Questions tagged [technique]

How to improve your cycling form -- whether you want to pedal with less pain or become more aerodynamic. Can also be used for mountain biking or BMX techniques such as hopping or jumping.

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69
votes
19answers
79k views

Do skilled cyclists really "use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time"?

Sheldon Brown's Braking and Turning Your Bicycle page states that: Skilled cyclists use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time and "Generally I advise against using both brakes at the ...
40
votes
12answers
6k views

Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Why do cyclists shave their legs? Is it because of wind resistance?
33
votes
4answers
10k views

Cycling uphill on a road - sitting or standing on pedals?

When cycling uphill on a road, what are the pros and cons of cycling while standing up on pedal versus sitting on saddle?
32
votes
8answers
10k views

Broken glass on the bicycle path, what to do?

Often I find myself driving with my racing bike on the dedicated bicycle lane in my city. The problem with these bicycle lanes is that there is a lot of broken glass (once every few kilometers). ...
30
votes
7answers
102k views

How do I efficiently shift gears on a road bike with downtube shifters?

I have bought a vintage Campagnolo road bike, so the shifters are on the down tube. I own a mountain bike and i am used to changing gears on that one, but don't know the proper technique to change on ...
29
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a way to hop up onto a parallel curb?

The scenario: you're riding in a curb-adjacent, paint-only bike lane. You happen to look over your shoulder (or in your mirror) and see a vehicle approaching from behind, either fully in the bike lane,...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I improve my pedal stroke?

I know a part of biking endurance and speed come from having a perfect pedal stroke. What should I do to improve my pedal stroke?
26
votes
27answers
47k views

What is a simple mnemonic for remembering the thread direction when removing pedals?

Given that pedal threads are different on the left and right pedals: the right side pedal has a right-hand thread (removes counterclockwise, installs clockwise); the left side pedal has a left-hand ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Lessons from downhill crash

I was taking my usual morning ride before dawn on an 'adventure' road bike. It is a very steep hill with bends (Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex, England). I was descending and noticed (too late) some ...
23
votes
5answers
598 views

What are some good tips for riding in a large group?

One of the popular bike routes near me has a few groups that ride together on Saturday and Sunday. The groups get as big as 30 to 40 riders and they move fast (25 to 35 mph). I have occasionally ...
22
votes
12answers
53k views

Looking for Techniques for Riding Uphill on a Single Speed

I commute on a Single Speed (SS) bike about 13mi round trip. Going home is not a problem as the gradients are low and I can climb them. However, going in to work the gradients are much steeper and I ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

How to descend mountain roads?

What skills and techniques are required to descending at high speeds while maintaining control of the bicycle? How does this change when the roads are wet or have gravel in them?
21
votes
13answers
45k views

How to get my feet out of SPD pedals?

I just bought some SPD shoes and pedals last night and I was trying them out (on one foot) while balancing in my living room. I ended up falling over because I couldn't get unclipped. What suggestions ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the purpose of landing on the rear tire?

Throughout the entire Kranked series, riders are doing insane jumps and drops. What puzzles me is that, despite beginner advice to land both wheels (nearly) simultaneously, about half of the landings ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

Do both riders on a tandem need to know how to ride a bike?

I want to take a visiting friend out on a bike ride. Since this friend never learned how to ride a bike, I was thinking that a tandem might be a viable solution in the short term, instead of ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I cycle up steep rocky ground?

When mountain biking with my friends, we sometimes end up tackling a severe up hill over rocky ground. I usually find I end up putting a foot down first. I'm not sure what's going wrong. Sometimes my ...
17
votes
11answers
6k views

How to learn to ride a bike better?

I can ride a bike somehow, but I'd like to learn to do it better (maneuvering, etc.) before starting to use it as a way to move about the city. Any suggestions how I should go about doing that, what I ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do racing cyclists wobble when furiously pedalling?

In all pro-cycling races, they start wobbling towards the finish line instead of biking steadily (e.g., in this video: http://youtu.be/wJE69beIIoI). Why do they do that? Note: I have no experience ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Does pedaling while standing damage my knees even if I don't feel pain?

I am in my mid forties and ride a seven speed cruiser or maybe mountain bike. I enjoy pedaling while standing, and I don't really care about speed or efficiency. When there is even the slightest ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Most favoriable collision with a car? How should I act before collision, supposing enough time?

Suppose a car is going to collide with you. What can you do to minimise the consequences? By collision I mean that it may be intentional or an accident. Anyway I am looking for tips on how to act in ...
15
votes
5answers
437 views

How do I improve my cycling at my age (77 years)

I am 77 years old and newly come to riding a road bike. In the better weather I do between 75 and 100 miles per week, consisting mainly of fairly easy roads with four or five reasonable hills, ...
14
votes
7answers
32k views

What is the trick to riding on sand?

I have been trying to ride on some trials that have very soft sand and especially agitated by ATVs. When I hit a soft patch my front tire pulls in one direction and I freak out a little. I cannot ...
14
votes
7answers
922 views

How do I help the less experienced cyclist cope with a hill climb?

I enjoy going up hills by bike and only the steepest Alps make me think 'what am I doing!!!' However, some of my friends have a tendency to say things like We're not going all the way up there, are ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

What skills/drills should I learn to descend faster and more confidently? (for mountain biking)

I've ridden road and mountain bikes for years, and this is my first year riding as a part of a team (and actually doing races). I've been stuck at nearly the same level of skill when descending and ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Correctly and incorrectly mounting a bicycle

I am very fond of mouting bicycles this way: Stand to the left of the bike. Put the left foot on the left pedal. Push forward with the right foot to set the bike in motion. Swing the right leg ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a good way to learn how to ride a bike on rollers?

