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Teaching a rider to start OFF the saddle

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Teaching a rider to start OFF the saddle

Old 06-16-21, 04:27 PM
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urbanknight
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Teaching a rider to start OFF the saddle

Got my son a road bike and he is insisting on starting with his butt on the saddle, which of course required the seat to be about 2" too low. I remember feeling strange like that when I got my first adult sized bike, but I don't remember what I did to get used to it. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-16-21, 04:54 PM
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How old is he?
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Old 06-16-21, 05:26 PM
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He’s 10
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Old 06-16-21, 05:58 PM
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Is he comfortable riding (and pedalling) 'standing up' on a level road once he gets going?

What bike was he riding before you got him a road bike?
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Old 06-18-21, 05:46 AM
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I taught my 10, 12, and 14yr olds to stand over the top tube. With either the left or right pedal between the 1-3 o'clock position, place your foot on that pedal, while the leg/foot is still on the ground. Once you push down on the pedal, lift the other foot off the ground, hop on the saddle and catch the other pedal.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:58 AM
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If you tilt the bike the foot not on the pedal can comfortably be grounded with butt on saddle. Push down on the pedal and bring the bike to the upright position to go. This is what I (mostly) do, and I see many others do at stop lights.
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Old 06-18-21, 07:05 AM
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my Daughter is like this, starts w/ her butt on the saddle & both sets of toes on the ground. & yes her saddle is too low & she works to hard to keep up. it must have started when she starting learning how to ride. she's 24 now & I can't break her from this. my 25 yr old son son always starts while straddling the top bar, w/ 1 pedal in the up position, puts a foot on it, pushes off with the grounded foot & down on the top pedal with the other foot & off he goes. maybe I spent more time teaching him when he was just starting, but I don't think so. I don't understand because she started tying her shoe laces correctly very young whereas he needed velcro straps on his shoes & then when he got laces, never untied them, just kept them tied & used them like loafers. I still scratch my head if I ever see him tie laces
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Old 06-18-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
my Daughter is like this, starts w/ her butt on the saddle & both sets of toes on the ground. & yes her saddle is too low & she works to hard to keep up. it must have started when she starting learning how to ride. she's 24 now & I can't break her from this. my 25 yr old son son always starts while straddling the top bar, w/ 1 pedal in the up position, puts a foot on it, pushes off with the grounded foot & down on the top pedal with the other foot & off he goes. maybe I spent more time teaching him when he was just starting, but I don't think so. I don't understand because she started tying her shoe laces correctly very young whereas he needed velcro straps on his shoes & then when he got laces, never untied them, just kept them tied & used them like loafers. I still scratch my head if I ever see him tie laces
They’re all different.
Both my kids are going to have a rough time of it.
One is afraid of the unknown and a rigid thinker.
The other is stubborn and won’t listen.

So they are slow to learn any physical, spatial, exercise type stuff.

I added 2 teeth to the younger kids freewheel because she won’t stand up and go for it. And 165mm crank arms.

I think they need to ride with other kids more advanced than them. Most parents are terrified of Rona and most kids are playing video games so we’ll see.
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Old 06-18-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
I think they need to ride with other kids more advanced than them
yes my son was swept up with his suburban townie friends where a handful of them rode around the neighborhood. he also went camping w friends & bikes. def. picked up & honed some skills. probably by just trying to keep up. he did destroy one helmet & I never did get a believable answer. it looked like it had been struck, or pushed or melted or something. wonder if it was an alien encounter in the woods. hoping a car wheel wasn't involved
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Old 06-18-21, 10:06 PM
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Remove the seat and have him start from a stop. He'll figure it out quick.
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Old 06-29-21, 01:36 PM
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Let me know when you figure this out. Then we can stark work on getting them to get off the saddle when they stop - my two both insist on stopping completely, almost falling over, then finally hopping off the saddle.
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Old 06-29-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Broodax View Post
Let me know when you figure this out. Then we can start work on getting them to get off the saddle when they stop - my two both insist on stopping completely, almost falling over, then finally hopping off the saddle.
This:

Originally Posted by masonv45 View Post
Remove the seat and have him start from a stop. He'll figure it out quick.
"Let's go for a ride without using seats! It will be fun!! "

"Now let's coast and just put our weight on one foot!"



How did we learn all this stuff in the 1950s without being taught? It must have been from imitating our friends and older kids? Certainly our parents never went cycling with us. It was just: "It's a nice day. Go out and play and be home for dinner."
In 2021 I suppose it would be child abuse?
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Old 06-30-21, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
Is he comfortable riding (and pedalling) 'standing up' on a level road once he gets going?

What bike was he riding before you got him a road bike?
Good questions. He had a junior size mountain bike and has been riding stoker on a tandem with me lately, but you made me realize that he hasn't done much standing and pedaling on either.


Originally Posted by primov8 View Post
I taught my 10, 12, and 14yr olds to stand over the top tube. With either the left or right pedal between the 1-3 o'clock position, place your foot on that pedal, while the leg/foot is still on the ground. Once you push down on the pedal, lift the other foot off the ground, hop on the saddle and catch the other pedal.
​​​​​​​That's pretty much how I'm explaining it to him, but he's hesitant.
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Old 06-30-21, 03:08 AM
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Thanks for the comments. The ride without a seat is a good idea. Definitely need to get him to slide off the saddle when coming to a stop as well. His saddle is about 4cm too low right now to accommodate this habit. I think I had the same habit as a kid.

I also realized that he doesn't do well with Daddy being a teacher sometimes (even though I'm a teacher by profession). I bet if I get one of my cycling buddies to be the "expert", he will do whatever they say. That's how we got him to dive into a swimming pool without the floaties!
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