Is it possible to ride a bike standing? I mean properly standing, not sitting up straight. Your feet are on the pedals but you do not touch any other part of the bike. If not, is it possible to roll/steer while standing?

For maximal clarity I added this handcraftet picture. You may only have contact with the blue parts, and especially not with the red parts:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Is this a problem you are trying to solve or just a hypothetical question?
    – Adam Rice
    Sep 25, 2018 at 21:10
  • 1
    A skilled cyclist, with a cooperative bike on a easy course, can pedal standing up with no hands on the handlebar. However, using hands would generally be required to get started, and the cyclist would probably use leg contact with the front of the seat or the top bar of the bike to help maintain stability. Sep 25, 2018 at 21:31
  • 2
    It's a nice picture but the gears are probably too low for balance tricks on that bike!
    – Chris H
    Sep 26, 2018 at 5:57
  • No - you need another point of contact, else steering is going to be erratic.
    – Criggie
    Sep 26, 2018 at 7:53
  • 1
    @ChrisH Good point ^^
    – bitt.j
    Sep 26, 2018 at 8:28

4 Answers 4


It's possible, for those who can do the seemingly impossible, at least if you allow the rider to do a wheelie at the same time.

Artistic cycling (YouTube link) seems to be a big thing in Slovakia, and merely riding standing with no hands would be a bit basic for these people, but they do pass through that position a few times (and fixies mean they must be pedalling if their feet are on the pedals. Certainly if you allow enough leeway for things like thighs in contact with handlebars, or holding hand with another rider, you can see them do that (while wheelie-ing) at 3:45. Though the wheelie may mean you count it as more of a unicycle trick.

Again, while wheelie-ing here's another (1:34) -- and the rider has someone standing on his shoulders.

Coming back to this after spending time on unicycles and with unicyclists, I've seen people riding a unicycle with the saddle dragging along the ground, and only the feet in contact with the uni. There's also something that can only be ridden this way: the ultimate wheel is just a wheel with pedals attached to it. No saddle, no handle of any kind, but rideable (YouTube).

Unless the presence of a front wheel makes balancing harder, it should be possible to ride a bike this way, and of course bikes are generally easier to ride than unicycles. However there are things I'd try on a uni that I wouldn't try with a diamond frame between my legs, such as riding no hands from a standing start.


I have seen that done with monocycles, but I am afraid that doing it with a bicycle is going to be more difficult if not impossible.

The reason I think so is that when you stand up and pedal you are also unbalancing your bike right and left. If you do it while holding the bar, you can compensate it in a certain way. (think cyclist standing while going uphill or sprinting, see how most of the cyclists in this picture are standing and their bike is tilted)

enter image description here

If you are not holding the bar, your bike will start zig-zagging and the only way to control it would be using your hips. But that can happen if you sit and can transfer your hips movement to the frame via the saddle.

  • 1
    I reckon the inner thighs should be able to exert the sideways force, though if that's against the sides of the saddle it's against the rules in the question. It would still look like there was no contact
    – Chris H
    Sep 26, 2018 at 6:03
  • Why do you not have the same problems on a monocycle?
    – bitt.j
    Sep 26, 2018 at 8:37
  • 1
    @bitt.j, on the monocycle you don't have a front wheel free of rotating and chasing your center of mass
    – L.Dutch
    Sep 26, 2018 at 8:40
  • You can't ride a monocycle without being seated. The 'fork' with the seat tube won't stay upright by themselves. The mono is balanced and held through the thighs gripping the saddle shaped in a way that it can't escape from underneath the bum.
    – Carel
    Sep 26, 2018 at 20:38

It’s possible to stand and roll, I’ve done it, but with knees touching saddle for stability, which is currently against the rules. See YouTube for similar.

I wouldn’t rule out someone more athletic than me being able to comply with the rules after practise, for rolling at least.

As Daniel points out, the bike must be cooperative, so stable and balanced. Some bikes will be more difficult than others.

Also see this for ideas of what would seem impossible being done..!

  • Legs touching the toptube works as well, while rolling, but I failed (or lost my nerve) pedalling with no hands or seat
    – Chris H
    Sep 26, 2018 at 7:43
  • Two questions: when your legs touch the saddle, can you pedal? Can it be, that it is actually easier to ride the handlebar (once you are up there)?
    – bitt.j
    Sep 26, 2018 at 8:36

If the only contact allowed is your feet on the pedals, I do not think it is possible to balance for any sustained amount of time. It only becomes possible when you allow a third point of contact to leverage against, such as a thigh against the top tube. This is because the pedals are offset somewhat from the center of the bike, so you will not be able to use them without falling over if those are the only points you are in contact with.

Only touching the pedals, if you try to push down on one pedal, the whole bike will go in that direction, and quickly fall over. There needs to be another point of contact in order to have forward motion. If you are holding still/doing a track stand, you control your side-to-side motion by holding the wheel at a ~45 degree angle and manipulating your forward-backwards motion as necessary. If you can't redistribute your weight on the pedals to go forwards/backwards slightly without falling over, you will not be able to do a track stand.

If the bike is already moving and you have really good balance, you might be able to stand up for a second only on the pedals, but any need for corrective balancing will require at least one more point of contact.

  • I think one could balance for a while standing still, but the whole point of a bike is to move, and maintaining controlled forward motion would be extremely challenging and unsafe to everyone nearby.
    – Criggie
    Sep 28, 2018 at 4:42

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