Video: How to Manual with Duncan Shaw

Feb 26, 2019 at 11:24
by Duncan Shaw  

I have finally decided to make some Street Trials focussed "How To's" and what better to start with than my favourite trick, "The Manual."


Manual


Manual



130 Comments

  • + 112
 Some people have dreams that they can fly... I dream that I can manual! One day...
  • + 82
 I've actually had dreams where I can do proper wheelies and manuals...
  • + 25
 @Jacquers: Me too. These are the best dreams ever.
  • + 8
 @Jacquers: I have those aswell.
  • + 1
 @Jacquers: Me too! I can manual now like 100 meters and wheelie for maybe 500 but in my dreams it was always so easy and endless. Amazing Big Grin .
  • + 14
 add me to the list there has to be a medical condition for this
  • + 1
 Dude I’ve had dreams of me doing so many tricks. I swear the main one I have is of me doing a 180 bar down a small stair set and just a real clean revert after landing. It’s an oddly satisfying dream
  • + 4
 @Jacquers: Me too, it's gutting when I get back on my bike and realise I can't!
  • + 2
 Only after I started doing proper dead lifts I started to figure out how manuals actually happen. It's all about locking the arms while moving the junk backwards Smile
  • + 1
 I dreamed I manualed down a set of ledges.
  • + 1
 @scruff0372: I’ve had perfect manual dreams too lol
  • + 32
 True story: I used to have those dreams... amazing feeling. Then I practiced and practiced and actually could effortlessly wheelie/manual in real life...and strangely -> it's exactly the same feeling as the dreams. Point is: it's within you and there's more going on in the subconscious than we give ourselves credit for
  • + 4
 I've had a few dreams where I'm manualing around my neighborhood, over cars, up hills. I remember thinking 'this is so easy, why was I having a problem doing this?'

Then I woke up and tried to manual my 1600mm wheelbase evolink and cried.
  • + 2
 Have had dream of running around DJs holding handlebars making hub noises and wondering where my bike is...strange things these brains
  • + 7
 One time I had a dream I was throwing out the filthiest whip. It was one of those dreams where you jump yourself awake though and I smoked my head off my night stand and landed on the floor.
  • + 1
 @VTTyeahyouknowme: Pics of 1600mm evolink?
  • + 1
 I actually dream that all the time too! i'm constantly way up on my back wheel wheelie-ing and manualing everywhere. It's so easy in my dream, then I wake up and say 'damn!'.
  • + 2
 Constantly dream about manualing. When I wake up I am SO pissed.
  • + 0
 @CarlMega: Okay true story, cool story Mr. Toot.. Na not it..I can wheelie like Wynn, but just for you I'll practice and practice my manuals and talk to my subconscious, then I could fly like in my dreams too lmao
  • + 4
 @DirtMcGuirk07: You should practice English the way I practiced wheelies. Eventually you'll pick it up.
  • - 2
 @CarlMega: you should practice your comebacks
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: Had a dream once that I bailed out of a backflip. Woke up trying to finish the rotation, kicked the ceiling above my lofted bed and broke my toe hahahahah.
  • + 1
 Just find a nice "penis core" like the English subtitles suggest at 4:31 and you too can be a pro...
  • + 1
 @Jacquers: I sometimes have dreams where I'm just falling and falling, but I'm riding a bike and tricking it nintendo style. That's why they're not nightmares!
  • + 59
 I'm not watching another one of these videos where a pro shows you a skill until the title of the video is "I teach this person who can't do this skill for sh1t to do it using this technique and this video shows that process".

I've watched thousands of skills videos where pros tell you how to do things they can already do and they very rarely help. It's really hard to verbalise what you can do automatically, you need someone who can't do that skill to make you really think about all the stages involved and validate your coaching technique.
  • + 4
 So true
  • + 8
 Mike Boyd has a great one one Manuals and Wheelies. He teaches himself
  • + 3
 I agree, but I think no one can succeed to make a manual in just one lesson given by a pro or not. It all comes down to knowing what to look for and practice. Just knowing "how to" won't get you anywhere imho. It takes time and practice.
  • + 2
 I totally agree, is beautiful to see Pros doing these moves, but for them they just come totally natural, muscle memory and experience in perfect symbiosis; there is no deep analysis of actual beginners common mistakes Frown
one day...
  • + 1
 @Downdahill: yeah, good video that, takes him something like 6 hours of practice to manual 50 meters. Impressive.
  • + 3
 @Downdahill: Yeah I've seen that, it's an amazing example of perseverance, but doesn't someone lend him the bike and give him some advice to get started?

