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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    54

    Balance.... eeeeck.

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    So I am bad at this road bike thing. I keep falling over when I'm about to take off and I haven't even switched to my clipless peddles yet! Today I toppled over as I was hoisting my butt up to the seat and had one foot on the peddle; I gave myself some good road rash. What's worse I think is that I have not yet become comfortable with where to put my hands to manipulate stearing, breaks and thumb shifters. So far I have kept my hands out of the drops and basically keep them around the stem since a pair of break levers are there and quickly try to grab the hoods to shift. I have shifted, but I still need a lot of practice at that (both balance-wise and learning how to shift without hurting my bike). I am extremely wobbly when I ride do to my hands being more centered and weight balanced differently. I never thought it would be that different than my comfort, whew. I swear I didn't have these problems when I did the 3 trials at the LBS.
    ~ Tanis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Put your hands out on the hoods and then the steering won't be so squirrely. I have interruptor brake levers on my bike and I love them. But when I'm steering through tricky territory, I use the widest part of the bars. After a while you'll get to where you can go through anything at any speed with your hands on the top, but you have to practice.

    eta: and maybe your levers are too close to the stem--even so you can still put your hands as far out as possible on the top and that will help, too.

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Look where you're going. That's always true, but it'll be most apparent at very low and very high speed.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    Put your hands out on the hoods and then the steering won't be so squirrely. I have interruptor brake levers on my bike and I love them. But when I'm steering through tricky territory, I use the widest part of the bars. After a while you'll get to where you can go through anything at any speed with your hands on the top, but you have to practice.

    eta: and maybe your levers are too close to the stem--even so you can still put your hands as far out as possible on the top and that will help, too.

    Karen

    You will definitely be more stable riding with your hands on the hoods. I only keep my hands on the tops when I'm climbing because it enables you to straighten up and open your lungs up more. You should be able to brake easily from the hoods. Also, make sure you don't have a death grip -- hold on loosely so your arms are more relaxed.

    p.s. what do you mean by "learning how to shift without hurting the bike"?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,627
    I agree with using the hoods. They are very stable.

    I see you are from CO...if you were trying to ride recently the wind may be pushing you around. The winds have been very strong ( steady 25-30 with 50mph gusts) which makes it that much harder to control a bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,080
    is it possible you aren't getting enough speed up as you try to get onto the saddle and get your second foot onto the pedal? speed/momentum is your friend on the bike. that's what keeps the bike upright. when starting, goal #1 is speed. and yes, look where you want to go (the horizon view), not down at your bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    337
    I had some of the same issues when I first got my bike. It felt totally awkward; I had no idea what to do with my hands; I couldn't release my cleats from the pedals (fell over twice on the ride home from the bike shop when I bought it!!) I even thought I broke my shifter on the righ side when I fell over - it just wouldn't shift (fortunately, I didnt. My bike has 2 chainrings up front, but can accomodate 3 - I had shifted up into the "ghost" gear that wasn't there and you just have to push harder than normal to drop it back down into range )
    I just kept praticing, had DH hold the bike for me while I practiced on my pedals, and moved all over the bars. 4 months later, I'm comfortable on it, can stand up, have had no issues shifting since LBS explained how to do it, and ride way more aggresively on it (and my other bikes). It's incredible what we can learn to do if we just keep trying.
    Good luck - stay with it. You'll be fine with practice.
    Jenn K
    Centennial, CO
    Love my Fuji!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624
    I was having this issue A LOT with my clipless. A wiser rider told me about her issues, made me laugh, and got me thinking about the geometry of the bike. I am coming from a road bike, but the geometry is so different that I am not yet ready for the challenge. So, I get a bike that I keep falling over on! haha.

    Make sure you are working with your STRONG foot. Mine is my left. I used to show horses and cannot mount from the right for this reason. Figure that out and ALWAYS stick to it. That is what helps me. Now, swing over the bar, both feet on the ground. Put your hands across the bars, not too close. As the other posters said, it gives you better control. Now, pull your pedal HIGH up on the strong foot so you have a BIG bend in your kneed on the strong foot. Edge up on the saddle and start peddling. ALWAYS downshift if you are in a high gear before you stop. It will be nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get on otherwise. You have to give yourself the push though. That is key.

 

 

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