Bike Handling Winter Training

7 ways to improve bike handling indoors

January 30, 2017
Rollers

Words by Kristen Phillips

This post combines indoor riding with bike handling— something potentially boring with something fun and challenging. Everyone needs better bike handling skills, and winter is the best time to work on them. The choice between trainers and rollers here is easy. Trainer technology has come a long way and modern smart trainers offer lots of great features, but nothing beats good old-fashioned rollers for bike handling skills.

Success riding rollers is all about becoming comfortable with your bike moving underneath you. It's about continuous pedaling and steady, controlled movements. The only secret is lots of practice. Start simple with normal riding. After you're able to ride 30-45 minutes without falling off or feeling stressed, think about adding some fun skills and drills into the mix. Staying smooth, relaxed, and in control of your bike in any situation feels great and gives you lots of confidence.

The video below demos 7 skills and drills to add to your workouts, all geared toward improving balance, form, and efficiency. Practice in a hallway or next to a wall so you can catch yourself easily. Make sure you're adept at getting in and out of your clipless pedals or use flat pedals. Avoid any jerky movements and over-corrections. If you fall off, stop pedaling and get back on. Try again. Stay focused and relaxed. Stick with it and you'll be surprised at how quickly it comes!

  • Fast pedaling drills
  • Riding slow drills
  • In and out of the drops
  • One-leg drills
  • Ride with one hand
  • Ride with no hands
  • Out of the saddle (hoods + drops)

For a great intro on how to ride rollers, check out this video from Global Cycling Network. If you have questions, leave a comment below or email artofcyclingnyc@gmail.com and we'll be glad to help. Remember to be safe, have fun, and enjoy!