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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70 votes
19 answers
84k 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 ...
amcnabb's user avatar
  • 7,095
40 votes
12 answers
6k views

Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Why do cyclists shave their legs? Is it because of wind resistance?
Johan Dahlin's user avatar
  • 2,888
33 votes
4 answers
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?
Alex Reitbort's user avatar
32 votes
8 answers
12k 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). ...
Bernhard's user avatar
  • 621
31 votes
7 answers
112k 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 ...
Gabriel Solomon's user avatar
30 votes
5 answers
3k 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?
Gabriel Solomon's user avatar
29 votes
7 answers
8k 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,...
TinKorcim's user avatar
  • 417
28 votes
28 answers
52k 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 ...
Zippy's user avatar
  • 383
26 votes
6 answers
725 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 ...
Mike Two's user avatar
  • 1,058
24 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
fractor's user avatar
  • 343
22 votes
12 answers
59k 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 ...
CyberKnoy08's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
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?
David LeBauer's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
5k views

How maintenance-free can a commuter bike be?

Commuting is hard on bikes, especially when doing it all-year long. Maintenance is essential to assure one can get to work every morning without issues but it takes time and care. Fixed-gear and ...
olliebulle's user avatar
  • 4,109
21 votes
13 answers
50k 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 ...
Joe Phillips's user avatar
  • 1,337
18 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is turning head to look backwards while riding a bike a safe and recommended technique?

I currently have two problems with this: While looking backwards, I do not see where I am going. It is difficult to maintain perfectly the same direction while turning around. Probably both problems ...
nightrider's user avatar
  • 7,731
18 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
18 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 7,121
18 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Scott Langham's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
jim's user avatar
  • 171
16 votes
11 answers
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 ...
user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
33k 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 ...
Carson Reinke's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
511 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, ...
Malcolm's user avatar
  • 151
14 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Steve Dunn's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
958 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 ...
ʍǝɥʇɐɯ's user avatar
  • 17.2k
14 votes
7 answers
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 ...
Trey Jackson's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
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 ...
deemar's user avatar
  • 4,863
14 votes
1 answer
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 ...
davefiddes's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
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 (...
anatolyg's user avatar
  • 1,264
13 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
STW's user avatar
  • 2,569
12 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
unforgettableidSupportsMonica's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Billy ONeal's user avatar
  • 1,316
12 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
user1833028's user avatar
  • 1,445
12 votes
3 answers
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",...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
11 votes
8 answers
8k 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 ...
Maarten -Monica for president's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
dumbledad's user avatar
  • 597
11 votes
5 answers
15k 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 ...
user229044's user avatar
  • 3,576
11 votes
8 answers
590 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
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 ...
nck's user avatar
  • 1,509
11 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 603
11 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Wilskt's user avatar
  • 1,290
10 votes
10 answers
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 ...
Rob P.'s user avatar
  • 1,283
10 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
HanMah's user avatar
  • 280
10 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
10 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
user26491's user avatar
  • 283
9 votes
5 answers
627 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 ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
9 votes
2 answers
12k views

How to carry a step-through/mixte bike

How can one carry a bike with a step-through/mixte frame effectively?-- In comparison, any diamond-frame bike is a breeze for me to shoulder regardless of weight (okay, carrying a 25+-kg roadster is ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
17k views

Which position adjustments maximize the use of the glutes in a road bike?

I usually don't feel the glutes firing when I'm seated unless I'm in a really long and hard climb or if I stand up and move back. Is there any common adjustment to maximize the glutes utilization? Or ...
nck's user avatar
  • 1,509