Rider Submitted How-To #1
PREREQUISITES: manuals are helpful but not required. if doing this on a quarter pipe or ramp the ability to drop in from the deck is required. ability to 180 bunnyhop on a ramp.
VARIATIONS: barspin, no foot, deck manual, 360, 540, to smith stall. spines.
DESCRIPTION: Tailtaps and their variations are one of those tricks that separate expert riders from the intermediates. they are rather technical and tricky to learn but are very satisfying when stuck. Tailtaps can be done on street or ramps. They are mostly done on ramps and transitions so that's how they will be described first.
Before you attempt this you need to be able to drop in off of the deck of the ramp you are on. You also need to be able to 180 bunnyhop. Also, unless you are really good or stupid you need rear brakes.
Approach the transition at a moderate speed, enough to get you on to the deck.
You should probably try this on a familiar transition. the smaller the better (4 feet is good for starters) bigger transitions are MUCH scarier to drop back in on.
Anyway...approach the transition with enough speed to get you onto the deck of the ramp.
Pump up the transition and at the same time turn your bars to initiate the 180.
Follow through on the 180 with your body and RELAX!!!
If you are to stiff you will never do this trick.
Your momentum will carry you up onto the deck of the ramp. before you land on the deck have a death grip on your rear brake.
The ramp is going to want to throw you out over the deck but one of the keys to this trick is to stick the back tire straight down as close to the coping as you can. This makes it easier to balance and easier to drop in.
If you did the 180 right you should now be facing the transition and balancing on your back tire. If you start to go off balance you can hop on the back tire or push against the brakes with the pedals.
Keep your body relaxed and arms and knees bent. If you have a front brake DO NOT USE IT. let the front wheel spin, it will act as a gyro and help stabilize you. It may help to focus on the horizon as you balance.
The longer you hold the trick, the cooler it is.
Once balanced you can sit there on one wheel for what seems like an eternity. Ideally you want to have the bike at about a 45 degree angle or more with the front tire high in the air. For starters you will probably not get this. Just go with what you can get.
Dropping back in can be tricky... If you are positioned close to the edge of the ramp it is easier.
Move your body forward SLIGHTLY to start the front of the bike down.
KEEP YOUR BRAKE ON UNTIL you are back in the ramp.
Once the front end of the bike is headed back into the ramp get way low on the bike and LEAN BACK pushing the bike into the ramp. The seat might hit your chest as you hunch down on the bike. This is good.
Follow the bike into the ramp and ride away.
When you are starting out you may bash the sprocket or bottom bracket shell on the coping, this is no big deal. as you get more comfortable with the trick you can actually hop down into the transition.
The hardest part of this trick is balancing and dropping back in. The 180 part comes pretty naturally. The scariest part is dropping back in. Fortunately it is a pretty safe trick to learn. If you botch it on the deck you can just step off the back, if you botch the drop in you can usually just throw the bike and stay on the deck. If you botch the approach or the 180 you could be in for some pain. It might help just to ride up on to the deck without the 180 a few times to give you an idea of how much speed you need. Tailtaps can be done on street too and are essentially the same but you use a bunnyhop to get on whatever object you are tailtapping. They take a bit more strength and the drop in is different since you don't have a transition to drop into. You essentially hop on to the object and then hop off it.
Submitted By: TR
Rider Submitted How-To #2
PREREQUISITES: manual, bunnyhop manual, 180
VARIATIONS: tailtap x-up.one handed tailtap x-up, tailtap barspin, 360 tailtap
DESCRIPTION: I learned how to do tailtaps on a curb cut in front of my house but a mellow bank is fine start by rolling at a slow-medium pace with one finger on your back brake lever as you are rolling up the bank/curb cut whatever start by carving your front wheel as you pull up, carving to your left or right is your choice as you are lifting up your front end turn 90 degrees and hop your back end up and lean back, depending on how fast you are going, if you are at a slow pace lean back a little more than normal before your back end hits the ground pull your lever and land in a good balance point, this is the basic hard part of the trick lean your body weight to your left or right depending on which side you spun, lean right if you spun right, left if you spun left hop and turn 90 degrees back into the transition, bank, whatever as you perfect this trick you can take it to higher obstacles and maybe throw in an x-up or two.
Submitted By: David Escobar
If you have any specific questions about tailtaps please click here.