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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often hear people saying things about a given bike such as "That bike is a dream to manual" and "It's so hard to wheelie" etc. Are comments like these really that accurate? Is there a big difference between bikes. What can one do to make their ride better for this?

Here's what I can think of that would help:
Short Chainstays - gets you lower to the ground (Evil Imperial, Cannondale Chase etc.)
24" Wheels - Also lowers your center of mass (I don't want 24's but others might)

Maybe:
Front End Height? (Higher = easier to pull up???)
Crank length? Seems vary minor if anything (keeps your legs slightly more symetrical??)
Hardtail - Is this better than a FS? Why? (Cuz on the FS your balance point is constantly changing, is this a big deal?)(Is spring stiffness a big factor?)
Overall weight? (Lighter = body movements affect bike more?)
Handlebar width - Wider = more stable left/right.
A easy to manual bike will also be easy to wheelie for the same reasons right?
 

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A light fork and front wheel helps a lot too, it's pretty wild to compare to a heavy front end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any thoughts on how a FS compares to a hardtail? I've heard opinions for both sides but it seems to me like a HT would be easier. Does a platform shock help at all?
 

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i should be working
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i can manual my hardtail and my FS equally well, heres what i can say

FS, stinky w/ jrt 42 lbs
its a little harder to pull up because of the weight.
handles better at high speeds.
doesnt get blown around in the wind as much.
not as responsive

HT, P1
super responsive
easy to pull up
easy to bunnyhop to manual
gets blown around when its windy

when i'm on th HT i usually dont need any brake for corrections because its so responsive. the FS is tricky because of the delay between your movements and the response of the bike cause by the rear shock. as far as chainstay length and all those other factors i dont see much difference. any DJ or FR geometry is going to be pretty friendly. its those tall XC bikes that take a fine touch to stay up.

i think stem lenght has alot to do with it also, i cant manual my trials more than 10 ft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should have my Rocky Mountain Switch Ltd. completed by mid next week so it'll be interesting to compare to my Kona Roast hardtail. I'm guessin my switch will be pretty easy for a FS bike (not that I'm great at manuals or anything. A good one is 10-15 ft and I can't bunny hop to manual) because it's got:
50mm stem
Light Front End (Marz. Z1 Fr1, fairly light Maxxis Holy Rollers on Sun MTX rims)
Overall weight = 38lbs.
Shock has a fairly stiff spring (800lbs with a 3.4:1 leverage ratio) and Push industries turned it into a platform shock for me (if this matters).
17.1" Chainstays.

Are there any setup tips that'll make manuals/wheelies a bit easier?
 

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gnar, brah
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In my experience the difficulty (or lack of) goes something like this:

1: Freeride hardtail. It's pretty much built for this, the short chainstays help a lot, and the seat is low and out of the way. Way, way high manualing position for me. In short, really easy, and handles nice. Anyone can get the hang of wheelies on this bike.

2: Full-suspension Freeride. Once you get up you can stay a while, but there is a lot of pulling and pedaling to be done because the front end is so heavy. The manualing position on this bike is pretty low for me. You can tell this bike would rather jump off of stuff though.

3: Full-suspension XC. It's a full ten pounds lighter than the other two, so it's really finicky about where you put it. Amazingly nimble on two wheels, but a picky b;tch on one. The seat is high and can get caught on your pants. Haven't found the manualing position, besides, when I'm on the trail this bike is nearly always going too fast for me to think about manualing.

Anyway, I can tell a distinct diffence in the way all three of these bikes manual, in fact I can tell a difference between my Funky Monkey hardtail and my friend's P.2 hardtail. Nearly every bike is different -- it boils down to geometry, weight, and the rider.
 

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gnar, brah
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dandurston said:
I should have my Rocky Mountain Switch Ltd. completed by mid next week so it'll be interesting to compare to my Kona Roast hardtail. I'm guessin my switch will be pretty easy for a FS bike (not that I'm great at manuals or anything. A good one is 10-15 ft and I can't bunny hop to manual) because it's got:
50mm stem
Light Front End (Marz. Z1 Fr1, fairly light Maxxis Holy Rollers on Sun MTX rims)
Overall weight = 38lbs.
Shock has a fairly stiff spring (800lbs with a 3.4:1 leverage ratio) and Push industries turned it into a platform shock for me (if this matters).
17.1" Chainstays.

Are there any setup tips that'll make manuals/wheelies a bit easier?
You're putting Holy Rollers on this bike? Are you going to use it for urban or DJ, cause that is what I thought Holy Rollers were for...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah it's basically an urban freerider with a few DJ sessions in there and the odd hardpack XC ride. There's not many north shore style trails in southern ontario. They're also pretty light at 680g for a 26 x 2.4". I've also got a Kona Roast HT for urban stuff but I just gotta have a FS bike for stairgaps and big drops to flat (I once rode 8.5 feet to flat pavement on my HT and it's not fun if you don't do it perfect.
 

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Bob Saget Fan
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Just a little correction....

dandurston said:
I often hear people saying things about a given bike such as "That bike is a dream to manual" and "It's so hard to wheelie" etc. Are comments like these really that accurate? Is there a big difference between bikes. What can one do to make their ride better for this?

