TOO SCARED to manual :(- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    TOO SCARED to manual :(

    Hi all,

    Is there a "safe" way to practice manuals?

    I can wheelie all day with no problems but every time I try to manual I cannot control my balance and fall off. It has reached to the stage now where I am even too scared to practice manuals as landing butt even on grass hurts

    So...
    is there a safe way to practice manuals?

    cheers

  2. #2
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    google manual machine

  3. #3
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    On a pump track (indoor or outdoors) with a Dirt Jumper. Perfect combination for learning to manual.
    SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  4. #4
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    Flat pedals I hope.
    You're covering the brake right? Try taking up the slack in the brake lever so the engagement is quicker when you feel its going over. Make sure you're using proper form and not trying to pull up with your arms. Pump down and swing back in one smooth motion. Start small and gradually increase until you find the balance point. If you can wheelie well, you should know what you're looking for.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    google manual machine
    Build that one.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyM77LW9qWI

    Then add front strap like that one.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-XE4b-LVxo

  6. #6
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    The manual machine wont work in this instance. His problem is not technique its overcomming the fear once rolling.

    Find a mild grass slope. Put some flat pedals on, knee shin pads. Make sure you rear break works, test it before every manual, Then you know it works!

    Then manual until you start to fall over backwards. Do this on purpose. Use the brake to stop you falling over backwards. Once you are happy you can control yourself from falling over backwards , Slowly apply less brake find the ballance point and add more speed. If you ditch it a few times on the grass its no big deal.

    Then once you have the technique down take your manual to the road/trails.

  7. #7
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    Keep one finger on your rear brake and learn to use it. It's nearly impossible to loop out with a quick pull of the rear brake unless you aren't moving much at all. Also use flat pedals. If it helps you feel more comfortable practice bailing off the back while doing a wheelie with flat pedals.

    You can always strap a thick pillow to your butt.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    The manual machine wont work in this instance. His problem is not technique its overcomming the fear once rolling.

    Find a mild grass slope. Put some flat pedals on, knee shin pads. Make sure you rear break works, test it before every manual, Then you know it works!

    Then manual until you start to fall over backwards. Do this on purpose. Use the brake to stop you falling over backwards. Once you are happy you can control yourself from falling over backwards , Slowly apply less brake find the ballance point and add more speed. If you ditch it a few times on the grass its no big deal.

    Then once you have the technique down take your manual to the road/trails.
    ok cheers. I will try and practice this method.
    The thing is I'm not really used to using rear brakes for wheelies either because even when I feather It, the front will fall down immediately.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Keep one finger on your rear brake and learn to use it. It's nearly impossible to loop out with a quick pull of the rear brake unless you aren't moving much at all. Also use flat pedals. If it helps you feel more comfortable practice bailing off the back while doing a wheelie with flat pedals.

    You can always strap a thick pillow to your butt.
    do you think I will find the balance point easier going on a faster speed than a slower speed?
    btw I bail out of wheelies all the time since I rarely use the rear brake but If feel that I have more "control" when I wheelie than when I manual. eg: when I am munualing at high speed I cannot bail out. I

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by admiral01 View Post
    when I am munualing at high speed I cannot bail out.

    I would recommend practicing at slower speeds that are easy to bail on until you get it down and then gradually increase speed.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  11. #11
    aka bOb
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    I built a manual machine and got very good at it but none of it actually carried over to an actual manual. Looking back now I think I should have taken the chain off.

  12. #12
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    Get used to applying the brake, You dont want to loop out onto the tarnac ar 50 kph tearing a high speed manual down a street past some hot chicks.

    PS some brakes are better than others. Shimano's are a lot harder than guides or avids.

    But it still can be done. Go intermediate speed. Too slow and yourl flop to the side, too fast and it will hurt if you stuff it up.

    PS practice the fall over backwards brake apply doing wheelies slow first. Then move to the manual.

  13. #13
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    Ultimately high speed is best. Just more pain if you stuff up.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Get used to applying the brake, You dont want to loop out onto the tarnac ar 50 kph tearing a high speed manual down a street past some hot chicks.
    Pain is temporary and chicks dig scars.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Ultimately high speed is best. Just more pain if you stuff up.
    This. High speed has a better gyro effect, especially when leaning left/right, but ultimately you'll still want to work up to it. Intermediate speed seems to be a decent compromise.

  16. #16
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    This will sound weird, but my son struggled with just doing wheelies for a long time.
    One day we changed out his seat due to damage, and he tried a wheelie and immediately commented it was far easier to balance.

    He used to drop the front wheel consistently after 15-20 feet. Shortly after the new seat, he hit 175 feet (ran out of room in the parking lot).

    He never commented that the seat felt different during rides, so I really don't know what to "blame" for the change, but I'd have to assume seat angle (?)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by admiral01 View Post

    So...
    is there a safe way to practice manuals?

    cheers
    No dig no whine

  18. #18
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    I don't know about "safe" but having been riding again for awhile (since last fall) after never really being any good at manuals ... even in my teens / twenties... (now 49 and big 260~lbs 6'3")

    well.. i finally said YOLO and tried it on a fire road... and what do you know.. got it first try not very far mind you couple bike lengths... did a 2nd one also worked... I was quite pleased with myself...

