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  1. #1
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Best tips for fastest remounts?

    I love fast dismounts and fast remounts. I hate to brake before a barrier and my goal is to accelerate to it and through it and to be hitting bike-speed before remounting. Blazing! (What fun!)

    ...But I do have a bit of a problem.

    I can blaze my remounts but they're kinda wild. And they're usually jumpers with fairly hard landings on the saddle. I hate that.

    I want one of those remounts that the pro's do where it looks like nothing has changed -- they go from running to being in the saddle.

    I know that "hit the remount against the saddle with your inner thigh, just slide it up and over" stuff but I can't seem to do that while running fast.

    My last running step ends up being kind of a jump. If I try to moderate it at all -- and stay down closer to the bike and saddle -- I end up snagging my foot on the front or rear tire! And, anyway, I'm still not that smooth or soft-landing. I'm going so fast that I bash something. At least if I jump I have a split-second to get everything lined up -- but I hate the hard landing (even though I make it work).

    I'll probably break my seatpost soon if I don't smooth out and lighten up!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member yochris's Avatar
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    One thing i have been working on is eliminating the "stutter step" that happens right before i leave my feet - that last little half step that is not in stride. It's almost an unconscious thing and I have to actively think about not doing it. I still do it.

    If you watch the pro races you never see anyone do that. Part of what makes them look so seamless going from running to in the saddle, is that they will hit it right in stride, no stutter.

    It's only my second season racing so I don't really know what I am talking about but that's just one of my observations.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Yeah, getting over the stutter-step is phase one. I have that beat so phase two for me is working on a smooth landing. I need to get that pro style of "rolling" up and over and saddle, smooth and gentle. I don't know how they do it. They do that same bent-leg fling every time. Like mounting a low-horse without any hop. They aren't rushed. It's just one motion. But I'm sprinting over the barriers. I set my bike down and accelerate for a stride or two then I *hop* on. I can't avoid the hop and make it smooth. I think it's coz I'm doing a max run sprint to get the rolling bike up to speed for those strides before I remount. Or something. I have the books. I'll read up.
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    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice.

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    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Here's a visualizing aide I just got from the Scott Mares book: stand next to the bike then lift and put your right knee onto the center of the saddle. That's the feel. Also he says it make the remount feel like you're wrapping your arm around a pal's shoulder only your doing it with your leg... Also to make it feel like you're a running hurdler.

    Then I recall a tip I read somewhere else, maybe: Practice remounting with hands in drops. Maybe gets you more forward and low. Less jump?

    Yep, practice, but tips/drills appreciated, too...
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    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    Do you ever practice remounting at walking pace? I have short legs & can even remount w/ barely lifting my foot off the ground. Keep doing this & gradually get faster & faster.

  7. #7
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    slow down the remount speed till it is smooth at slower speeds, then gradually speed up. the smooth guys in our local A race are not really running all out, but they are butter smooth. smooth is fast.

    new cx racers tend to fixate on the barriers . . . it's really not a big deal as far as race outcome. give me a newbie with a big V02 engine, and they could come to a complete top, take out a lounge chair, smoke-em if they gott-em, watch some TV, then step over the barriers, and resume racing, and not lose much ground. I exagerate, but you get the idea. it's still a bike race, biggest engine wins. A wise old cyclocross guru once said "You can lose a race on the barriers, but you can't win one". Yep, so true.
    "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

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    Gap

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    "You can lose a race on the barriers, but you can't win one". Yep, so true.
    If you're confident taking barriers at speed, they become a great place to get a little gap without burning a match. If the rider you gap has a bigger engine he'll just catch you back in 30 seconds, so you're right, but sometimes they matter.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Running around the yard today, dismounting and remounting at speed, trying to figure it out. I'd say I got one really good remount out of 50. It seems like when I run my hips go up in the air or something. My running "float" height seems higher than my bike saddle. So I run then fling a leg over the saddle and DROP DOWN on it. If I don't leave the ground with my left foot then I can kinda fling my right leg over the saddle smoothly without air-time and a drop. But then I'm not running. If I run off my left foot I *LAND* on the saddle. Whew...it's weird and tough.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    PS: Another thing is that it feels like I'm flying, soaring, really hurdling the barriers. But when I spectate it seems like the good racers are just running along like normal, not leaping, they just lift their feet over the barriers in time with their run. I've seen vid of myself and it doesn't really look like I'm leaping. Maybe it's just the change in feeling from being riding to running. I like it, but it seems that if I do the same kind of run when I remount then I *LAND* on my saddle and that's bad...
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  11. #11
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    I gave up on the classic remount, just too painful at my weight. I cheat on the remount by touching the left foot on the ground an instant before my butt hits the saddle . . . to cushion the impact. it doesn't look pretty but I can do it pretty fast and get going again, and not lose much, if any, any ground to the guy next to me with the classic remount.
    "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

  12. #12
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Just do what this guy does:

    http://youtu.be/9Jrmu-caCFY

    By the way, notice that he's got his leg over the saddle before he even comes into the picture.

