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Help on Manualing the Big Wheel

3201 Views 45 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  steevo
I've been on the 29er for about 2 years now and am committed; however I have been struggling with my manuals. I recently sold my Turner RFX, (68 degree HT angle) and pulling a manual on that was as easy as leaning back a bit and just thinking about raising the front end - up it went. On the Sultan, I really need to muscle the front end up and shift my weight back pretty dramatically - to the point where it feels pretty forced and definitely not smooth. It works OK, but I can't seem to maintain the manual as long as I could on the RFX or get the front end as high. Is it just a trade-off for the bigger wheel and the steeper HT geometry (70 degrees), or is there some trick I'm missing? Since no thread is any good w/o a picture - here's the bike.:D


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i think the trick is called getting a 69er
Try raising the bars up a bit maybe? Steeper stem or a riser bar would make a difference.
Not a 69er fan. More rise on the stem and bar would probably help, but I just recently found my sweet spot by lowering the stem to quicken up the front end handling and climbing ability - maybe it's just not a realistic trade to expect the front end on this bike to lift as easily as it did on the RFX. I was just curious if anybody else had experienced this and modified their riding style a bit.
Its the length of the Chain Stays more than anything on the 29ers...longer chain stays combined with a larger diameter wheel.
Um your seat is pretty high up, lowering it might help. I know it decreases pedaling efficiency some, but it can be kinda fun just riding around standing up and flicking your bike around.
Push Down

I'm not sure if you're talking about the long, showy manual that you might see on a mountain bike video, or if you're just talking about a need-based manual used to get the front wheel in the air for techy ups.

If the latter, I have great luck by loading the front (weight forward and down to compress the shock), then rocking back. Might seem a little deliberate, but with a little practice, you'll find yourself doing it without thinking, and doing it smoothly enough to where you can hold the manual for a decent distance.

If the Former, can't help.

Good luck!
I'm not talking about ultra long manuals - just manualing over trail obstacles - maybe for ten to fifteen feet max. I agree that lowering the seat helps - I do lower it quite a bit when the terrain gets rougher. I'm basically doing what you describe now - a bit of preload and weight shifting back - like a bunny hop w/o lifting the whole bike, just the front end, but it feels pretty strained. I may just try getting my butt farther back and lower down towards the rear tire.
I guess maybe the manuals don't come up as high or as easily as they do on a 26"....but I find that they don't need to come up quite as high. A good unweighted 29er wheel with a good suspension fork seems to go a long way.

Strained doesn't sound good though. Maybe a little more pre-loading, a little more commitment on the lean-back.
batokstate said:
a little more commitment .
I fear commitment:p
get a shorter stem, it help me once with a bike i was having similar problems i always get shorter stems...
mtnbiker72 said:
Its the length of the Chain Stays more than anything on the 29ers...longer chain stays combined with a larger diameter wheel.
...............and bottom bracket drop.

The 69'er comment is probably your best bet if you want that manualing ability. Or 650b on the rear. But I guess you'd need a different rear triangle for the 650b or 26" to help with chainstay length and bottom bracket drop.
I used to be really good at BMX manuals, and I have problems with my 29er; I'm new to the 29er world. The biggest obstacle looks to me to be a HUGE initial pull on the bars/weight shift back. Shouldn't be a big deal with good traction and a disc brake. I'll be trying a lot harder next time out, I think it's the only answer.
I'm convinced manuals and wheelies are genetic. I can't get more than 2 pedal strokes with a wheelie, and I can only manual when I'm going upwards of 25mph... That said, try raising your stem or installing a bar with a higher rise. What everyone else said basically...
I bought a V1 Sultan as well and experienced what I would describe as a heavy front end especially when trying to manual off of rocky ledges in Moab/Fruita. I have since sold the Sultan and purchased a Niner RIP which seems to be better in this department.

I also have a ti 29er hardtail with slider drop outs. I shortened the chain and moved the rear wheel as far forward as possible. This seemed to make a huge difference in the overall feel of the bike and when getting the front end up in all situations even though the level of "chunk" is considerably smaller.

Unfortunately, I think the Sultan just has long chainstays which creates this issue.
It can definitely be done, just takes a bit more rearward movement. I would say my butt is pretty close to the rear tire and the saddle is coming close to my chest, but im probly not THAT far back! Practice wheelies and just do that instead
You can also give a little pedal kick to get the wheel up relatively easily if the manual action is giving you fits. Alot of people learn to lift the front, or manual, with their upper body & there will be a bigger difference between wheel sizes if this is your technique. Technically, you should be creating tension in your hands with your hips & legs. Slam that saddle to the rails & practice! After a while you can raise the saddle back up to a closer to normal height.
iliketoridebikes said:
i think the trick is called getting a 69er
L O L !
cutthroat said:
Is it just a trade-off for the bigger wheel and the steeper HT geometry (70 degrees)
Yes it is simply part of the deal. There is no way a Sultan will manual the same way as an RFX. It will require more work, practice and technique on your part to get the front wheel up. Have fun.
You mean...

Like this?
Or how my wife does it? She had a little help from the small rise.... but still.
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