    I don't think anyone should stress out about trying to manual unless they have been riding a bit and are getting pretty comfortable on the bike..

    my wife's female friend tried to pressure her to learn how to manual on her very first mtb ride a while ago.. ended badly with a OTB crash.. took me a good long time to convince my wife to try mtb again... just last few weeks she has been willing to ride at all.... and I think the manual mishap has made her much more timid then would be the case otherwise..

  19. #19
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    I built a manual trainer last week and my first attempts to get the bike into a manual were humbling to say the least. Looks like I have a lot of work to do. Let's just say that overdoing it and coming off the back is not an issue at this point. I consider myself a reasonably decent rider. I have no issue dealing with black and double black trails, gnar, drops, etc. and I'm pretty decent at wheelies but holy hell, I'm finding the manual really hard.

  20. #20
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    get a dumpy old bike and practice on that thing daily, on grass. so when you toss the bike a) it won't matter and b) unlikely to break anything

    once you can do it solidly, swap to your real bike will be a very short learning curve
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Ron Hoover View Post
    I built a manual trainer last week and my first attempts to get the bike into a manual were humbling to say the least. Looks like I have a lot of work to do. Let's just say that overdoing it and coming off the back is not an issue at this point. I consider myself a reasonably decent rider. I have no issue dealing with black and double black trails, gnar, drops, etc. and I'm pretty decent at wheelies but holy hell, I'm finding the manual really hard.
    Seems that a lot of people are putting an emphasis on manuals lately. I think they're is a show trick for the most part... unless you're racing bmx or riding pumptrack. Being able to pick the front up and back wheel pump or wheelie up onto something is a valuable skill, but holding the front off the ground is mostly just for looks.

    Looks cool. Wish I could do them better. Doubt it would make me any better or faster though.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Seems that a lot of people are putting an emphasis on manuals lately. I think they're is a show trick for the most part... unless you're racing bmx or riding pumptrack. Being able to pick the front up and back wheel pump or wheelie up onto something is a valuable skill, but holding the front off the ground is mostly just for looks.

    Looks cool. Wish I could do them better. Doubt it would make me any better or faster though.

    Just to clarify, a Wheelie is when you sit and pedal with the front wheel off the ground. A manual is when you coast with the front wheel off the ground typically standing up not seated.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-McFIAlP0Ow


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEd1KOTEkvg


    The manual skill is far more important that the wheelie skill. If you can confidently manual then you can take on any drop that requires nose up. Manuallng through rollers and features is often the fastest, safest way.


    Plus manualling is harder and cooler than the wheelie.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Just to clarify, a Wheelie is when you sit and pedal with the front wheel off the ground. A manual is when you coast with the front wheel off the ground typically standing up not seated.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-McFIAlP0Ow


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEd1KOTEkvg


    The manual skill is far more important that the wheelie skill. If you can confidently manual then you can take on any drop that requires nose up. Manuallng through rollers and features is often the fastest, safest way.


    Plus manualling is harder and cooler than the wheelie.
    You're getting tied up in semantics. I mention wheelie is a broad sense. Pulling front up for short period over or off an obstacle without pedaling is not really considered a manual within my riding circles. Pumping rollers on the back wheel... now that's a manual.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    You're getting tied up in semantics. I mention wheelie is a broad sense. Pulling front up for short period over or off an obstacle without pedaling is not really considered a manual within my riding circles. Pumping rollers on the back wheel... now that's a manual.
    If you can hold the wheel up without it dropping that's a manual in my world. Sure you don't need to manual drops. But the manual technique and skill assures you supreme nose up holding skill for victory or death slow drops.

    Another place for the manual is high speed rollers/undulations. Sometimes I pre manual to drop the nose over the lip and pump through the roller, other times its manualing between or out the other side. There's deffonately stuff that manualing is the better way.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    You're getting tied up in semantics. I mention wheelie is a broad sense. Pulling front up for short period over or off an obstacle without pedaling is not really considered a manual within my riding circles. Pumping rollers on the back wheel... now that's a manual.
    You're both tied up in semantics!

    Let's say 'manual technique' versus 'manual' maybe. When I hit drops I use the manual technique, but unless I get a bike length or two before going off the drop (which can look awesome) I don't call it a manual.

    Manual technique is HUGE for riders who want to get into drops because once you have it down well the worst possible scenario, letting the front wheel drop and ending up on your head, just isn't really possible unless you REALLY screw up.

    Wheelie drops (literally riding a wheelie off the drop) are useful for super slow drops but for someone trying to learn to drop it's not going to be a helpful skill since it makes it tough to be in good position.

    So yes, I'd argue that manuals are a more vital skill than wheelies - if only because they help you develop good manual technique.

    OP - It's all about the back brake. Practice going too far (I'd practice with wheelies first since you're comfortable with those) then grabbing the brake to slam you back down. Once you get that feeling instinctive it becomes pretty damn hard to go off the back.

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