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Can You Manual ?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by AngryMetalsmith, Jul 27, 2016.

?

Who here can manual on flat ground ?

  1. Fuck yeah, I'm no hack.

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  2. Sometimes, but not very well.

    22 vote(s)
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  3. Nope

    15 vote(s)
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  4. Bacon, Root Beer, Loco Sucks, Try it Nao

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  1. AngryMetalsmith

    AngryMetalsmith Business is good, thanks for asking

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    I've had a reoccurring dream about manualing for many years now. It's always effortless and in total control, like riding wheelies in circles on a Schwinn Stingray when I was a kid. But I can't do a true manual in real life and that's how I know when I'm dreaming.

    Every now and then I practice, but never really get anywhere with it. I can "manual" through ruts, water bars, and puddles just fine, but can never find the balance point.

    So who here can manual and how did you learn ?
     

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  2. TrumbullHucker

    TrumbullHucker trumbullruxer

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    i cant... its because of how progressive my dw-link suspension is
     
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  3. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    That reminds me: I need to see if I can pedal kick my 5010, trials-style. That way I can drop in on some sweet shit. :D
     
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  4. kickstand

    kickstand Turbo Monkey

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    Sure can, my daily driver is a 5 speed.
     
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  5. mykel

    mykel Monkey

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    Same here. On my 20" back in the day, I could wheelie forever, around corners, uphill etc.
    Manuals could be held for 10's of seconds and I could do light curves.

    Now, even after many many years on a full suspension, I still can not manual more than about 5-10 seconds, puddles, waterbars, roots, rocks etc, are no problem, but I too can not find and keep the balance point.

    ...and to be honest I'm not too much better at wheelies anymore either. Way more than enough for what is required on trails etc, but as for effortlessly riding around on my back wheel like back in the day - nope, I fail.

    Do I have to turn in my DH card now?
     
  6. djjohnr

    djjohnr Turbo Monkey

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    I spent some time learning how to manual when I was working at a bike shop. I learned getting tips (well harassment really) from a few coworkers/pros. I got to the point where I could manage the balance point for maybe 10 seconds, then promptly stopped practicing and forgot. Now I can't really do it anymore, and I haven't been bothered to practice since.
     
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  7. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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    I still recall that line from Aaron Chase in Tricktionary: "sometimes you can't lift your front wheel and sometimes you can go all day long".

    The best advise I got was from one of those videos from GCN. Start centered, arms extended, shift your weight to the front wheel, lower your hips towards your saddle and then straight to the back of your bike, as if your hips were drawing an L shape. Then pump your hips back and forth with your arms fully extended to keep your balance. Forget about the rear brake, it just undermines your confidence. The most common error is replacing the necessary CoG shift with a lifting movement of the arms. At least for me, It was the hardest bad habit to get rid of.

    Oh, and off course, the longer the reach and the lower the BB, the harder it is to manual a given bike.

     
    #7 -   Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
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  8. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    I learned on a bmx, and it was from practicing religiously and riding every day... When I was like 14...Which I don't have time for now. Resulted in me being able to hold it until the wheels stopped spinning. I can do it on my MTB pretty well, but I'd highly recommend learning on a hardtail. Get your finger on the back brake to save you when you're about to loop out. I bet if you practiced everyday for 6mo you'd have it. Easier said than done, though.
    Oh, and the balance point is right where you usually freeze before flipping over onto your ass. Learn to be comfortable there, and that's manualing!
     
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  9. MmmBones

    MmmBones Monkey

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    it just takes hours of practice... I started by learning to bunny hop to manual on those 8 foot long sidewalks in parking lots. Then set goals for longer distances and higher ledges to manual across. When I moved to Seattle I lived on a hill and I'd use every opportunity when riding down it to practice longer and longer manuals until I could manual the whole thing. Using a hill is an advantage for learning because you can feather the brake to balance without losing too much speed. I think I took me about 3 months of daily hill bombs to get to the point where I didn't have to use the rear brake at all and could manual the whole hill, which was about half a mile long. Always look as far ahead as possible, drop your heals get your hips low and use them to balance. Lowering your seat as much as possible can help too.
     
