Watch: How to Manual a MTB for Beginners

Manuals are a very important bike skill because they can set you up for so many different things, like bunny hopping, for instance.

To get into a manual, bend down on to your handlebars and pop up with your arms straight out. If you look down, you’ll stay down, so look directly ahead with your eyes.

Shift your body weight back as far as possible, and stay low down. If you think of a bike like a seesaw, you’ll need to think of the rear wheel as the middle part. To put more weight behind the rear wheel, you’ll need to really commit.

For new riders, this can be a bit scary, so the front wheel ends up popping up a couple of inches and never really comes all the way back. If you’re having this problem, you’re going to need to practice deliberately falling off the back of the bike to overcome your fear. If you’re riding platform pedals while learning, you can always hop off the back if you pull up too far. Once you learn that, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Once you get your front wheel up, bend your knees. Bending them more makes the front wheel go down, and extending your legs brings the front wheel up. By bending and extending you can keep yourself balanced.

Once you nail this technique, you can extend your legs quickly and push your bars forwards to hop. This can help you hop on to something and even keep manualling. There’s a whole world of impressive combo’s you can try while shredding the trails, or just dicking around in the street.

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