Manualing for small riders?

Hey Lee,
I read your book, awesome and so is your webpage. I have a problem I have been riding for a long time but just 4 years ago started getting into more aggressive stuff. I have a really hard time with the manual. I am 5’6″ rather short torso do you think this is a disadvantage?

I feel I can’t balance good since I cant get back far enough. I practise on a Short Santa Cruz Jackal with a 50mm stem. I feel the bike is great but the guy hmmm. Any good tips? Hey I supply the beer and BBQ wanna come over and build a pump track? keep up the good work.

Hey Robert.

Taller riders do have an easier time with manuals. They have more room to work, and balance is easier. It’s like balancing an upright broomstick vs. a drinking straw on your finger. (Our friend Van is 6’8″ — he manuals, long, low and lazy; it’s such an event it’s called a Vanual.)

But you can do it.

– Your bike sounds right. A short rider needs a short bike.

– You have to get WAY back there.

– Arms straight.

– Try to rub your butt on the tire. “Engage the third brake.”

Look at this:

Jon Watt is about 6’2″, but he rides a long bike. See his straight arms? Your butt should be down by your tire.

— Lee

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