After seeing a few questions about rollers pop-up, such as this one, it has spiked my interest in these things again. So how do you learn how to ride on rollers? How long does it take you to get the ...
14
votes
1answer
9k views

What effect does changing the stem length have on my bikes handling

I'm finding that when jumping my mountain bike seems to be very nose heavy no matter how far back my saddle is. What effect will moving to a shorter stem length have? My bike, a Boardman FS-PRO came ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Making a very sharp turn by pivoting on your front wheel?

There is that cool maneuver that lets you do a very sharp turn (90° or even 180°) in very tight situations, like descending two flights of staircases (in town) or narrow and very steep winding trails (...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I prevent cars from passing me too closely?

Recently, a driver buzzed by me, leaving just a couple of inches between my handlebars and his car. It was very scary. In general, how can I prevent cars from passing me too closely? Please cite ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I prevent or mitigate the front wheel coming off the ground when climbing steep hills?

On one of my bicycles (a 2012 Trek Madone 4.7), when climbing very steep hills, I have had problems with the front wheel coming off the ground. This creates an extremely dangerous situation because ...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the best technique for carrying a large box on my bike rack?

FedEx has a large package for me, and it has me wondering--what's the best way to carry a large box on a bike with a rear rack? What types of tie-downs, knots, etc should be used? For context, this ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to start uphill?

It is tricky to start pedaling uphill, especially with some complicating factors out there. I want to learn the proper technique. Saddle height For any uphill, I put my saddle at "XC height",...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

How does one ride 'no handed'?

Learning to ride no-handed has been on my new year resolution list year after year after year and I still haven't done it. I'm 46 so I need to be careful about falling off. Do people have fool-proof ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it better to breathe through your nose or mouth when cycling?

I just watched the 'Road to Glory' documentary about Team Sky. I noticed when they were warming up on their Turbos, some of them had cotton wool up their noses. Is this because it's better to ...
11
votes
5answers
13k views

I feel long rides exclusively in my quads, should my calf muscles be doing more work?

I notice a lot of cyclists with massive sculpted calf muscles, especially the kind that clearly ride as a life-style without worrying about minimizing body weight. I've switched cities, and gone from ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it a good idea to lift the front wheel to go through small bumps?

I was wondering if it is a good idea, when riding fast on a road bike, to lift the front wheel when I find a 5-10cm bump. Does it damage the rear wheel more? Is it good or bad for the front wheel? I ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

What happens if a tire goes flat while I am in a fast turn?

So, the other day, I was riding along and got a flat tire. I was at the bottom of a large hill where I often find myself travelling 30 or more miles per hour (as per my speedometer) about it's many ...
10
votes
8answers
7k views

Low tire pressure causing fall in corner?

I recently fell in a corner. My front wheel lost traction (slid out from underneath the bike, what they call a 'lowsider' in motorcycling iirc). I was running quite low tire pressure (front wheel) to ...
10
votes
10answers
1k views

How Can A Faster Rider Aid A Slower Rider On A Long Ride?

For the context of this question, two people are trying to get from point A to point B (and back) where the only viable means of transportation is bicycle (and a tandem bicycle / electric bicycles are ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I tell if my bike can ride down stairs without damaging it?

I would like to know if my bike can handle going down a flight of about 15 stairs. (edit: ride it down, not jump) Specifically I have a Merida Crossway 100 . However, I would like to know if there is ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

How to jump curbs?

Putting aside the question should one ever ride on the sidewalk, I would like to jump curbs safely and seamlessly. Assume a hardtail mountain bike with high saddle (we are in the city), at a speed of ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How to properly ride over ripples on gravel roads (washboards)?

On certain back-country gravel roads, a combination of erosion and tire-tread seems to create these 4-inch ripples that can repeat for long stretches of the road. Riding over them at any speed at all ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Does rocking the bike side to side when e.g. sprinting or climbing help?

Or would more power go through the pedals if the rider held the frame still/upright? Or is there little difference? How would it be measured and what are the forces acting on the bike when rocking ...
10
votes
2answers
953 views

Does ideal cadence depend on a rider's weight/size at all?

As in the question, do heavier riders tend to have higher/lower cadence and should there be any difference?
9
votes
8answers
529 views

How to cope with being rattled by the wake of a fast car?

There's one long road that I bike on that has a decent bike lane, but the speed limit for cars is 50 mph. Needless to say, they drive 60+. Often I find myself being shaken or rattled by the turbulent ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Loading front wheel in a sharp turn?

When turning sharp at high speed, does it make sense to shift the weight to reduce risk of skidding? I do not see the point of doing so. Both wheels are leaned at the same angle against the ground no ...
8
votes
5answers
329 views

Standing up, worth practising for a casual cyclist?

I have no interest in racing, for me a bike is a mode of transport or a pleasant way to enjoy the countryside. Currently, the only time I ever stand is to accelerate from stationary or for a very ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it harmful to shift RD while climbing standing?

I'm just learning to climb standing, and I find I'm often guessing wrong about which gear to use; plus there are times where I'm accelerating up the hill and just need to shift up. Upshifts under ...
8
votes
5answers
572 views

Is cornering in snow any different?

The general advice about cornering is to lean the bike, not the body, to put pressure on the outside foot, and not to brake or brake only with the rear brake if absolutely needed. Well, does this ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Bottom bracket removal, what is this part?

I have a new (old) bicycle, and I am in the process of disassembling it. I arrived to the bottom bracket (with a cottered crank), and unscrewed the ring without problems, but then I'm faced with a ...