Today we’ll learn how to stoppie, which I can just barely do. As you know, locking up your front brake can send you over the handlebars, but feathering your brakes (or adjusting the force you apply) can put you into a sort of rolling endo, called a stoppie.
To get the idea of this you should first learn to do a controlled endo. “Endo” is short for “end over”, but we don’t want to go quite that far. Go at a low speed and lock your brakes up all the way. Keep your arms stiff and throw your weight forwards a little. Once your rear wheel comes up release the brake and you’ll go back down. If you don’t, well, yeah you’ll be no stranger to this. If you feel like going over the bars is imminent, push them under your feet so that you don’t get caught and land on your face.
Once you build up some confidence you can try going faster and feathering your brakes. As long as you still have some momentum you can squeeze harder to go forwards, or less to bring the bike back down.
Once you lose momentum the stoppie is over, so the more weight you put over the bars the less you need to rely on your front brake. This enables you to stoppie for longer.
I think it’s useful to use a marker like a parking space to gauge your distance. Setting little goals like this is a great way to improve any technique. If at first you can’t go the full length of the space, try focusing one space ahead. Looking further ahead helps you stoppie for longer, and also helps with manuals and skinny lines. Think of it like planning ahead.
If you’re learning to stoppie, remember that a good set of front brakes makes things a little easier, but you don’t necessarily need hydraulic or disc brakes to stoppie. Just make sure they’re in good working order. Also you might want to set your suspension firm and increase your tire pressure while learning. Master stoppies and you’ll have yet another fun technique you can use to ride in style.