- I can't manual
I can’t do it either.
I can jump, drop, bunny hop and wheely pretty well but the closest I’ve ever come to holding a manual for any time I went off the back and skidded along the road outside the in-laws house with my 7 year old nephew watching.
As a 35 year old man I felt ashamed 😳Posted 5 years agoroverpigSubscriber
Have you got one of those turbo trainers that fixes to the bike by clamping the rear axle by any chance? If you have (or can borrow one) they are great for getting the feel of a manual as you can focus on the weight shift without having to worry about balance or hitting anything. Just make sure you have something soft behind you to land on when you overcook it as you can’t use your rear brake to bring the front wheel back down again.
Mind you, while I can easily get the bike vertical on the trainer I’m still pretty crap out on the trails 😳Posted 5 years agoD0NKSubscriber
I can keep the wheel up just enough for drops and steps and jumps
then you’ve got the basics covered. I would love to be able to manual but still can’t, in the past I’ve spent a bit of time trying but never got more than 6ft or so on a good day. Have a recurring dream about manualling, so something in my sub-concious hasn’t given up on it.
I can’t bunny hop
That’s something I’d rectify asap if it were me. Obviously not compulsory for JRA but if you wanna keep your momentum and/or get quick it’s a pretty important skill (IMHO etc)
<edit> can’t wheelie either but that doesn’t bother me, always struck me as a schoolyard stunt whereas manuals and stoppies are the muts nuts and sooooooo cool aswell as being useful trail skills 😉Posted 5 years agobigjimSubscriber
I can wheelie easily but manualling is a bit harder, its just getting to that balance point that I find tricky. We covered it in a dirt school session and if you can get someone to hold you upright form the front as you tilt back on the back brake to find the tipping point, that helps you find out where the balance point is.
From there I think its a case of transferring that to doing it on the bike in motion, putting your weight low and back, and kind of pushing the bike away with your feet – not pulling up with your arms, as that pulls your weight forward and up, when you want it to be low and back. I’ve done some great manuals occasionally, but find it really hard to do on demand, need to practice more.Posted 5 years agonickheadMember
I recommend Adam at The Bike School on Cannock Chase or FoD. I did the Jumps and Drops course, which has the ultimate aim of teaching how to do both those things well, but builds from the ground up, starting with manualling (to ‘proper’ bunny hops, into drops and then jumps)
It’s an invaluable technique for maintaining speed, dealing with dips and bumps that are too big/ small to hop or jump, and is a good way of avoiding being splashed by puddles/fords too 🙂Posted 5 years agodeanfbmMember
(manuals+bunny hops leads to far more opportunities to pump and go faster)
Get it learnt, mediocre trails now become fun pump tracks, mega awesome trails get even better.
Pedalling is the devils work (apart from uphill), sometimes a necessary evil, but do all i can to avoid it since it normally kills flow and there are, far more fun means to generate required speed.Posted 5 years agoroverpigSubscriber
So the whole turbo trainer thing doesn’t work too well then after all…
Guess not 🙂 Actually, before I hit on this practice aid I could only just pop the wheel up enough to get it over a small obstacle, now I can occasionally bring it right up in the air. So I’d say it has helped, but it’s still very hit and miss on the trails that’s for sure.
So, what’s the difference between a manual and a wheelie?
AFAIK a manual is where you lift the front wheel simply by shifting your weight backwards while freewheeling. With a wheelie you pedal fast to drive the back wheel forwards in order to initiate the lift.Posted 5 years agoPaulBMember
Use flats for practice.
Get used to coming off the back first.
Front wheel perpendicular to a tall wall, load front end and move weight back, pushing forward with feet (and come off the back). Develop along this line to find balance point. The wall will help to keep your arms straight and stops the bike going forward and knocking you over.
Move onto grassy area, load, move, drive. Then do it whilst moving feathering the back brake to keep the balance point. You should have already have the confidence to move off the back if it goes too far.
