If you can successfully nail the manual on your mountain bike, you will not only allow yourself to successfully conquer a host of other skills including bunny hops, you’ll also be able to take on obstacles on the trail with a lot more ease. It is important to perfect your positioning, movement and braking on the bike before trying this out though as it will make the learning process far easier.
We enlisted the help of Katy Curd, 4X World Champion and coach extraordinaire to talk us through the theory of the manual:
1. All of your weight should be in the hips
2. Squat down to saddle and slide your weight off back of the bike
3. Your hips over the back of the hub
4.If you are successfully holding this position your front wheel should rise up with you.
5. Be careful not to pull the bars, it should always be your balance of weight that rises the front wheel. Your weight should rock you off the back off the bike- think of a see saw.
6. Your arms should be straight and your legs should be bent as you hold yourself up – you should be in an L shape
7. Think of the entire action in two parts – drop your hips and stay as long as you like and then in one swift, aggressive movement, shift your hips out over the saddle
8. To keep going you need to find that balance spot
9. Cover your back brake, tap the back brake and you front wheel will come right back down
If you fancy learning more from the pro in person, why not sign up for one of Katy Curd’s coaching courses in the Forest of Dean. Katy also coaches at two skills camps per year in Sierra Nevada Spain with Pure Mountains.
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