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How to manual a mountain bike Tutorial | Skills with Phil


A question I get asked quite a bit is “Hey Phil can you teach me how to manual?” And until just recently I would have said just “no” because I couldn’t Manual So today I want to share a few tips that helped me learn how to manual. So first off, what is a manual? A manual is the act of balancing on your rear wheel, or holding front wheel up using your body weight. So when you start learning to manual, you’re going to want to find a nice flat level surface This includes a parking lot, you can use the spaces to gauge how far you’re traveling Another tip that will help you is to use platform pedals In case you start to loop out you can jump off your bike So to get into a manual the first step just bring your chest down to your bars The second step is pushing off your bars and throwing your weight backwards You want to get your butt behind the rear axle and extend your feet forward You’re actually pushing on your pedals and extending your legs out in front of you So there are two tricks to keep your front wheel in the air. The first is to thrust through your heels
and push your pedals forwards, and second In a worst case scenario is to give a half crank which you also prevent your wheel from dropping. On the other hand if you’re going back to far You can bend your knees and bring your butt closer to you seat Or you can tap your brakes very slightly to which will bring your front end down but watch out, don’t grab your brakes too hard or you will slam into the ground To balance side to side you’re going to want to use use your knees to counterbalance any side to side fluctuations. You can also use handlebars pulling more or less on one side or the other depending on what side you’re learning towards So when you go to learn how to manual, there’s a few things you can do to your bike to make it easier The first is lowering your seat second is using platform pedal instead of clipless pedals If you use clipless pedals like this, you might not be able to get, out fast enough and you might fall back
on your butt and hurt yourself like and idiot, and you’re not an idiot, so don’t do that. And the third is to either lockout your rear suspension or use a hardtail And always, wear your helmet, don’t be a dum-dum So if you’re having trouble learning how to manual don’t be discouraged I’ve been riding for nineteen years have and only just recently learned how to manual It’s not that I’m bad at balancing, I can ride a unicycle, but for some
reason a manual just never clicked I honestly got to a point where I was too
embarrassed to admit that could manual that I just didn’t try them anymore. Once I
learned not to care I started trying them more and it came much more quickly So a recurring issue i see with new people trying to learn manuals Is that they try to pull their bars to their chest, but what they don’t do shift their weight backwards ang get there butt behind their rear Axle. And because that, they can never find their balance point In this video you can see my butt is actually pretty high. If you keep your butt lower and further back, you don’t have to lift your front wheel as high You can make yourself longer, and if you’ve ever tried to balance a stick on your finger you’ll know that balancing a longer stick, is much easier than balancing a short stick So the same principles apply to manuals. So I hope that helps. If you guys have any questions about how to manual or any other related maneuvers please leave your
questions in the comments below my name is Phil Kmetz thank you for subscribing, and I’ll see you guys later

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100 thoughts on “How to manual a mountain bike Tutorial | Skills with Phil

  1. i litarally cant get my butt behind my rear wheel seat is in the way when down all the way on a really big cross country hard tail
    should i cut my seat post i am scared doing this will hurt or damage something do i need to worry about this?

  2. Can we do it in any hard tail bikes ? I have a Giant Revel 2, and I can't seem to even lift the front wheel up! Does the weight of the bike matter at all? or its the method that I'm applying not working

  3. What is a good, non expensive, full suspension, bike that you would recommend to a beginner that is wanting to be really good. His age is 13 and his height is 5'8

  4. Hey Phil! you rock man! Im having trouble while trying manual. I am 160cm and ride a S frame size, could it be that my arms are not long enough to make the correct movement? thanks in advance

  5. when manualing , an your on the balance point, how do you hold it,?, are you balancing by your body weight ? or are u pushing on the pedals to push the bike forward to keep the wheel up? , cheers

  6. can i manual this?
    https://giantcdn-qu2qwwv2de7wv85rz.stackpathdns.com/remote/www.giant-bicycles.com/_upload_au/bikes/models/xxl/2017/Talon-3-Black-Green.jpg

  7. Actually I have a question deep down , I now owns a 55mm long stem , I have all the techniques I can do a really little manual and I know my problem is that I couldn't pop up my front wheel , will a 35mm stem help?

  8. Hey Phil! I have been working at this for ages, getting the wheel up is ok but keeping it up is what I'm really struggling with. Do you have any other tips with that? And I did watch your "common mistakes with manuals" video and it did help but i just cant get there…

  9. Thank you for this. It finally clicked in my brain what am I supposed to be doing. The guyz showed me at the tracks,but well…I just couldn't get it as fast so I gave up…but now I'm ready to give it another go… 🙂

  10. do you think that the mustach can help for a better manual??? Even for being better on MTB!!!! I love your Vidz!

