Are you trying to learn how to barspin on a BMX bike?
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting to explore the exhilarating world of BMX, learning new tricks is always an EXCITING journey.
And mastering the barspin is like earning a badge of coolness in the BMX realm.
The barspin is where you spin your handlebars 360 degrees in midair, combining balance, timing, and a dash of daring.
It might seem tricky at first (and it is!), but with the proper guidance, loads of practice, and a sprinkle of perseverance, you’ll be spinning those bars like a champ.
It took me quite a while to get the gist of barspins. Hey, everyone learns at a different pace.
And because 20+ years ago, I had no how-tos or videos to watch and learn, I learned it the HARD way. (I didn’t really know how to prepare for it, so I just went and threw it.)
However, I’ll share an easy step-by-step guide to help you work on your barspins with as much confidence as possible. Plus, you’ll learn barspins much faster.
This post covers:
- Why learn a barspin?
- How to barspin on a BMX (step-by-step guide)
- Bonus tips for mastering barspins on a BMX
- Conclusion: Master barspins!
So, let’s dive into the exciting process of learning how to barspin on a BMX bike.
Why Learn A Barspin?
To PUSH our limits, to grow as riders, and to experience the pure, exhilarating fun of it all.
This trick isn’t just about spinning the handlebars around. It’s about mastering control, balance, and timing, enriching our overall riding experience.
When we learn to barspin, we embrace and overcome a challenge.
We prove to ourselves that we can achieve even the seemingly impossible with dedication and practice.
Let’s do THIS!
How To Barspin On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)
Before you proceed, you must learn how to bunny hop on a BMX first.
And you might even learn how to manual just to gain more bike control.
Remember, the more control over your bike you have, the easier you’ll learn new tricks.
Step 1: Choose a Suitable Bike
Ensure your BMX bike is in good condition, with a suitable handlebar width and a secure stem.
Also, check that the handlebars can spin freely without the brake cables getting tangled. (Brakeless riders can skip this step.)
You may also be interested in my complete guide on proper BMX bike maintenance.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Location
Locate a smooth, flat, and open space with no obstacles, like a parking lot or a skatepark.
Step 3: Practice Bike Control
Get comfortable lifting the front wheel, bunny hopping, and maintaining balance on the rear wheel (manualing).
In other words, warm-up!
Step 4: Get Comfortable Spinning Your Bars
First, I recommend you press your bike against a non-movable object, pick up your front end and pinch your seat with your legs – like I demonstrate in the video above.
Then throw those bars. Remember to pinch your bike hard enough so your front end doesn’t fall to the ground.
This is the first step to learning how to spin the bars.
You may also want to spin your front wheel and then throw the bars – to see how it feels. (Because when in the air, your front wheel will spin, too.)
Step 5: Practice Barspins On Your Back
This is a trick I discovered after I learned barspins.
Lay on your back, holding your bike in the air. This one is a bit trickier because your bike can fall on you if you don’t do the barspin quick enough.
Do a half bar or a very slow bus driver (your hand constantly contacts the bar while rotating) to get the gist of it.
Step 6: Learn A Pickup Bar
Before going to the bunny hop barspin, I recommend learning pickup bars.
That’s doing a barspin with your back wheel still on the ground. In other words, it’s performing a barspin while doing a (quick) manual.
Sorry, I completely forgot to add pickup bars to the video above.
Again, you can start with a half bar first and then commit and throw it all the way around.
Step 7: Pinch the Saddle
Next step is to learn to pinch the saddle with your knees while in midair; this will help you control the bike during the barspin.
If you don’t pinch the seat, your bike will be all wobbly when you throw the bar.
Step 8: Execute the Barspin
First, prepare to bunny hop with moderate speed. (You can also use a flyout to learn barspin – it’s actually easier than doing it from a bunny hop.)
Second, level the bike in the air as you reach the peak of your jump or hop.
Third, pinch the seat with your knees to maintain control of the bike.
Fourth, it’s time to commit! Throw the handlebars, ensuring they spin freely around.
Fifth, keep your eyes on the handlebars and prepare to catch them as they complete the spin.
Note #1, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th steps happen almost simultaneously.
Note #2, once you master your barspins, you won’t look at them anymore, it’ll be a natural movement. At least I don’t see my bars spinning anymore during a barspin.
Sixth, catch the handlebars securely, ideally with your back hand first. If you throw your bar to the right, you’ll throw it with your right hand and catch it with your left hand.
(The hand you throw the bars with goes above/in front of the hand you will use to catch it.)
Seventh, begin to prepare for the landing by leveling the bike and bending your knees.
Pro tip: I recommend you start on grass or other soft surface.
It’s a great mind trick because it feels safer, making you build up the courage to throw the bars more easily.
Step 9: Land Safely
Land on both wheels simultaneously or with the rear wheel slightly first.
You will want to bend your knees upon landing to absorb the impact.
You just landed your first bardpin.
Bonus Tips For Mastering Barspins On A BMX
Repeat the trick often and practice consistently to improve your barspin.
Gradually, you can attempt barspins off ramps and ledges or integrate them into more complex tricks.
- Avoid leaning too far forward or backward while spinning the bars; stay centered over the bike.
- Use a light grip when throwing and catching the handlebars to allow smooth rotation.
- Keep practicing the motion, even off the bike, to build muscle memory. Use my examples shown above.
- Start by spinning the bars slowly and increasing speed as you become more comfortable. You can also first learn a half bar. (However, the half bar didn’t really work for me because it was super confusing, so I went straight to the full barspin.)
Conclusion: Master Barspins!
Alright, BMX dudes, that wraps up our thrilling journey through the world of barspins.
Every twist of the handlebar brings a new learning, a new perspective, and that SWEET FEELING of accomplishment.
Unfortunately, falling is part of the process of learning a barspin.
However, with the above tips and tricks, you can significantly minimize crashes and land your first barspin much faster.
So keep practicing, stay patient, and most importantly, have a blast on your bike.
Barspins are just one way to express our love for BMX and share the excitement with fellow riders.
(And don’t forget to wear your safety equipment.)
Keep rolling, keep learning, and spread the BMX joy together!
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