4 Bad Cycling Habits | How to Look More Pro On A Bike
Bad Cycling Habits
Every cycle has their weakness, and unfortunately, that can be an eye-catching one. Watching other riders on the road makes it easy to see what doesn't work — some of them are wobbling, crashing into things, or dropping like a lead balloon.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your riding is as smooth as possible. Let's check out four habits that no one ever wants to see.
4 bad cycling habits: Stay Away From
Here are four habits to stay away from while on that wheel.
Bobbing the head Up and down by the ears
In a race, this could mean the difference between winning and not. Too much bobbing of the head can cause your bike to be unstable, and that's not even a factor in how vulnerable you become to attacks as you tire more quickly.
You also waste much energy bobbing those hard tires up and down, which will have you doing it even more to catch your breath.
It doesn't look good to others and should be avoided for your neck. If you need to look at something, like a car coming around a corner from the opposite direction, turn your head instead of keeping it still and bobbing.
People bob because they want to gain bearings without looking down at their handlebars. The best way to check your speed and road conditions is by glancing at the underside of your computer or using those handy drop-down bars on your hoods (or both).
Swinging the elbows out to balance
A bad habit that is easy to fall into and looks terrible is swinging the elbows out from side to side to balance in your seat and control the bike.
Not only does it look silly, but it also puts you in a terrible position for attacking, defending, or even climbing a steep hill. There are three things you need to do to avoid cycling elbow disease.
The first is to firm up your core muscles. You're keeping your upper body from swaying by having a tight stomach and back, which will anchor you in the saddle. The second is to let the bike do its job of balance for you instead of trying to force yourself into staying upright with constant movements (or using your bullhorns, for that matter).
Thirdly, and finally, lets those hands relax. Instead of gripping the bar tightly and forcing yourself still in the saddle (which isn’t possible without putting excessive strain on your neck), loosen up and trust the bike.
Keeping your knees not quite at 90 degrees
There are a couple of reasons why this is an issue. The first is that it puts your knees in an awkward position for climbing hills, and their easier to twist when you're going downhill or out of the saddle riding.
The other reason is aerodynamics, as you may notice that it makes the back of your calves flap up and down. This flapping can be quite distracting, especially if you're trying to look at traffic while flying through a corner at speed.
To avoid landing on your knee, reposition yourself by leaning over slightly (about 45 degrees) to let the bike do its job.
Bouncing on the saddle
You've got to watch this one. While you may be able to hold the bouncing for a bit, it catches up with you the longer the race goes on. There are two reasons why this is an issue.
Whether bouncing around in your shorts, using your hands to grip the handlebars for balance, and then pulling yourself back into position, you're wasting a lot of energy that you could better spend attacking or at least holding your pace steady.
The other reason you need to avoid this act is the fact that it's unnatural and makes your position not only unstable but also one that is vulnerable to a nasty wipeout.
How to look more pro on a bike
You can learn pro moves on the bike so that other riders will begin to take you more seriously. The easiest way to learn them is watching the pros do it, so let's check them out.
Put on a poker face
Learn how to deal with split seconds using the old poker face trick. You're in a race, yet you're not showing any emotion other than that determined stare.
Your face won't change much, but it should look like you aren't just looking ahead to the next corner and concentrating on holding your place despite what is happening around you.
It helps your next move and makes it harder for the opponent to read your intentions.
Arms stretch up
It is often seen as pointing at something else in the sky, or another rider passing by in your direction. If done correctly, this will confuse opponents as no one knows what you may have seen that inspired such a move.
The move only works if you keep the rest of your body still, as a sudden change in movement can cause your arms to whip out of position.
Hands reach out to the ground
Bikes have a lot of power in the front and back legs, so you can pull a 180 and your hand up from behind instead of down from the front. It usually happens when someone falls off their bike or has an awkward run-in with someone else's handlebars.
The move helps you look more in control and can help confuse your opponent.
Stick out your butt
It may seem like a silly move, but it is quite useful. The cycling habit is at its best while riding at a leisurely pace and not worried about being competitive.
It gives you freedom of movement and allows better breathing and body support while sitting still in the saddle. It is also useful if you sprint hard or attack from behind.
