Mounting and dismounting...

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 Oct 2008, 10:58am

Mounting and dismounting...

Postby allen-uk » 4 Dec 2008, 8:15pm

Sheldon Brown, on his comprehensive (but obviously personal) cycling website, recommends mounting and dismounting in a very specific manner, viz:

Not sure (given the plastic leg) that I could ever do that. Mind, not sure I've EVER done that, even when I had two flesh&bone versions. When I was a kid, pointed toes were the answer for stopping on a bike (or even feet on the pedals, if it was a fixed and you were very clever).

Do other cyclists get on and off in the manner of the video?


User avatar
Posts: 593
Joined: 22 Jan 2008, 9:10am

Postby paulah » 4 Dec 2008, 8:27pm

I do what's in the video, although mo-one ever taught me to. But then I've never subscribed to the concept of having a high front tube so it's easy to stand in front of the saddle on my bikes.

Posts: 348
Joined: 27 Jul 2007, 7:11pm
Location: Sale

Postby minkie » 4 Dec 2008, 9:41pm

Generally what's in the video, but sometimes the cowboy mount and less frequently the shuffle mount.
Never the flying leap.......

What are we talking about here? :lol:

User avatar
Mick F
Posts: 50952
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Postby Mick F » 4 Dec 2008, 9:54pm

It's the LESS skillful leg that gets me.

I always disengage my left foot, it's nearest to the kerb and then use my MOST skillful leg. Maybe that's what "American Sheldon" actually means. Less skillful for the average person is often the left leg. Far better if you live in one of the few countries that drive on the wrong side of the road.
Mick F. Cornwall

Posts: 30814
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Dec 2008, 9:54pm

I started doing the shuffle mount when I bought my shopper - it has a coaster (back-pedal) brake. I did try to get into the habit of stopping right foot at the top but it was too much faff. I played about with using the left foot for the first pedal stroke and decided that the easiest thing to do was scoot, pushing off with the left foot from the ground. I can start that way uphill - with panniers fully loaded if necessary. I don't claim it's elegant but it does work. I can mount by pushing off on one pedal then throwing the other leg over the bike - once upon a time nearly everybody did it like that. I don't like the idea of vaulting on - sounds risky :shock: - otherwise I'd be slow to claim that one way was any better than another

Posts: 1601
Joined: 9 Jun 2008, 8:06pm

Postby rogerzilla » 4 Dec 2008, 10:25pm

I stay in the saddle. It's a bit wobbly and I have to really point my toe, but it's possible. I also unclip my dominant foot (right foot in my case) because it's the easiest one to clip back in. The disadvantage of this is that, if I fall over, I end up in the middle of the road.

User avatar
Posts: 2375
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Postby EdinburghFixed » 5 Dec 2008, 11:42am

My saddle is way too high for touching the ground!

When I have to stop, I unclip my right foot and put it down. Then since I have a fixed-wheel, I put on my brake, push the bars forward to get the rear wheel up and rotate my left foot to 2 o'clock for the 'off'.

When I start I just stand up on the left pedal, sit on the seat then push down/clip in with the right foot as it comes around - pretty much 'Sheldon style'.

As you may imagine, I try to trackstand for a bit to avoid doing the above too often! :)

Posts: 267
Joined: 2 Nov 2008, 2:59pm
Location: between potholes

Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 5 Dec 2008, 2:30pm

Well, I'm pleased to discover that I follow the Sheldon 'approved' method :D .

I used to do the 'cowboy mount' (didn't know it was called that), when I was a kid. Thought it was smart, perhaps it was from watching ill-advised adult cyclists doing just that. Haven't attempted such a manouevre for years now, I have more respect for my bikes!

One tip: anyone who thinks it's hard getting going on a bicycle - just consider getting mounted on a unicycle! Try that for difficulty! Though I taught myself (and have since forgotten) unicycling many years ago, I never mastered the 'free mount' technique (getting started without holding on to something or someone). That's what I call hard!

User avatar
Posts: 337
Joined: 12 Jun 2007, 9:18pm
Location: Aquitaine

Postby braz » 5 Dec 2008, 8:43pm

Hello everyone. Being a gentleman, I always get off first.

The tandem, that is.

regards to all, Braz.

User avatar
Posts: 963
Joined: 24 Apr 2008, 10:26pm
Location: shropshire

Postby lauriematt » 6 Dec 2008, 9:41am

i do the COWBOY MOUNT near enough every time

....but i always use to call it the postman trick :lol:

Hector's House
Posts: 328
Joined: 25 Aug 2008, 5:03pm
Location: Glasgow/Edinburgh

Postby Hector's House » 6 Dec 2008, 6:03pm

In Malawi they do a wonderful mount whereby they lift their leg over the top stem! I managed to do it a couple of times... not on my Western bike, though!

I do the Cowboy mount at the very start of a ride, if it's a quiet road. don't see any harm.

User avatar
Wobbly John
Posts: 53
Joined: 23 Aug 2008, 11:03am

Postby Wobbly John » 6 Dec 2008, 9:07pm

The 'Cowboy Mount' is not the ideal way to mount a fixie.

Do not ask how I know this. :oops:

Manx Cat
Posts: 1440
Joined: 6 Feb 2008, 9:37am

Postby Manx Cat » 6 Dec 2008, 11:00pm

I get on the same as the video clip, but I dismount side saddle!
Always got off this way. Maybe it was a previous life thingy, or a leftover of my horse riding days, I dunno.

when I dismount, (I now have to unclip my foot of course), I always unclip the right foot first, and then swing my leg over the saddle, bringing it beneath my left leg, I sit side saddle, then hop off.

I have never really thought why, cept it feels right somehow.

Dont do this at red lights, though, I have to unclip my left foot and drop to the ground for general stopping, but then a stop, isnt a dismount is it?


User avatar
Posts: 798
Joined: 9 May 2008, 8:29pm
Location: South Bucks

Postby 7_lives_left » 7 Dec 2008, 12:32am

I used to ride a bike that was really too big for me, a non compact 60 cm frame. There was only about 2-3 cm of seat post showing. I could just about stand over the top tube if I stood on the balls of my feet. How did I mount and dismount? Very carefully! If there was a kerb available I could stop and start without leaving the saddle. If there was no kerb available, I had to make sure I got out of the saddle when stopping and I would steer the bike out from under me at the last moment so that the top tube hit the thigh of my raised leg and not my fork!

I really liked that bike despite the slight tricky stopping and starting because the long reach to the handle bars meant my body was low down. I never felt at any risk of going over the handlebars when breaking sharply on steep descents and the streamlined shape helped with speed and distance (I need every advantage I can get).

Posts: 109
Joined: 30 Oct 2008, 10:58am

Postby allen-uk » 7 Dec 2008, 6:54am

Thanks for the interesting answers.

I have tried doing something vaguely like the video, but it is physically beyond me. The problem with the 'plastic' leg is that the foot is fixed at about 90º, which means pointed toes are out.


A mate, also an amputee and a cyclist, has one of these fitted to his bike:

and I have just ordered one. They are designed for MTB use, but suit our needs as well. You mount with the saddle low (any which way), get moving, pull a lever, and whoosh, the saddle shoots up 4", and vice versa on stopping. So, we can ride with proper length leg from saddle to pedal, and still get off without falling off.

I will let you know how I get on with it!