A short video tutorial on how to manual a bike


How to Manual a bike

I thought I'd try uploading a tutorial for once. Tutorials are not something I am typically associated with, my videos are usually documenting my journey of learning something. However, in my "Learn to Manual" video, I didn't actually get a chance to include a section explaining how to do it. So here goes.

Getting the Front Wheel Up

First you need to be comfortable getting the front wheel up. Pumping forwards and down on the pedals whilst simultaneously pulling the bars up will get the front wheel nice and high. Have a play around to get a feeling for how hard you need to pull up. Try not to go over the back, use the rear brake if you pull upwards too hard.

Using your legs to balance

Next focus on using the bending motion of your legs to balance the front wheel in a manual position. Think of creating a sliding motion for your butt by bending your knees to bring you closer or further to the frame. Try not to create a pivot motion around your feet, but a sliding movement. Move your hips in and out, not round and round. Refrain from using the rear brake as much as you can. You need to train your brain to put the front wheel down using balance alone. This allows you to maintain speed and prevent you coming to a halt after a few feet. Keeping your butt lower will make the weight changes more subtle if you feel yourself slamming the front wheel down or flying over the rear wheel.

A few extra tips

Look ahead, not at the tyre, You will steer more straight. Go fast, it helps with going straight and is more forgiving with weight changes. Practise a little every day, say 30 mins. Start using downhill sections if you are struggling for pace. Wear a helmet.


Good luck! Like many things, this is a case of practice, practice, practice.


My Learn to Manual video was sponsored by Squarespace. A long time supported of the show. If you'd like to create a website like this, visit SquareSpace to get started with a free trial AND save 10% at checkout.