Help me get back into a manual

Hi Lee

I’m not getting over my “fear” to lean back properly for manuals.  Or rather, to shift my weight back.
I know about keeping arms straight, not pulling up so much, pre-loading and then pushing back, but i’m not committed enough.  Feels feeble as there’s so little risk of things going wrong.  (Using flats so that’s also limiting damage.)
I’m getting my wheelies done pretty well, although I think I can also move my centre of gravity back some more.
Is there some mental image i can use to get me to move back?
I’ve even tried moving back in an “L”: down first, then back.
I’m pretty short (5’7″) so arm reach apparently will make it a bit more difficult.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi JL!

Thanks for reaching out.

Here are some thoughts:

1. Teachers and YouTubers out there are making manuals way too complicated.

2. To get over your fear of looping out (if that’s an issue), loop out on purpose. Simply go WAY back and, when the bike passes the balance point, step off the rear of the bike. Do this a lot. You’ll lose your fear/tension at the balance point.

3. Try this elliptical path. To me it feels really easy, and it ties into the whole philosophy of moving in ellipses. Learn more at

Tell us how it goes!


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