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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-14-05, 10:21 PM   #1
lxpatterson
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Dismounts and mounts for newbies

I just started racing this summer; mostly crits. Im thinking about trying a few cross races this year with my commuter (80's trek tourer) just for kicks. The problem is i have no confidencewith dismounts and mounts, especially I am short and have short legs. How should i practice, and also overcome my fear of crushing my gonads on a bad mount. ALso how much lower should the saddle be set relative to regular road setup.
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Old 10-27-05, 11:44 AM   #2
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dont drop the saddle any more tha 1cm or youll run into knee and power problems while riding. I'm new to mounts and dismounts too...i think you just have to do it slowly to work on form than speed it up. Also give yourself enough time before your next appointment to lay in the grass and cry if you do hit it wrong. my big issue is unclipping my left foot on dismounts...im worried that if i take my first step and still am cliped in I'm gonna make an idiot out of myself....probably going to happen either way.

good luck and happy gonads!
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Old 10-27-05, 11:51 AM   #3
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From the footage I've seen, the guys almost look like they're jumping on from the back. No way I could do that with my road bike saddle height.
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Old 10-27-05, 12:06 PM   #4
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The usual form of the pros is unclipping your right foot, swinging it around the bike and than in between your left leg and the bike. your first step will be with the right foot as you unclip your left and leave with the bike in a full run...this means you shouldnt have to lower the seat much at all.

Cross RULES!
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Old 10-27-05, 12:06 PM   #5
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one word on the remount: "stutter step"!

work up to a race remount with a stationary remount, keeping your left foot planted and swing the right foot over the rear tire, landing your butt on the seat and right foot on the pedal simultaneously. I don't even attempt to jump off my left foot. Slower, but hurts less.
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Old 10-27-05, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billh
one word on the remount: "stutter step"!

work up to a race remount with a stationary remount, keeping your left foot planted and swing the right foot over the rear tire, landing your butt on the seat and right foot on the pedal simultaneously. I don't even attempt to jump off my left foot. Slower, but hurts less.
not to be a jerk, but this exactly what NOT to do. the stutter step is a bad habit that is basically the product of not being able to commit to the remount. once you get stuck in this habit, its very hard to break. to remount properly you need to get both feet off the ground. its not so much a "jump," and you definetly do not want to land hard on your butt. instead, you DO "spring" up with your left foot (but only enough to just clear your seat) while simultaneously swinging your right leg over the seat so that you make contact with the inside of your right thigh. many people say that from the back it looks like a leprechaun clicking his heels.

also, the best way to practice this in not stationary, but moving forward, even if only at a slow speed. the reason its good to practice while moving is because when you remount it helps to push your bike forward just a bit as you get ready to "launch." this will make it so that your bike seat and your thigh are in the same place at the same time.

when you first start practicing, dont worry so much about clipping into your pedals immediately. that will come later. just try to get the fluidity down first.

as for dismounting, this is hard to explain, but one of the keys here is to put your right hand on your tt as you get ready to dismount. this does two things...first, with your weight on your right arm, it allows you to control the bike, and easily unclip your left foot, and second, it puts your hand in position to immediately lift the bike as you jump over the barriers.

make sure your cleats are in good condition, and that your pedals are lubed and release correctly. practice on grass. also, you might think about reversing your brakes so that you dont pop your bike up when you brake with your left hand as you approach the barriers.

dont worry, you will get it down. practice, practice, practice.

Last edited by xccx; 10-27-05 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 10-27-05, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx
not to be a jerk, but this exactly what NOT to do. the stutter step is a bad habit that is basically the product of not being able to commit to the remount. once you get stuck in this habit, its very hard to break.
Yeh. That's me right there. I'm stuck in that habit. Definitely working on it though.
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Old 10-28-05, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx
not to be a jerk, but this exactly what NOT to do. the stutter step is a bad habit that is basically the product of not being able to commit to the remount. once you get stuck in this habit, its very hard to break.
. . . no offense at all. I fully realize the correct way to remount, it's just that if you are like me, C race mid-pack fodder, over 200lb, a couple extra seconds is not worth it compared to the pain incurred when my 200+lb of pure lean mean muscled bod hits that hard little seat, even on the inner thigh, and not the . . . eh hem, soft parts. I'll give up two seconds if it means a little more enjoyment of the race. Plus I'm pretty good on the dismount so I'm flying by some guys over the barriers who have the "proper" remount.
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Old 10-28-05, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACING2GOD
The usual form of the pros is unclipping your right foot, swinging it around the bike and than in between your left leg and the bike. your first step will be with the right foot as you unclip your left and leave with the bike in a full run...this means you shouldnt have to lower the seat much at all.

Cross RULES!
My own technique is to unclip the left foot first well before the barrier, place it back on the pedal unclipped, pedal some, then unclip right as above. This way I don't have to worry about not being able to unclip the left going into the barrier. Again, this is C-race midpack fodder advice! So take it as such. It may lose you a second, but it also may prevent serious injury.
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Old 10-28-05, 04:21 PM   #10
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There's a video on the cyclocross thread that shows some mounts/dismounts for anyone who needs a visual aid... I know I did.

3 min video from Missouri cx race
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Old 11-01-05, 09:07 AM   #11
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Yeah, I posted that! You can see my trademark stutter step. I'm the chubby guy in black with yellow tiger stripes. "Back of the pack, bottom of the stack . . ." I think the last remount by the guy in orange is the textbook remount.
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Old 11-01-05, 11:43 AM   #12
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I am sure this is old news to the crossers here, but

http://www.hanskellner.com/videos/cycling.html

has quite a lot of good videos of cross races, including mounts and dismounts. Helmet cam!

I tried a mount on my mtb, but I ride with a high saddle. Chamois may help with padding and tucking your package out of harm's way, too. The result of experiment was that I think mtbs may be higher than cross bikes--a bit of nad mashage for me.
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Old 11-01-05, 12:30 PM   #13
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Another tip to remember is muscle memory. The VERY first time you get it right, repeat, repeat, repeat. You have to teach your head to remember the motion and feel. When I first got it, it was on commute/training ride to work. I did about 20 remounts in the parking lot before I went in to work.

On the remount, it helped me think of tapping my but w/ my right heel. Like a leprachaun jump. That helps you avoid doing a really high jump, making it easer to just hop softly onto the saddle.
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