Is Manualing with a slack head angle harder then old school bro?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is Manualing with a slack head angle harder then old school bro?

    So I recently got an ibis hd4 and am enjoying the new style geometry but notice it seems to be really hard to manual and lift the front end. My previous enduro bike was a gen 2 carbon nomad with 26 inch wheels and I found the front end on that easy to lift and hold.

    My hard tail with 70 degree head tube angle and 26 in wheels is also much easier to lift the front end.

    Is the difficulty to do with the new head angle or chain stay or is it just the longer cockpit?
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  2. #2
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    It's a combination of several things. Chainstay length, bottom bracket height (and the relationship between those two) and wheelbase are the three best predictors. But not the only ones.

  3. #3
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    The new bike has a different balance point.

    Keep at it, you'll get there with a day of practice.

  4. #4
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    When I first got my slacker 29er with a steeper HTA, it was harder. For some reason I must have figured it out because now it's easy. I have no idea what I modified technique-wise though. I didn't mess with seat position.

  5. #5
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    Different chainstay length and different reach means your muscle memory doesn't execute the same influence on the bike any longer. Give it some time and it will feel normal again...that length of time will vary for everyone

  6. #6
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    Is it possible that bigger, heavier wheels could be harder to pick up? OP is coming from a 26er, notoriously light and flickable.
    How do I edit this singature?

  7. #7
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    I donít think the slack head angle is the issue. It is the longer frame reach.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  8. #8
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    These stupidly steep STA's will make manuals/wheelies more difficult o_0

    Hey... as long as we're more comfortable whilst climbing, right!?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Is it possible that bigger, heavier wheels could be harder to pick up? OP is coming from a 26er, notoriously light and flickable.

    You have to be careful with generalizations like that -- in both directions. 26" bike pictured.
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  10. #10
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    I'm not sure I understand the relationship between seat tube angle and a manual.

    Isn't it the same as saying "my seat tube is too steep to have effective standing climbing ability".

    I thought a manual was when you are not seated and carrying the front wheel without pedaling.
    IS a manual also a manual when sitting?

  11. #11
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    I own a Ripley. I am not a manual king but have no trouble lifting and holding a short manual on the Ripley. I have ridden my friend's HD4 for a few 20 mile rides now and I have a lot of difficulty lifting the front end. The bike's owner has similar challenges. He has a Ti hardtail that I almost flipped on my first manual attempt. I have no doubt I would master the HD4 manuals with some dedicated practice. I find the differences with manual attempts amazing on different geometries. Feels like balance point and chain stays to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    You have to be careful with generalizations like that -- in both directions. 26" bike pictured.
    He could have that bike with each of those tires filled with gallons of sealant...

    Or he could be riding an older Nomad (as mentioned) with what we can assume is spec'ed in a somewhat normal range. You know, generalizing and all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    These stupidly steep STA's will make manuals/wheelies more difficult o_0

    Hey... as long as we're more comfortable whilst climbing, right!?

    alm2face:

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    I thought the same thing. Then I figured out how my dropper works. Then I put a dropper on my old school SS. It seriously made everything easier/more fun. I really have no issues with modern steep STA, even though I was very skeptical at first.

  14. #14
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    I found that there's virtually no difference between my new STA/Slack bike, my few year old full suspension, and my fatbike. I suck equally at doing manuals on all three of them.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    I found that there's virtually no difference between my new STA/Slack bike, my few year old full suspension, and my fatbike. I suck equally at doing manuals on all three of them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    When I first got my slacker 29er with a steeper HTA, it was harder. For some reason I must have figured it out because now it's easy. I have no idea what I modified technique-wise though. I didn't mess with seat position.
    You do get used to it, but when you ride a bike that's easier to manual you'll feel like you're going to loop out the first few tries. I'm always bouncing between my MTB and street trials bike and the MTB is more difficult at first and the trials bike is ridiculously easy at first, and then I adapt.

    As to the original question, I find that primarily wheelbase (as a function of frame size, not total WB), and then CS are the dominant factors, but CS only has a major effect at the extremes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's a combination of several things. Chainstay length, bottom bracket height (and the relationship between those two) and wheelbase are the three best predictors. But not the only ones.
    This, as well as reach with a steeper seat tube angle. More weight over the front and lower relative to the axles will make manuals more difficult. Steeper seat angle requires more reach, which pushes the center of gravity forward.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    This, as well as reach with a steeper seat tube angle. More weight over the front and lower relative to the axles will make manuals more difficult. Steeper seat angle requires more reach, which pushes the center of gravity forward.
    Seat tube angles have zero effect on manual ability as you're not seated.

  19. #19
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    Still curious -how does seat tube angle affect manuals?
    I thought one was standing for a manual?

    I can't manual so I don't really know but I'm confused how seat tube is important here.

  20. #20
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    I think bottom bracket heights make a huge difference. And the short chainstays.

    My last bike had a 14.8 inch high bottom bracket. It was a monster truck, and it didnt do much well except crawl over rocks. New bike is longer, 2 degrees slacker, steeper STA, 20mm taller fork, and its way easier to manual and wheelie. The new bike is more than an inch lower though, and a decent amount shorter in the CS.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Still curious -how does seat tube angle affect manuals?
    I thought one was standing for a manual?

