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Old 01-23-14, 07:22 PM   #1
pbass
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Wheelies and manuals question

Total noob here, just getting into mountain biking. Been riding bikes on and off since I was a kid but admittedly, one thing I never learned was how to do a wheelie!
So, I'm watching this video I found through another thread here--very informative.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiQGFX_RlW4#t=388
I get to "pedal wheelies" (at 19.41) and manuals (22:30), and decide I gotta learn that, so I go out to the fire road behind my house today to practice, and man, I just can't get the front of my bike up in any significant fashion. I feel like I'm really having to jerk it up with all my gusto even to get a split second of a few inches of air under the front wheel, while these guys make it look incredibly easy, like they're just tipping back so effortlessly (I think I dislocated my scapula I was yanking so hard Could it have anything to do with rider weight? I'm a scrawny 5'7", 132lbs. Riding a 27.5" hardtail. I'm putting my weight back behind the saddle as they describe--is it more difficult if one is lightweight? Could it be the set up of my saddle (i.e. too far back to begin with?). I'll keep at it, but if there's any secrets, I'd love to hear 'em!

Last edited by pbass; 01-23-14 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:04 PM   #2
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You should not have to yank too hard at all no matter how tall or how much you weigh. A good way to learn the pedal wheelie is to start in the granny gear up a small hill. Get a slow cadence going, try not to pick up speed, concentrate on the position of you pedals. Like the video says you want to start the wheelie at about the 1:00 position, but you need to start committing to it when are almost a full crank revolution before that. When your pedal reaches about 6:00 start to bend your arms bringing your chest into the bars, not a lot, just a little. Then start pedaling a hard, when you pedal reaches about the 1:00 start leaning back to straighten your arms, that should start to lift the front wheel.

It takes practice but you’ll get it. Always keep your fingers on the rear brake, even though it is hard to lift the front wheel now, soon everything will “click” and you might actually start going over backwards. Soon you will be using your body and not the power of the granny gear.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:44 PM   #3
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Thanks! I will give it another go tomorrow. Maybe I should practice on my son's 24" bike
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Old 01-24-14, 09:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wo show View Post
You should not have to yank too hard at all no matter how tall or how much you weigh.
This

With a manual, it starts in the hips. Using your hips more will allow the wheel to come up much easier.
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Old 01-24-14, 10:42 AM   #5
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If you are new to Mountain Biking get this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Moun.../dp/B004D2BD1Q

It is IMO the best investment you can make, it is a great read (and re-read).
A must have as you already have some really nice bikes and you are on the right track.
A lot of great info can be learned here but you gotta have some thick skin...lol
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Old 01-24-14, 11:13 AM   #6
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This topic is a perennial favorite. I will harken back a few years to my attempt to put the technique in a nutshell for someone else:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...42#post4819042
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Old 01-24-14, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xuwol7 View Post
If you are new to Mountain Biking get this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Moun.../dp/B004D2BD1Q

It is IMO the best investment you can make, it is a great read (and re-read).
A must have as you already have some really nice bikes and you are on the right track.
A lot of great info can be learned here but you gotta have some thick skin...lol
I just ordered it--thanks for the tip!
I'm starting out at MTB'ing a little older than most I expect--53, so while I don't see myself getting too aggressive, I want to be safe and smart about it when I am out there.
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Old 01-24-14, 02:18 PM   #8
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I have to give my 2 cent for a while ago - not as positive as Dminor's
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post9864333
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Old 01-24-14, 03:49 PM   #9
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I have to give my 2 cent for a while ago - not as positive as Dminor's
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post9864333
Indeed, I do suspect I might not have the wheelie gene.
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