While a bike trackstand – the act of balancing on the pedals without going anywhere – might seem too complicated, it is something that any cyclist can do with the right steps and proper practice. Knowing how to trackstand comes with a large number of benefits – it helps you improve your balance on the bike, stay upright without having to unclip from the pedals, and lets you take off quickly.
Much as when learning how to ride a bike, your initial trackstands will be uncertain and wobbly. However, once the sense of equilibrium clicks, you will be able to stand perfectly and turn heads every time you stop your bike.
The Theory Behind a Bike Trackstand
When you ride, the road bike wheels support your body weight by constantly weaving side to side below as you pedal. At high speed, the MTB wheels track fairly, but never perfectly straight. When doing trackstand, you will create this balancing motion by turning the bike’s front wheel on purpose.
1. Find an Ideal Setting
In a quiet area – that is, an area that is free from hecklers, cars, and other types of distractions – find a spot featuring a slight grade. The ideal setting should give you some resistance while speeding up the learning curve.
The majority of the roadways slope about 2 degrees at the shoulder – this is perfect. However, if the road has regular traffic, look for a driveway or yard featuring the same slope.
2. Use the Right Bike
Unless you can unclip in an instant, use a bike featuring flat pedals. Shift your bike gears to a gear that you can turn easily, but won’t launch the bike forward if you sneeze. The most ideal gear is one that you can use to cruise on flat ground.
3. Learn to Balance on the Bike
The key to a successful bike trackstand is an ideal bike balancing technique. Keep your body weight centered, your grip light, and look ahead.
Clenching the bike handlebar tightly will tense the whole upper body. Having too much of the bodyweight forward, over the handlebar, will throw off your COG (center of gravity) – focus on keeping your body weight over the bike’s bottom bracket. Looking down at the front wheel – which is tempting when cruising slowly or practicing the trackstand – disrupts your equilibrium.
4. Getting Into the Bike Trackstand
Approach the balancing point perpendicular to the slope, ensuring the rise is going upward to your left-hand side. Stand on your pedals, the legs slightly bent, with your left foot (or uphill foot), in front so that it won’t hit the back of the front tire.
Come to a gradual stop at your selected spot. As the bike’s momentum ebbs, gently but sharply turn the front wheel into the slope. Press the front pedal just hard enough to hold the position.
It can be tempting to grab the MTB brakes to still yourself. However, resist anything more than an occasional and light feathering – allow the slope to do the work.
At first, do not try to be perfectly still. Gently rachet the left pedal back a few degrees to release the pressure and let your hardtail mountain bike roll back about 1 foot. Next, push down again so that the bike rolls up to the left.
Try 1 back and forth, and then dismount. Next, try to move with more back and forths without stepping off from the pedals. As you become more confident, swinging the bike like a pendulum should become possible.
5. Try to Achieve a Motionless equilibrium
At this point, you should know how to trackstand but with some back and forth motion. The next step is to eliminate the motion.
Staying relaxed is key. Apply light pressure to the front pedal – this should help you to remain still. If you feel like you are falling to your left-hand side, push harder. If you feel like the bike is falling to the right side, ease the pressure. At some point, and with some more practice, you should be able to experience motionless equilibrium.
After perfecting your trackstand, you will want to practice exiting. When you are ready to exit, keep the bike under control. Avoid setting your foot down or flailing forward. Simply orient the handlebar in the direction you wish to go and then pedal out.
Important Tips to Keep in Mind
When practicing the trackstand, the following tips should come in handy:
Clips, straps, or anything that holds your feet in place can make trackstanding easier – however, this is only after you know how to trackstand. At that point, the ability to pull up on the clipless or flat pedals will make everything more fluid.
Before you get how trackstanding works, it is important that you can put your feet down quickly when you lose your balance. For this reason, practice unclipped initially until you get the hang of it and then strap in.
Take Advantage of an Incline
Rolling your bike backward can feel very unnatural for most beginners. In such a situation, you should let gravity do the work while you get the hang of it.
Practice with your bike facing toward the crown of a road, slightly up the driveway, or against a small speed bump. That way, you can focus on pushing forward to maintain balance and allow the bicycle to naturally roll back to correct in the opposite direction.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Come to a stop with the strong foot on your forward pedal. Trackstanding is easier to learn with the front foot on the hillside of your bike. In this case, you will be turning the front wheel towards the forward foot.
Q: How Do You Do A Bike Trackstand?
To do a trackstand, you will need a spot that is safe and away from distractions. Bring your bike slowly to spot and allow it to stop naturally with the legs bent and one pedal forward. Gently but quickly twist the handlebar upwards to face up the slope. Move the bike forward and backward, decreasing the motion every time, until you achieve perfect equilibrium.
Q: How Do You Trackstand On A Mountain Bike?
To trackstand on your mountain bike, you will need to follow the steps below:
- Bring the bike slowly to your selected trackstand spot perpendicular to the slope, with your body relaxed, eyes forward, and legs bent.
- Sharply but gently turn the handlebar up the slope.
- Play around with the forward and backward motion until the bike stops completely.
Globo Surf Overview
A bike trackstand is important for all cyclists. It allows people using commuter bikes to stay poised and get the jump on the traffic at the stoplights, and helps mountain bikers pause without stepping down to take a sneak peek before they head over drops.
This article shows you how to trackstand. The best way to become better at trackstanding is to practice. While you will be wobbly in the beginning, confidence will start setting in as your expertise grows.