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"Trackstand" with a freewheel...(16 posts)

"Trackstand" with a freewheel...timfire
Mar 16, 2003 9:33 PM
For someone who has never been able to do a trackstand (with either a fixie or freewheel), does anyone have tips on doing a pseudo-trackstand with a freewheel bike? I've been practicing on my SS, and I've gotten pretty good. Sometimes I can stop completely for a second or so, but in general I need to continually inch forward to stay upright. I have real trouble finding that holy grail where I can just lock the wheels with my brakes and stand completely still.

Is the inching-forward-thing as good as it gets, or is it really possible to do a proper stand with a freewheel? Do I just need to keep practicing? Got any tips?

--Tim Kleinert
re: "Trackstand" with a freewheel...toonces
Mar 17, 2003 12:50 AM
If you have the advantage of brakes, you're set. Just lock em, or pump them with the wheel turned to one side and balance on the cranks. I think there's a site ( that has videos of trackstands. I don't use the method they recommend b/c I feel comfortable doing it whatever way works at the moment. But then I'm no trackstand god. I guess practice, practice, practice.
trackstand method?DougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 10:12 AM
I can only trackstand for a few seconds, but then maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Is the key to get the front tire really turned, then got way out of the saddle, like in the video? I was trying more seated, straighter wheel approach.


trackstand method?toonces
Mar 23, 2003 12:39 AM
Whatever works is my take on it. After a little trail ride the other nite, we putted around in the parking lot and on a couple of tries, I was able to stand perfectly still -- literally not jerking or balancing for about 20-30 seconds until I had to start turning and balancing; that's long for me. I was using the tilted wheel technique. Big ol 2.3" tires helped a bit too :) I think this is one thing that you can improve dramatically with consistent practice. Like at intersections, and when stopping on the trail and such.

I was practicing stands on the fixed gear this week and was still getting the hang of it when I tipped over onto my water bottle in my jersey pocket. Wow! that was the greastest feeling. ANd I crushed my phone too which sucked. That still needs work.
Sheldon Brown claims it is possible ...Humma Hah
Mar 17, 2003 10:13 AM
... under Trackstand in his glossary ( he describes how to do it on a fixed (front wheel at 45 degrees, use back and forth action on the cranks). For freewheel, he says you can do it if the bike is pointed up an incline.

Me, I've never learned to do it in over 4 decades of riding singlespeed. Haven't tried that hard ... it is a very specific skill that does not come from normal riding.
Mar 17, 2003 10:24 AM
I'd love to be able to do it for a few minutes, if necessary, at stoplights. For those of use who use clipless pedals, it makes the drag race to the next light much quicker.

I ride my fixed gear at lunch nearly every day, now, and there are about 7 lights getting out of town. I would so love to be able to balance, rather than clip in each light. It would be a challenge for me and entertaining to the cars next to me, if nothing else.

I feel much better hearing that! nmdzrider
Mar 17, 2003 11:38 AM
Use the incline of the road...biknben
Mar 17, 2003 10:49 AM
A slight incline is very helpful. Most roads will be piched towards the gutter. When you are on the right, point your front wheel to the left and apply pressure to balance on the incline. If you begin to lean left, apply pressure on pedals to move forward (up the incline). If you start to lean left, ease up on the pedals and allow the front wheel to move backwards (down the incline).

I can't say I'm very good at this. I usually use a combo of slow forward motion while trying to use the incline to help.

The problem I have is when you have your wheel pointed 45* and start to loose it. I've ended up pointed the wrong way when the light turns green. Oops!!!
Keep practicing...phlegm
Mar 17, 2003 11:14 AM
I've seen people seemingly effortlessly sit on a freewheel bike completely still. So I know it can be done.

I suggest learning on a fixie first, and then attempting on a freewheel. I can track stand all day on the fixie, but I've yet to master the freewheel. Here's how I do it:

1. Turn the front wheel 45 degrees toward which ever foot is forward.

2. Lean in the direction of the forward foot. If you lean too far, pedal forward a bit.

3. Lean in the direction of the foot in back. If you lean too far, pedal backwards a bit.

The key is finding the balance between pressure on the each pedal and the lean in that direction. Then you can shift your weight back and forth, so one leg doesn't get tired. I can do it standing or seated, although standing is a bit easier. After a while it feels almost like standing sideways on a rocking chair. You just rock back and forth on the front wheel.
maybe the secretDougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 11:37 AM
Maybe the secret is to practice where people can't see you, not at an intersection with 50 cars around. Maybe I'm afraid to really try hard and "let go."


