In cyclocross, getting back on your bike quickly, safely and efficiently is key to good racing. You can learn proper technique for dismounting in this earlier piece. Here, FasCat Coaching founder Frank Overton walks us through proper technique for remounting.
Common mistakes when remounting are: a stutter step instead of a decisive jump, jumping too high, remounting in the wrong place and trying to remount when the bike is bouncing around. Overton first addresses the solution for each of these, before spelling out how to remount step by step below.
Don’t drop the bike, place it
Whether you are running with your bike over barriers, or just running with your bike around a crash, it’s important to gently set your bike down before you try to jump back on.
Don't drop your bike, set it down gently
“Set the bike down gently, like a plane landing on a runway,” Overton said. “Place it; don’t drop it. This way you won’t drop your chain, and when you go to jump on your bike it’s not bouncing all over the place.”
Often newer riders will hesitate before remounting, causing a few extra hops on the left foot. Learn to commit to a decisive jump by practicing the remount at a walking pace.
“The best way to eliminate the stutter step is to go out into a field with your bike. Put your hands on your hoods, and take two or three steps really slowly. Not a run. Not even a trot. Just walking. Step forward with your left, then sling your right leg over,” Overton said. “Do that a few times. Make sure you learn the fundamentals from a walking speed. Then speed it up.”
Eliminate your stutter step by practicing slowly and deliberately slinging your leg over
Don’t overdo the leap
“You only want to jump high enough to get your leg over,” Overton said. “You don’t want to leap way up over the saddle. That will increase your chances of flatting, plus it’s just uncomfortable.”
Instead, jump just high enough to slide the inner top of your right thigh onto the saddle. Again, practice this at a walking speed.
It's not a high-jump contest. You only need to get high enough to get the top of your inner right thigh on the saddle
Don’t remount when you should run
In a race, before you hop back on, make sure you’re remounting in the right place. For instance, remounting on a steep hill or on particular bumpy ground can often be slower than just running a few steps to a relatively flat, smooth place to remount.
“You don’t want to remount where it’s less efficient to pedal,” Overton said.
Step by step: How to remount
While in motion, gently set the bike down to your right. Remount from the left side of the bike, by jumping off your left foot with your hands on the hoods with the bike in motion.
Begin with both hands on the hoods
“Take a step forward with the left foot, plant that left foot, and open up your hips [to face the bike]," Overton said.
Turn your hips toward the bike as you plant your left foot
Then, as the saddle goes by, jump just enough to get your right inner thigh up onto the saddle.
Raise your right thigh to clear the saddle and the wheel
Just hop enough to get the top inside of your right thigh on the saddle
Once you're on the saddle, then get your right foot on your right pedal — which will likely be in the up position from the dismount — and stomp on it.
"I like to look at the right pedal, then drive the right pedal down," Overton said.
This propels you forward and slides you into position on the saddle at the same time.
Get your right foot on the pedal first
Once you’ve mashed down into the pedal, then clip in, if the motion of stepping down doesn't clip you in automatically,
Clip in your left foot and go!
"Ideally, you clip in to the right pedal with that initial step down, but you don’t have to be clipped in to drive the pedal and get situated on the saddle," Overton said.
Along with your dismount, practice your remount over and over again — slowly — until you have it dialed.