How To Drift Your Mountain Bike Like A Pro

Want to drift your MTB or road bike like a pro? Then you are in the right place. Here’s a step-by-step- guide (along with videos) to help you drift on a pavement, around the corner, and even without brakes.

Let’s jump straight to it.

Things You’ll Need for Drifting.

  • A mountain bike with flat pedals.
  • Knee pads for protecting your knees.
  • MTB shoes
  • MTB helmet.

How Do You Drift a Bike on Pavement?

Step 1: Find a Suitable Place

Find an open space nearby as you’ll have to practice the art of skidding many times. A car parking would do just fine. Make sure that the floor offers enough traction. A pavement road with a corner would do just fine in this regard.

Step 2: Speed Up Your Bike

Speed up your MTB bike enough that you still have control of it. Over speeding will only lead to a painful fall, so avoid it at all costs.

Step 3: Position Yourself

As soon as you go near the corner, apply the rear brakes and try leaning your upper body towards the imaginary pivot point. Your bike and body must form a 45° angle from the ground as you try to drift it on the pavement.

Lean your body towards the right if you are trying to drift right or left based on the direction of the drift. While you do that, it would be better to focus on the peak of the curve rather than looking at the ground to avoid any distractions.

Step 4: Shift Your Weight on Handlebars

Try shifting your weight on the handlebars. You can do that by just leaning your chest to the handlebar. It will lighten the weight of the rear wheel, allowing it to move freely.

Once you lean on the handlebars, you’ll feel the rear wheel getting outwards, and that’s when you’ll have your first successful drift. If you do not shift the weight on the bars, the bike will make a turn, and the rear wheel won’t be able to make any movement due to the extra weight.

Step 5: Positioning the Feet

It’s better to keep the outer foot on the pedal and the inner foot on the surface to maintain the balance while the bike takes a turn during the drift. Extending the inner foot will also help turn the rear wheel conveniently, shifting the weight away from the pedals.

Step 6: Changing the Handlebars Direction

While the rear wheel moves the drift, you’ll have to steer the handlebars in the opposite direction to complete the skid accordingly.

Step 7: Complete the Drift

Bring the weight upright and just get done with the drift. After the rear wheel is skidding, you can regain the balance position and pedal your MTB bike accordingly.

Step 8: Practice Drifting

You cannot master the art of drifting on a bike until you practice it consistently. After practicing for a while, you’ll get the know-how regarding your bike, and it will become much easier for you to drift accordingly.

How Do You Skid Around a Corner on a Mountain Bike?

Step 1: Maintain Consistent Speed

Pedal your bike until it gains sufficient speed as you reach the corner of a trail.

Step 2: Position Yourself

Lean upright and try shifting all your weight on the handlebars as you pull the rear brake.

Step 3: Countersteer the Handlebars:

As the rear wheel starts drifting outside, you’ll need to countersteer the handlebars to maintain the balance. Meanwhile, position your inner feet on the surface to manage the bike’s stability.

Step 4: Skid around the Corner

Skid around the corner and reposition yourself on the seat to regain momentum. Peddle again while your bike moves in a straight direction.

Step 5: Enjoy the Drift

That’s how you can drift around a corner on a mountain bike while you are cruising through a trail.

How to Drift on a Bike without Brakes?

Choose a Smooth Surface

To carry out the skid without brakes, choose a place with a smooth and slippery surface as it’s ideal for drifting.

Utilize Slick Tyres

Replace the standard tires of your bike with slick ones as they are essential for drifting. Such tires offer less traction and friction and could be utilized for skidding without brakes.

Shift the Bike’s Gear

Change the bike’s gear to low and start pedaling to gain some momentum on your way.

Do the Drift

As the turn arrives, put your weight on the handlebars and try pushing the bike into either the right or left direction.

Notice whether the rear wheel is moving outside, and if it does, pedal vigorously to increase the bike’s speed to complete your drift accordingly.

Regain the Position:

Complete the drift and regain your position on the bike to cruise accordingly.

Benefits of Drifting on a Mountain Bike

Benefits of learning how to drift your MTB

Improves Confidence

Drifting on a bike helps boost the confidence of a biker. The biker is comfortable even when the bike moves around here and there. This boost in confidence allows riders to cruise through rough and harsh downhill trails and tracks easily.

Improves Control:

Drifting also improves the control of bikers on the bike. As much as you can control the movement of your bike, you’ll have more chances of perfectly drifting on rough terrains without any hassle.

Looks Cool

That’s something obvious! Not only that, but you can also show off your move by recording it on a camera and sharing the clips on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

How do I make my mountain bike corner faster?

The basic rule of thumb is to bend your legs and arms to get yourself into a consistent line. As the corner approaches, start standing up slowly while steering your bike, and it will help corner the bike faster than you’d expect.

Final Takeaways

Learning how to drift on a bike is not only done for looking cool, but it can also improve your control and boost your confidence.

Follow the steps we mentioned above to skid around a corner with a mountain bike and enjoy the feel and sound of your rear wheel scratching the surface.

Practice the art of drifting, and you’ll become a master of it with every passing day for sure.

Good Luck!!

Photo of author
Written By Robert Gibbons
From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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