    Also, you shouldn't be landing on your butt. You should be "landing" on your inner thigh and sliding across. It should really be more like stepping across the saddle than jumping on.

    In "The Complete Book of Cyclocross" Scott Mares describes it as being like putting your arm around a loved one. That's a great analogy and when you do it right you'll feel exactly what that means.

  13. #13
    Hills hurt.. Couches kill RacerOne's Avatar
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    I race Cat 3 Cyclocross and I have a stutter step. There, I admitted it. In practice, I can eliminate it. In any hard effort where I'm already winded coming into the barriers forget it, I'm stutter stepping to beat. Today, I was forcing myself not to stutter and ended up with my left foot in the spokes of my rear wheel smashing my toe and nearly busting a spoke as I skidded to a stop. I am done trying. At this point trying not to stutter step has the potential of slowing me down more than not.

  14. #14
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    I just realized that when I stutter I *injure my frickin right shoulder*!

    It's a second-lag where my arm is still trying to stabilize my upper body as I stutter. Ow, it hurts!

    I'm gonna quit it and get back to insta-mount! ...Somehow. Practice!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good ideas.

    Yeah, I've noticed that I can remount without taking left foot off ground. But I wanna remount when running/sprinting flat-out. Maybe that's silly but it's fun when it works.

    Yeah, big engines win, but I also notice that my peers are my peers -- we're all kinda similar. I'm not racing against the #1 dude. I like to try to do better at my own level. And it's fun to see it keep creeping upward. It helped when I got a lighter bike this season (I'm just using my roadbike with CX wheels...barely). So I'm in the mix, say, with 5 guys. Well, I do know that I'm faster on the barriers so it really does seem like I'm placing quite a ways higher than if I did em like so many others do. Usually I move up at the barriers. But when I am well matched with those who I'm riding near then I notice that I'm STRETCHING THE BAND at each barrier. I put 20 feet on em each time. They often get those feet back. But on the last lap they usually don't... Barriers are fun!

    Anyway, I've been practicing... I tried the remount with hands on drops idea. That didn't help me. Then I started just riding around hopping on and off just anywhere as I was riding my trail. I tried to keep the riding steady -- off then on while keeping it smooth, keep my head at same level. That really seemed to help! THEN what REALLY started helping was when I kept my hands on the TOPS all the time. I'd ride on tops then dismount and remount on tops. I was really able to stay smooth then. That was fun.

    Now I'm remounting and landing on inner thigh each time. Another improvement!

    ...But I still "LAND" a bit too hard. My hips are flying too high then coming down. I notice if I try to not jump so high that I'll too often ram into the back of my saddle, bounce off then drop onto my rear tire. Not fun. Total cornball. Can't do that at a race! ...That can only happen when *I'M* the spectator, not the rider!

    I suppose I just need to learn better how to gauge how high to launch as I'm running and remounting.

    Also, it's starting to sound like the good dudes don't run much before remounting. I don't either -- like 2 or 3 steps -- but maybe it matters. Maybe I need to reduce it somehow.

    Am I right to think it's a matter of gauging trajectory? If I'm running up to speed then remounting I'm making an arc thru the air. You want it high enough to get on the saddle but not so high that you DROP onto the saddle. Or am I looking at it wrong?

    Oh, lastly, here's another big improvement I'm happy about: I'm getting MUCH MORE RELAXED about the whole barriers thing. I used to sprint em and notice my heart-rate would go up. I could get an advantage but it would be a cost. Now I'm working on coasting up and letting my diaphragm drop -- breathe deep -- and do the dismount and hurdles and remount WITH NO TENSION. It's impt to not tense the muscles but to let em fly and flow. My visualization is to go faster all the time but also to actually drop the heart-rate at the barriers. Running instead of riding is supposed to give the riding muscles a rest. Yeah, it's hard to make that work but it's good visualization. Smooth, smooth...
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  16. #16
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Just do what this guy does:

    http://youtu.be/9Jrmu-caCFY

    By the way, notice that he's got his leg over the saddle before he even comes into the picture.
    Smooth vid!

