How To Improve Your Position On The Bike

How To Improve Your Position On The Bike


This is our guide to cycling positions and when to use them.
Follow GCN on YouTube:

There are two main positions on the bike: in the saddle and out of the saddle. Riding in the saddle should be your default setting, but for short bursts and accelerations, ride out of the saddle.

With the two basic positions covered, you can choose your hand position based on your speed and desired level of comfort or aerodynamics. The fastest and most aero positions are riding on the drops or on the hoods with a flat back.

Have you got anything to add? How do you adjust your position as you climb or descend? Let us know below.

About GCN:

The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic summit of the Stelvio to the epic trails of Fort William, Scotland, everywhere there is pavé or dirt, world-class racing, and pro riders, we will be there bringing you all the action, essential analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year.

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside cycling

Youtube Channel –
Facebook –
Google+ –
Twitter –

Leave us a comment below!

Music licensed by Cue Songs

100 Comments on "How To Improve Your Position On The Bike"


  1. Help! When I go for a sprint to form a break away or try to get good segments on strava I sprint in the drops and can easily hit 65km on the flat I'm useing a trek 1.5 alpha but when I sprint my back wheel feels like it's loose from the quick release so when I stop I shake my wheel and it's perfect so am I leaning over the bars to much? My shoulders are over the stem? Any help? Thanks

    Reply

  2. Really helpful. In the drops doesn't feel as natural and have to get used to it. Also, a lot of riders in Orange County ride with their arms in the aero Tri bars virtually the whole time. What do you think about that GCN?

    Reply

  3. I can't believe the liberal use of wet wipes hasn't been recommended for prolonged chamois life on this channel.

    Reply

  4. Good video, but i don't find it very helpfull for a mountain bike, are there any tips on how to improve position on a mountain bike?

    Reply

  5. Luv u guys channel best vids on cycling great good keep them coming and I'll keep watching and sharing to my fellow riders

    Reply

  6. Luv u guys channel best vids on cycling great good keep them coming and I'll keep watching and sharing to my fellow riders

    Reply

  7. Thanks for the videos, I always look forward to them – any chance of a more advanced bike fit one??

    Reply

  8. Cycling is t谋谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈谈台he best!

    Also, I just made you wipe your screen.聽

    Reply

  9. Being fairly
    New to cycling still I really enjoy this series. And to be fair pretty much all your other videos. It's the humour and simple approach I think. Keep it up fellas 馃檪

    Reply

  10. GCN I live near where you are based and need new cycling routes, could you start putting you route up at the end of the video?

    Reply

  11. I literally just started riding but will my hands ever get use to the bars? They're cramped after every ride and its quite painful.

    Reply

  12. Am I right if I say that ideal seating position and ideal standing position require different stem lenghts? Let me explain. If I set my handlebar distance so that I am confortable when seated in hoods (that si roughly 90 degree angle between my upper arms and torso), then when I try to stand up I feel my center of gravity being too far back for efficient climbing. In that case when I reach bottom of the stroke I feel stuck and need to engage hip flexors of the oposite leg to overcome that dead spot in order to maintain pedalling momentum. And yes I use hamstrings to pull back but that motion still isn't sufficient to pull the other leg forward enough so I can just drop my weight and let it do the front part of the stroke.

    Reply

  13. Excellent video guy's, but I didn't feel comfortable clicking on Simon's spotted helmet, so instead I watched Dan getting tipsy in the Vuelta preview.

    Reply

  14. To celebrate his comeback, Simon's got a brand-new Tarmac Disc…don't ya?…niiiiiice

    Reply

  15. you guys produce the most informative and intelligent vids. there's so much dodgy advice out there. how about a vid on stem lengths? My 58cm trek madone came with a 100mm -6 deg stem. I changed it to a 110 -6 聽2 years ago. With weight loss, I am now testing a 120 -6, and feel like I could manage a 130 -17, which is on its way (though will give 聽myself time to adapt). The longer stems certainly help my breathing as my chest and abdomen doesn't feel restricted.

