March 28, 2013

Thursday afternoon quick rant: you can’t manual

I hear constantly about how this or that bike doesn’t “manual” easily enough. Often I hear this from obvious freds or 50 pound overweight retired dentists online.

Folks, this is a manual. It means you get up on your rear wheel and balance there, without pedaling, and roll along. It’s not a wheelie, it’s not just lifting your front wheel for a second to get it over a dip or a rock in the trail. Almost no mountain bikers can do it (including most pros), and it’s not even a particularly useful skill for most people for trail riding. It’s a skill that often coincides with being a really good bike handler and it’s occasionally useful, but if you’re skilled enough to do a real manual, you can basically do one on ANY bike.

So if you want to complain that a bike doesn’t manual well, I’ll be happy to listen provided you go grab your trials bike or BMX and manual that for me. Otherwise, you can’t manual because you can’t manual, no matter what bike you’re on, and furthermore, manualing won’t really help you on the trail, so don’t worry about it.

Yours truly, 36 year old fred who can’t really manual Walt