Recently, the weather has not spoiled us, and we have been thinking for a long time to train something and improve our riding technique, e.g. by mastering the manual, which, as we all know, is useful in technical sections and can be combined with all kinds of tricks. Of course, on enduro trails you will find many situations in which you will use your manual to overcome an obstacle more efficiently or effectively, so why wait? Get to work!
Manual in MTB world - one of the most useful tricks?
When riding an MTB bike, you should pay attention not only to keep good shape of your body and legs, but also to enhance your balancing technique, which when mastered increases the feeling of the bike and confidence in riding. Surely you have tried wheelie when you were a kid, and although not everyone was successful in this art, there were also those who quickly discovered a more difficult and useful version of this trick, i.e. manual.
The main thing to master is balance and control of the bike when you are putting your entire weight only on the rear wheel. The manual can be used when overcoming various types of jumps or drops, where it is important to shift the weight of the body to the back to relieve the front wheel and take the right position for jump. Using it often will help you develop a useful habit of putting your bike and body in the right position before any drop or jump. Check any Pink Bike Friday Fail compilation and you will know what I mean.
MTB manual trainer - DIY in action
So much for the brief theory, but how to do practical exercises without being on the trail or in the bike park with your buddies? Today we will show you how! We did some research on the Internet and managed to find what we were looking for, i.e. instructions for making your own manual training device! There are already several products on the market that you can buy, but they are poorly available and quite expensive, so we will try to make DIY alternative! It took us about 2 hours to complete the construction step by step and that didn’t require any advanced skills or tools. Of course, we adapted our project a bit due to materials that were at hand, so do not worry about how your work will differ from what we have created, the most important thing is that it works properly! As we mentioned, to create the device itself, we used a clip from “Kyle & April – Ride MTB” YouTube channel, which shows how to do the job, so we highly recommend their channel.
Below you will find a photo session of our test along with short comments that we believe were important during the construction.
Due to the fact that we have different enduro tyres fitted in our bikes (from 2.35” to 2.6”), we had to standardize our device, which is why we introduced our proprietary solution in the form of additional wooden spacer that holds the wheel stable in the device pocket. You should focus on this stage, because the correctness of its implementation guarantees stability, and this is especially important if you are just starting to practice your “manual”.
The last step is to attach a suitable elastic band that will hold your front wheel. After taking this step, the workshop actions can be considered finished and we can start our training!
To sum up, making “DIY manual trainer” is great fun and a cheap alternative for those who now have a lot of time and prefer to spend their budget on new parts instead of buying branded device that will give them the same effect as this simple tool that you can do yourself in the privacy of own garage.
If you have any additional questions, write to us on our Facebook: “Bike Builders UK” or on Instagram @bike.builders
PS. Remember that professional clothing adds at least +5 to skills and +10 to prestige!!! 😉
Bike Builders Crew