Learn to track stand on your mountain bike and you’ll improve your range of motion, balance, confidence, and control

It takes time, humility and lot of determination to really get your head around track stands, but the satisfaction of finally getting them is addictive.

Riding your bike is all about having fun. Take yourself off to the far corner of a car park, or a quiet trail away from people, and just muck around. Once you feel like you have roughly got your head around things you can start playing in front of people, but initially you’ll most likely make progress if no one is watching.

How to track stand

A great one to practise on your commute through town, or if you’re stalling in a queue of riders on a tricky climb. The track stand comes in all sorts of versions, but you’ll find it easier to do any of them if you have a basic version mastered first.

  1. Find a slight hill and ride up it, getting slower as you go. Ideally you want to be slightly diagonal with your front wheel crossed up and facing directly uphill.
  2. Once at a complete stop, pull your front brake to lock the front wheel. You should be able to push off the bars and move your weight back slightly meaning, that as you come off the brake you’ve created a bit of rearward rolling momentum. Because your front wheel is crossed up this will make you lean as it will be rolling slightly sideways in relation to the rest of your bike.
  3. As soon as this lean becomes too much to balance, pedal strongly and you’ll be able to counter balance by now travelling forwards again. Once this forward drive starts taking you off-balance the other way, lock your front wheel and push off the now solid front end with your arms again setting up the rearward motion again.
  4. With a little practise you’ll be able to initiate momentum in both directions and balance without moving too far. This is why you see riders at the lights rocking from one side to the other. They’re counterbalancing the whole time.
  5. Be ready to roll forwards by pedalling hard and moving forwards if it feels like you’re falling over.