We cyclists take all kinds of skills for granted like how to pedal, brake, and even guiding our bikes. Just like in the last article on breaking in panic situations there are better ways to handle bikes. Steering is one of t the more critical ones and like panic stops it takes practice. So in this tip I’ll cover effortless or subtle steering. I have covered this in the past but I think it’s time to dust off this tip and add some detail.
Like all things it takes practice to develop skills. Practicing subtle steering isn’t something you will practice every week but you will come to use it on every ride once you learn how to put it into practice.
Hands on experience is the best method over reading a how to article so if you are interested in developing bike handling skills reach out to a local coach, team or cycling club and schedule a bike handling clinic. Can’t find hands on skill clinics? I will be more than happy to help. I do offer 1×1 skill camps with individuals and groups at reasonable rates. Click here to learn more.
Can’t make the trip to train with me? Then try to use the following guidelines.
Subtle steering can be practiced on the open road or on your favorite park field.
- Bicycles don’t come with steering wheels they come with handle bars
- To make small adjustments in the direction your bike is tracking drop an elbow and or a shoulder.
- When you need to look over your shoulder behind you drop your right elbow and shoulder so your track straight as you look over your left shoulder.
- Keep a light grip on the bars at all times. A death grip is just going to wear you out.
- Lean into turns by standing on the pedal opposite of the curb or bend in the road.
- By standing on the pedal you will shift your center of gravity making you feel as if you are cornering on rails.
- Be careful when you first try any new bike handling tips
- Make sure to practice alone first and away from traffic and pedestrians
- Use a parking lot to practice cornering techniques
- Do not stick your knees or elbows out as a counter balance when cornering. You could clip another rider doing so.
- Trying the above techniques will work differently with hands in the drops, hoods or tops of your bars.
- The above tips are not meant for Time Trial bikes but you can use your shoulders to change the track of your front wheel subtly on a TT/Tri Bike.
I hope you enjoyed this basic bike-handling tip. I will be posting several of these in the coming weeks to promote my new 1-on-1 Skills Camps. The next tip will be on averting wrecks.
Until next tip have a great ride,