Teach me to manual!

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  • Teach me to manual!
  • PJay
    Member

    I’ve been riding for quite a few years now, but it’s really just been about getting out in the open and enjoying the scenery; I have virtually no ‘skills’!

    As I’m in my mid 40s I’m never going to be good, but I do fancy trying to be a bit more adventurous and manualling seems a fundamental skill and a good place to start.

    Having read some skills magazines and watch some videos the trick seems to be in the legs pushing your body weight away from the bike (rather than yanking on the bars) but I’m not being very successful. Is it just a case of practice or are there any other things to think about?

    I also tend to ride with a fairly high saddle in a moderately stretched position so moving body weight over the back wheel isn’t as fluid a motion as it might be.

    Trimix
    Member

    Get a dropper post, then go riding with others that ride the way you want to.

    Learning how to unweight the front is a worthy skill. Learning how to roll along for ages on the back wheel looks cool, but wont help in general riding.

    Remember, you dont want to move your weight back, you want to drop the center of gravity when the going gets difficult or down hill. Its a misconception that you need to hang your ass off the back. Stay inbetween the wheels so ensure you can still get grip for the front to steer and brake. Hanging way off the back with a high saddle wont drop the center of gravity, all it will do is lighten the front so it no longer brakes and steers well.

    You will need do drop your saddle.

    Try a shorter stem, wider bars and a dropper post.

    Sod watching the vids and reading the books, you have to learn the hard way – go and experiment with your style, set up and technique and ride with others who can already ride the way you want to.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    My top tips would be:
    Don’t practice using SPDs (it hurts)
    Learn brake control to stop from over-rotating backwards

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Trimix – Member
    Get a dropper post, then go riding with others that ride the way you want to.

    Learning how to unweight the front is a worthy skill. Learning how to roll along for ages on the back wheel looks cool, but wont help in general riding.

    Someone can’t manual.

    It’s all about throwing (really throwing) your arse out the back off the bike. Feet pushing back of pedals, this will naturally cause the front to rise so you don’t need to pull up. At first it will seem like a major effort is needed to get the front up but as you get used to it it will get easier.

    eightyeight
    Member

    You will throw your bike in frustration more than once if you’re determined to learn how to manual!

    Put you’re saddle down to start with. I think of it as a reverse ‘L’ shape. Pump your legs down and then straighten your arms forcing yourself backside behind your saddle – but not actually pulling on the handlebars

    If you don’t use flats, start. The fear of looping out when running clipless will stop you putting in a good pump.

    People always mention feathering the brake to help keep balance. But if you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t worry about.

    Good luck, and you are right it’s pretty essential skill. If you can’t manual, you can’t bunny hop (properly), if you can’t bunny hop you can’t jump (properly)….

    alpin
    Member

    Someone can’t manual.[/quote

    :-)]

    superfli
    Member

    Lifer +1

    I cant manual at all, but interested in learning. Someone posted a link to a site with photos to teach and after following that I could easily get the front up and was then just a case of balance/brake control to continue rolling. I’m going to need a number of practice sessions to be able to, but I understand the technique. Its a case of pushing the bars away from you as you get your ahole over the rear wheel, front just comes up. Finger on the rear brake and saddle low, using flats!

    blahblahblah
    Member

    I can manual acceptably for 1-3 seconds. I still struggle with getting the balance point perfect for longer. 1-3 seconds is plenty of ability for improving riding on trails IMO.

    The best tip I can give you is watching this video for the first 2 minutes:

    http://youtu.be/oVZL1u7OqD0

    The motion demonstrated with the hips here using a kettle bell is perfect for getting up into a solid manual. As soon as I watched this video and then thought about the same motion on my bike my manualing became more consistent.

    Once you can ‘get it up’ reliably you just need to keep improving your balance. There’s no short cuts for that part.

    jwab
    Member

    There is a previous thread with a link to some instructions that seemed to make sense to me and might help.

    I am trying to improve my skills as well and suspected that my bike (full sus) and set up / sizing could be wrong – certainly easier to blame your tools first!!

    But, got a cotic soul in the right size (cheers Paul at cotic for all the advice) and first ride out tried to manual and ended up coming straight off the back. Seated wheelies and the beginning of a manual is so easy in comparison to my last bike it is ridiculous, now i just need to learn to control it!!

    Try to find the previos post and then think about your setup / bike size as that could be holding you back.

    eightyeight
    Member

    I’m going to need a number of practice sessions to be able to,

    You will become obsessed with it. Unless you’ve got a real knack for it, it will probably take you the next 6-9 months!

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Yeah full sus will make it more difficult as the rear will compress as you ‘push’

    Watch BMX videos as the action is more exagerrated.

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