Balance is the most important skill one should learn when cycling. You cannot always rely on training wheels, as there will come a time that you need to get rid of them. For you to fully enjoy biking, you must work on balance and be comfortable with it.
However, balance is not something you can acquire overtime. You need to practice, put in the effort, and allot time to develop balance. Thus, we are here to provide you with some helpful techniques on how to balance on a bike. It includes practicing in a straight line, learning how to turn left and right, and doing some balance exercises.
For full details, read on and learn how to balance better while on a bike.
Table of Contents
Why Is Balance So Important When Biking
Cycling is one activity that always requires a good balance. You cannot fully maximize the joy of biking if you fail to develop your balance skill. A good balance when biking allows you to handle your bike more effectively. It also helps you to be more adaptable to changing environments or terrain.
The balance will help you get through a challenging road environment. When you encounter uneven ground surfaces, your balance will help you overcome them without falling off from your bike. Of course, balance always comes from how your body is coordinated and how well you carry yourself.
It is a skill you need to develop within you, and can be improved by practice or training. However, there are still some external factors that can help enhance your balance. It includes the following:
1. Seat height
The way your bike is constructed, and the bike seat height directly impact your bike balance. You should ensure that you are comfortable with the seat height to fully extend your knees, even when the pedal is at the lowest point.
When you ride a bike for adults, it is important that you are comfortable when biking, and you can move both your legs and arms in a confident manner. In this way, you can have easy access on the pedal as well as the handlebar.
For you to adjust the seat bike properly, you can stand next to the bike, then raise the seat height until you reach that point that the seat is three to four fingers below the hip level. If this is not comfortable with you, we recommend that you adjust the seat height very gradually.
2. Seat angle
Another factor that can affect your bicycle balance is the seat angle. The wrong seat angle can make you uncomfortable when biking. You would notice some instances that you are sliding forward when seated on the bike.
If this happens, it puts additional pressure on both your arms and back, making the ride difficult for you. As a result, you might come off balance, and feel more disturbed when riding.
It is essential that the seat angle is always parallel to the ground. The seat should not be too far back, because it will hurt your back, just the same.
3. Handlebar height
Aside from the position and angle of your bike seat, the handlebar is another factor that directly affects a biker’s balance. The bike handlebar should be adjusted at a height level you are comfortable with.
Meaning, you can stretch your back straight, while both your arms and shoulders are relaxed, and do not feel any form of tension. The height of the handlebar also allows you to maintain proper posture when biking.
It will not cause your both shoulder and back bike fatigue, allowing you to focus on your balance when on the road.
After you adjusted your seat bike and handlebar in a position you are most comfortable with, you can now develop your balance using these essential tips:
- Start practicing on a straight line
- Learn how to turn left and right
- Practice balance exercises
- Be more confident
Finding Your Balance
1. Start practicing on a straight line
We are all aware that finding your balance when riding on a bike is not that simple. As a beginner, you have to take things slowly before having the confidence to ride on a two-wheel bike.
For starters, it is essential to build your confidence first and reduce the fear of getting hurt. To make this possible, you can start practicing on a straight line, and be familiarized with how you can best navigate your bike.
Ensure that you are using the right height of a bike where you can still touch your feet on the ground. Then, find a flat and straight surface where you can start practicing.
Try to increase your speed gradually, when you lengthen your biking distance. Biking on a straight line can help improve your balance, and build confidence at the same time.
2. Learn how to turn left and right
Now that you are tuned in biking on a straight line, you can level up your skill by learning how to turn left and right without losing your balance.
Once you have already established your balance especially when pedaling, you can gradually turn the handlebar to the right or left direction. Ensure that you do it slowly in order not to lose your stability and balance.
You can do it gradually, while preparing one of your feet to touch the ground. In case you come off balance, you can instantly avoid collapsing by touching one foot on the ground.
3. Practice balance exercises
If you want to improve considerably when riding on your bike, there are some balance exercises that you can try. It will help you establish better coordination, and at the same time, be more confident controlling your bike.
- Single leg squats: Doing the single leg squats is a great way to improve your leg muscles, and make you more comfortable sitting on a bike. It will significantly enhance the strength of your legs, making it more enduring while pedaling. This type of exercise also develops your muscles on your behind.
- Plank with leg lift: Another way to develop your leg muscles is doing a plank with a leg lift. First, you have to be in a plank position, while lifting one leg at a time. Planking is a great way to strengthen your core muscles in both arms and legs.
- Use of a wobble board: Some bikers use wobble boards to help improve their balance. You can employ different balance exercises with a wobble board, including single-leg aeroplane exercise.
- Use of gym ball: If you want to advance in balancing on a bike significantly, you can use a gym ball, as well. Since gym balls are unstable by nature, you can control your body and keep it steady using it.
4. Be more confident
Confidence is key when learning a new skill. If you believe in yourself, and are determined to learn cycling, it is possible. Aside from learning all the technical areas of how to keep balance on a bike, being confident will also go a long way.
Learning to ride a bike will be easy if you have established the right balance. Learning this skill requires patience, and a great deal of work, too. Nevertheless, if you allot time and energy to improve your balance, you can confidently ride on a bike.
May this guide help you on how to balance on a bike. In case you have suggestions, our team is open for discussion, and encouraged to comment your questions or queries down below.
“I ride my bike to work for years, but is that enough? Our carelessness towards our surroundings has taken a toll on the environment. And now, everyone is responsible for changes; even the most minor contribution is counted. With this hope and spirit, I started with my partner to establish Biketoworkday to help more individuals commute to their work sites on their bikes.”