You cannot consider yourself a veteran cyclist if you do not know how to track stand. A track stand is a useful skill which cyclists can use to show off their bike skills. This blog tells you about it and how you can learn and master the fine art of track stands.
What Is A Track Stand?
Track stand is the name given to the ability to balance a bicycle while stopping on the track. It is usually used in Velodrome races by racers to stay upright and take off quickly when required. The technique helps bikers maintain their balance while remaining stationary without unclipping or touching their feet.
How Does A Track Stand Help?
Besides being useful to stop without parking and showing off, learning how to track stand can improve your balancing ability with the bike. Imagine stopping at a traffic signal without having to put your feet down. Is it not easier for you to start riding quickly as soon as the light goes green? The track stand also helps you navigate technical sections on a trail.
Do you remember your first bicycle ride? It surely must have been a nervous, shaky ride, was it not? Learning how to do a track stand can be the same. You will lose balance at first and be uncertain and underconfident, but if you overcome these hurdles, the perfect track stand is not far away.
The Science Behind A Track Stand
Are you wondering how a track stand works? When you cycle, the wheels constantly weave side to side as you pedal. In a track stand, the cyclist holds the handlebars at a forty-five-degree angle that converts the bike’s forward-backwards movement to a side-to-side motion. Thus the bike can be maintained right below the cyclist’s centre of gravity. Therefore, they can maintain a stop without losing balance. Experts can maintain a track stand indefinitely by following simple science.
How Can You Learn To Track Stand?
Now that you know what a track stand is and the science behind it, let’s learn how to track a stand.
Find a Place to Practice
A yard or an empty parking lot can be a good space to practice your track stand. Make sure you can find a place free from incoming and outgoing traffic and with a slight grade. A minimum of two-degree slope can provide you with the required curve and resistance. Most roads have a slope and many ongoing cars and other vehicles. So find a place where you have space and peace to practice.
Choose Your Bike
Since mountain bikes have wide tires, they are the easiest to learn a track stand on, but if you do not have one, you can still learn on any regular bike or even a charging bicycle. However, flat pedals can make you learn faster because you don’t have to deal with unclipping. Put your bike into the gear you would normally use on flat ground.
Master the Technique
The technique is the key. You must maintain a light grip and centre your body weight while looking straight ahead. A tight grip creates tension in your upper body while leaning forward can displace your centre of gravity. Therefore, keep your weight on the bottom bracket and try not to look at the front wheel, as it can disintegrate your equilibrium.
Keep your balancing point perpendicular to the slope while keeping your legs slightly bent, and the pedals levelled. When you come to a slow stop, your momentum is bound to ebb, and that is when you should gently turn your front wheel into the slope. Hold your front pedal hard enough to keep your position still. While the brakes may tempt you, do not grab them and let the slope do the work. When you gain confidence, you can swing your bike like a pendulum.
- Create the balancing motion by turning your front wheel on purpose.
- Staying relaxed is key.
- When you feel like you’re tilting towards the left, push harder.
- When you feel tilting towards the right, ease the pressure.
With a lot of persistence and practice, the motionless equilibrium becomes achievable. The best part is you do not need a special bike to learn it. You can do a track stand on your regular bike or battery cycle. All you need is for the balance to click in.