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Manual

ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
edited August 2014 in MTB general
I was wondering if anyone could tell me a way to find the balance point on my bike?

I'm trying to manual and my initial technique is sorted but once the wheel is rising I can't seem to balance it right, I'm either too far forward or too far back and end up hitting the brake.. my best manual was about 3 seconds but I feel once I get the balance point right I'll be going much further.

Also out of interest, how long did it take you to learn a decent manual?

Thanks

Posts

  • I still haven't found the balance point of any of my bikes since I stopped riding a bmx when I was 21.
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    haha, okay, maybe there is no easy way to find it
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    The balance point is going to be dependent on your weight - if you are a feather then to offset the weight of the bike you need to be further back. If you are fat, not so far back.

    The key things for manualling are looking ahead, heels down, arms straight and push feet ahead of you as you throw your weight back. 3 seconds was probably more like 1 second and more likely the time the bike will stay up just from a half decent move off the forks. I am working on them and find them easier on the hardtail than the Bronson although if I lock out the rear suspension on the bronson I get marginally better results. My best on the HT was 2-3 car lengths on the ride home from work which I bailed out on as I veered toward the parked cars!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Yeah, I guess it's just a case of practising

    My best was 3 seconds based on video footage, I don't compress the forks but pump the rear and then shift my weight back as this was the way I was taught by Neil Donoghue

    My problem is not how to manual but rather balancing the manual once I've got the wheel back and my weight back

    A hardtail will be ideal but I will try lockout and maybe putting more pressure in the shock
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Getting it up right is the most important thing.
    Never pull up on the bars, weight back and push on the cranks. It comes up slower this way.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    I can get that far, but then I struggle to hold it up an balance it
    Maybe need to practice feathering the brake
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    Practice, practice practice is the only way. You have to go by feel as every bike and rider will have a different balance point. Sounds like you know what you are doing and using correct technique so now you just need to spend a bit of time finding that sweet spot.
  • VinbadVinbad Posts: 7
    Practice on grass (it hurts less) and slightly downhill (keeps speed up). Its not a bad thing to dab your brake, even if you do it 100 times in a row, keep trying on the same patch of ground and you will get closer to the balance point each time.
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Vinbad wrote:
    Practice on grass (it hurts less) and slightly downhill (keeps speed up). Its not a bad thing to dab your brake, even if you do it 100 times in a row, keep trying on the same patch of ground and you will get closer to the balance point each time.

    Vinbad, where do you ride? I'm also from the Bishops Stortford!
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Thanks for the advice, I just went out and did my best manual, was about 4 seconds
    The slight downslope helped and I normally end up stopping cos I loose balance and hit the brake

    I can manual bunny hop quite well so it's really just doing long manuals
  • VinbadVinbad Posts: 7
    [quote=Vinbad, where do you ride? I'm also from the Bishops Stortford![/quote]

    Cool. Chicksands, Thetford, Epping and sometimes Danbury. How about you? Pretty flat round here isn't it!
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Vinbad wrote:
    [quote=Vinbad, where do you ride? I'm also from the Bishops Stortford!

    Cool. Chicksands, Thetford, Epping and sometimes Danbury. How about you? Pretty flat round here isn't it![/quote]

    Yup! we have a small set of jumps and trails we maintain close to the cricket club so there when not at chicksands or danbury!
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    The flitch way is quite nice to ride sometimes as well - if you dont get bored easily
  • VinbadVinbad Posts: 7
    I know them well. Can only do about 4 laps of the pumptrack at the mo. So unfit. Hope to see you up there sometime.
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Ha yeah its not exactly smooth atm. You too!
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    EJ - can you wheelie? I was reminded of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSqkKtnMM_U which features a fella I know as well as a park just down the road from my house - the chap in it runs a bike instructor/guide company and has a great style and the wheelie definitely leads to the manual.

    I can only do a few strokes in a wheelie so figured I would go back to that and work on it to improve the manual balance.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    edited August 2014
    I can wheelie yeah, normally for a good 10 seconds or so

    I went for another practise and I'm getting there slowly, my manuals are higher which suggests I'm closer to the balance point and I'm getting better with feathering the back brake

    I've watched those ZEP videos before, they're quite good
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    My manuals are lower than my wheelies... Dunno if thats just me
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Mine probably are too

    In theory they should be the same but I think it's due to the fact wheelies are easier to balance then a manual, at least IMO

    Anyway, was trying for about an hour and I've made good progress with 1 change, after the initial pump I've found if I bend my knee more but go lower while the front wheel is at the same higher it's a lot easier to balance
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    I'm not sure if they should be the same in theory. Obviously with wheelie youve got a lot of extra force coming from somewhere, pushing you somewhere (too tired to work it out), whereas manual is...different. Im tired.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I'm not sure if they should be the same in theory. Obviously with wheelie youve got a lot of extra force coming from somewhere, pushing you somewhere (too tired to work it out), whereas manual is...different. Im tired.

    Clarity and simplicity - the perfect instruction :lol:
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    I'm not sure if they should be the same in theory. Obviously with wheelie youve got a lot of extra force coming from somewhere, pushing you somewhere (too tired to work it out), whereas manual is...different. Im tired.

    Clarity and simplicity - the perfect instruction :lol:

    Maybe I should quit my dayjob, I'm pretty good at being simple
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    You have a dayjob? :lol:

    Forgot about this thread.. been practicing and I'm going further and further... I would seem practice does make perfect
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    ej2320 wrote:
    You have a dayjob? :lol:

    Well yeah, a nine to five. Its in the day and its a job? I'm also a student.
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Are you suggesting by the content of my posts that I'm a bum? I'm highly offended and am coming for you
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