Can't manual worth a shit can't bunnyhop grrrr- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Can't manual worth a shit can't bunnyhop grrrr

    I have watched all the videos I have read many articles. I know the process. Load the front, explode back with straight arms, lift your feet to raise back wheel. Blah blah blah. I have been practicing over 2 evenings in front of my house on the curb and all I got is 2 really sore forearms that probably require ice from the constant twisting of the wrists. I can lean forward and bunny hop the whole bike maybe 10 inches. I can pop the front wheel over a curb and lift the back wheel up if I am going slow enough because if I am going too fast the rear wheel slams into the curb before I can lift it. Honestly I am not sure I am having much fun lol. I am not sure I need much advice because I am sure most of you are going to offer advice just like what I have already read and watched. This is a 25 lb rigid ss 650B with saint platforms and 510 shoes. Anyone that has ridden for years and has not really mastered the manual or bunny hop? This is frustrating and getting painful to the wrists and forearms.

  2. #2
    I like bacon... (clyde)
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    I think anyone can wheelie and manual, but for some it requires a ton of practice. I am one of these people, I just can't find the balance point, get tired of trying, and give up. Oh well, its still fun to ride without this skill.

    Bunny hopping doesn't require wrist torque, you pull the front wheel up while moving your body down and back, then lunge up and forward with your body while pushing the bars forward and tucking your legs underneath. It's all one fluid motion. I can do this one, but not high enough to be reliable on the trail. Once again, its still fun to ride without this skill.
    Bike: '08 Trek 6500
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    I have watched all the videos I have read many articles. I know the process. Load the front, explode back with straight arms, lift your feet to raise back wheel. Blah blah blah. I have been practicing over 2 evenings in front of my house on the curb and all I got is 2 really sore forearms that probably require ice from the constant twisting of the wrists....
    Keep practicing. It doesn't sound as if you've put in all that much time yet. Not everyone has the same gifts; but I think everyone has potential to learn and improve at their own pace.

    I can wheelie better than most I guess...keeping the front up typically from half a city block to two blocks; but I have not yet mastered the use of the rear brake feathering to really become a wheelie master. And I've been practicing wheelies since I was about 10 on a BMX. A newer member of our club just bought his first mountain bike last summer and till we took him to the recent IMBA summit in Michigan, he'd never ridden outside our local trail network. Yet, he already can out wheelie me by a long shot and was very competitive time wise on downhill technical sections that have long been my strong suit...very humbling for me; but I have to remember the same thing I'm saying to you here. Some just have more of a gift and keep working on refining your gifts.

  4. #4
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    When I was a kid I could do "endless" wheelies on my BMX, meaning I could wheelie until necessity dictated I drop the front. I just had the balance right on that particular bike.

    I only wish I kept that up because in my late teens I stopped riding BMX and now I can wheelie a hardtail for about 3 pedal revolutions. I can't manual. I can hold the front up to clear stuff but that's not "pulling a manual".

    I can bunnyhop stuff, but I cannot do mega awesome trialsy leaps to clear logs.

    I'm also tone deaf and can't hold my liquor. But I still enjoy life.

    I could probably learn to do stuff better than I do those things now but rather than learn piano and how to manual, I'd rather spend time with my wife and kids or just enjoy the ride for what it is.

    Grumps

  5. #5
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I've been mountain biking for 30 years. I've never (ever, ever, ever) been able to hold a wheelie for more than a couple pedal strokes, I can get a manual to roll for 10 or 15 feet, tops (I can get close to the balance point, but I'm too scared of ending up on my crusty old butt to actually get to it) and I never quite got more than a 6-8" bunny hop down real good. All that said, most of the people I ride with think I'm a really good rider, but that's likely because those skills are only a very small subset of skills necessary to ride trails. Getting really good at some of the other stuff lets you get by being less good at some of these things, and vise versa. Keep practicing when you get the chance, but I wouldn't spend so much time you're getting sore over it - often times years of trial and error will pay off just as well in the end as year of dedicated practice.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the confidence boost. I guess I needed that. As a kid I could wheelie my BMX for a long long ways too. It was a smaller bike with shorter chain stays etc. Now on a larger 650B MTB I struggle to get the front wheel up easily. This is of course without pedal assist. I was practicing this way because often on trails I would be going too fast and would be spinning if I tried to assist with my pedals. As far as how good a rider I am, I am pretty decent and can and will accomplish stuff that a lot of my friends can't or won't. I guess I have always had good balance and coordination when it comes to bikes. Yea I think I got that gift for being able to ride hard and do descents over bumps, roots, rocks etc without falling over. But being the next red bull champ on jumps and airborne manuevers I am not lol.

  7. #7
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    bunny hop: i think the rigid setup makes it harder as well. i notice i have to work harder on my rigid bike to clear obstacles than i do on my hardtail.

    with front suspension i preload the fork or press into the bike, compressing the fork and my legs, before springing upwards and if necessary pushing hands forward to help the rear tire clear an obstacle. (i don't use a big twisting motion on the grips, save your wrists, mostly just shoving the handlebars forward.)

    with a rigid bike all you can do is try to compress the tires which isn't much. instead of compressing the fork 3" and getting a spring upwards, you maybe compress the tires .5".

    i know most of the vertical motion should come from your legs and arms, i just think a suspension fork gives you an extra boost.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    two days? give your arms a rest and come back to it in a few days. I learned how to bunnyhop a BMX bike when I was 12-13 years old, and it took me with my skinny teenager arms at least a month to build the strength and technique to hop over a 2x4. manuals on a mountain bike are very difficult to maintain.