    I can't manual so I don't really know but I'm confused how seat tube is important here.
    STA itself does NOT affect manuals... the point that was being made is that the new gen of bikes with steeper STA's CONSEQUENTLY HAVE LONGER FRONT CENTERS so as to maintain proper REACH. That shifts the C of G (of the whole bike) forward making it more difficult to lift for manuals! Do you get it now? An example going the other way is jump on a BMX cruiser and manual... I landed on my back before I could even think about rear braking!

    As to the OP's question... if only talking about a HTA change (say with an angleset) then I would say potentially because a slacker HTA will push the front wheel forward shifting the C of G forward slightly. OTOH the reach will diminish which could help getting your weight back so it's probably a wash. For these newer bikes it's a combination of things like mikesee points out. Getting stem length and bar height correct (to hit that balance sweet spot for your body type) is a larger factor if you ask me. If you're having difficulty, move the stem up if you can or try some taller bars. Too long of a stem on newer gen bikes makes it a lot more difficult.

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  22. #22
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    Humm, then maybe the comment should be that the reach is too long instead of saying the seat tube is too steep. LOL

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's a combination of several things. Chainstay length, bottom bracket height (and the relationship between those two) and wheelbase are the three best predictors. But not the only ones.
    Mike has pretty much covered it but to expand on it..
    By manualing you are trying to rotate the bike around the rear axle. Itís just a lever with the rear hub as the fulcrum. Everything that effects your mass in relation to the rear axle as a pivot has an impact.
    the biggest factors will be chainstay length, bottom bracket drop, how low your saddle is and stack/bar height.
    Its a dynamic move so the plane in which your hips move backwards is critical and so also has a large impact (your technique).

    long answer short: No a slack head angle alone will not make a bike harder to manual unless you have abnormally heavy wheels (water filled for ballast????).

    For the the record Iím no manual god but I can pop the front over stuff as required. Itís just basic physics

    I could loop my 29er pivot switchblade with a -2 degree angle set way easier than my shorter lighter 26 inch wheeled hardtail despite itnhaving longer reach heavier tyres and a way slacker head angle. Short chain stays and higher bars were the main reasons.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott2MTB View Post
    Seat tube angles have zero effect on manual ability as you're not seated.
    It does when you have to run a longer front end to compensate for proper pedaling.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    It does when you have to run a longer front end to compensate for proper pedaling.
    I assume your meaning is that a steeper seat angle is usually found on a longer bike, and that longer bikes are harder to manual. The STA has no effect itself, only the fact that steep STA bikes tend to be longer.

    Most functional manuals on the trail don't require a real front wheel lift (bumps and drops/dips) so it's not so tough to overcome that length and once it's up, if the bike isn't too big for the rider, the extra front end weight actually makes it easier to balance.

  26. #26
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    As I mentioned earlier from asking the seat tube question......

    Lets call it what it is then. A longer reach bike, or heck, the top tube as he reason.

    "Oh my gosh, this seat tube is so odd that I can't buy it cause I won't be able to manual" is something nobody ever should say.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott2MTB View Post
    I assume your meaning is that a steeper seat angle is usually found on a longer bike, and that longer bikes are harder to manual. The STA has no effect itself, only the fact that steep STA bikes tend to be longer.

    Most functional manuals on the trail don't require a real front wheel lift (bumps and drops/dips) so it's not so tough to overcome that length and once it's up, if the bike isn't too big for the rider, the extra front end weight actually makes it easier to balance.
    No assumptions necessary. I thought I was pretty clear.. Longer reach means more weight on the front of the bike. This means a more exaggerated rider shift over the back of the bike is necessary to manual, which is generally harder to find the balance point because it is further from the neutral position.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    As I mentioned earlier from asking the seat tube question......

    Lets call it what it is then. A longer reach bike, or heck, the top tube as he reason.

    "Oh my gosh, this seat tube is so odd that I can't buy it cause I won't be able to manual" is something nobody ever should say.
    Sure, but steeper seat tube and longer reach generally go hand in hand.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    No assumptions necessary. I thought I was pretty clear.. Longer reach means more weight on the front of the bike. This means a more exaggerated rider shift over the back of the bike is necessary to manual, which is generally harder to find the balance point because it is further from the neutral position.
    In my opinion, you're mixing two statements. Lifting the front wheel is one thing, finding the balance point you so can stay in the manual is another. I agree that it's harder to lift the front wheel on a longer bike, but it's much easier to find and stay in the balance point for the same reason, minor weight shifts have less effect.

    Conversely, a short bike is generally much easier to manual as it's easier to shift your weight back far enough to lift the front wheel, but it's also easier to loop out on, blowing right past the balance point. When you're in the balance point on a short bike, it's much smaller (wheel size plays into this as well) and easier to fall out of as minor weight shifts have a greater effect.

    But don't take my word for it. For anyone that needs experiential data, go do a couple demos at your local bike shop and manual a large bike for a few rounds then try the same model in a small. I challenge you to find the steepest STA and slackest model possible, just to see how little all the little details matter next to reach/bike size. Then, if you want to really see the difference, go hop on a bmx bike.

    Finally, I'm fine agreeing to disagree. I'm not sure why a non-hostile disagreement required you to negative rep me, but whatever.

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