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So I recently got an ibis hd4 and am enjoying the new style geometry but notice it seems to be really hard to manual and lift the front end. My previous enduro bike was a gen 2 carbon nomad with 26 inch wheels and I found the front end on that easy to lift and hold.

My hard tail with 70 degree head tube angle and 26 in wheels is also much easier to lift the front end.

Is the difficulty to do with the new head angle or chain stay or is it just the longer cockpit?
 

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It's a combination of several things. Chainstay length, bottom bracket height (and the relationship between those two) and wheelbase are the three best predictors. But not the only ones.
 

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When I first got my slacker 29er with a steeper HTA, it was harder. For some reason I must have figured it out because now it's easy. I have no idea what I modified technique-wise though. I didn't mess with seat position.
 

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Different chainstay length and different reach means your muscle memory doesn't execute the same influence on the bike any longer. Give it some time and it will feel normal again...that length of time will vary for everyone
 

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Is it possible that bigger, heavier wheels could be harder to pick up? OP is coming from a 26er, notoriously light and flickable.
 

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These stupidly steep STA's will make manuals/wheelies more difficult o_0

Hey... as long as we're more comfortable whilst climbing, right!?

:palm2face:

Sent from my Nokia X6
 

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Is it possible that bigger, heavier wheels could be harder to pick up? OP is coming from a 26er, notoriously light and flickable.
You have to be careful with generalizations like that -- in both directions. 26" bike pictured.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the relationship between seat tube angle and a manual.

Isn't it the same as saying "my seat tube is too steep to have effective standing climbing ability".

I thought a manual was when you are not seated and carrying the front wheel without pedaling.
IS a manual also a manual when sitting?
 

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I own a Ripley. I am not a manual king but have no trouble lifting and holding a short manual on the Ripley. I have ridden my friend's HD4 for a few 20 mile rides now and I have a lot of difficulty lifting the front end. The bike's owner has similar challenges. He has a Ti hardtail that I almost flipped on my first manual attempt. I have no doubt I would master the HD4 manuals with some dedicated practice. I find the differences with manual attempts amazing on different geometries. Feels like balance point and chain stays to me.
 

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You have to be careful with generalizations like that -- in both directions. 26" bike pictured.
He could have that bike with each of those tires filled with gallons of sealant...

Or he could be riding an older Nomad (as mentioned) with what we can assume is spec'ed in a somewhat normal range. You know, generalizing and all.
 

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These stupidly steep STA's will make manuals/wheelies more difficult o_0

Hey... as long as we're more comfortable whilst climbing, right!?

:palm2face:

Sent from my Nokia X6
I thought the same thing. Then I figured out how my dropper works. Then I put a dropper on my old school SS. It seriously made everything easier/more fun. I really have no issues with modern steep STA, even though I was very skeptical at first.
 

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When I first got my slacker 29er with a steeper HTA, it was harder. For some reason I must have figured it out because now it's easy. I have no idea what I modified technique-wise though. I didn't mess with seat position.
You do get used to it, but when you ride a bike that's easier to manual you'll feel like you're going to loop out the first few tries. I'm always bouncing between my MTB and street trials bike and the MTB is more difficult at first and the trials bike is ridiculously easy at first, and then I adapt.

As to the original question, I find that primarily wheelbase (as a function of frame size, not total WB), and then CS are the dominant factors, but CS only has a major effect at the extremes.
 

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It's a combination of several things. Chainstay length, bottom bracket height (and the relationship between those two) and wheelbase are the three best predictors. But not the only ones.
This, as well as reach with a steeper seat tube angle. More weight over the front and lower relative to the axles will make manuals more difficult. Steeper seat angle requires more reach, which pushes the center of gravity forward.
 

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I think bottom bracket heights make a huge difference. And the short chainstays.

My last bike had a 14.8 inch high bottom bracket. It was a monster truck, and it didnt do much well except crawl over rocks. New bike is longer, 2 degrees slacker, steeper STA, 20mm taller fork, and its way easier to manual and wheelie. The new bike is more than an inch lower though, and a decent amount shorter in the CS.
 
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