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Bicycle Drifting: How to Amaze Your Friends

By Adam Marsal

Drifting with a bike is rad move, even if there’re no friends to be impressed while you’re shredding. As it’s an advanced move, you should be familiar with basic bike handling skills. The drift will help you while on trails, however, the right place to get the knowledge is a wide, flat area with a lot of space for possible fails. Loose stones or gravel will suit the first drifting attempts better than concrete or tarmac for it’s easier to lose the tyre’s grip on the surface.

1. Firmly resolve to nail the trick and approach the corner with decent speed. The faster you get, the better, as it helps to execute the slide easier. However, too much speed might result in over-rotating with you falling over to the other side and bringing you to the emergency room. On the other hand, if you approach the turn with a slow pace, your drift will be rather upsetting.

2. While drifting, forget the front brake lever as you only use the rear one. Lean your upper body towards the imaginary pivot point you want to turn around. Your body and the bike should be in about 45-degree angle from the ground. If doing a right drift, lean to the right-hand side. Always look at the peak of the curve, never at the ground beneath you, which might disorientate you.

3. Shift your weight slightly over the handlebars. This will lighten the weight from the rear wheel, letting it slide off the ground. Once the turn starts, you should feel your rear wheel going outward. If you leave the weight over the rear wheel, you won’t let it slide and your drift will be condemned to failure.

4. You can perform the trick either with one foot on the pedal with the inside foot extended so it’s hovering over the surface. The move will help you keep the balance and control the bike if the rear wheel spins out. You can plant the foot on the ground to stabilise the manoeuvre. Be ready for countersteering the handlebars which means turning them in the opposite direction than your rear wheel’s spinning around.

5. Bring your weight upright and complete the drift. Your rear wheel should regain the traction enabling you to carry on riding straight on.

Now go out and find a dog that will be amazed by your incredible bike handling skills. Good luck!