you can work your way round to face the way you originally came in. At some point here pull the rear brake and you’ll be able to pivot off the rear wheel the same way you did the front in the endo.

mbr’s position on cycling during coronavirus crisis

Cycling is being permitted, but abusing this freedom will likely get it taken away, and looking for loopholes in the advice to go mountain biking – even if you have trails from your back door – is irresponsible. The government advice is clear – STAY AT HOME. Limiting your time outside the house is key to restricting the spread of the virus. If you go out on your bike, do it sensibly for health and wellbeing.

Do not ride with anyone else, apart from a maximum of one other person who you isolating with at home.

Do not drive to your cycling destination. Ride from your house.