Balance can be one of the most important skills to improve on your bike. Have you ever seen a rider on the road or trail come to a complete stop without getting off the bike? While this may look like a cool trick, it is actually a very useful tool on the trail, and it is a great way to hone your balancing skills on the bike.
On iBikeRide.com, there is a video and instructions on how to practice your track standing skills.
Find a slight hill incline where you are out of the way of other people and the visual noise associated. Ride up to the hill very slowly and allow the bike to come to a stop. At this stop you will slowly have brought your front wheel into a right angle turn.
There are now three body weight positions to achieve at the same time (or near enough).
Firstly as you have brought your handlebar turned to the right you will be standing crouched over the bike with your upper body weight forward. Your upper body weight will pivot on your left arm and left handlebar side.
Secondly (at the same time) your right foot will be flat on the pedal and pushing force into it. The pedal does not need to be pushed right down just weight distributed forcibly on it
Thirdly your back weight will pivot to the very left of the bike. In simple terms move your bum to the left over the saddle and feel your back weight pivot here. Check out the video and rest of the instructions on iBikeRide.com.
Track Standing got it’s name by being a technique that track racers used.
Track Standing According to Wikipedia
The track stand is a technique that bicycle riders can use to stay balanced on their bicycles by holding their weight equally on both feet and while moving only minimal distances. The term originated from use of the technique by track cyclists prior to starting, or as a tactic in track sprinting whereby riders will initially ride very slowly and maneuver across the track in an effort to get their rival to take the lead so that they can then draft or slipstream behind, conserving energy for the final sprint.
Other cyclists also use the technique: road cyclists use it to stop in traffic, mountain bikers use it in terrain to determine a path and BMX cyclists use it in preparation for tricks.
How does this help you on the trail?
When you learn how to balance your body with your bike, you are improving the way you ride. This connection between the bike and the rider is crucial in technical riding.
Improved balance will help you in all areas…Including:
- Riding over obsticals
- Fast descents
- Crowded group rides
- Overall riding
The goal is to have a better overall feel on the bike, and nothing helps that better than better balance. When you feel more at one with the bike, you ride with more confidence and exert less energy. Better balance will also give you the ability to pick better lines and recover from mistakes. Practicing your balance techniques will make you a better rider, no matter what skill level. Find a place near your house and try it. Each time, try to go longer than the last. You will notice the benefit on the trail almost instantly if you work on this simple technique. Now go out there and track stand!