How to: Build a manual trainer

And how to use it


Let’s face it. Pulling a manual, on a downhill and holding it for a minute is a cool trick indeed. To balance on that edge without pedaling, rocking back and forth is a skill seemingly for the elite descenders or those who grew up on two wheels.

But could there be an easier way to learn, to find that balance point and be at peace with it? Lately, the popularity of the manual trainer indicates that there might be a better way. You mount your own bike in the tilting cradle and lean back and search for that elusive balance point. A strap on the front wheel limits the movement should you lean back too far.

You get to learn and be comfortable of the balance point of your own bike. And it’s farther than you think.

The key advantage of this is it allows you to find the balance point of your own bike without consequence. Practice a few minutes a day and you develop the core muscles and the instinct to stay on the balance point.

The disadvantage is it’s still far from the actual experience of manualing and the key use of the brake lever to put the nose of the bike back down is not practiced.

Have you tried the manual trainer? What’s your take? How many out there have actually learned to manual well using the manual trainer?

A good discussion on our forums can be found here

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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