N-acetylmethanopyrrolidine methyl ester and its four 5-syn/anti-fluoro and hydroxy derivatives have been synthesized from 2-azabicyclo[2.2.0]hex-5-ene, a 1,2-dihydropyridine photoproduct. These conformationally constrained mimics of idealized C(β)-gauche and C(β)-anti conformers of pyrrolidines were prepared in order to determine the inherent bridge bias and subsequent heteroatom substituent effects upon trans/cis amide preferences. The bridgehead position and also the presence of gauche(syn)/anti-5-fluoro or 5-hydroxy substituents have minimal influence upon the K(T/C) values of N-acetylamide conformers in both CDCl(3) (43-54% trans) and D(2)O (53-58% trans). O-Benzoylation enhances the trans amide preferences in CDCl(3) (65% for a syn-OBz, 61% for an anti-OBz) but has minimal effect in D(2)O. The synthetic methods developed for N-BOC-methanopyrrolidines should prove useful in the synthesis of more complex derivatives containing α-ester substituents. The K(T/C) results obtained in this study establish baseline amide preferences that will enable determination of contributions of α-ester substituents to trans-amide preferences in methanoprolines.