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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Date: 17 Aug 1999 20:57:44 GMT

Sheldon Brown writes:

>> Another question...  since I was a kid, I've gotten on a bike by
>> putting my left foot on the left peddle and pushing it along like a
>> scooter to get it going.  Then I throw my right leg over the
>> saddle.  My bicycle retailer, Bicycle John's in Burbank, tells me
>> this puts unnecessary mechanical stress on the bike.  Does it
>> really?

> It most certainly does, and can collapse your wheels in some cases.
> The usual reason for doing this "cowboy-style" mount is because you
> learned to ride on a bike that was too large for you, as I did.
> It's a bad habit, and I urge you to take the trouble to re-train
> yourself to start correctly.

It certainly does WHAT?  First off, this mounting method works best
with a bicycle with a low saddle.  If our clunkers that we rode to
school could take the stress, why shouldn't the wheels of a high
priced bicycle be any less able to take the load of a rider on one
pedal?  A good test of wheels, after building them, is to stand on one
pedal leaning as far out as possible while rolling along to see if any
spokes untwist.  Of course no such sound should be audible but this
does the wheels no harm.  In fact if they don't survive this test they
are probably not safe to be ridden.

> I have an article on the proper way to get started, which many cyclists
> could benefit from, at:


I think your section on "the right way and the wrong way is unduly
restrictive and conjures an image of a frail bicycle that cannot take
even light side loads.  I think typical rough road riding puts more
load on the bicycle than any of these mounting styles.

Jobst Brandt      <>

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