Easier fixed, but doable...BudhaSlug
Mar 17, 2003 1:56 PM
I first learned to trackstand on my geared MTB, which is quite easy, especially with suspension (you actually lean into the front suspension with the front brake locked and then let the spring return push you back slighty... you can use this to rock a short distance back and forth). On my roadbike I can do it, but not as consistently... sometimes its there, sometimes its not... its far easier on an uphill, and damn difficult on most downhills, so start practicing on an uphill. This allows you to keep pressure on the pedals and push into the front brake and turn of the front wheel, then release and roll back slightly using gravity. On my fixee, I can trackstand just about anywhere... just roll use forward and back pressure to regain ballance when needed. On the fixed I never put my feet down at stoplights since its now second nature to trackstand, on the freewheeled bikes I put my feet down for most long lights... it takes more concentration to trackstand on them.

To learn it, the best thing is to just go out on a flat field/lawn and practice for an hour or two... if you happen to get caught in the pedals and fall, at least you land on the grass.

Peace and Light,
Trackstand forevermarron
Mar 17, 2003 2:48 PM
It must be a sign of a misspent youth, but I can trackstand, fixed or free, pretty much forever. I can also usually show someone how to do it with less than 10 minutes of instruction.

The "tricks" are already meantioned in the other replies; you need a slope to make it easy and you turn your wheel upslope toward your forward and upslope foot, but the crux is getting comfortable rolling backwards. When I coach friends that is what I find takes them the longest to master. It does feel unnatural and most people have to fight an urge to bail intitialy, but once you are ok going back it is much easier to balance against the force of gravity by rocking forward. In fact, on the right terrain there is no need to rock at all. You just push forward against the bikes rearward motion and just stand there; no sawing the bars, no rocking. Most people end up suprised at how easy it is.

It is even easier fixed because you don't even need the slope, in fact it's easy to do it downhill if neccesary.

The only other thing I have observed is that most people are either goofy or regular when it comes to trackstands. For those who skate, board or surf this will be apparent. It's the foot you are most comfortable leading with.
No incline needed, just a front brakeTig
Mar 17, 2003 7:15 PM
I don't see many ss/fixed riders in the first place around here, but plenty of freewheeled multi-geared riders. Out of those, I know of about a dozen who can track stand on level ground for the duration of a red light. Concrete curbed (not a crowned road)intersections around here are mostly flat and level. The one key to freewheel trackstands that hasn't been mentioned yet is to use only the front brake. All the other advice is dead on. Inclines make everything much easier, but are not a requirement. My trackstands last only about 10 or 12 seconds, but I'm getting better slooooooowly. (about 1 more second a year!!!)
try a "tracksit"desmo
Mar 17, 2003 7:15 PM
On my geared (freewheel) bikes I've always been able to sit with the front wheel turned in and the front brake held while loading the drivetrain with the cranks at 3-9. Sometimes back pedaling a bit seems to help with the balance. I'm able to stay up like this easily through even long traffic lights and actually find it more comfortable than doing a proper trackstand on my fixe. One thing on fixies when you have to rock back and forth on the pedals it's a lot easier to learn with a really low gear. Remember no matter how good you get you can always choke in front of a crowd! Two rules, never pull all the way up to a car at a stoplight, and if you do fall over don't knock down your buddy who unclipped and was waiting patiently for the light to change.
And the third ruleStraightblock
Mar 18, 2003 10:29 AM
If you can't hold it, unclip & put your foot down. Don't ride in circles between the stopped cars until the light changes. You'll look foolish & will probably be pointed the wrong way when the light changes anyway.
re: "Trackstand" with a freewheel...enginebad
Apr 9, 2003 8:36 PM
they are very, very possible. just takes time and practice. i can now do them with or without brakes, with or without incline on my freewheel bike for as long as i please. without brakes takes significantly less effort and recquires you to move the bike forward and backward underneath you to simulate the effect that pedal pressure gives on a fixed or the incline gives in the easiest version of this type of stand. brakes locked, its much more important to have the rear brake locked, and to apply a bunch of pedal pressure to the forward pedal, in fact, almost all of your weight should be on the forward pedal for a brakes locked stand. handlebar turned to whichever side is comfortable for you, at whichever angle seems comfortable for you. i learned track stands on a mountain bike back in 95/96 when i first started getting into trials. by the time i got into fixed gears, it was second nature to me.