How to Do a Manual on a Bicycle

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A manual, also known as a coasting wheelie, is similar to a catwalk. The difference is that manuals do not require pedaling. The lack of pedaling means that manuals can be done at much higher speeds.

Steps

  1. Master the catwalk before trying the manual.
  2. Get up to a reasonable speed. You want to go fast enough to provide momentum, but not so fast that you can not control yourself.
  3. When you are ready to manual, get your pedals parallel to the ground.
  4. Load the front wheel.
  5. Pop the front wheel off the ground and shift your weight back on the bike in one motion. Your arms should be straight when you lean back. You are not holding the front wheel up with you arms. You are shifting your body weight to balance the front wheel in the air. Your center of gravity should be right over the rear axle.
  6. See how long you can keep your balance.
  7. Pull your body forward and the front wheel will drop.

Tips

  • Manuals are easiest to do on lightweight BMX bikes and hard-tail mountain bikes.
  • If your front wheel is not getting high enough, try leaning further back. If your wheel gets too high, then lean less. Experiment with this and find out what works for you.
  • Keep a finger on the back brake while your font wheel is in the air. If your bike wants to drop you off the back, you can grab the back brake and your front wheel will come down.
  • On your next mountain bike ride, use the manual to float over root, rocks, small drops or anything else on the trail that you do not want your front wheel hitting.

Warnings

  • Wear a helmet whenever you are riding your bike.
  • Sometimes you will over-rotate and fall of the back of the bike. Do not use clip-in pedals when you are learning to manual.
  • If you lean to far back and you fall off make sure that you jump off the bike on to your feet so that your holding the front tire off the ground.

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