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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-04-11, 05:04 PM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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How many track-stand experts do we have in here...?

There's been a lot of interest in clipless pedals lately in this forum. A lot of our members have been using them for some time, and a handful have changed over recently, or are doing their homework to figure out what kind of pedals and shoes will be best for them. With anything that attaches your foot to the pedal comes track stands. At least if you live in an area with stop lights and signs.

They're not quite as useful/almost necessary with clipless as with toe clips, since you don't have to lean down, loosen the straps, and then tighten them again, but it's still more convenient to avoid clipping out, if possible.

I track stand at lights, even though I have derailleurs.
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Old 11-04-11, 05:30 PM   #2
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I would like to say that I can track stand but I have tried and I don't think that I would ever be able to develop the skill. One day I was trying to track stand on my hybrid and the next thing I knew I was going over the handle bars. I have not figured that one out yet. After that great exhibition of how not to track stand I have been a little shy on attempting any more.

Maybe some one can explain in great detail how to track stand and convince me again that I need to learn this skill. I am 58 and have been riding for over 50 years so it is going to take some very good arguments to convince me that I need to get this skill down. I am also chicken to try out some rollers which I have. I can just see that being another bad learning experience.
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Old 11-04-11, 05:41 PM   #3
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No expert but I can track stand for about 30 seconds. Pretty much all I need a I am more into timing the lights to avoid actual stopping.

First of all, downshift to an easier gear. Don't get caught at a stop trying to do a track stand in a big gear.

Remaining clipped in is a plus in cycling, less chance of getting hurt and much quicker on the take offs.

I roll up to a stop planning ahead. Others might race up behind me then need to unclip. I don't and even though I rolled up after them, I am 30-40 yards ahead off the stop before they can clip back in.

Again, no expert on track stands but if you can for a few seconds, it's very helpful. I can ride across town with 10 lights and only need to unclip at one or two at most.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:25 PM   #4
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I don't see any point in learning to track stand, unless you're using the archaic clips 'n' straps (which is kind of pointless, too). Engaging clipless pedals takes no time at all, once you're used to it. You put your foot on the pedal, you hear hear a click, and away you go.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:30 PM   #5
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Guess I might be an "expert". I can do it at will, for as long as I want. I can even do it no hands, and hop the bike up and down with my feet while doing it.

But I learned on the track, with the front wheel pointed up the hill, to the right. That's opposite how it's done on the road, and I still have problems doing it with the wheel pointed to the left. So I just take my foot out, whether using clipless or "archaic, pointless" clips and straps.

<edit> Now that I think about it, most of the time I just stay clipped in and hold on to the stoplight while waiting. Dunno if the stoplights are as close to the curb in other parts of the world, but it works great here in sunny SoCal.

Last edited by Six jours; 11-04-11 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 11-04-11, 06:31 PM   #6
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IF you ride in major cities, you will track stand!

I have no clue how to do it
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Old 11-04-11, 06:48 PM   #7
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While one may not track stand at all lights, like all other cycling specific skills, it is useful. The confidence one gains in being able to successfully "do" one and the balance gained from practicing both contribute to a cyclists safety in--and enjoyment of--the sport. Regardless of new innovations in technology, the skills and tactics of yesteryear are always applicable and beneficial to ones riding.

Off the top of my head, some useful skills, some basic, some advanced, that improve bicycle handling & therefore safety in no particular order:
  • Riding no-hands
  • Leaning into another rider without falling over (aka, rubbing shoulders)
  • Riding in a straight line (not swerving)
  • Riding close to another rider
  • Clearing debris from a tire, front or rear, after rolling through it
  • Taking a drink from a waterbottle & returning it to the holder without stopping pedaling
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Old 11-04-11, 07:00 PM   #8
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I wouldn't call myself a pro, but I can pull off a track stand at traffic lights without any real trouble.
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Old 11-04-11, 07:14 PM   #9
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I'm just a klutz, so I unclip and put a foot down. I think most traffic lights work on a foot-down sensor for cyclists, anyway!
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Old 11-04-11, 07:38 PM   #10
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I can't. But on the other hand, I understand one of the things that makes it possible for actual track riders to do it for extended periods (besides balance) is they're turning the front wheel into the banking of the track.
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Old 11-04-11, 11:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmot View Post
I don't see any point in learning to track stand, unless you're using the archaic clips 'n' straps (which is kind of pointless, too). Engaging clipless pedals takes no time at all, once you're used to it. You put your foot on the pedal, you hear hear a click, and away you go.
+1 It's so easy to clip and un-clip that I've never seen the use for a track stand while riding my road bike...
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Old 11-04-11, 11:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by marmot View Post
I don't see any point in learning to track stand, unless you're using the archaic clips 'n' straps (which is kind of pointless, too). Engaging clipless pedals takes no time at all, once you're used to it. You put your foot on the pedal, you hear hear a click, and away you go.
So do you unclip at every stop sign? I don't but I also don't run them either. There are always coppers sitting at blind intersectiosn waiting for traffic to roll on through. I'm not wanting to find out if this includes cycle traffic or not so I dont chance it. But unclipping at every stop sign would be pointless and I hit far more stop signs than I do traffic lights.
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Old 11-05-11, 04:20 AM   #13
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Someone on BF pointed out a few weeks back a very valid (IMO) why not to track stand at stop signs. Removing your foot shows drivers that may already be stopped that you intend to stop. I ride through an area with many all way stops, prolly as common or more common than traffic lights, and you will get in a Mexican Standoff with stopped motorists if you do not show them you are stopping.

