Top Five Bike Handling Tips
By USA Triathlon Elite Level 3 Coach Lee Zohlman
I always tell the spectators at triathlons to stand by the bike mount/dismount line at the transition area. This is where the excitement happens. Cyclists are falling over their bikes, crashing into barriers, locking up brakes and generally looking clumsy. Who doesn’t love to watch a good fall here and there? It takes time and practice to have good handling skills.
Here are five things you can do to handle your bike better and not be ‘that guy’.
- When braking use both the front and rear brake and squeeze them gently. A little goes a long way with braking. Put about 10% more effort into the front brake to stop quicker without locking up the rear brake and sliding out of control.
- When turning put more weight onto the outside leg to counter balance the way you are turning
- To turn sharper and quicker put more emphasis into the inside handlebar. Careful with this one as you will turn much sharper.
- Relax. If a rider comes close to you or something or someone runs into your way stay relaxed and unclip one foot, come out of the saddle and break carefully and quickly. Then put your foot down once you are slowed and/or stopped.
- Practice in an empty parking lot stopping and unclipping quickly and efficiently. Repeat this process about 2000 times and you will be an expert.
Use these tips to have a safer and faster bike portion of the race.