Good sock length
It is a very stylish move and one that you should do if you have nice long socks. It helps show off your calf muscles and shows everyone how to fit you are.
You can do this by reaching down to the handlebars while sitting in the saddle. The best position is close to the stem but not exactly touching it.
Build on the no-hands technique
It is more of a show-off move and one that you shouldn't forget to add to your arsenal. It is completely safe because you will have one hand on the handlebar, so you can safely cruise around and enjoy your smoothness.
If done correctly, this move makes it clear to everyone around you that you are looking for a fight or challenge, whether with another rider or to test yourself.
It shows confidence in yourself and helps the other riders know that you mean business.
Looking up while climbing
It is a cool move that makes it look like you're not wasting too much energy trying to balance yourself while sitting on the saddle or performing a climbing attack.
It also makes it clear to the other riders that you are not concerned about what's happening around you and that you believe in yourself to hold your place despite any circumstances.
It is a show-off move, and one shouldn't try it unless you are a good cyclist or an experienced rider. It's a circus trick, but looks cool when done properly. If you try it, ensure your balance is perfect before even attempting this move, as it can easily end in disaster if not done correctly.
If you've never learned how to do a wheelie, practice it on a bicycle first and make sure you have someone to spot you if anything goes wrong. Once you're confident, try it in traffic so that your opponent has no choice but to watch in awe.
Cycling doesn't have a definition of what pro cyclists look like- anyone can be a pro. However, the above guidelines should help improve your fitness and bike performance by improving your riding style.
Do's and don'ts to look like a pro.
Here are a few dos and don'ts when looking like a pro on the bike.
These good habits will help you look more like a pro and perform better.
Make it obvious you're in control of your bike.
It is one of the best ways to make other riders believe you're fearless on the bike in any situation, whether a serious face-to-face encounter or a split-second decision could land you in trouble.
Whenever you encounter another rider, remember that frozen poker face and how you sometimes reach out with your arms to clear your path. It will make it clear that no matter what happens, you will be okay, allowing you to have greater control over situations when making those split-second moves or decisions.
Put on sunglasses
It is a fairly obvious move but also a very useful one as it helps shield your most important sense – that of sight. Make sure you have a dark tint, so you're not affected on sunny days, and choose an aviator style with a lens larger than you need.
It's best not to wear it on climbs or in windy conditions, though, as these will affect your vision.
Always focus on the finish line
Forget about the rest of the race and ride like you're trying to place first. That's not to say that you should ignore your surroundings entirely, but try your best to focus on only one thing – a goal ahead of you.
It also helps if you're not too concerned about passing other riders or being passed by them. It will take some time to get used to this mindset, but it's a very important strategy for looking like a pro cyclist.
If you're going up a hill and there are riders behind you, don't slow down until they are no longer in sight.
Add some flair to your riding position
It is one of the most important things to help build your confidence and make you look even more like a pro. Practice in front of the mirror or while riding at a slow speed before doing this in front of other riders.
Shave your legs
This one is very useful if you plan on being seen by spectators or people on the side of the road. It's a well-known fact that cyclists are highly competitive, and any tiny thing that could give you an advantage over other riders is worth doing.
These bad habits will detract from your performance and make you look like an amateur.
Don't show fear
If you get scared, try hiding it behind a fake smile or something else, like adjusting the straps on your helmet or looking away to think about something else. If you fail at this, try to get yourself out of trouble as quickly as possible so that nobody notices what happened.
Don't look down
It is another well-known no-no for amateur riders, but it will make you look like a pro cyclist by using the plane illusion – a trick based on how our brains perceive depth perception due to different eye levels.
Doing this in front of other riders will make them believe you're looking at a spot around 30 meters in front of you, which is the ideal distance to be looking at.
Don't remain calm
You shouldn't pretend nothing has happened, even if it isn't too serious. Rather, make it as if nothing happened and show some initial annoyance, toward the situation so that people don't start drawing conclusions or causing a scene.
It may not matter what they think at first, but it will draw unwanted attention to yourself, and the situation may get out of hand because of this attention.
Poor cycling habits can hinder your performance and make you look like an amateur. With some practice and proper guidance, however, you'll be able to look like a pro and compete with other riders.