Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyclocross - How to Dismount in 6 Easy Steps

Cyclocross Technique: Proper Dismounting

(pictures courtesy of bikeradar, GCN, and

1. A good dismount is one that conserves momentum, so always keep this in mind. You've worked hard for that speed, so aim to keep it. This means if you are ever unsure about whether you can ride a section, you should plan to dismount. Messing up and having to stop and dismount means losing all of your momentum. A planned, smooth dismount means that you carry as much speed as you can

2. When you're first starting out, dismounting is best practiced on a flat span of grass so there's
nothing to get in your way. Before attempting anything at race speed, first ride at a pace that you can comfortably run at. Most riders get off on the left side of the bike so they can carry it with the chainrings facing away from them. As you approach your dismount it's best to hold your handlebars on the brake hoods as in this way you can control the speed and being on the drops will cramp your upper body.

3. Put your left pedal in the 6 o'clock position and transfer your weight onto it. Unclip your right foot and swing your leg around the bike. Then, simultaneously unclip your left foot and start running beside your bike.

This step can take some practice, because you need to unclip your left foot while your body weight is still held up by this foot. Try transferring some of your weight forwards onto your arms to make it easier.

4. Next take your right hand and place it on the top tube just in front of your saddle, ready to lift your bike for the upcoming obstacle. Your right hand is now also in the correct position to lift a bike seamlessly over the barriers or a short set of steps.

5. When you're dismounting you've got to get your timing right. Dismount as close to the barriers as you can as any time spent running is energy wasted.

Many pros can dismount just one or two steps before an obstacle. These steps can become trickier in muddy conditions, when your pedals don't release as easily.

6. Make sure you practice plenty in the dry so you have the confidence to unclip whatever the weather.

Thank you Global Cycling Network for providing the video that inspired this post

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Brantley SmithAbout Me
Hello, I am Brantley Smith and have been riding road and mountain bikes since the mid 90's. I previously worked here at Ride-A-Bike from mid-97 to mid-2000 doing repairs and other duties around the shop. I attended Wester Carolina University and graduated in 2004 with a computer information systems degree. Add my to your circles.