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  10. hmcleay

    hmcleay i-track suspension

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    I also used to have recurring manual/wheelie dreams.

    At some point after that, when mostly riding trials for a few years, I became pretty good at manualing and wheelies. On a gentle downhill slope I could manual until my arms got tired (>100m).
    These days I’m hopeless at both. But the recurring dreams did stop after I was able to do it, so I guess that means I’m cured.

    The thing that helped me with manuals is making sure your knees are about 50% bent, so that if the front starts to drop you can give your legs a kick, and if the front starts lift you can ‘suck’ your legs in.
    It’s more a case of continually going back and forth over the balance point using these kick/suck movements, rather than being exactly on the balance point.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Whoa

    that's weird


    the manual dream I mean

    Throw me in that mix as well.

    I feather that brake for hours. Then in real life it lasts about 3-4 seconds :rofl:
     
  12. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    Oh and ps- the brake is great for learning, but if you want to master it, eventually learn with no brake. Much smaller adjustments with the hips, which results in less dorky manuals. But hey, we're on mountain bikes, so who gives a shit? Amaright?????
     
  13. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Who in the hell has time for this sort of shit?

    :D
     
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  14. AngryMetalsmith

    AngryMetalsmith Business is good, thanks for asking

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    Those of us smart enough to avoid the trap of marriage and to profit from it's proliferation.
     
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  15. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    never as good on any mtb as i could on a bmx. at one point i was even able to do short nose manuals.
     
  16. AngryMetalsmith

    AngryMetalsmith Business is good, thanks for asking

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    I'm not so worried about looping out as I can't even get that far. Even with the dropper post all the way down I think it's still in the way a bit. Might lower it some more next time. The Spitty is a bit long, but I can wheelie on the trail with it just fine.

    Since upgrading to the new Spitfire I have been able to hop over, or on to stuff, and land back wheel first in a wheelie position. Just no cool balance point manual upon touchdown. Even hoped onto and "manualed" across a small flat top rock a couple of times, intentionally.
     
  17. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Crazy talk. I ride with champion master manual guy all the time. Go to 2:38 of this video


    That dude can go as far as the road reaches. Brakin all day long. I know because I have to listen that crap when he does that in front of me on a regular trail ride before I knock him over to get out of my way. There's some love pulsing as well but it's really just part of a bigger picture.

    I'm confident in my crutch. :D
     
    #17 -   Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  18. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    :rofl: I'll be honest: I'm a huge brake whore on my manuals these days. I just wanted to point out the purest form of manualing to which one can aspire (brakeless/ flat ground).

    Edit: I'd also like to say that manualing is incredibly fun and it can be added to just about anything! I say follow your dreams @slimshady !
     
    #18 -   Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  19. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    I do think your larger point still stands.....


    brakeless bmx weirdos > any mountain biker ever
     
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  20. AngryMetalsmith

    AngryMetalsmith Business is good, thanks for asking

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    Long time ago when I lived in Asheville there was a local bmx'r who would show up after the annual street comp was over, brakeless, no helmet and completely demolish everything some top mountain bike pros made look cool. He would pull massive no handed back flips at ridiculous speeds on his 20". He'd hit the jumps with way more height than the dudes competing. Never entered a comp, always poached it at the end.
     
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  21. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    I've had lots of dreams that I can DH better than I can in real life. Dreaming about stuff like that is fun
     
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  22. Da Peach

    Da Peach Outwitted by a rodent

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    Nope.

    This guy can
     
  23. maxyedor

    maxyedor <b>TOOL PRO</b>

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    I could manual my Bandit decently well, can't manual my Carbine worth a shit. I blame VPP.
     
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  24. Em_Ef_Er

    Em_Ef_Er Chimp

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    On my bmx I can manual all day, on the mtb...not so much.
     
  25. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

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    I tried that, except I had Avid brakes at the time, which often came straight to the bar when the bike was tipped in the incline direction (including that time).

    This is why I have trust issues.
     