The Ryan Leech ones are the closest I've come to actually achieving progress. I managed to pop the front and come off the back a couple of times, but need to practice more to repeat it. It's absolutely bizarre how effortless it is when you get it right, but I have no idea what was different the times I got it to work.

Videoing yourself is really good though, you can see in an instant what's wrong with your position if you've watched as many manuals videos as I have!
  • + 2
 @freerabbit: You're totally right. I've done maybe 8 hours of actual deliberate practice on this and I'm occasionally able to get the front wheel up. You have to build the muscle patterns before you can even start really learning the skill I think (or that's what Ryan Leech says anyway..!)
  • + 2
 A good coach can see you and tell you what extra crap you are doing that isn't helpful. A good video needs lots of examples of what you might be doing wrong.
  • + 2
 GMBN has a video like that where Neil teaches a bloke to manual. The guy wasn't that great at the start, but picked up over the video.
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUdzTd-gW1g

2 minute vid. You have to shift your knees forward then back to create that pressure with your hands on the front of the handlebars. The farther you shift your knees forward, the farther back you will go.
  • + 1
 Have a buddy hold your front wheel up to show you where the balance point is. Experiment with how low your hips are, and use that rocking motion to shift weight back or forward. This is great practice to teach the muscles how far back you need to be.
  • + 5
 Thanks for the mention @Woody25 - as you know it takes a lot of time and dedication to learn manuals or any other tech skill - keep at it! Also, check back into your Manual Master Class course on the Ryan Leech Connection site, there have been a few extra lessons and updates to it that you might find helpful. Ride ON!
  • + 1
 @RyanLeech: One of the biggest take-aways for me from your course was the timescales involved in learning these sorts of skills. So many videos make it look like something you can pick up in an afternoon!
  • + 19
 When I finally committed to learning to manual, I practiced everyday on my 20k commute. Every block along the way I tried to manual. I had blood blisters under the calluses on my hands. After a couple months of this, i finally got it!!!! It was like a switch clicked.
Now I can manual anytime, anywhere, almost any bike. After decades of failing, it took a real effort, I own the manual. Razz
  • + 5
 I did the same thing to learn wheelies. I just decided that every single time I got out on my mountain bike I was going to practice. It took me months of trying, but now I can easily ride wheelies on most bikes I get on. If not right away, within a few tries. Just took real determination.
  • + 2
 How old were you guys when you starting really putting the effort into learning? Need some inspiration as a 35 year old to learn this..
  • + 1
 @squintyfox: lol same
  • + 2
 @squintyfox: I was mid-40's when I learned to wheelie. It took a combination of the right bike (29er) and a lot of time.
  • + 16
 This looks really easy. *Mentally preparing myself for the inevitable crash on the way to work tomorrow.*
  • + 7
 I've too watched hundreds of "how to manual" tutorials, but this one from Simon Lawton is pretty different and takes the risk out of learning the basis of manualling: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ibIoJENzuw
I've also found out that the tutorials from Simon Lawton (do a search on YouTube) are easier to understand and more "approachable" than many others (at least for me) and highlight some points rarely discussed in other vids.
  • + 7
 I am no manual expert, actually I'm learning it, but I think it's wrong to show it or to learn it on trials bike because this bike is shorter, has smaller wheels and handlebars are much higher relative to rider's hips. These make for advantages that will make most of beginners to learn wrong patterns. Duncan mostly moves his body backwards and slightly pulls the bars, instead of squatting down, pushing the bike from beneath himself forward while pushing the heels down and that way lifting the front wheel up by pulling the bars back, not lifting them up. There are lot's of videos on 26 or 27.5inch bikes. The initiation phase for manual is very important for bunny hop
  • + 1
 My thoughts as well. Longer wheelbase typical mountain are probably a little more difficult to learn on.
  • + 1
 @sutter2k: Wprse on a last gen XC with a long stem. Moving across to an Enduro bike make wheeling, Manualing and Bunny Hopping (American Style) so much easier and less painful too. That and riding down hill. Big Grin
  • + 0
 This.
I used to manual from a traffic light to a traffic light 10 years ago on my BMX and street MTB bikes, brakeless.
Now I can hardly manual between two rollers, because once I've got a trail bike 7 years ago I was too exited with riding rough stuff so I wasn't really concerned about not being able to pull the bike to the balance point. But now, when my riding progressed I want to get it once again, but guess what? No matter how hard I pull, I can't get to the balance point. Still able to overpull my old (t)rusty BMX any day.
  • + 6
 Currently working on it with some guidance from Ryan Leech. Don't quite master it yet, but it is always nice to work on something. Never tried a wheelie though I can ride a unicycle. Not even sure whether these skills transfer or not.
  • + 4
 I'm currently following the bunny hop course of Ryan Leech. It starts with the manual basics. I really like the break down approach of Ryan's courses. For mastering the manual he uses about 25 steps in the course, instead of 1 do it all video. It is much more helpful compared to such videos which do the entire thing in one video, which you cannot master in one go. (I tried several and failed Smile
  • + 3
 I’ve always found unicycling much easier than wheelies.... but some friends are super good at the latter but can’t stand on a unicycle. So unfortunately, even if the theory is similar, the actual thing is quite different.
But if you can master unicycing, no reason you can’t train yourself to play on your back wheel Big Grin
  • + 3
 Then try to wheelie with unicycle..
  • + 2
 @lorrainetruong: Yeah, I think because there is no freewheel you can correct both ways using the same mechanism whereas when looping out doing a wheelie, you need to have the reflex to grab the brake. The fear factor is also lower in that you usually won't manage to become entangled in your unicycle when you come off whereas even with awkward slow crashes on a bike you can slam yourself into your bike and hurt yourself. I recall once when practicing manuals I felt the front needed to come up a little higher because it felt like it was really low. Pushed a bit harder (with the feet) and then realized way too late that I was looping out. Oh yeah, rear brake. Buy the time I actually applied it I was almost with my butt at axle height so I slammed quite hard into my bike. I had to take a little walk then...

