Sovereign – Why is my bike hard to manual and wheelie?

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  • Sovereign – Why is my bike hard to manual and wheelie?
  • Stevelol

    It sounds like you’ve thought of most things. Is the bike the right size for you? I used to have a Sov, I cannot ‘manual’ properly, but front wheel lifts are easy, and I had no problems with mine.

    I’m 6ft and ride a large frame. Any smaller and I wouldn’t be able to ride it for very long, as it’s a short bike.

    I’m wondering if the Blue Pig just suits my physique/weight balance better?

    My bike takes a real effort to manual and wheelie. I’m not really bothered about wheelies, I’m too old, but a manual is a useful tool. It seems way to hard compared with other bikes I’ve ridden. Before all the riding gods start questioning technique, a friend has a Blue Pig X that I find very easy to manual and easy to balance.

    The bike is an Evil Sovereign, which is supposed to be a ‘manual happy’ playful trail bike, but it just doesn’t seem that way. Even lifting the front over obstacles takes a big lean back and big upwards tug on the bars. The blue pig just lifts the front wheel with a lean back.

    I’m running Rev single airs, Single Ply lightish tyres, Flows, short stem, wide bars (740), so I’m not sure it’s a weight issue. The rear stays are adjusted about halfway which is a good compromise, and still short.

    Not really sure what else there is to change?


    Just practise more!

    If we are talking about Flatland manuals, then you simply need to get your body+bike CofG directly over the centre of the rear wheel. If the top tube is longer, the bars lower, the seat higher, the BB lower etc, all those will change how much and how far you need to move to find the balance point. Generally for me, thinking about “pushing the bike forwards out from under me, using straight(ish) legs” helped a lot as compared to think about “pulling the front up”. This is because if you keep your normal position, then you need to get up to a very steep angle to move the CofG backwards enough.

    Get out, find a flat (soft!) grass field and start using some body language!! 😉

    Van Halen

    lower BB on the sov? will have a big effect.


    Iv had about 10 bikes down the years and they have all been impossible to wheelie. I’m still waiting to find one that works. Cynics often claim user error but I don’t believe them!

    Thanks for responses. I don’t struggle with the technique, I just find it harder on the sovereign. I think it’s easier on the blue pig as your weight seems naturally further back on the bike to start with. If I stand up on the Sov, my head is over the front of the bike for example, so I guess it’s just more effort required, and more leaning back.

    Premier Icon ryan_c

    i’m 6ft on a large sov and have similar set up, (140mm revs)but i have the chainstays as short as possible and have no major issues manualling. Maybe try shortening the stays to see if that improves things? Also what travel are the revs running at?

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    The Sov should be easier to manual as it has shorter chainstays.

    The front wheel is harder to get up on my blue pig compared to my old PA.

    Revs are 150mm.

    I will try shortening the stays.

    Yeah the Sov should be easier, it’s got a shallower seat tube angle too which should also help.

    It just feels heavy to get up, the Blue Pig feels much lighter, but has almost an identical setup and a heavier fork. 😕


    I have 3 mountain bikes and my Sovereign is by far the easiest to get the front wheel up. As Ryan C said, my suggestion would certsinly be to get your chainstays as short as possible. I’ve got a 140mm FOX on the front with a 70mm stem.


    Short stays make a world of difference! Personally I’d have gone for a medium frame at 6ft.

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