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How Hard Is It To Balance On A Road Bike?

Riding a new road bike can be extremely daunting at first. With the narrow frame, thin tires, and generally sleek body, one of the biggest fears many riders have is that it will be too difficult to be able to maintain balance. The question is, is it really that hard to balance correctly on a road bike?

For new riders, it can be tough to balance on a road bike at first, as the inflated wheels can make the ride too smooth and fast. However, by maintaining the right position and practicing, you can take control of the road bike and get to the high speeds you want to hit!

Are you new to the world of road bikes? If that is the case, you may find the idea of balancing one of them difficult. Keep reading this article to learn about the art of balancing on a road bike, and the tips you need to know to maintain the right position on one!

men riding road bikes in a contest

Is It Difficult To Balance On A Road Bike

The first time that you ride a road bike, you may have noticed that it can feel a lot harder to stay balanced on one, compared to other kinds of bikes. For people who use road bikes for the first time ever, this fact can mean there is a much bigger learning curve to getting used to them.

However, there is a reason why this happens. For many people, balancing a road bike is much more difficult because of the fact that the tires are thinner than other bikes and are usually filled with a lot more air. As a result, the bike can move faster when it is on smooth surfaces like a road.

The drawback of this is that the road bike can seem a lot less stable than other bikes at first. Another added factor on top of the tires is the fact that the frame pushes you forward, which can be a little jarring for first-time road-bike riders, as it can seem a lot less comfortable and stable.

So what exactly is this position? Because road bikes are seated higher than other kinds of bikes, the handlebars are closer to the top of your body, which means the most natural way to sit is to lean a little bit ahead, pushing the center of gravity further than the average bike.

That doesn’t mean riding a road bike is impossible – you can actually end up balancing on one with all of these factors accounted for with a little bit of practice. Once you nail the position you should take, you can ride it with ease, and even be able to hit higher speeds than usual.

How To Improve Balance On A Road Bike

We mentioned in the previous section that much of the balancing on a road bike comes down to the position that you hold when you are on your bike. Learning this position may take some time, but don’t worry – even the most professional rider can take some time to get the hang of it!

The first step is to make sure you get a bike that fits you perfectly, which you can do when you get a professional bike fitting. To do so, you will need to be able to get to a bike shop and get the right measurements in place so you can see what the perfect bike size is for you.

Here is a guide on how to make sure bike is fitted to your size: 

Now, let’s talk about the position that you should take. First and foremost, make sure that you are relaxed. This may seem like a cliche, but the fact of the matter is that the more relaxed you are, the more easily you can pick up on the cues, and the better you can work through the initial fear.

Here are the best tips for riding on a road bike and achieving the right position:

  • Make sure your shoulders are relaxed – keeping them too high up can stiffen your shoulders.
  • Also, keep the shoulders down so you can easily turn your head and be alert on the road.
  • Bend your elbows to offer an added area of suspension and control to the bike.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in to help avoid strain and pressure on your shoulder and hands.
  • Keep your wrists straight, as a bend can add stress to the palm and hands.
  • Keep your back relaxed and straight to avoid back pains when you get off the bike.
  • Keep the knee over the pedal, and learn to not let them bow out.

By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to ride your road bike like a pro! Just keep in mind that this may take some time, so give yourself some time and patience to achieve the road bike position of your dreams!

Image of a road bike's handlebars.

When To Use The Drops On A Road Bike

The best thing about a road bike is that it gives you a lot more potential space to place your hands. This is because the idea is that a road bike should be able to get you over long distances with a neutral position without tiring yourself out! 

Having multiple spots to rest your hand is one of the best ways to do so as it allows you to shift pressure when you get tired. 

The drops on your road bike are best when you are going downhill on a slope. Letting your hands lower down to the drops allows you to change where the center of gravity is on the bike, which can give higher pressure to the front of the wheel, offering more balance and friction as you navigate down a slope. 

Another benefit is that you have closer access to the brakes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the road bike position is an essential part of getting on a road bike and making sure that you are comfortable while riding it. By keeping in mind these tips and tricks and having a professional fitting, you will be able to balance your road bike like never before!