Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

Registered
Joined
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I built a manual trainer and I was able to balance myself the same day after an hour of trying it. I can balance myself for a minute.

On the same day I built the manual trainer, I also practiced manual on the street. I didn't get it. I've been practicing it daily and today is my 8th day practicing it on the street with no luck. I watched every youtube tutorial and followed them. It looks like I can only lift the front maybe 1 foot high from ground then goes down real quick after a second. My butt I guess is 8 inches to 1 foot from the rear tire. I make sure I preload the front wheel but I am not sure why I am unable to do manual on the street. Sigh 馃槬I'd be happy if it least I can stay 2-3 seconds, LOL. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?
 

Registered
Joined
1,732 Posts
Watched a video a few years ago which really helped me by explaining that you want to get low first then pull back, I was just yanking back. .. For me that was the critical step.
 

Freezer
Joined
442 Posts
Did you take the chain off your bike when using the trainer? If not, you need to. That said, I built a manual trainer and found it did basically nothing for learning to actually manual. Get as subscription to Ryan Leech's training app and practice, practice, practice.
 

Registered
Joined
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you take the chain off your bike when using the trainer? If not, you need to. That said, I built a manual trainer and found it did basically nothing for learning to actually manual. Get as subscription to Ryan Leech's training app and practice, practice, practice.
Yes, I took out the chain. I couldn't tell the difference. It was both easy, with chain and without chain. I was able to lift the bike and balance for more than a minute using the manual trainer.
 

Registered
Joined
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Watched a video a few years ago which really helped me by explaining that you want to get low first then pull back, I was just yanking back. .. For me that was the critical step.
I totally agree. The balance is easy but to get to the balance point is the hardest part. Maybe in few more weeks, my muscles will get used to it. I'm honesty preloading then with the help of the waist, I use it to bring some force back which helps. I guess, I should aim for something that will force me all the way back and off my bike, then my feet on the ground. I'm also thinking the bike is big for me though I can balance it using my manual trainer.
 

Registered
Joined
277 Posts
Watch some more videos, reading some more tips help but the most important thing is to keep practicing even though it doesn鈥檛 seem to be working. Body will do many things wrong first before it figures out what鈥檚 right. It will take weeks, if not months before you get there. Nobody learns to manual over night.
 

Registered
Joined
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have new updates. I changed the way I was pulling the bike using my manual trainer. I lowered my butt and more closer to the rear tire and more behind the seat when pulling it. OMG, It was easier to pull the bike(like it was light) but now I'm always over, LOL! I'll try the same technique tomorrow.
 

Registered
Joined
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Watch some more videos, reading some more tips help but the most important thing is to keep practicing even though it doesn鈥檛 seem to be working. Body will do many things wrong first before it figures out what鈥檚 right. It will take weeks, if not months before you get there. Nobody learns to manual over night.
A youtuber said it took him 2 months to get it. I'll keep doing it even if it takes me a year. I want to learn it :)
 

Registered
Joined
12 Posts
The manual trainer is locking your rear wheel in place and removing any of the psychological aspects of manualing like looping out or washing out the front if you veer too much to one side in the air.

The manual is a complex movement that requires you to get the wheel off the ground, have your body in a balanced position to be able to maintain the raised wheel and also avoid too much lateral movement. The manual trainer eliminates a lot of the difficulty which is why a lot of people think they are worthless.

I can't manual very well at all but when you get the initial movement correct its entirely effortless. Your weight shift is doing the work. The hard part for me is keeping the wheel up and avoiding going left or right in the air. As others have said, just practice. Ditch the manual machine and just practice them.
 

Registered
Joined
42 Posts
A youtuber said it took him 2 months to get it. I'll keep doing it even if it takes me a year. I want to learn it :)
Some bikes are harder to manual than others, but never impossible. The biggest difference make the chainstay length, stem length and even seat height. Bike's geometry can impact manuals big time.
Good luck and keep trying, work those manuals!
 

Registered
Joined
327 Posts
If it makes you feel any better, I spent the first part of COVID practicing manuals, wheelies and track stands for at least 20 minutes/day, usually significantly more, over a couple of months. I'm still no expert now. It takes a ton of practice.
  • My track stands on the driveway are awesome. Carry-over to the trail is so-so. Has definitely helped technical riding, but I can't track stand forever on the trail
  • Wheelies are good enough. Can get 4-5 pedal strokes. I'm not going to wow anyone. That said, it's functional enough that I can now wheelie drop anything I dare
  • Manuals. Those are f'ing tough. Not even close to being able to ride a manual down the street. I can certainly use the motion to pull up the front wheel. Log hopping has improved exponentially (not really, but the word sounds good). I can use the manual-slight pause-hop method to clear some pretty big logs efficiently.
So...if you just looked at my results, not so great when it comes to tricks. But, they've all had a positive impact on my riding. Keep it up!

P.S. Ryan Leech videos are awesome. Give him some money, he deserves it. The step-by-step breakdown is really helpful. Much better than the random bro on the Internet.
 

Registered
Joined
2,424 Posts
I always feel like most people go too slow when trying to learn. Momentum and giro effect can help with balance. Usually when I need to use it on the trail, I'm typically going pretty fast. Through a dip, or roots, rocks, etc.

Most videos say to lower and go back, which lifts the wheel. I feel like I'm pushing my bike away/forwards with my arms, at the same time as I'm lowering my hips and going back. All in one smooth motion, without a lot of effort. Just how it feels when I do it. my 2垄
 

since 4/10/2009
Joined
31,728 Posts
I always feel like most people go too slow when trying to learn. Momentum and giro effect can help with balance. Usually when I need to use it on the trail, I'm typically going pretty fast. Through a dip, or roots, rocks, etc.

Most videos say to lower and go back, which lifts the wheel. I feel like I'm pushing my bike away/forwards with my arms, at the same time as I'm lowering my hips and going back. All in one smooth motion, without a lot of effort. Just how it feels when I do it. my 2垄
for me, what really clicked was when an instructor told me to do all the work with my LOWER body and that my arms are just holding on. so I drop my hips, and then push forward with my legs. The magic happens when my hips end up moving past the rear axle. You're definitely right that you need some momentum to hold/balance it, but I think that getting the motions dialed just to reach that balance point require that you slow it down. I think that's the idea behind the manual machines, that you slow it down so much that you're not moving at all. But you can't learn the whole thing on a manual machine because you do HAVE to get moving and allow for all of the complex interactions between rotating wheels, side-to-side balance, feathering the rear brake, and all of that. so the manual machine is really only just a start.
 

jcd's best friend
Joined
3,031 Posts
It can take a really long time to build up muscle memory to learn anything new. You should watch wheelie progression videos too. People will try for what seems like forever until they can get a good wheelie. I've watched some skateboard progression videos too and skaters spent months just trying to get a solid ollie and kick flip done.

I also 2nd Ryan Leech too. I tried his manual classes and within an hour, I was able to get my wheel off the ground pretty high. I only went a few feet but that's a few feet I didn't get while learning on my own.
 

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Some people say push the bike forward, others say shift your weight back, it's the same. Just a different way of visualizing it. Someone above basically said this and I agree, the hard part in learning to manual on the street (or trail) is getting to the balance point. When you're rolling, the weight shift has inertia so it's tough to learn how to give it just enough energy without overdoing it and looping out, since the balance point is just in front of that point. We seem to instinctively fear looping out too, so it's very common to see people not give the initial lift enough energy. Practicing looping out and stepping off the back will make a big difference.
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top