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How to work on balance and bike handling skills(16 posts)

How to work on balance and bike handling skillsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 1, 2003 12:26 PM
Any ideas from people to work on balance and bike handling skills?

One word: rollers (nm)mickey-mac
Feb 1, 2003 12:30 PM
K other than rollers... I already use them (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 1, 2003 12:45 PM
Mountain biking...Bigburlymtnman
Feb 1, 2003 1:22 PM
Do some good technical mtn bike rides. Also, if there are some trials riders in your area, get out in the city or somewhere with them every once in a while and do an urban assault. They'll teach you a whole lot, and it's really fun. Non-competetve trials riding about once a week for half a year are where I got much of my bike handling skills, and it has saved me from going down many times in road races.
re: How to work on balance and bike handling skillsRaven1911
Feb 1, 2003 1:26 PM
What we do here at least for practicing going down and elbowing and stuff is to get some older bikes and get a group together and go out to a grassy area and practice at low speeds. You can pad yourself up to if you want wearing elbow and knee pads, and maybe wrist guards used in rollerblading work well too to save your wrists. You should practice going down and how to save yourself if your front wheel gets hit or if your back wheel gets hit. That way you get to FEEL what it is like and your don't get hurt doing it. It would help to have someone like a coach or someone that has been taught these techniques to help you when you go out as well.

I LIKE IT!...Full contact biking! LOL nmasphalt assault
Feb 1, 2003 2:01 PM
Feb 1, 2003 1:54 PM
After you crash a few times, you begin to pick it up rather quickly.
Feb 1, 2003 2:25 PM
What my coach and I do is this:

In a parking lot we set up cones and do cornering skills around them. Going into a corner with the opposite hand on drops and push to out side. Do this several times going both directions. Learn how to put pressure on your hands and bar going at moderate speed. Practice leaning your bie around the corners at a faster spped and ten practice leaning your body around the same corners and feel the difference. Make sure you keep your line. On a moderate up hill practice taking off a jacket or switchig food from one pocket to another maintaining a straight line and pedaling the whole time. Do this at faster and faster speeds as you get better so you can do it in a field race.
On down hills practice body leaning around corners and bike leaning and see what works when. Good luck and I hope this helps. By the way, these are good to do year round and IMPROVE your crit performance enormously
Feb 1, 2003 6:16 PM

Just like working on live wires, once you get zapped the first time, you tend to learn the right techniques pretty darn fast, unless you decide to completely give it up.

Thanks for the tips. what about being able to take and give hitsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 1, 2003 3:20 PM
Thanks for the tips. Anyone have any more advice on taking and giving hits? This is something I have yet to feel completely comfortable doing on the track and its something I obviously need to learn.

It helps to have team mates...Mr Good
Feb 1, 2003 8:52 PM
...who are willing to work on this with you. With at least one other person to cooperate, you can ride around a grassy field at low speed. Gently lean shoulders against one another while still slowly rolling/pedaling. Practice doing it around corners. You can gradually work your way up to faster speeds and leaning hard on each other. The goal is not to learn how to tumble, but how to stay UPRIGHT!

Some good ideas: wear a helmet. Maybe wear tennis shoes to make it easy if you come off the bike. Communicate with your partner(s).

Is this the kind of thing you're talking about? Another good one is rubbing wheels. Still on the grass, start at low speed. Rider in front holds a straight line, rear rider overlaps his front wheel with the rear wheel of front rider, then practices gently leaning into it. It's easy to wreck, and takes some skill to stay upright. Once you get the hang of it you can have lots of thrilling fun bashing wheels, elbows, and shoulders.

The goal of these drills is not to beat up your team mate (you don't really want to knock him off his bike!), the goal is to get comfortable with the contact so that when it happens in a race you don't overreact, spaz out and hit the deck. If the contact is familiar, a rider tends to do what he's already practiced.
Nick -- in my track class...brider
Feb 3, 2003 10:08 AM
we did bumping drills all the time. First was elbow to elbow, then elbow to hip. We'd do agility drills using cut tennis balls (instead of cones -- less likely to throw you off if you hit them) to do slalom using just the hips to steer, then do the same with some one in contact on one side (at the shoulder), then again with some one on EACH side. This gave us SO much confidence in our ability to keep the bike going in close quarters, way beyond anything I got in years of crit racing.

Also, take your road bike off road (cyclocross style). Big time bike handling school.
re: How to work on balance and bike handling skillsukiahbill
Feb 1, 2003 5:09 PM
work as a messenger for awhile (nm)
re: How to work on balance and bike handling skillsWoof the dog
Feb 1, 2003 6:13 PM
yeah, and get hit like 20 times
Do slow races. Read following explanation.Breakfast
Feb 2, 2003 7:54 AM
Slow races are when you attempt to ride in a straight line as slowly as possible without falling over.

Add brake modulation drills to the slow speed straight line drill for better skill development.

Make a right turn in the smallest circle you can at the slowest speed possible then switch to doing left turning drills in the same manner.

Practice getting your upper body as low as possible during these exercises on the bike to improve balance. Having a higher center of gravity by not getting low on the bike makes all the drills difficult and insures little success.

Slow speed bumping between two riders when they make contact either with their bodies or extremities or wheels accelerates handling skill development.
cross, mtb nmgtx
Feb 2, 2003 10:22 PM