Here's what I can think of that would help:
Short Chainstays - gets you lower to the ground (Evil Imperial, Cannondale Chase etc.)
24" Wheels - Also lowers your center of mass (I don't want 24's but others might)

Maybe:
Front End Height? (Higher = easier to pull up???)
Crank length? Seems vary minor if anything (keeps your legs slightly more symetrical??)
Hardtail - Is this better than a FS? Why? (Cuz on the FS your balance point is constantly changing, is this a big deal?)(Is spring stiffness a big factor?)
Overall weight? (Lighter = body movements affect bike more?)
Handlebar width - Wider = more stable left/right.
A easy to manual bike will also be easy to wheelie for the same reasons right?
Having a lower center of gravity will make the bike more difficult to manual, the higher the C.G is from the axles, the more leverage you get. You can test that out by trying a manual standing up high and then at almost seat level. The bigest factors are the chainstay lenght, the top tupe lenght and the stem lenght. Having all of these short will help you alot
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How come manualing on a BMX seems so much easier than a mtn bike if you want a higher center of gravity? Or are all the BMX'ers i know just abnormally good? Also wouldn't you want longer chainstays then so that they lift you higher??
 

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No Clue Crew
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The most important bike factor for manualing (as opposed to wheelying) is short chainstays. Well, for me anyway. I can manual much better on my new Flow than on my old (long chainstays) HT.
d
 

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Da Bikoholic said:
Having a lower center of gravity will make the bike more difficult to manual, the higher the C.G is from the axles, the more leverage you get. You can test that out by trying a manual standing up high and then at almost seat level. The bigest factors are the chainstay lenght, the top tupe lenght and the stem lenght. Having all of these short will help you alot
I kinda have to dissagree with you there you do not want to be very high up in the air if it was that easy we would all be wheeling tandems. Also do youself A favor and put your clipless pedals away for awhile and throw on the platforms. Why do you ask? cause you need all the movment possible. hardtails are the way to go IMO you do not want A bunch of slop from an 8'' bike floping all around I have V brakes but I would really like to have disks on on bike for the very purpose of wheeling,manualing or whatever you want to call it. Also my saddle is not up that high you tend fall over side to side when it is. I have been doing wheelies for almost 20 years now you tend to stick with works with you.
 

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Bob Saget Fan
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dandurston said:
How come manualing on a BMX seems so much easier than a mtn bike if you want a higher center of gravity? Or are all the BMX'ers i know just abnormally good? Also wouldn't you want longer chainstays then so that they lift you higher??
I already answered that. BMX's have really short chain stays, they have shorter top tubes and they have really short stems. I still stand behing my point that having a higher center of gravity will help you to get on your rear will. Its just a fact, you have to consider the physics. Think of your bike acelerating, when your really high( legs fully extended) and you climb, your front wheel will lift of the ground, but when you get lower on the bike, the front wheel stays on the ground. Its just how things work. Thats also why high pivots double suspension bikes squat less when they accelerate then lower pivots bikes ( whitout the effects of the chain of course ). Try holding a 10 foot pole with a weight at the top perfectly vertical, then try witha 2 foot pole, its gonna be way easier with the shorter pole. Wich proves my point. Chears!
 

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Bob Saget Fan
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ymerej said:
I kinda have to dissagree with you there you do not want to be very high up in the air if it was that easy we would all be wheeling tandems. Also do youself A favor and put your clipless pedals away for awhile and throw on the platforms. Why do you ask? cause you need all the movment possible. hardtails are the way to go IMO you do not want A bunch of slop from an 8'' bike floping all around I have V brakes but I would really like to have disks on on bike for the very purpose of wheeling,manualing or whatever you want to call it. Also my saddle is not up that high you tend fall over side to side when it is. I have been doing wheelies for almost 20 years now you tend to stick with works with you.
wow wait a minute, thats not at all what i wanted to say. Maybe my words weren't clear at all. When i talk about a high center of gravity, that's whit the bike horizontal to the ground, like before the manual..........Nothing to do with tendems and stuff. Also, i don't run clipless pedals and i can manual almost as long as i want. I never said the bike had to be high in the air neigther. Also, having the saddle high will help you to get the front end in the air, but having the sadle lower will help with side to side stability. But for the ease of getting the front end in the air, a higher C.G will help a lot. When i refer to a high center of gravity, i mean the distance between the axles of the bike and the average of the mass of the rider and the bike when it is on flat ground standing on its 2 wheels. When i manual, i begin by standing tall on my pedals to get the front end up, and then i get as low as i can, i get my butt behind the saddle and lower too. The idea is to keep your weight behind the rear axle WHEN YOUR ARE IN A MANUAL POSITION. hehe i just want to be clear here. I hope you understood what i meant even thought my english is bad :( . Chears!!!!!
 

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.WestCoastHucker. said:
would someone please explain how having the rear axle closer to the bottom bracket makes you closer to the ground.....
If your at 90*, and say the chainstays are 15.75 rather than 17'', youre 1 1/4" closer to the ground... Get it? But that is minimal, your main advantages to short stays are easier to get the front wheel off the ground meaning less effort to manual...
 

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Say Car Ramrod!!
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Red Bull said:
If your at 90*, and say the chainstays are 15.75 rather than 17'', youre 1 1/4" closer to the ground... Get it? But that is minimal, your main advantages to short stays are easier to get the front wheel off the ground meaning less effort to manual...
who manuals with their chainstays at a 90 degree angle to the ground? unless they are looping out.
 
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