How To Manual A Bike

How to Manual
By request from our YouTube viewers, in this guide we’re going to teach you one of the most fun, versatile, and fundamental tricks on a BMX bike – the manual.
The manual is probably one of the easiest tricks to try, but hard to perfect without a lot of practice. As with most balancing tricks, it’s not something you’re going to learn overnight, but once you get it, you’ll be doing it everywhere and it will be second nature.

First off

Just to get this out of the way for those who may not know. A manual is not a wheelie. A wheelie is when you pedal to keep the front wheel up while on a manual you pull up and balance without pedaling, making it a bit harder.
Wheelie vs Manual demonstration
manual trick demo

The manual is a trick you can try just about anywhere, but a smooth flat surface or giant parking lot is ideal. You will want to roll at a moderate speed when first starting. Too slow and it’s harder to balance. Simply pull up on the front end and somewhat throw your back end out and away from the bike.

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Manual Trick demo

Now comes the tricky part and that’s balancing the manual. Balancing a manual is a combination of forward and back knee and arm movement. As you feel the front wheel start to drop you need to straighten your legs out while ever so slightly pulling back on the bars. This will start bringing the front wheel back up.

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With those motions in play, I recommend giving yourself goals to help practice. Practicing in a big empty parking lot is nice because you can use the parking spaces as reference points. Try to manual one space then bump it up to two, three and so on. Slowly but surely, you will find your balance point and learn to keep it there. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re balancing forward and back, but starting to fall left or right. To compensate for this try moving your hips in the opposite direction of the fall.
Manual trick hips demo

For example, if you’re starting to fall left move your hips and to the right and vice versa. This is also how you turn while manualing.

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As mentioned earlier, the manual is not a trick you’re going to learn right away, and it will likely take months of practice. Luckily, it is something you can practice almost anywhere, and it opens up a ton of possibilities and trick combinations. If you’re a racer, manuals can benefit you as well since it is often faster to manual through certain parts of the track.

The manual really is one of those fundamental tricks that every rider should try and learn. Just keep practicing and don’t get discouraged because it will come to you. It may seem hard now, but after some practice you won’t even have to think about it.