  11. Hi Phil!

    i would be very happy if you upload the correct technique of the gap jumps. I use a bunny hop technique to it but the biger gaps give me a challenge. I put it more speed but it wasn't enough, and it is difficult to stand up tall when the back wheel is reach the top

  12. Hi Phil, any chance you could do a vid how to manual on a XC 29er. Struggling, and not seen a video on it, always on smaller wheels or trail geometry.

  13. You've made me think about manuals in a new way. I still can't manual, but still, you've helped made me realise why. Thank you Phil!

  14. Having trouble getting to the weight point, in fact I haven't done it once. I've video'ed myself and my technique looks good but I'm 5'6 with a medium frame to grow into and I also weigh only 45 and the bike is nearly 15…. Is it possible?

  15. Cool video, thanks Phil.

    I'm curious though, when did a wheelie become known as a manual? Or is it just called that in the States?

  16. Subscribed! Watched a few of your vids being lazy in bed and raining outside. Those will help me. I feel foolish cuz I'm 40 and just starting out so I have to practice basic stuff like manuals wheelies and bunny hops. At least I can bunny hop a curb hahahaha

  17. I can ride a unicycle but I can't freaking manual. What the heck. I've been practicing though and have become much better.

  18. Good advice on doing these with flats, years ago a friend of mine did these clipped in and went all the way back and smashed his head, I really thought he was going to need the ER and he was a very strong rider and could ride wheelies well, until that day.

  19. Hey Phil, how do I get started with all these? I mean, I am riding MTB for like 10 years and I barely learned how to bunnyhop last year, endo was easy too. But wheelies, manuals etc.. I feel like I'm too heavy or smth is wrong with me. How much practice should I put into those? I am 186cm and 93kg at my best. (bit bulking now at 96kg but still athletic and somehow fit) Could my bodyweight restrict those skills?

  20. Hey Phil im a big fan coming from The poconos, pa. My question for you would be does stem length matter? I know since we have to lean our weight towards the rear a short stem helps, so with that being said does a longer stem make bein able to manual harder?

  21. Im only 42kg, some say I can't do a manual and I have to eat more. My question is.. Can I manual even if I'm skinny?

  22. Definitely wear a helmet. I was practicing manuals in a parking lot yesterday and fell all the way backwards on one try, hitting the back of my head on pavement… the helmet protected me! I think I’m going to look for flat grass area to do my next trading session, falling backwards on pavement sucks.

  23. I’m having a hard time with this, I think I’m struggling with getting my weight back to hold it, although it feels like I’m getting my weight back far enough, I just can’t seem to hold it. Every time I get to abit in the trail where I need to manual over something my front wheel comes down too early 😖

  24. Thank you so much for posting such a fantastic video. It was not only extremely helpful but very encouraging as well. It can be easy to be embarrassed to admit to what you don't know. Happy Riding!!

  25. thanks phil! today i finally pulled a manual and looped out onto my butt….it was great! soon i hope to balance out and hold it longer and longer. ps- i cheated a little and used a small bump on the trail to help get myself up.

  26. I'm 47 years old and have had a 2002 DB Apex hardtail for the past 15+ years (rim brakes, grandpa geometry). Moved up to a Transition Sentinel about a month ago. Never manual'ed or wheelie'd before, never even tried. Been riding it around and it's been tough getting the front tire off the ground too far. Then I started looking up tutorials on manuals and discovered the "L" motion. Since I'm a novice, and the wheelbase on the Transition is huge, I assumed that it would be impossible. Finally gave it a whirl for the first time after work tonight. On the 4th try, I was pleasantly surprised that I looped out and landed on my ass and bashed my knee on the bars. It was a painful but joyful experience. Next try, with knee pads, on grass.

  27. Thanks Phil! I am learning how to manual myself. I learned how to ride a bike when I was just 12 back in 80s. I never did try to do any tricks back then. Now after seeing your videos (I'm 49 now) I want to be able to do a manual. Actually, I am trying to learn the 3 most important skills I believe I need. I am learning how to bunny hop, do a wheelie and do the manual.

    I have no plans of being a pro or compete in any event. I just want to be able to do those 3 skills and I will die a happy man. My aim is to have extra fun on the trails by being confident enough to do those 3 skills I don't have. Thanks for the videos! You inspire me to keep practicing.

  28. Yo Phil I've seen your video and Seth's like 20 times and I just can't get it and I have no clue y

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