Try a BC MTB Coach 😉 it’s basic coaching with youngsters these days, with great success.Posted 5 years ago
See Paul I know what all those words mean just not in that order. This whole pushing with your feet thing is where I have a block I know I can do it on drops because I do but I don’t know how. I can’t raise the front wheel much more than 18 inches or so for a second or two and never get to the fabled balance point although I can wheelie perfectly well.
I reckon it’s a thing I should know how to do.Posted 5 years agokudos100Member
I taught myself to manual last summer and although not brilliant, I can do a half decent manual now.
One of the keys to the manual is getting past the balance point and coming off the back. Until you have gone past it, you will struggle to know where it is.
Spend a bit of time purposely coming of the back and jumping off the pedals.
Until you have got over the fear/psychological block of coming off, learning a proper manual will be tough.Posted 5 years agoEuroMember
andyl – Member
Wouldn’t mind spending a day just perfecting manuals, hops etc.
If you can perfect manuals in a day then fair play. It’s taken me months and even now the results range from piss poor (a couple of bike lengths) to not bad (40-50 metres) with the occasional really long one. I will say this though, once you can quickly find the sweet spot, manuals are effortless.Posted 5 years agoahwilesSubscriber
ianv – Member
Find a bmx
track, they are great for manual practice.
i’m the crappest rider i know (DFL in my last 3 races) but even i find manualling on a bmx much easier, just hang off the back a bit and the front wheel comes up, controlling a manual is the tricky part, getting it started is easy (on a bmx).
on a mountain bike, getting a manual started is much more tricky (in my poorly skilled experience)…
i have wheelie dreams, i can go round corners and everything 🙂Posted 5 years agoqtipSubscriber
I got bored of Andy Barlow from Dirt School’s efforts to teach me to manual, so I wheelied him square in the nuts!
I still can’t manual as I haven’t spent the required time practicing, but having had some training from Andy I know where I’m going wrong and I realise the balance point is way further back than I had thought.Posted 5 years agocitizeninsaneMember
I found this tut quite useful. Game me a better idea of how to push the bike away from me.Posted 5 years ago
Yeah without pedalling I can’t raise the front wheel, that’s the problem.
is this due to your setup? If I get a new frame when fitting the bars stem etc to what feels right, being able to lift the wheel (enough to loop out) without pedalling is always on the check list.
glad I’m not the only one with manual dreams, sometimes I’m riding outdoors but often along corridors at work, offices etc and yep round sharp corners too 🙂Posted 5 years ago
Don’t think we need a dream interpreter to figure this one out.TreksterSubscriber
I can do the sitting on the back wheel bit easy enough but without “pulling” on the bars there is no way the front wheel comes up 😳 Think my brain has had too many bumps and onset of old age means it can only do one thing at a time. 🙄
I can do the lean back, knees bent, push through the pedals. Then the brain says “you are not to pull on bars” At this point every other movement seems to be neutralised ❓
Like gtip I too gave up after some instruction
However I can get myself up and over most obstacles I come across, often by just getting off and pushing 😆Posted 5 years ago
Too old to be embarrassed about anything nowadays 😉tuskaloosaSubscriber
Neither can I…can’t manual, nor wheelie and my bunny hop is extremely lame.
The last time I did try to manual I was learning with All Biked Up, I was clipped in managed to get the wheel up .. smile on my face… 10 ft further down looped out and the memory of the knock scares the crap out of me now.
Now ride with flats but I like PaulB’s idea for some self coaching..Posted 5 years agoJPcapelMember
I would question whether a manual can be taught in a day.
I’d suggest your better trying to crack wheelies first, then move onto coaster wheelies (not pedalling but sitting down wheelies) then think about manuals.
If you can coaster wheelie you’ve, in concept, got a manual covered, other than the method of starting a manual versus a wheelie.
The manual starts without any pull on the bars, moving your weight backwards with straight arms and bent knees and pushing through your feet, then keep it going all through the knees pushing and absorbing the momentum while covering/dragging the back brake for fine control.
I think coaster wheelies, sitting down, while going down hill using the brake for control are the way to start and learn the knack of manuals. Good luck. Takes years of practice rather than 1 day of learning – IMHO.Posted 5 years ago
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