Drift on a Bicycle

Ever seen Tokyo drift? Don't have a car? Well you can have the same kind of fun on your bike. To find out how keep on reading.


  1. Before you can get to sliding, tighten your rear brake so it can easily lock up the rear wheel. Slick tires are the most fun and easiest to drift with.
  2. Gain some speed until you are at a comfortable pace.
  3. Push your body forward past the saddle so you are standing up. Begin by leaning in to the turn. (you don't have to do this, but doing it will increase your momentum and it will be easier to get out of the turn)
  4. Start by turning the front wheel a little bit in the wanted direction. Adjust your entrance speed with the front brake. The front brake will also help to begin the first phase of the next step.
  5. Quickly jam the rear brake and hold it so your rear wheel locks up. This will cause your rear tire to lose traction with the surface and slide out.
  6. Allow your rear wheel to slide around the turn and lean slightly to the inside of the turn.
  7. Make sure you counter-steer ! If you don't, the rear will sling out and you might get tossed off the bike !
  8. Coming out of the turn, point the front wheel in the wanted direction and gently let go of the R-brake to get out of the slide. Continue pedaling as fast as possible to maintain speed. (If the bike starts wobbling when letting go of the R-brake, press it lightly again, this will stabilize the bike). Repetition makes perfection.
  9. If you find it hard to do this, here is an easier way.( these tips work better if you have a mountain bike with good brakes )
  10. Get to a good speed.
  11. As you are riding, go into a turn. As you are going into the turn, put your foot out on the concrete, lean and hold your back brake.


  • If the turn is a 180 degree tight turn, come in as fast as possible or as fast as you are comfortable with. Hit the brake while you are turning into the turn and let the rear swing around. Once you are facing the turn let go of the brake, and accelerate (note let go of the brake too quickly at high speed and the momentum on your bike WILL make you flip over, and can cause major injury).
  • The angle at which you counter turn will decide how tight the turn will be, the more you turn toward the turn the tighter the turn will be, it also depends on your speed, the faster you come into the turn the tighter drift you can pull off.
  • Buy a good wide-gauge bicycle tire from a bike shop, hard minimal tread in the middle and soft large tread on the sides is recommended (Kevlar tires are great for drifting, so try to find a Kevlar tire with the description as above).
  • The pros wear protective gear, so should YOU ! (helmet, elbow, wrist and knee pads).
  • A higher speed will make drifting and keeping your balance easier, but will increase the chances of your rear wheel sliding out too much.
  • Make sure you have the right timing to press and let go of the rear brakes, the let go time is earlier on wet pavement, or ice.
  • The best bicycles for drifting are aluminum racing bikes. The thinner slick tires gives the best slides.
  • Shift down one or two gears on your bike so you can come out of the turn faster, and it makes accelerating easier, and less painful for your knees.
  • Try not to put your foot down on the ground after a drift, if you do its not a drift, its braking.
  • Learn on wet, slick tarmac/brick surfaces; these are good training grounds. You can practice at lower speeds and tweak your balance, just be careful using the front brake.
  • For maximum control and exit speed, use the technique used in downhill racing: When entering the corner, keep the inside foot in front and the pedal arms horizontal. While sliding through, pedal backwards, half a rotation so that the outside foot is in front at the exit of the corner, letting go of the R-brake. Thinking it won't work? Try it out!
  • Try worn tires. This trick is much easier if you have worn out tires, and if you have shocks, try to stiffen them up by twisting them.
  • Use the front brake conservatively. Hitting it too hard is suicide.
  • Keeping your balance is extremely important !
  • Put the rear tire in a freezer for a week. This will lower the amount of traction they give, but will wear out/crack very fast.
  • Don't lean in too far or you will fall off.
  • To learn how to drift, find a gravel path. Try to make some skids in a zig-zag pattern, by moving your butt from side to side while skidding. The bigger the zig-zags, the better. It should give you the feeling of how the bike responds to sliding.
  • Try steep, concrete hills. They are the most challenging, giving you that real great feeling. Shopping malls are great fun too.
  • Dont drift too much on road and gravel or you will puncture your tyre.


  • Skidding too much can reduce friction on your tire.
  • When attempting to drift with a bicycle that has rear shocks please pay extra attention to the above warnings or else serious injury may occur.
  • It is recommended very much that your bike only has suspension(shocks) on the front, because rear shocks won't let you drift as easily.
  • Drifting on a bicycle is very dangerous. Always wear protective gear when riding a bicycle.
  • Drifting with rear shocks is possible but is VERY difficult, take extra caution when attempting to drift with a rear suspension bike
  • Be careful that your rear wheel doesn't slide out too much. This can be caused by leaning in too much to the inside of the turn. If this happens, put your foot out and touch it to the ground to prevent from falling. If you release the brakes at this point, your bike will flip over to the other side. This can be avoided by putting out your other foot.
  • Finally, it is important that when attempting this trick that you are responsible, or serious injuries may occur.
  • Make sure the corner is clear before you smash into someone!
  • Make sure you are not going too fast when you release your rear brake your bike can flip over!
  • Make sure you have a spare tire handy, in case the one you're using cracks or pops.

Things You'll Need

  • A bicycle with good brakes and if possible without a rear shock absorber
  • Safety gear: a helmet (critical!), elbow pads (optional), and kneepads (optional, but handy)

Related Articles