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Going straight when...

jeannot18jeannot18 Posts: 720
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
Looking behind, is that something that you master with time. I look at the pros on TV and you can see them looking behind and their bikes keep going straight. When I look behind, no matter how much I try to keep my handlebars straight, my bike deviates left or right. Any tips
JC
Pédale ou crève
Specialized Elite Allez with 105
Rockrider 8.1 : )

Posts

  • doug5_10doug5_10 Posts: 465
    Just one of those things I think, I still wobble plenty. The armpit check is a good one to master as an alternative to a full shoulder check (still use this when you need a proper look). I think I'm most stable on the hoods when faffing about/looking round/getting food. Think I've just about mastered the no-handed-gilet-putting-on move now!
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/1920048
  • jeannot18 wrote:
    Looking behind, is that something that you master with time. I look at the pros on TV and you can see them looking behind and their bikes keep going straight. When I look behind, no matter how much I try to keep my handlebars straight, my bike deviates left or right. Any tips
    JC

    Here lies your problem. You control your bike with your censored , not your hands*.

    *i am in no way responsible for any accidents which may occur after taking my advice ;)
  • ianspeareianspeare Posts: 110
    It's a hard one to master. You have to steer slightly in the opposite direction, as your shoulder will pull you round
  • dnwhite88dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    Don't do it on busy roads til you are really confident, but you can keep yourself straight when looking behind using the lines on the road and make small corrections as necessary. Practice makes perfect!
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    if you want to do more than a glance and want to turn your body round to see behind put one hand on the back of your saddle (the hand on the side you turn) this will help keep the bike straight and reduce wobbling.

    This assumes you are comfortable riding one handed :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • David68David68 Posts: 3
    I am very much a newbie to road bikes but I can give advice about looking over the shoulder or under the armpit. Minor corrections, aim very slightly left to compensate and practice practice, practice. I rode motorbikes for years and it is called a suicide check - suicide if you don't do them.

    Dave
  • jeannot18jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Thanks for the advice and tips
    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • team47b wrote:
    if you want to do more than a glance and want to turn your body round to see behind put one hand on the back of your saddle (the hand on the side you turn) this will help keep the bike straight and reduce wobbling.

    This assumes you are comfortable riding one handed :D

    Will two hands on the saddle reduce the wobble even more? :twisted:
  • dazza12dazza12 Posts: 20
    Will two hands on the saddle reduce the wobble even more? :twisted:

    You'll definately stop wobbling after a few seconds...
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    team47b wrote:
    if you want to do more than a glance and want to turn your body round to see behind put one hand on the back of your saddle (the hand on the side you turn) this will help keep the bike straight and reduce wobbling.

    This assumes you are comfortable riding one handed :D

    Will two hands on the saddle reduce the wobble even more? :twisted:

    Yes, as long as they're someone else's hands :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,100
    You might want to work on your flexibility too. Twisting at the middle to the same extent when 40+ compared to 20 takes more effort in my experience. Lots of torso twisting helps keep that flexibility, yoga being the best that I have experienced. Obviously the less flexible you are, the more you are going to 'pull' the bike offline with your exertions...

    PP
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    What I did while free wheeling is to bring both my knees into the frame before I turn round and the bike stays pretty much straight without lurching at all. Once you can do this free wheeling it gives you an idea of the balance you need when turning round. It is then easy to do it while pedalling.

    Well worked for me :)

    Really it is just down to practice.
  • Things would have to be pretty special before I deemed such a thing worthy of occupying practice time. I don't think I've ever needed to look back for more than a second or two; unless you are completely cack handed you shouldn't deviate significantly in that time. The only exception I can think of is if you ride in a lot of tight groups, but even then.. what are you hoping to see if you look back? the rider behind??
  • I have a mirror on my bar end which I use to keep an awareness of what's going on behind me without having to turn around. I can therefore save my wobbly look backs for when they are essential, i.e. if I'm moving into the road (it's not worth trusting your life to your mirrors, though that opinion mainly comes from riding a motorbike and only surviving because of lifesaver looks).

    You will wobble less in time, it takes practise.
  • iamcamiiamcami Posts: 93
    doug5_10 wrote:
    The armpit check

    man-scratching_head_255x210.jpg
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Some people do better with turning their head to the left and looking behind to see what's on the right side.
  • doug5_10doug5_10 Posts: 465
    iamcami wrote:
    doug5_10 wrote:
    The armpit check

    man-scratching_head_255x210.jpg

    Open your right arm out and look backwards under your armpit, it works! This is how sprinters check behind without deviating or losing aero position (not that I ever do it for this reason, its just quicker than a full shoulder check)
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/1920048
  • iamcamiiamcami Posts: 93
    I'll give a blast for sure... lol just first time id heard of it
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,100
    I always used to look under my armpit when a teenager....however now in my 40s it feels dangerous and unstable and glancing around seems much easier!

    PP
  • My advice, relax your arms, stop thinking about steering and practice steering with your hips (moving your weight to move the bike rather than having your weight follow after you turn the bars). Eventually you'll be happy riding around, unwrapping a bar with both hands while going around gentle corners*.

    * Although should you come off trying this I'll claim someone hijacked my keyboard.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Things would have to be pretty special before I deemed such a thing worthy of occupying practice time. I don't think I've ever needed to look back for more than a second or two; unless you are completely cack handed you shouldn't deviate significantly in that time. The only exception I can think of is if you ride in a lot of tight groups, but even then.. what are you hoping to see if you look back? the rider behind??
    Or the cars/vehicles coming up behind when you're hoping to turn right/overtake/moveout ...

    IMHO it's something worthy of practice whilst you do your normal ride - pretty much the same as drinking whilst riding (in various positions/speeds) or any type of bike handling - all needs practice!
  • Slowbike wrote:
    Or the cars/vehicles coming up behind when you're hoping to turn right/overtake/moveout ...

    Exactly. Even if you aren't doing any sort of significant manoeuvre it's worth always having a peek back. When I was learning to drive I was told to check the main rear view mirror roughly every 10 seconds... Just to glance at it and maintain an idea of what's going on around you. I do this when I'm cycling too. Even if i'm going straight, I'll regularly have a quick glance back... maybe not every 10 seconds but I like to know what's behind me. If i'm doing something like slowbike suggested I'll have an even better look and make sure I see everything but I still like to have quick glances as often as I can.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,551
    Try resting the hand on the side your are turning to (so right hand if checking to the right which is the usual case) on your thigh as you turn. Soon it will become second nature and you will be able to turn with both hands still on the bar.
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