  9. #9
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    I've been working on theses skills all year and still cant really do either.
    For the wheelie/manual one thing that's been getting me closer is to actually lean back and look at the sky, if I end up looking up it seems like I'm almost getting it.

    For hops I cannot for the life of me actually get the rear tire off the ground. I almost jump OFF the bike when I give it a good try.

    I'm not super concerned. The ridings the fun part.

  10. #10
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    I don't know if this will work for everyone, but this is how I learned:

    the hardest part about bunnyhopping is getting the rear wheel off the ground. try isolating this movement. ride around and just practice unweighting the rear end of the bike and pushing the handlebar forward. you will end up doing a little nose wheelie, but no brakes are involved. just pop the rear wheel in the air. if you can't do a regular bunnyhop, chances are you are not going to be able to flip yourself OTB this way. your arms will be sore after a while, so give them a rest and try some more another day.

    after you can pop the rear wheel up, combine that with a front wheel pop. ride up to a curb and loft your front wheel onto the ledge. as soon as your front tire lands, shift your weight forward, unweight the back of the bike, and pop your back tire up and loft it onto the curb. if you can do that, you just did a slow-motion bunnyhop. as you get faster with this sequence of motions, you will be able to bunnyhop easily onto small ledges and over rocks. doing it at speed and over higher objects is just a matter of physical strength and cofidence that will come with time.

    watching bunnyhops in slo-mo on youtube might be helpful too https://youtu.be/NsM977afRDU

  11. #11
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    What is the difference between the bunny hop you say you can get 10" of height out of, and the bunny hop you say you can't do?

    I never really figured out how to bunny hop with flats. I can do it just fine with clipless though. The purists are probably cringing about that, but honestly, I don't think it really matters. Manuals on the other hand, I've never been good at. Wheelies either. I should probably spend some time practicing those two skills, though I haven't really seen a need for them in XC racing.

  12. #12
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    I can ride,along and pop small nose wheelie with ease. I just can't seem to do front and rear together. I mean...... I actually can but not high enough to actually be useful. I might be able to trim the fur off a ground squirrels back lol but that's about it. On the crap you watch on you tube these guys are getting 2-3 feet off the ground. That will never happen with me. I can get my front wheel 12" off the ground to clear a log but the rear is guaranteed going to plow right through it and foes everytime lol.

  13. #13
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    If it's any consolation, 3' of vertical WITHOUT a bike is pretty hard for most people. 2' less so, but still only reserved for someone who's fairly fit. Now, strap 25lbs of bike and coordinate a different set of muscles and 2' bunny hop is not something you're going to achieve in only a few days of work.

  14. #14
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    Here's something to seriously consider for us singlespeeders, chainstay length makes a significant and noticeable difference in getting the front end up.

    If you want to learn manuals, you want the shortest possible chainstay length. It is probably worth finding a half-link to shorten it up if possible, if you are struggling.

    Compare chainstay lengths on a park bike vs a DH bike or a freestyle BMX vs. a race BMX, for confirmation.

  15. #15
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    I was not suggesting that you should strive for a 3' hop bike a bmx rider can get hopping over a handrail. my point is that if you are clearing a 6" curb or a 4' rail, the technique is the same. hopping a mountain bike is much more diffcult because of the size and shape of the bike, so you're pretty strong and coordinated if you can get a XC 29er over 12".

  16. #16
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    It took me a few rides of frustration before it suddenly clicked. The transition from manual to hop is challenging because the force required for a good lift is near the threshold for a loop out. Fear of loop out makes committing to the weight transfer more difficult.

    Manuals, donkey kicks, hops, jumps, and trialsy step ups are all variations of the same couple of inputs. Each unlocks new possibilities on every trail you ride and are very much worthwhile to learn. Keep it up. Consider a clinic if possible. Learning new things isn't supposed to be easy, but you will value the result after putting in the investment of effort and time.

  17. #17
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    Like the other here, I can't manual either. I can hold the front wheel up for maybe two pedal strokes max. I can lift the rear wheel (while the front is still on the ground) to get over something. I can only bunny hop at speed over something maybe 4-5 inches high. Anything higher and I have to keep at least one wheel on the ground. First lifting the front then shifting to the rear once the front was back on the ground.

    I think a better skill to learn for trail riding is the track stand. A track stand has saved me many times from losing balance or putting a foot down on a steep technical climb. I've also used it to get out of trouble with other riders like stopping to avoid hitting but maintaining my balance.

    Try a mountain bike skills clinic, they usually teach these concepts as well as balance.

  18. #18
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    I have seen a few mentions of how I am not going to master anything in 2 days. I understand that fellas I was just shocked that I couldn't at least pop a manual high enough that I could sling the bike out from underneath me. I got to take into consideration the stay length as well as the wheel size as some have pointed out. I got too many memories floating through my head of all the crap I used to do on my 20" BMX back in the 80s. I need to get past that and realize I am on a different beast now than I was then.

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