How To Improve Your Position On The Bike

How To Improve Your Position On The Bike


If you’re new to cycling, you’ll probably
have worked out some, if not all of the basic positions available to you on the bike, but
knowing when to use them is a different matter. Here’s our beginners guide to working out
the best positions for riding your bike. There are two main fundamental positions available
to you. Sat here in the saddle like this, which is where you’ll be spending most of
your riding time, and out of the saddle, which is good for short climbs and accelerating. When seated, holding your hands here on the
bars on the brake hoods is where you will spend most of your time. It’s an ideal combination
of comfort – because your body is quite upright – and control, because from here
you can still brake very easily, like this, and also change gear. Holding your handlebars here is also the best
position for out of the saddle, particularly when climbing. It’s not quite as efficient
as when you’re seated, so keep time out of the saddle to short bursts, perhaps just to
stretch aching muscles or when you need to exert a little bit more power. You can still
brake, you can still change gear, and if you’re really pressing on you can pull on the bars
to exert maximum power. If you’re using clipless pedals, as well
as pushing down with your feet, pull upwards. That will help you use less force on the handlebars. Holding your handlebars here on the drops
gives you the most control of your bike. You can pull on the brakes with the greatest amount
of force and also your hands are in a really secure position, so they’re not going to get
knocked off over bumps. This therefore is the best position for descending or general
fast riding. This position makes you far more aerodynamic
and it’s easier to go at the same speed, or even faster. The faster you go, the more aerodynamic you’ll
want to be, so look to get your back as flat as possible by bending your elbows. But – if
you feel a twinge in your legs, the likelihood is you’ll be losing power, which you will
have to trade off with aerodynamics. This position also translates well to riding
out of the saddle fast, particularly when sprinting. Hold the drops to keep your shoulders
low over the front of the bike. You can also really haul on the bars to put out the maximum
amount of power. The last thing that riding on the drops can
really help with is cornering. Riding on the drops lowers your centre of gravity and helps
evenly distribute your weight over the bike. Although you don’t want too much weight
over the front wheel, it is good to have some to improve your grip. The last position is holding onto the tops.
Holding onto your bars here puts you in the most upright position, and we’d really only
recommend it for long, steady climbs. That’s because you’re a long way from your brakes
and gears here, so your level of control over the bike is just a little bit less. But when
you are on a nice, long, steady climb, it is really comfortable. You can sit back in
the saddle a little bit, relax, open up your lungs and just concentrate on pedalling. If
you do feel like you need to get out of the saddle in this position, just to give your
muscles a bit of a stretch, I would recommend moving your hands back to the hoods. You can
ride your bike out of the saddle on the tops, but it’s a bit unsteady, and you look like
a dork. The more time that you spend on the bike,
the easier you’ll find it when changing position, especially with your hands, and it should
become second nature. It’s also worth remembering that just slightly moving your hands on the
bars isn’t unsafe in any way. The one way you’ll be spending the most amount
of time is sat here in the saddle. Actually, is that your bit? That’s my bit!