Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part III - Standing Rear Wheel Lift

by XTERRA on 06/23/2021

In the third installation of Mel’s Rad Skills Series for beginners, three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid demonstrates the standing rear wheel lift.

“It’s a useful maneuver to get you up and over a log, and a great skill for building into more advanced descending techniques,” says the XTERRA Coach and founder of MelRad Multisport.

To execute a standing rear wheel lift McQuaid explains that the first thing you need to do is NOT cover your brakes, contrary to the advice we learned about doing a standing front wheel lift in her last video (watch it here).

“Yeah, the combination of braking and lifting your bike tire at the same time is a recipe for disaster, so don’t cover your breaks,” she smiled. “I want you to wrap your fingers around your bars for this one.”

To practice this maneuver find a park or empty stretch of grass so the only thing you have to think about is the maneuver itself.  Roll into it in the neutral position (learn about that here) at a walking or jogging pace, compress (bend your knees and ankles and push them down into your suspension) and then as you'er lifting and exploding up do a quick, sharp scoop with your heels.

“Bring your heels up to your butt,” explains McQuaid. “It’s this scooping maneuver that allows your wheel to come up in the air. So, neutral - compress - scoop. Start in the park, and once you’ve got it down then add cones to simulate the element of timing and coordination to make it more challenging.”
Keep working until you can combine the front and rear wheel lifts in quick succession.

Learn more about McQuaid, one of XTERRA’s all-time greats and a certified member of the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association, at and

Past Videos:

Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part I – Neutral and Ready Positions
Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part II – Standing Front Wheel Lift
Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part IV – Pedaling Front Wheel Lift
Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part V – Terrain Awareness


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