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  26. buckoW

    buckoW Turbo Monkey

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    I like manuals.
    Here's one from last summer.

    and one more
     
    #26 -   Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
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  27. Gary

    Gary "S" is for "neo-luddite"

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    ha ha... No shit?

    I can't manual WITH brakes. the second I try to lame ass mtb rear brake drag the front drops like a ton of bricks. I'm pretty shit at coaster wheelies for the same reason. but can wheelie on the flat or uphill for days.

    I hold my manuals really low. ie. hangin' way low off the back (front wheel quite low) so have trouble adjusting to the high front wheel mtb manualling technique with stupid (only 150mm drop) dropper posts. and run my DH saddle as low as possible.
    I don't do that learner "L" shape to get to balance point either. Just straight lean back and properly timed push with the legs.
    MTB technique vids always get on my tits TBH... there rarely is only ONE way to do most stuff like they always make out and I figured most shit out for myself in the 1800s on a BMX in my teens.

    I ride more BMX than DH but way more hardtail than anything else. usually takes me a a few tries to tune into the exagerated kick needed to manual a full sus.

    I really struggle to manual fashionably sized (You know... XL for a 6ft rider) DH bikes.
     
  28. Gary

    Gary "S" is for "neo-luddite"

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    More than a few friends of mine who can't hold wheelies or manuals have told me of having that almost exact same recurring dream.
    when I'm with them I manual and wheelie all the time.
    It doesn't take a sleep psychologist to work out the TRUE meaning of their dreams...

    :brows:
     
    #28 -   Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
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  29. slimshady

    slimshady Turbo Monkey

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    It's not so muchas about dreams as It is about getting older. As said by many others on this thread, manualling my 26" DJ felt natural when I was in my 20s. Then work and other stuff grew bigger on my daily schedule -and so did my waist. When that happens one tends to try and systemathize something which was pure instinct before. Like growing back your "mojo" in a test tube I guess. It might not work perfectly, but It has got me back manualling. And that counts as winning in my book!
     
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  30. buckoW

    buckoW Turbo Monkey

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    Ever try super low manuals and get so low you are looking under your bar? Kinda of a speed tuck manual.
    Yeah, shorter bikes are way more fun to manual. The long bikes are a lot of work.
     
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  31. SuboptimusPrime

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    I have recurring manual dreams as well--the saddest part is that when I wake up I'm all excited until the crushing reality of my mediocrity sets in... Sounds like we should form some kind of support group.
     
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  32. buckoW

    buckoW Turbo Monkey

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    High bars, heavy springs, very slow rebound and lots of compression make manuals on an mtb a lot easier.
     
  33. Sandro

    Sandro Turbo Monkey

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    I'd be the king of manuals if my chainstays were 3mm shorter. Must replace frame.
     
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  34. mrgto

    mrgto Monkey

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    Are you friends with Karl?
     
  35. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    He was practically my boyfriend for about 12 years we used to ride/build/travel together so much.
     
  36. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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    behind you, don't wait up.
    that's how I learned to manual; keeping the wheel low and really getting baaaaack.
    my new RFX is much harder to hold a manual on than my old bike, and nothing manuals like my Sovereign.
     
  37. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

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    This explains so much about your bike setup, especially the grass-growth rebound speed.
     
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  38. mrgto

    mrgto Monkey

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    You'll have to tell him hi from Tim and Danni. I use to work w Karl at Alpine. My wife use to race with him back in the day.
    I heard he had some sort of lymphoma. I assume he is doing well?
     
  39. rollertoaster

    rollertoaster Monkey

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    I can manual some trail obstacles but not multiple objects or rollers consistently. I've been trying to work on manuals and wheelies lately. I'm getting a little better at wheelies. Last night I got drunk and practiced manuals in the yard for about 15 minutes. I think I felt a balance point twice but couldn't really hold it there. It did not take long before my lower back was fatigued.
     
  40. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    You and I have to have met. I definitely know your wife. I remember dudes scared to race her in slalom because they knew they'd get beat. :rofl:

    But yeah the thin man is doing well with all tumors long gone. I'll certainly tell him howdy for you. He's still teaching at squaw these days.
     
    #40 -   Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016