How do you set off correctly?

rumbataz
rumbataz Posts: 796
edited December 2011 in Road beginners
How do you start cycling from a standstill correctly? For example, at traffic lights?

The reason I ask is that when stationery i'm on tip-toes to reach the road to keep the bike stable. When the lights go green, what is the correct way of setting off safely? I felt a bit clumsy a few times at major crossroads as I was concentrating on cars around me and I wobbled a few times when setting off!

Comments

  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    foot at 2o'clock and pedal. As the trailing foot leaves the ground as you move off, clip in before you get to the top of the stroke.

    I'm lucky to have OK balance, and i try to trackstand than unclip if i'm not stopping for more than 5 seconds.
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    When you stop, you should stand on one foot (with the other still on the pedal at about 10 o'clock) and position your body over the top tube (i.e. not sat on the saddle). When you set off, put your weight on the foot that's on the pedal to start movement, put your other foot on the pedal and sit on the saddle.
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  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You only need one foot down. Keep the right foot clipped in and lean the bike to the left - away from the traffic.
  • rumbataz
    rumbataz Posts: 796
    Okay, thanks guys. I shall practise a bit first! Appreciate the advice.
  • to the OP, everyone has been there on this moment - not repeating the cliped in keel-over is the thing.

    I almost always unclip to the left, and rotate the foot nice and early if I can see a possible stop approaching - that way by not removing your foot from the pedal you can lock in and move on with drive instantly if the stop risk evaporates
  • anto164 wrote:
    foot at 2o'clock and pedal. As the trailing foot leaves the ground as you move off, clip in before you get to the top of the stroke.

    I'm lucky to have OK balance, and i try to trackstand than unclip if i'm not stopping for more than 5 seconds.

    This is how I do it and makes complete sense.

    Maybe the guy suggesting you start from a 10 o'clock position is dicslecksic or something and got confuesd between 10 & 2 on the clock face!
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Thebigbee wrote:
    anto164 wrote:
    foot at 2o'clock and pedal. As the trailing foot leaves the ground as you move off, clip in before you get to the top of the stroke.

    I'm lucky to have OK balance, and i try to trackstand than unclip if i'm not stopping for more than 5 seconds.

    This is how I do it and makes complete sense.

    Maybe the guy suggesting you start from a 10 o'clock position is dicslecksic or something and got confuesd between 10 & 2 on the clock face!

    All depends on your point of view, doesn't it ;-)
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  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    Also depends on which is your leading/trailing foot too.
  • Just remember that if you are in europe you unclip on the other side. Had a very embarrassing moment in Germany a couple of years ago when I unclipped on left as normal but tilted the bike to the right!!
  • dandrew
    dandrew Posts: 175
    yes be prepared to unclip either foot at a junction. I normally do my left but not so long ago I was about to push off at a quiet right turn when I realised there was a car on the main road. I braked and stopped easily was unable to avoid falling off!
  • merak
    merak Posts: 323
    Just remember that if you are in europe you unclip on the other side. Had a very embarrassing moment in Germany a couple of years ago when I unclipped on left as normal but tilted the bike to the right!!
    I unclip on the same side in Europe but on the other side in the soiuthern hemisphere. It's all to do with Coriolis forces...
  • This is all good advice, but be sure to get your bottom off the saddle! I know this sounds obvious but I've seen new riders who didn't realize you needed to slide off the saddle when you stop.

    Also be sure to give it a good push with the foot that remains clipped in and at 2 o'clock. This should get you far enough for a few pedal strokes to get the other pedal clipped in.

    You can also lightly pedal the other foot before it's clipped in, just be careful not to slip off.
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  • MarcBC
    MarcBC Posts: 333
    You should also think of changing down to a lowish gear just before you stop. That makes it easier to move off too
  • rumbataz
    rumbataz Posts: 796
    velocanman wrote:
    This is all good advice, but be sure to get your bottom off the saddle! I know this sounds obvious but I've seen new riders who didn't realize you needed to slide off the saddle when you stop.

    Also be sure to give it a good push with the foot that remains clipped in and at 2 o'clock. This should get you far enough for a few pedal strokes to get the other pedal clipped in.

    You can also lightly pedal the other foot before it's clipped in, just be careful not to slip off.

    OMG, I've been staying on the seat when slowing down and stopping! This probably led to the slight wobbles I was having when moving off and it was also very uncomfortable when stationary as my leg was stretched to reach the road. I've now lowered the seat slightly and will also practise sliding forward off the saddle when slowing to a stop.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    When I stop - my right foot is in the pedal at the 2pm position ready to push off.
    My left foot is on the road.
    I'm off the saddle and standing over the top tube.

    Simples.

    When you set off - power off with the right foot and lift into the saddle at the same time.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,357
    Thebigbee wrote:
    anto164 wrote:
    foot at 2o'clock and pedal. As the trailing foot leaves the ground as you move off, clip in before you get to the top of the stroke.

    I'm lucky to have OK balance, and i try to trackstand than unclip if i'm not stopping for more than 5 seconds.

    This is how I do it and makes complete sense.

    Maybe the guy suggesting you start from a 10 o'clock position is dicslecksic or something and got confuesd between 10 & 2 on the clock face!


    Or he keeps his left foot clipped in as I do (always feel more comfortable pushing off on my left than my right, same when I used to sprint from blocks or do long jump).
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,576
    If you dismount with you re feet in the wrong position, you can attempt the moderately cool, front brake on, lift up the back wheel with your clipped in foot and spin the pedals into position - also good if you have nt changed gear for the off too...However, when you re uver cool like me, this is patently unneccessary!

    When you get better you can try advanced stuff like standing up straight into a track stand and then moving off - looks uber cool, same with stopping and pausing before unclipping. Later you can try the cyclocross style mount an dismount, or even the fixie fashionista legs over the front of the bars trick.

    Obvioulsy the trick with all of these is to look as nonchanlant as possible, preferebaly winking at a hot peice of tail whilst you re doing it in order look the most sexified!
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  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Sheldon Brown on starting and stopping.
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Pross wrote:
    Thebigbee wrote:
    anto164 wrote:
    foot at 2o'clock and pedal. As the trailing foot leaves the ground as you move off, clip in before you get to the top of the stroke.

    I'm lucky to have OK balance, and i try to trackstand than unclip if i'm not stopping for more than 5 seconds.

    This is how I do it and makes complete sense.

    Maybe the guy suggesting you start from a 10 o'clock position is dicslecksic or something and got confuesd between 10 & 2 on the clock face!


    Or he keeps his left foot clipped in as I do (always feel more comfortable pushing off on my left than my right, same when I used to sprint from blocks or do long jump).

    You're dead right, I always push off on my left foot.

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  • andy46
    andy46 Posts: 1,666
    I always push off with my left foot also, which is a bit strange as it is my weaker foot/leg when doing other sports!
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