The manual, also known as the front wheel lift, is one of the most fundamental skills in mountain biking. It’s the gateway to many other skills but even before you’ve got that far, it can actually help reduce arm fatigue!
Think about it – if you manual over a root, or a series of roots, rocks, down steps, anything you can, you’re giving your arms a momentary rest and allowing the much bigger muscles of your legs to deal with the rough stuff. All those momentary rests will soon add up, leaving you feeling a little fresher and also way radder because of all the manualling you’ve been doing. Sounds pretty good eh!
If that’s not enough to persuade you, what about this: once you can lift your front wheel up using the correct technique, you can step your game up almost immediately by successfully learning to do drop-offs. For both manualling over things on the trail and for doing drop-offs, you don’t need to be able to cruise along on the back wheel for many many metres, you simply need to be able to raise the front wheel using the technique described in the video above.
Be sure to let me know how you get on by leaving a comment on the video!
Until next time.