Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part IV - Pedaling Front Wheel Lift

by Angela on 07/15/2021

How to do a Wheelie.
In this edition of Mel’s Rad Skills Series for beginners, three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid explains and demonstrates how to do a pedaling front wheel lift, AKA a Wheelie!

“Being able to do a wheelie on demand is good for when you’re on single track and have to get up on something or navigating stuff at slow speed and need to get up and over.  Mastering this skill will increase your confidence on the mountain bike and open the door to next level progression,” said McQuaid.

The key, she says, is to spin a quick/fast acceleration from an easy gear to give yourself a burst of power and simultaneously pull your handlebars up to lift the wheel.

“Keep in mind it’s important to cover your brakes for this one, it’s your safety mechanism if your wheel comes up to high,” says the XTERRA Coach and founder of MelRad Multisport. “If your front wheel does come up to high grab your rear brake and it’ll drop your front wheel down immediately.”

McQuaid recommends practicing this skill at slow speeds and on a slight uphill. 

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 III – Standing Rear Wheel Lift
Mel’s Rad Skills Series Part V – Terrain Awareness


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