I never thought about it until reading it here, but once I did, I started to recollect the times that I was stopping and track standing, and the car with the right of way would start, then stop, then start, and dither across the intersection, usually after being waved across by me. Since I have started putting a foot down, no issues, and I spend the same amount of time at the stop sign. But YMMV.
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Old 11-07-11, 09:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jim p View Post
Maybe some one can explain in great detail how to track stand and convince me again that I need to learn this skill.
I asked Google, and found this tutorial on how to learn to track stand. Looks pretty good. People have already said why people do track stands - to avoid unclipping at lights and signs, and to develop better bike handling skills. But I'll throw in one more reason, even if it seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

I joined a gym about a year ago, and membership came with two personal trainer sessions. During the first one, the guy said it's great that I ride a bike so much. He gave me the talk about how peoples' bones get brittle as they get older, etc, and said that the "help, I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials were on to something; he said a lot of people get older, and, eventually, have a fall they never fully recover from. He said exercising your balance skill every day is a good way to avoid that.

But I just do them so I can take off as soon as the light turns green, and because anything that improves my handling of the bike is a good thing.



^ Now that's a little crazy!
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Old 11-07-11, 09:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Now that I think about it, most of the time I just stay clipped in and hold on to the stoplight while waiting. Dunno if the stoplights are as close to the curb in other parts of the world, but it works great here in sunny SoCal.
Not many stoplights/signs/or poles close enough to road for holding where I ride.
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Old 11-07-11, 11:05 AM   #16
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IF you ride in major cities, you will track stand!

I have no clue how to do it
I ride fixed in NYC and use Candys. I can't track stand.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
So do you unclip at every stop sign? I don't but I also don't run them either. There are always coppers sitting at blind intersectiosn waiting for traffic to roll on through. I'm not wanting to find out if this includes cycle traffic or not so I dont chance it. But unclipping at every stop sign would be pointless and I hit far more stop signs than I do traffic lights.
I guess we don't have as many stop signs (or nearly as many traffic cops) as you do. I usually unclip but keep my foot in position to clip right back in, and come to a "virtual" -- almost total -- stop if there's no traffic to yield to. If there is traffic, I complete the stop and put the unclipped foot down. As sstorkell says, there's nothing tricky, difficult or time-consuming about clipping in and out.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:27 PM   #18
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As sstorkell says, there's nothing tricky, difficult or time-consuming about clipping in and out.
Tricky, difficult, no...Time consuming, yes.

Other riders that place a foot down need to shove off, flip the pedal, engage, often times having to look down makes it time consuming. By this point, I am 40 -50 yards up the road. I end up having to slow for the others to catch up. Yeah, it is time consuming.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:39 PM   #19
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Depends on the definition of 'Track Stand'.

IMO, a true track stand (outside of a velodrome) involves no net forward movement, and the ability to remain standing on the pedals for an extended period of time.

I can't quite do that.

I can, however, balance on my pedals at a stop for a 5-10 seconds, then slightly pedal forward an inch or two, and do it again. By planning ahead (e.g. stopping with 1/2 car length gap between my front wheel and the intersection or car in front of me), I can stay balanced on my bike like this through all but the longest lights. If I don't plan ahead, and the light is more than 30 seconds or so, then I just unclip and wait for the light to turn.

I haven't mastered the 'roll backwards' or 'fight the hill' methods where your net forward movement is zero. May never happen. I likewise don't own a fixed gear bike, which completely changes the equation.
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Old 11-07-11, 01:23 PM   #20
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I can do one on my fixed gear, but I don't see the point behind it. My biggest balance challenges come from riding my singlespeed CX bike on some moderate MTB trails and I might need to use some balance-and-hop manouvers to get past an obstacle. Outside of that, I don't bother since it's so easy to just put a foot down at a stoplight.
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