There’s a lot of debate in the mountain biking world about whether 29ers are harder to manual. Some people swear by them, while others find them more difficult to wheelie and balance. So, which is it? Are 29ers harder to manual, or is it simply a matter of practice? Let’s take a closer look at this question and see what the evidence says.
The quick answer is it’s not necessarily harder to manual a 29er just a little different. With a 29er, the longer wheelbase can affect some riders and getting the front wheel up in the air high enough and finding a balance point. For some, it can just take a little getting used to.
Mountain biking is all about practice, so if you’re having trouble manualing your 29er, keep at it! With time and experience, you’ll get the hang of it.
What Is a Manual on a Mountain Bike?
If you’re new to mountain biking, you may have heard people talking about manuals and wondered what they are. A manual is simply a form of a standing wheelie without pedaling. To do a manual, you shift your weight backward behind the rear axle of your bike, find the balance point and ride it as long as you can.
It’s not as easy as it sounds! You need to have good balance and control of your bike, and it takes a lot of practice to master the manual.
Manuals are sometimes used as a way to show off your bike control skills
However, once you get the hang of it, it’s a fun move to add to your repertoire. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even impress your friends with your mad skills.
This Is How to Do a Manual?
One of the most impressive bike skills to have when riding a mountain bike is to know how to do a manual. This maneuver will help you navigate rough terrain and keep your balance while riding. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
1. Start by rolling at a medium speed. Level your pedals with a neutral body position standing tall.
2. Shift your body weight down and back to get your weight behind the rear axle and find your balance point.
3. Control the speed and height of your front wheel by using your finger over your rear brake. If you need to bring your front tire down or begin losing control, feather your rear brake to slow you down, and the front wheel will drop.
Some useful tips are to start with flat pedals instead of being clipped into your pedals.
Also, pay attention to keeping your arms mostly straight while your butt is behind the rear axle. Another suggestion is to try not to keep your head down and look ahead over your front tire to keep you moving forward.
While a manual is by no means an essential skill when mountain bike, it can be useful and certainly looks cool out on the trails. With practice, you’ll be able to do a manual like a pro!
Are a Wheelie and a Manual the Same?
A lot of people think that a wheelie and a manual are the same things, but there are a couple of distinct differences. A wheelie is when you ride your bike with the front wheel up in the air, while a manual is when you balance on your rear wheel. Both tricks take a lot of practice to master, but they are different.
So, what’s the difference? Well, for starters, a wheelie involves continuing to pedal as you balance on the rear wheel. As you find a comfortable balance point, you continue pedaling to move yourself forward. Wheelies are usually done on flat ground to a slight incline as the incline can help to find that balance point for some riders. This does require good balance and coordination and quite a bit of practice.
A manual, on the other hand, is all about finding the balance point and just riding out some distance while balancing weight on your rear wheel. Manuals are more commonly used on a trail, usually traveling down a slight to moderate decline.
So, there you have it! The next time someone tells you that a wheelie and a manual are the same thing, now you know better!
Which Is Easier to Learn?
So, which is easier to learn? A wheelie or a manual? Well, that really depends on the person. Some people find it easier to balance and ride a manual while others find it simpler to pop up into a wheelie and keep going.
If you’re having trouble with one particular move, it may be helpful to try the other and see if that’s more your style. Or, you could practice both! After all, they are both impressive bike skills to have.