Learn how to ride trials and street trials with TrashZen: this will also improve your general MTB riding skills.
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RushWay trials mechanics

Manuals


The "Manual" is a variant of the wheelie where you keep cruising on a flat surface or down a slope without pedalling.

Finding the right balance point

trials riding tutorials Go fast and stop pedalling to cruise on your momentum.

Well performed, the "manual" will give you a surfing sensation, floating in balance over the rear wheel and cruising with the smoothest attitude, without ever pedalling.

Once mastered, the manual can make for neat cruising transitions between flowing moves, as long as you can maintain your natural momentum (by avoiding full brake stops).

It is probably easier to "get the feel" for this pure urban trick going up a very mild slope. The up inclination will ease-off the initial pull on the handlebars to lift the front wheel up and you'll reach a point of balance sooner without much effort. Once you get a feel for the right pull, practise on flat surfaces, then down mild slopes (it will require a more energetic pull-up on the handlebars and a quicker balance adjustment.)

Learning the manual on a flat

trials riding tutorials Go fast and stop pedalling to cruise on your momentum.

Before you pull a manual, you should ride fast enough to keep moving at a good pace once you'll have stopped pedalling. Lean forward with your pedals level, then perform a firm push-up on the front tyre to thrust the bike in front of you as you throw your hips back, arms fully stretched.

This swift change of position, your bum hovering behind the rear wheel, will naturally pull the front wheel up (in fact you create a lifting torque without having to flex your arms).

With the front wheel up, control the whole bike inclination by adjusting the position of your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, keeping your arms well stretched. Try to keep your hips as low as possible over the rear wheel, but keep your knees supple so as to float your bum wherever needed to adjust your balance.

As a bearing, your shoulders should be nearly level with your bar grips, arms pretty much stretched horizontally. Keep a finger over the rear brake lever just in case of emergency, but in a very well balanced manual, you won't need to rely on the rear brake.



Click on any photo and use the scroll-wheel to animate the move.

Launching a manual

trials riding tutorials
1° Ride fast enough to keep moving at a good pace once you've stopped pedalling, then lean forward over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
2° Lift the front wheel with a firm push-up on the front tyre and lean back with your bum hovering over the rear hub.

trials riding tutorials
3° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
4° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise along, by adjusting your posture over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
5° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
6° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise along, by adjusting your posture over the bike.


Biketrial video Watch this move in slow-motion Biketrial video


Once you get more confident with your manuals, practise them down a mild slope, though you should feather the rear brake to compensate for the constant downhill acceleration and to control your speed.

When using the rear brake, lean further back to compensate for the change of momentum and to prevent the front wheel from diving.

Beware that hitting the smallest depression (or pot hole) in the ground with your rear tyre will make your front wheel dive, slamming the bike down. Small bumps are easier to damp (as long as you keep your knees supple).




Tuning your lateral balance

trials riding tutorials Go fast and stop pedalling to cruise on your momentum.

Once the front wheel is up, use your knees and hips to keep going straight and compensate for any sideways deviations. For example, if you fall on your left, pull your right knee on the outside, and if necessary, swing your hips aside too.

Keep your knees more or less open to achieve perfect lateral control. Reversely, you can also use your knees and torso to initiate a turn, leaning the bike on one side to deflect its course as you roll on the flanges of the rear tyre.



Click on any photo and use the scroll-wheel to animate the move.

Carving a turn

trials riding tutorials
1° Ride fast enough to keep moving at a good pace once you've stopped pedalling, then lean forward over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
2° Lift the front wheel with a firm push-up on the front tyre and lean back with your bum hovering over the rear hub.

trials riding tutorials
3° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
4° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise aloy adjusting y adjusting ng, by adjusting your posture over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
5° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with yy adjusting y adjusting our hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
6° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise along, by adjusting your posture over the bike.


Biketrial video Watch this move in slow-motion Biketrial video



Practice makes perfect
Once you are comfortable with plain manuals, try to maintain them across different levels. For example, launch a manual on a flat and try to maintain it as you drop off a small kerb or as your ride down a small ramp.

These little exercises will force you to figure out different manual postures, standing more or less to maintain your centre of gravity over the rear hub, until you recover a lean and stable manual position. Use your legs to do all the height adjustments.

Manual to bunny hop to manual
Next, you'll want to launch a bunny hop off a manual and maintain your manual as you climb up a step. Think of it as a regular bunny hop, only missing the front wheel push up. Note that you'll have to regroup a bit over the bike just before you jump (else the bike will shoot out underneath you as you land).

Leverage the bike's cantilever effect as you jump on the pedals to pump up your bunny hop (then pull on the handlebars while applying pedal back-force to lift up the rear wheel). You should aim at landing over the flat top of the step rather than on its biting edge, else the sudden impact is likely to throw you off balance (the front wheel diving flat).

Try up small kerbs to get a feel for the necessary body adjustments. The hardest bit is probably to break free of the rear brake, as in trials, braking literally becomes a reflex when landing anything to rear wheel.



Click on any photo and use the scroll-wheel to animate the move.

Manual to bunny hop to manual

trials riding tutorials
1° Ride fast enough to keep moving at a good pace once you've stopped pedalling, then lean forward over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
2° Lift the front wheel with a firm push-up on the front tyre and lean back with your bum hovering over the rear hub.

trials riding tutorials
3° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
4° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise along, by adjusting your posture over the bike.

trials riding tutorials
5° Control the whole bike inclination by adjusting your centre of gravity with your hips and knees, arms well stretched.

trials riding tutorials
6° Maintain the right balance spot as your cruise along, by adjusting your posture over the bike.


Biketrial video Watch this move in slow-motion Biketrial video




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