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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.misc
Subject: Re: What is a trackstand?
Date: 21 May 1998 00:49:57 GMT

David Steuber writes:

> What is a trackstand?  I've seen it mentioned here but never a
> description.  How and why would you do one?  Or is it something you
> shouldn't do?

Balancing on a bicycle motionlessly is called a trackstand because it
is a technique to force the opponent in a bicycle track sprint race to
take the lead.  Track sprints are often contested between two riders
who make an essentially standing start into a competition to cross the
finish line first after three laps.  The time is not counted... except
if this is an elimination heat for a final.

Times are taken to pair the fastest and slowest ET to eliminate riders
of lesser rank more rapidly.  However, in the finals, good riders have
been paired who can stand still to boring lengths at the starting
line.  For this reason the rider who draws the losing straw takes the
lower position on the starting line (the track is banked inwards) and
must lead the first lap.

This rule has ended the track stand as a starting maneuver.  Once
moving, coming to a halt again is a risky move, because the other
rider can take the lead in a downward slope and make catch-up hard.
When rolling slowly around the track, one usually stays high to keep a
good potential drop to the inside for acceleration.  On most tracks
curves are banked too steeply to allow trackstands anywhere but on the
straights where the pedals will not strike the track at zero speed.

Track bicycles, having no freewheel, together with a sloped straight
away, make this easier than on the road, but once mastered, the art is
done equally well on road bicycles on level ground.  Experts do it
no-hands, sitting, motionlessly... on a road bike.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: no-handed trackstand: possible?
Date: 25 Feb 2000 01:45:55 GMT

The essence of a no-handed track stand is to use the rider's polar
moment of inertia against which to shift the CG.  Moving one pound a
given distance off center at the shoulders causes the same torque
about the tire contact line as moving that weight at the feet except
that the polar moment of inertia about the axis of rotation (the tire
contact line) is greatly different by the square of the height above
the ground.  Moving ones foot out quickly causes little change in body
position while moving ones head causes the rest of the body to move
and thereby not appreciably changing location of the CG over the line
of balance.  Moving the hips also causes a change in CG and can be
done so subtly that superficially no motion is apparent.

This effect is natural for many is noticeable while attempting to ride
on a lane marking stripe on the road.  Most riders automatically stick
out a knee (or even a leg without cleats).  The response to control
balance is easy while sensing impending tilt before it exceeds
correctability is difficult, requiring sensitivity that most people
do not have.

Jobst Brandt      <>

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