Cool to see you on here, the love for bikes is still there!
  • + 7
 But how do I manual on my own?
  • + 8
 Still cant manual.
  • + 1
 Don’t worry a lot of pro bikers can’t either
  • + 5
 The basics of riding BMX and mountainbike. And yes please practise on your actual bike, riding, and not on one of those ridiculous manual machines.
  • + 6
 Yes practice on something like a Pole Machine (52" wheelbase with 18" chainstays)
  • + 3
 Almost useless a long wheelbase bike, go watch GMBN if you're on anything larger than a 24" wheel. The weight shift required on MTB bike, especially a 29r, to get and keep that front wheel up is a little different. MT bikers have a harder time getting it up and keeping it up...
  • + 1
 If there is a one thing that will make learning them much easier on full sus is use a lockout on the shock, if you don´t have one pump the shock as hard as possible, if you have coil, then yeah, you have to learn it the hard way or borrow a HT if you can. Making the suspension as stiff as possible makes it a lot easier to feel the effect of the body movements which would normally be lost in the suspension.
  • + 3
 I disagree. Better to have your bike set up for how you normally ride it. Given the same geometry manualling a FS is not much different than a HT. If you are trying to compress the suspension its unneeded effort. I do agree its good to play on a HT.
  • + 2
 @acali: Why not make it as hard as possible right? If if takes 5times as long as it might, so be it. If you want to learn drops, go ride Rampage. Seriously, if all it takes for one to make it easier is to use a frickin shock pump, you would be dumb not to use it especially if you then cry on the forum how hard it is and how you can´t manual for shit after x years of riding.
  • + 2
 @Mondbiker: That's cool that adjusting your suspension helped you get manualing. My experience was that the suspension didn't hinder me learning to manual. What hindered me was not understanding the movement patterns. Now I dont find HT or FS easier or harder to manual, just slightly different timing.
  • + 2
 @acali: I learned it on trials bike (real 26in trials bike, not street trials like Duncan) and I couldn´t believe how much harder it was on the trail bike, the bike just was sooo lazy to respond to every input I gave it, but obviously geometry was totally different too. Then I just thought, how about using that little blue lever for something else other than asphalt/fire road climbs? And voila, first try I managed 30m, I struggled to get 5 before and trust me, that was so annoying for someone who could manual for pretty much as long as I wanted on trials bike. It won´t make your technique better, but it will make it much clearer to see what every little weight shift does if you have basics right.
  • + 2
 @Mondbiker: Maybe true with ease of locking out the rear shock but to learn that way detracts from the aquiring the skill to be applied on the trail. Unless you're riding a SCOTT - you most likely will not be fumbling about on the trail with rear lockouts when you come to a section that requires Manualing - Bunny Hopping or Wheeling to get over what ever you would want to apply those techniques to.
  • + 1
 @gnarterrorist: Jesus christ no one here is trying to learn it on the trail, 9 out of 10 people are learning it on parking lots/roads. If you want to learn something fast, you want to make everything you can to make it as easy as possible. Ince you know how it´s easier to adjust to changes of bike behavior suspension makes.
  • + 1
 @Mondbiker: Learning it for the trail man, for the trail!!
  • + 1
 Watching manuals on a trials bike it looks a lot easier than a full sized mountain bike. His front wheel is like 15" off the ground. On a full size mountain bike that front wheel is way high off the ground, not to mention your butt has a lot farther to fall if you go over the top. I'd be more impressed with a video on a FS 29'er.
  • + 1
 Arms locked, hips go back and that's precisely and very quickly where I end up, on my back, with a bike between my legs, and feeling very confused about how that bike sweet-talked me into such a predicament.
  • + 0
 Tip - use the fork to help bring the front up. Drop the hips first then move them back and be prepared to feather your rear brake. Practice (manuals on slight down incline and wheelies on slight up) and speed if your friend for both Manualling and Wheelies.

