How to manual – again

Hey lee. I’ve been trying relentlessly to figure out how to manual. For months I can’t seem to get my front wheel high enough, but when I do, I tend to get sideways and lose balance and tip to the side. My pals say I look like I’m too high up but when I get low, I cant seem to lift the wheel.. HELP!! I want so bad to master this trick.

It’s a lot easier to manual between rollers than on flat ground. Get low over the first roller and push your rear wheel into the trough. Some guy named Brian in my old back yard.

Hey Dan,

Ha! I would love to master the manual as well. I can do it just fine for actual riding conditions, but I’m afraid I’ll never manual to the grocery store like half the kids I coach.

Oh well.

I’ve covered this a lot on the site. Read:

Manuals: Help I’m tipping over

Manuals: Get it up

Manuals: Tallness is no excuse

Manualing for smaller riders

If you take a clinic with me, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll get the manual. Probably better than me!

— Lee

PS: Before you meatballs ask questions, please search the archives.

PPS: You want BADLY to master this trick. Badly. Adverb.


9 replies
  1. tommy says:

    The thing that helped me most was pushing your legs into the ground.

    imagine a Teeter totter, if you push down on one side(the pedals), it will lift the other side(front wheel) up.

    practice looping out and landing on your feet! gotta fail before you get it.

  2. chris says:

    it also depends on the kind of bike that you have. for instance, the Shorter your chainstays the easier it is to manual. The longer your chainstays the harder it is. It also helps to watch a lot of videos with manualing in it and see how the good guys do it.

  3. Dale says:

    I think there’s enough how-to videos out there. Better yet, I think this dude should video himself trying to manual then he can see for himself what’s he’s doing wrong. Manuals between rollers and on flat ground is different. Some people make it look so easy, others will never get it. You’ll never learn it on the computer. Go ride.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    There ARE a lot of videos out there, but they all suck at actually teaching the skills. I know how to teach this stuff — I will definitely create the definitive how-to MTB video. But first I gotta finish this BMX book/vid.

  5. Paul says:

    Hey – the best way I ever found to get your balance point is simply get next to a wall (on your bike), pull on the back brake, lean back and pull the front wheel up into a ‘manual’ position then use the wall to lean on and hold the position. Sounds a bit lame I know but the wall lets you catch your balance and gets your mind set on how high your front wheel needs to be. Once you have found the balance point you can play about pushing with your legs, pulling up on the bars etc. After doing thsi for 5 mins or so I found it made me hit the balance point almost straight away when out on the bike. Oh yeah, practice, practice, practice.

  6. liqwid says:

    Until something else is mentioned I’d recommend watching ‘Mastering the Art of Trials’ by Ryan Leech

    and Props How-To Beginner to Intermediate

    Both of these vids have “how to’s” on manualing that helped me a lot.

    There is also (of course) this:

    Which helped/helps out a lot too.

Comments are closed.