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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Is there a "safe" way to practice manuals?

I can wheelie all day with no problems but every time I try to manual I cannot control my balance and fall off. It has reached to the stage now where I am even too scared to practice manuals as landing butt even on grass hurts:D

So...
is there a safe way to practice manuals?

cheers
 

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On a pump track (indoor or outdoors) with a Dirt Jumper. Perfect combination for learning to manual.
 

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Flat pedals I hope.
You're covering the brake right? Try taking up the slack in the brake lever so the engagement is quicker when you feel its going over. Make sure you're using proper form and not trying to pull up with your arms. Pump down and swing back in one smooth motion. Start small and gradually increase until you find the balance point. If you can wheelie well, you should know what you're looking for.
 

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The manual machine wont work in this instance. His problem is not technique its overcomming the fear once rolling.

Find a mild grass slope. Put some flat pedals on, knee shin pads. Make sure you rear break works, test it before every manual, Then you know it works!

Then manual until you start to fall over backwards. Do this on purpose. Use the brake to stop you falling over backwards. Once you are happy you can control yourself from falling over backwards , Slowly apply less brake find the ballance point and add more speed. If you ditch it a few times on the grass its no big deal.

Then once you have the technique down take your manual to the road/trails.
 

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Keep one finger on your rear brake and learn to use it. It's nearly impossible to loop out with a quick pull of the rear brake unless you aren't moving much at all. Also use flat pedals. If it helps you feel more comfortable practice bailing off the back while doing a wheelie with flat pedals.

You can always strap a thick pillow to your butt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The manual machine wont work in this instance. His problem is not technique its overcomming the fear once rolling.

Find a mild grass slope. Put some flat pedals on, knee shin pads. Make sure you rear break works, test it before every manual, Then you know it works!

Then manual until you start to fall over backwards. Do this on purpose. Use the brake to stop you falling over backwards. Once you are happy you can control yourself from falling over backwards , Slowly apply less brake find the ballance point and add more speed. If you ditch it a few times on the grass its no big deal.

Then once you have the technique down take your manual to the road/trails.
ok cheers. I will try and practice this method.
The thing is I'm not really used to using rear brakes for wheelies either because even when I feather It, the front will fall down immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Keep one finger on your rear brake and learn to use it. It's nearly impossible to loop out with a quick pull of the rear brake unless you aren't moving much at all. Also use flat pedals. If it helps you feel more comfortable practice bailing off the back while doing a wheelie with flat pedals.

You can always strap a thick pillow to your butt.
do you think I will find the balance point easier going on a faster speed than a slower speed?
btw I bail out of wheelies all the time since I rarely use the rear brake but If feel that I have more "control" when I wheelie than when I manual. eg: when I am munualing at high speed I cannot bail out. I
 

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Get used to applying the brake, You dont want to loop out onto the tarnac ar 50 kph tearing a high speed manual down a street past some hot chicks.

PS some brakes are better than others. Shimano's are a lot harder than guides or avids.

But it still can be done. Go intermediate speed. Too slow and yourl flop to the side, too fast and it will hurt if you stuff it up.

PS practice the fall over backwards brake apply doing wheelies slow first. Then move to the manual.
 

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This will sound weird, but my son struggled with just doing wheelies for a long time.
One day we changed out his seat due to damage, and he tried a wheelie and immediately commented it was far easier to balance.

He used to drop the front wheel consistently after 15-20 feet. Shortly after the new seat, he hit 175 feet (ran out of room in the parking lot).

He never commented that the seat felt different during rides, so I really don't know what to "blame" for the change, but I'd have to assume seat angle (?)
 

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I don't know about "safe" but having been riding again for awhile (since last fall) after never really being any good at manuals ... even in my teens / twenties... (now 49 and big 260~lbs 6'3")

well.. i finally said YOLO and tried it on a fire road... and what do you know.. got it first try not very far mind you couple bike lengths... did a 2nd one also worked... I was quite pleased with myself...

I don't think anyone should stress out about trying to manual unless they have been riding a bit and are getting pretty comfortable on the bike..

my wife's female friend tried to pressure her to learn how to manual on her very first mtb ride a while ago.. ended badly with a OTB crash.. took me a good long time to convince my wife to try mtb again... just last few weeks she has been willing to ride at all.... and I think the manual mishap has made her much more timid then would be the case otherwise..
 

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I built a manual trainer last week and my first attempts to get the bike into a manual were humbling to say the least. Looks like I have a lot of work to do. Let's just say that overdoing it and coming off the back is not an issue at this point. I consider myself a reasonably decent rider. I have no issue dealing with black and double black trails, gnar, drops, etc. and I'm pretty decent at wheelies but holy hell, I'm finding the manual really hard. :D
 

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get a dumpy old bike and practice on that thing daily, on grass. so when you toss the bike a) it won't matter and b) unlikely to break anything

once you can do it solidly, swap to your real bike will be a very short learning curve
 
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