Preload for the reload.
  • + 2
 There’s some good “How to manual” vids around nowadays, but ine thing is always forgotten, which is my advice: Learn to do a proper, brake controlled wheelie first.
  • + 4
 I like finding an area that has a very slight slope and practice manuals downward, and wheelies on the way back up.
  • + 1
 I dunno man, I remember this guy named Kim could do the splits both ways (scissor, and laterally) in like grade one. I dunno man, special talents for special folks.
  • + 2
 You can believe that "talent" has something to do with it. Or you can get on you bike and try. It may take years to succeed, while some may take days, so what ? One thing is sure if you give up you won't succeed.
  • + 1
 @freerabbit: Yeah, I actually learned to manual by trying really hard. But born talent has a lot to do with a lot of things in my opinion.
  • + 2
 Want to learn to manual? Try it on a bmx first,the balance point is easier to achieve
  • - 1
 I used to manual across the parking lot after every ride. I was at a skate board park with my 26er. I was used to my 29er. I pulled a manual, forgetting to cover the brake. The 26er came up VERY easily, and I looped out, kind of to the side. My 5-10s were locked onto my flats. Perfect storm. Borken Tib/Fib across the crank arm. I no longer manual unless required on the trail.
  • + 1
 I am a pretty decent rider across the board but my manuals are shocking, I have learned and mastered much harder stuff but mannies and wheelies have just not stuck.
  • + 1
 I found that practising on a slight downslope was a bit easier as a bit of speed helps - keep the rear brake well covered at all times obviously. Also, great tip in the video about using lines or markings on the ground to set yourself targets.
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: I've been practicing manuals as well. I agree with the slight downslope and using lines to mark progress, but one thing that I have noticed is that if I focus on the line, my tires drop. I realized I was dropping my head. Make sure to keep your eyes out on a point in the distance and not looking at the ground. That makes a huge difference for me at least. Having said that, I am still highly inconsistent and good for 1-6 parking spaces....
  • + 2
 @tcr1: I can do 6+ spaces quite easily, its more keeping hold of it when it tries to get away from me I struggle with, I get the occasional ones where I drop the wheel back down when I choose to, but its rare!
  • + 1
 Disused public property + Duncan = Scotland
Sunglasses + Palm trees = Not Scotland

My guess... Spain?

Awesome manualing Duncan!
  • + 1
 What about searching for "hotel troya" on Google maps?
  • + 1
 Did he pick this spot because the fence matched his bike?
  • + 3
 "Ayas, me coxxyx" - everyone.
  • + 2
 Learn to wheelie, learn to coaster wheelie, THEN learn to manual.
  • + 0
 I love the fact you didn't mention any "L" shaped motion BS and taught brakeless technique instead of rear brake drag .reliance.
Way more stylish.
  • + 1
 You will need a brake.

