Our 5 top tips to help you learn to manual… - Pedal Progression


1 January 2024

Our 5 top tips to help you learn to manual…

Learning to manual is one of the THE most common goals people arrive with when they start their coaching journey and for good reason. Manuals are very useful on the the trail, they the are a foundation technique of many advanced skills, they are very fun to do and they look damn cool!

Of course you are always going to advanced quicker in a face to face session with a coach, but if that’s not on the cards right now then why not try our top 5 tips…

How low can you go?

Answer is, much lower than you think! When you execute the initial move to get the front wheel up, be dynamic, powerful and get yerself really low. Trust us, you’ll never be as low as think.

It’s kinda not about the pull

If you want to get your front wheel off the ground it’s natural to think about pulling on the bars. But, if you simply pull the bars into your chest as the wheel start to rise you are actually pulling your weight over the front wheel. Instead think about the force that gets your wheel up as coming from the massive dynamic weight shift. It starts with your hips not your arms and is more likely to create even tension in them and across the bar.

Push with your legs and feet

As your front wheel begins to rise you want to focus on pushing with your legs, channelling as much force as you can through the pedals. Imagine your trying to push the back wheel underneath the front. To execute a good manual pushing your legs straight whilst dipping your heals is key.

Use your head

MTB 101 kicks in again!! Many people find they drift to one side when they manual. This can be caused by an imbalance in the tension you have in each arm. But, we all know that you need to look where you want to go right? If you are looking off to one side your manual is more likely to drift. Pick a point in the distance, a tree, road sign or similar. Stare at it relentlessly particularly whilst you execute the initial weight shift.

The rear brake is your friend

This is super useful, especially when you are at the point of being scared you are going to loop out. Pulling the rear brake will have the effect of making the front wheel drop. Drag it gently to control the hover of the front wheel. When you’re learning it’s a good confidence builder to know you can quickly get your front wheel back safely on the ground.

What do you think of our tips? Got any of your own? Why not share them in the comments?

Still struggling?

These tips will be a great start, but there’s loads more to learn and loads more we can do for you! Check out our coaching pages here for options to suit most budgets, if you need advice the drop us a line.


Written by:

Ollie Cain