    Hey, he's not doing the step-thru nor is he doing cowboy dismount. He's kinda doing a side-step that lets him reach down for his down-tube.

    I notice I just grab my top tube.

    Do the pros use quite a few diff ways to dismount, etc.? I suppose it's good to be able to change any which way depending on the situation.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member JeffOYB's Avatar
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    New tip! It seems like I remount smoothly with low impact if I leap hard and FORWARD. I drive hard with that left leg. 45-degrees forward angle of thrust, it feels like. That lets me do that arching hurdle move with the right leg and I don't go UP as much but I go FORWARD with the accelerating bike. Then I'm suddenly in the saddle without a whump! I did a bunch of sweet remounts this way. But then I started screwing up again. I think I just was getting fatigued! I still had some forward leap but it wasn't high enough and I landed on the rear tire a couple times. Doh! ...Workout done for the day. Then I did a real race and was back to mostly semi-harsh landing remounts but at least they were fast. Practice!
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  18. #18
    Student of the Billy styl badbikemechanic's Avatar
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    Any tips for not landing on your balls? This is by far the scariest part of the remount for me.
    "I can't learn ya if you don't want to be learned" - Billy
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    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbikemechanic View Post
    Any tips for not landing on your balls? This is by far the scariest part of the remount for me.
    land on the right inner thigh and slide onto the seat from there . . .
    "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 1963

  20. #20
    Student of the Billy styl badbikemechanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    land on the right inner thigh and slide onto the seat from there . . .
    This is sound advice.
    "I can't learn ya if you don't want to be learned" - Billy
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    You might simply have short legs for your height. Cyclocross pros self select for people with very long legs. Also explains why they seem to glide over barriers. You get a 6' 4" guy with the legs of a 6' 8" person, the bottom bracket of the bike is a smaller percentage of the total saddle height from the ground (and is closer percentage wise to leg length) and barriers seem shorter. This person simply doesn't have to jump very high (proportional to his leg length) to get his hips above his saddle, and his natural running stride carries his feet above the barriers.

    Solution then is to find a bike with a lower bottom bracket. There's no help for the barriers issue though...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  22. #22
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    I suck at remounts and I know it. Did my first race of the season Sunday and yep, stutter f#$king stepped it on the remounts. There was no-run up and only one barrier so it wasn't a big part of this course and I don't think I gave anyone up but I still hate my lame remounts. I'll be trying to find a little time to practice my technique. People who do it well seem to have this funny hop up where both legs are bent at the knee and with feet pointing backwards. I can't figure it out. I think I have stocky squatty legs for my height, so maybe I'm genetically disadvantaged as Brian says.

    My technique is to get to the barrier fast, do a little breaking, cowboy dismount, hurdle over the barriers quickly and then remount right away. There's no point in me running for a remount if my remounts are slow and ****ty. I get back in the saddle ASAP, click in, stand up and power stroke for a few cycles. I have passed back opponents who get a little ahead of me after the barriers with their running remounts. Likewise at the top of a run-up I get back on the bike early, while I'm still moving relatively slowly rather than sprint ahead on my feet for a few paces. It's not pretty or proper but it's my adaptation I suppose.

  23. #23
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    land on the right inner thigh and slide onto the seat from there . . .
    This and...

    Quote Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
    Practice, practice, practice.
    This.

    And when practicing DO NOT ever stutter step. Also do not ever mount your bike when practicing in any other style except the proper mount. One drill you can do is get a length of field that is a nice flat 50 meteres or so. Run a few steps and mount then immediately dismount (properly of course) and repeat over and over. Proper cross technique requires a lot of practice because what you are doing is training muscle memory. You cannot think properly in a cross race so you need to rely on muscle memory and that only comes from practice.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    One drill you can do is get a length of field that is a nice flat 50 meteres or so. Run a few steps and mount then immediately dismount (properly of course) and repeat over and over. Proper cross technique requires a lot of practice because what you are doing is training muscle memory. You cannot think properly in a cross race so you need to rely on muscle memory and that only comes from practice.
    This and . . . Work on covering the 50 meters without any pedaling, after the first dismount. It forces you to use the "forward thrust" mentioned above.

    Also, it's probably a good idea to work on hamstring flexibility & strength if you intend to work on faster remounts (recent, painful lesson).

  25. #25
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    I went to a cyclocross clinic and the coach tried to beat a mantra into our heads: slow is smooth; smooth is fast.

    it helps - when I remember it.

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