How else are you going to manual down a hill in the Alps without braking...?
  • + 3
 Learn brakeless on a bmx- that way once on big wheels with a brake it’ll be much easier
  • + 1
 @manuelandphillipe:

Good way to do it. People who are always whining they can’t do this or that should learn everything on a BMX. It’s the best way to learn anything cycling related. And it doesn’t have to be brakeless at all.
  • - 2
 @DutchmanPhotos: Learn everything cycling related on a BMX?
Last time I checked, they weren't the best to learn climbing skills on
  • - 2
 @bashhard:

Never knew climbing has to be “learned”, haha!
  • + 2
 @DutchmanPhotos: Haven't you seen the video from a few weeks ago:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgIKxhxcS4s&t=0s
This kind of climbing probably has to be learned haha
  • + 2
 @bashhard:

Ha yeah BikerBrayd is a ripper!
  • + 0
 Good luck not doing the L shape motion on long full susser...
  • + 1
 @manuelandphillipe: riding brakeless won´t teach you how to use brake, which is pretty damn important.
  • + 3
 Covering the rear brake eventually becomes a deterrent to success when you're in the mid-stages of developing the technique.

The reason- you will train your body to instinctively to pull the brake and return to 'safety', instead of getting your COM rearward and low enough to learn the balance and quick reactions necessary to maintain that "sweet spot" over the rear wheel.

It takes patience and proper practice, no doubt.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: When you hurt yourself because of not having finger on the brake or not knowing how to use it you will most instinctively stop practicing.
  • + 1
 @DutchmanPhotos: Ummm, anything BMX/trialsy/smooth maybe. Gnarly trails eat BMX for breakfast, and you might have trouble doing the Tour, but... Wink
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict:

Haha! Put any good BMXer on an MTB and he will eat those gnarly trails for breakfast yeah....
But like you say, the smoothness and the riding technique. It all is best learned on a BMX. - Power and strength cannot be learned, it comes with training.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: good comment thanks, I will take this forward. The cover or use the brake thing is what messes with my head a bit, the coordination doesn't come naturally. This is foolish for me as I am well aware that balance skills involve active inputs to and fro around the balance point and gradually refining how much input is required, not hitting the balance point bang on and holding it there. The brake thing removes the need to learn those inputs so must be wrong. So from here on, no brakes on manuals. But I might have to strap a cushion to my arse...
  • + 1
 @Braindrain: Thanks - I do speak from experience! It's helpful to practice looping out backwards a few times on a forgiving surface at slow speed so that when it happens, it feels instinctive to get your feet down, run forward and/or ditch the bike (and not wreck your ankles). A small frame hardtail 'jump bike' helps too. Good luck!
  • + 1
 Been trying to learn manualling, one day I'll get it.. Helpful video. Cheers Duncan.
  • + 2
 I've been practicing to manual little but often for about 25 years (since riding bmx age 16). I can balance it sometimes (not always) now but have found that generally, the longer periods of time spent on the bike (e.g several weeks in a row riding every day), the easier it is to keep it balanced. It's a difficult thing to master.
  • + 1
 When coaster wheeliing raise but of the Seat to try balance standing, good way to learn it
  • + 2
 I wheely hope to master this ..
  • + 1
 Not that I am a manual hero...yet, but this vid here
was a game-changer for me:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkWnV4RDzkU
  • + 1
 Mike Boyd is a pisser. Good vid'.
  • + 1
 I Still Dream, I can Ollie a Skateboard, oh well! LOL
  • + 1
 Scotland sure as hell didn't look this tropical last time I was there Wink
  • + 1
 it's actually been a sunny 15deg 3 days in a row and the trails are getting dusty. That's about as tropical as Scotland gets in February. Bring a can of Lilt when you come.
  • + 1
 Sweet, I've been looking all over for a video teaching how to manual.
  • + 1
 How to brake with your saddle...
  • + 1
 Duncan Shaw "Signature" move. Props on PB home page!
  • + 1
 Not another Manuel movie
  • - 1
 On the make "how not to manual with jimmy" keep tuned!
  • + 0
 Pro by association Smile
  • + 0
 Hotel Troya = Spain
  • - 2
 wow a manual.......
  • - 1
 Just do this...
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.087107
Mobile Version of Website