I recently starting riding again (stopped for 10 years) and am having balance problems when starting. Using the proper starting technique causes me to wobble and lose my balance, tho' I haven't fallen yet. As a result I've got my saddle low to the point where my toes touch the ground and I have too much bend in my knees. Knees don't hurt, but I know this is not the right way to ride. Any suggestions other than switching to a trike?

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    Try it for a few days / weeks, then you will learn again the balance and should start ride normally.
    – Alexander
    May 27, 2016 at 11:01
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    Welcome to Bicycles @Wobbles. Telling us your age and what kind of bike you're riding will help us to help you. As Alexander says, keep practising. But if you're riding a road (racing) bike, or another bike with aggressive geometry, then maybe you need one with more forgiving angles.
    – andy256
    May 27, 2016 at 11:06
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    You need to get some motion right away. Some people are not strong enough to simply push down on the pedal and get going and need to "push off" with a toe on the ground as they start. Finding a slight downhill helps too (and certainly make sure you're not accidentally starting off uphill). After you get a bit more comfortable with it you will discover which foot works best and what angle to put the crank arm at to begin with (a little higher than horizontal is probably best, but it varies with the rider and situation). May 27, 2016 at 11:34
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    A body muscle memory will fix for around a few days. However, if it doesn't improve, then it just because the bicycle frame just too large for you.
    – mootmoot
    May 27, 2016 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


The more speed you get, the more balanced you will be, so at the beginning give a hard pedal stroke to get quickly some speed. You can also practice in a slight downhill road, this gives you speed easier.

I recently taught a friend to ride a bicycle (30 years old!), and the solution was the slight downhill.

Another trick is to look far ahead (dont look at your front wheel) and stay upright, so you should put your saddle higher than you describe.

Good luck!

  • 3
    These are some good tips. When I taught my kids I had to constantly tell them to stop looking at their wheel and look where they want to go. Also, make sure you have the bike in the right gear when you start. Too easy of a gear will cause the bike to not be moving fast enough after the first stroke, but having too hard of a gear will mean you have to have to stand on the pedals to get going, which will require more balance.
    – Kibbee
    May 27, 2016 at 14:36

Can you tell/show us what you think the proper starting technique is?

Personally I start with my right (primary/stronger) foot on the pedal, and push down hard. This gives enough forward momentum to stay vertical while the other foot comes up to its pedal. I tend to be seated.

What's your technique ?

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