How To Manual | E Mountain Bike Skills

How To Manual | E Mountain Bike Skills


– So this is an essential skill for riding your E-Mountain Bike. This is how to manual. (upbeat techno music) Manualing an e-bike
really is the same skill as manualing a normal bike, but there’s a couple
things that you really need to concentrate on to get a good one. But first, let’s talk about why you want to be able
to manual an e-bike. (upbeat techno music) When I say manualing, all I really mean is unweighting the front wheel
and getting it off the floor. Now that is the first step of
getting a proper bunny hop. You’ve got to nail this manual first. So this really isn’t the case
of trying to learn the manual so you can show off and
ride down and forward on your back wheel. It’s all about doing
the body weight thing. Now as anyone who has
ridden a full-suspension E-Mountain Bike knows,
they are monster trucks. The suspension works really well and they can plough through
some pretty gnarly terrain. But eventually, if you don’t
start unweighting wheels you’ll come unstuck. You’ll hit something
that’s really slippery, or really technical, and you’ll have to start
getting the bike off the floor. Sometimes it’s not actually the case of getting the wheels
hopped up and off the floor. Sometimes it’s just a case
of unweighting those wheels. For example, your front
wheel might be hitting a really slippery route or a step, and if you hit it with full weight on it, you can crash. So the manual is step one for
unweighting, bunny hopping, but also a gateway to riding
more technical terrain. (upbeat techno music) So that’s why, now this is how. The manual all starts
in your ready position, so standing nice and tall on the bike, knees slightly bent right in the middle. And the first thing you need to do is drop yourself centrally
down to the bike, so it’s really important to
have your seat out of the way. That’s what we call the pump. Just like pumping a trail for speed. Drop your hips straight
down towards the saddle, just as your bum is
about to hit the saddle, then you go to the back of the bike. Now these two things are
really important on an e-bike because of the weight of
the motor and the battery you are gonna need to
put more force into this so a really forceful pump, nice and quick using all your weight, and then straight back
towards that back tyre. It’s really important that your bum actually gets close to that back tyre. If you end up going like this, up into almost a V shape, you’re not gonna move
that weight far enough over the back tyre and the manual isn’t gonna be good enough. So it’s really important
to get that L shape like I always talk about doing
when it comes to manuals. So we get regular questions on ask EMBN, where people are really
struggling to get a manual and it always comes down to that movement. You need to get those
two movements in one, so you go down and then back. Often people just go
down and back in one go so they cut the corner. So you really got to think about your hips being your weight. And you’re trying to pivot the bike around that rear wheel axle, so you’ve got to get your weight back. And like I said already, on an e-bike it takes a bit more force. As you drop the back of the bike, you need to keep your arms straight. So for my tall to down to back, my arms will actually lock out and then keep em straight, cause that will help you keep
your balance on the bike. If you then try and pull, it’s often the case that people
start losing the balance, the bars turn a little bit. Another really important
thing is to keep your head up, cause that really makes a difference. The weight of your chest,
if your head’s down, it’s keeping it to the front of the bike. (techno music) I would always recommend
practising manuals on flat pedals. Cause in the worst case scenario, if you get that front wheel too high, you can at least jump
off the back of the bike. But really, you don’t
want to be doing that. What you want to learn is
how to use that back brake to drop the front wheel again. If the front wheel gets too high, give that back brake a pull, it’s gonna drop down straight away. Now what you really want to get used to is finding the balance point and the easiest way of doing
that, especially on an e-bike, is to use that motor to
help you get into a wheelie and then really get a feel
for when that front wheel wants to come back too far, where it’s just below that balance point. Get a feel for it. Practise that back brake and eventually, with practise, you will get it nailed. (techno music) These are the two most common mistakes when it comes to manuals. The first one is pumping down
and then going up and back. So that can lift the front wheel, when the front wheel
lands back on the floor, your weight will get back
onto that front wheel really quickly and it also means you’re not really able to get a bunny hop. Because to get the second
part of a bunny hop, and lift your rear wheel up off the floor, you need to go from a low
position, stand up and tall. The second one is using muscles, rather than body weight
to lift the front tyre. That’s when you can
start losing your balance and again, if you use your arms, when the front wheel
lands back on the floor, all your weight is back on that front tyre and if you get the timing wrong, for example, on a root, that
can cause you some issues. (techno music) So now I’m gonna show you
a few places on the trail where a good front wheel lift or manual is gonna help you out. Now this section is kinda technical. There’s lots of rocks and roots, and as you can see, just down here, there’s a root now that goes
diagonally across the trail. Those ones can really catch you out. Now ideally, you’re gonna
lift your front wheel out to slide to get over
the back of that root, but because there’s so
much stuff going on, you might not spot that
until the last minute. And as I was just saying, you really need to put a lot of force in to manual an e-bike. I might actually not find
enough time to do that here. But I’ll do the same motion
as quick as possible. And even if my front wheel doesn’t come off the ground too much, hopefully, with that weight off it, cause now my weight is gonna
be at the back of the bike, in that manual position, and with a bit of that
suspension helping out, I’m gonna get over that
root and not come unstuck. (upbeat techno music) So rocks, roots, anything really slippery that you’re front wheel can slide on, try and lift your front wheel over those, but also for drop-offs. You don’t want your front
wheel plummeting off the edge, especially on bigger drops. So try and match the angle of the landing and try and land pretty much
two wheels at the same time. It’s also really important to do that whilst you’re looking at
what’s after the drop-off. Especially in this situation, there’s roots, there’s trees, I need to be seeing this
in my peripheral vision. So I’m looking at this trail down there, I can still see the drop just here. A lot of the time when you’re
doing technical climbs, you can rely on wheelies to
get your front wheel up steps, but in this case, it’s pretty big. I’m gonna need some
momentum to get up this, so I’m gonna set myself off up this bank, go as quick as I can, so
that when I get to this step, I can come off the pedals
and just give it a manual to get the front wheel up that step and actually sometimes,
I might need a little bit of a rear wheel lift as well, to make sure that I don’t
slam into it and stop, and then keep pedalling away. So that’s how to manual an e-bike. Get practising and if
you’ve got any questions, leave them in the comments
section down below. We’re gonna move this off very soon to do a how to bunny hop video so really learn it by
unweighting that bike and starting to ride some
really technical terrain. If you want to see some more videos, click over there for Pro Bike
Check with Nicholas Vouilloz and over there for some descending tips. Give thumbs up and hit
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