When doing a rolling dismount, one foot stays on its pedal, the other has to cross over somehow. Would you suggest crossing over in front of you (while sitting, folding you knee to allow the cross-over) or behind you (standing on your pedal and extending the other leg out behind you to cross over.

Note: I don't mean to know which you prefer, rather which is safer/easier/quicker than the other, and why.

  • Safety factor depends on your age, sense of balance and skills, I have done it over a dozen different ways when younger, it was sort of a signature when we were kids, who could do the coolest rolling dismount. – Moab Sep 9 '11 at 14:48
  • Is this a cyclocross question? Would like to tag it if so. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Sep 13 '11 at 1:40
  • @Neil, nope, just a regular commuter-cyclist question – Shawn Sep 13 '11 at 20:20

Unless you have a Victorian ladies style frame, crossing your leg in front of you is a fine way to crash.

  • Depends on your skills if you crash or not, kind of a blanket statement. When I was you I did rolling dismounts a dozen different ways without ever crashing. – Moab Sep 9 '11 at 14:42
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    "When I was you..." ?! – Hugo Sep 9 '11 at 20:08
  • I assumed the OPs skills weren't so hot - otherwise why ask the question? – cmannett85 Sep 9 '11 at 21:40

While I strongly recommend coming to a complete stop, I would think that standing on your pedal and extending the other leg out behind you to cross over would be safer.

In the cross-in-front alternative, your pedal foot is stuck behind the leg that hits the ground and I would expect there to be a significant risk of getting tangled up while in this 'grapevine' position and tripping.

  • Why do you discourage the rolling dismount? (just curious) – Shawn Sep 8 '11 at 23:49
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    Sounds like a mom to me, don't run with scissors either! – Moab Sep 9 '11 at 14:43

I agree with previous answers, cross the leg behind you. But, if there is a reason for which you prefer to do it crossing the leg in front of you, in the final dismount movement, I recommend to hop out of the saddle and land with both feet on the ground more or less at the same time but with one in front of the other (Preferably the one that crossed from the other side should be in front). This maneuver should allow you to quickly star the run or walk prior to the complete stop.

  • The main reason I end up crossing in front of me is when I have a basket on my luggage rack which is very high and makes passing my leg behind me a pain in the ass. – Shawn Sep 9 '11 at 5:51
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    Get rid of it then. If it causes the basic act of getting off your bike to be difficult, then it's a poor bike accessory. – cmannett85 Sep 9 '11 at 21:42
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    I disagree with @cbamber85: if an accessory is on a bike, it is for a reason. What should be made is to be aware of the accessory and change behaviour accordingly. – heltonbiker Sep 13 '11 at 2:28

Moving the leg around behind you is better because after it's around, you can put it on the ground without crossing your legs.

In other words, suppose you keep your left foot in the pedal. If you bring your right foot over the front, then put it on the ground, with your left foot still in the pedal and the bike still moving slowly, it tends to twist your body around to the left so you're facing backward.

If you bring your right foot over the back, it's in a natural position for you to start running alongside the bike in motion.

Also, it's easier to bring your leg over the back because you don't have to bend your knee so much.


It really depends on what type of riding you are doing and whether or not you have clipless pedals. If you are a cyclocross racer, the left foot remains in the pedal, and the right foot swings over the back wheel, then threads between the left foot and the frame to step on the ground. This fast, but tricky dismount is explained in this video from a former cyclocross national champion. Some triathletes use a similar technique. If you do not have clipless pedals or your left foot is resting on top of your shoes, you can swing the right foot over the back wheel, position just behind the left foot, and then hop of the bike to land on your right foot. The safest thing to do, however, is to stop and dismount.

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