    Reply

  16. Love the video again guys. I think me like lots of other people are wondering where you guys are riding here? Love those climbs on narrow little roads!

    Reply

  17. I really enjoyed this. You should do a video on posture on the bike too. I know I hit points of pain from bad posture, and I know it's affected by my off the bike posture too. But a quick guide would be great.

    Reply

  18. Great video guys. Love your channel. I watch it everyday since i started cycling. Just out of curiosity, what music are you playing in the beginning of the video? Some cool funky-house tune!

    Reply

  19. You missed the most important position – fully upright with both fists triumphantly punching the air

    Reply

  20. Love these! I'd like to hear you discuss geometry. I note for example that Simon's Cervelo handlebars are much higher than Matt's Specialized, but the headtubes look to be about the same.聽

    Reply

  21. Somebody call the fashion police ! White shoes and black socks…… Again!!! Well done to Matt tho! Very coordinated

    Reply

  22. What would you recommend for high speed descents to stabilize your bike and prevent "the death wobble" I can't descend comfortably beyond 60kph with deep dish rims due to increased instability. Regular aluminum rims no problem. Great videos. Thanks guys!

    Reply

  23. the best position for you and youre push bike is on the pavement and not on the road holding traffic up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  24. So guys, Its not so much criticism on the content, but I feel like the actual camera and video quality was a little lower then most of your videos. The frame rate was much lower then normal, not sure if you guys switched cameras because the last one broke or what not, just thought Id let you know.

    Reply

  25. Do you guys, or are you able to, make a how to series for commuters?
    I've noticed a lot more people commuting recently, most of them don't know how to ride around other cyclists, they don't understand road positioning and they aren't very brave.

    Reply

  26. Been always wondering how out of saddle and top of handlebars might look like ) Now I know lol it's funyy indeed ))

    Reply

  27. i personally never ride with my hands on the hoods, my hands start hurting like hell after just a few minutes

    Reply

  28. MY WOMEN CYCLING VIDEO. Hi people, i need your help…i am in a cycling competetions and i need LIKE on youtube…so if you wanna help me, give me PLEASE LIKE to my video….thanks thanks….very very thanks…I have only 130 LIKE and i have 500 LIKE 馃檪

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmcy00KLqng

    Reply

  29. bike riders have such horrible posture while on the bike. Does sitting like that eventually round your back permanently?

    Reply

  30. Neck position would be a great 2 min video on its own. Could you do one on neck position? We tend to aim for our backs to be flat and our crank our necks upright to see the road. What do you think?

    Reply

  31. I lose balance everytime I ride my bike on the canal or road. How can I improve that, please?

    Reply

  32. Wtf is this? Are you suggesting I need to ride this crap you call a bicycle? I'm a normal human being with a city bicycle, you guys look like that guy with one testicle. I'm not going to pretend I'm Olympic cyclist, I just want to get from point A to point B with comfort, not sweating my ass off.

    Reply

  33. These videos have been a massive help. Yesterday I got on a bike for the first time in 15 years! Been in poor health for 9 years with a spinal injury and my fitness is soooooo poor. Really determined to get fully addicted to the sport.

    Reply

  34. This is so helpful thank you am still an armature cyclist with an old bike but determined to be the best..anyone one donating a modern bike for racing will surely have done an act of kindness.Thanks for the vid guys

    Reply

  35. 0:54 I own a fixed gear track bike and a road bike with gears. Somehow, every video I watch, these guys say things that make absolutely no sense. Gear shifting is on my frame, not the handlebars. The other video the guy is taking like everyone watching the CYCLING network has a late style geared road bike. HOLY CRAP its annoying. It seems very easy to me to speak in a more inclusive way…. rather perplexing

    Reply

  36. OK. A question about wrists. I get a reasonable amount of pain from my wrists and probably have an RSI of some sort. I note that for a lot of your riding you have bent wrists. On keyboards we are told that this is a no no, since it promotes carpel-tunnel syndrome. So would it be advisable to have a straight wrist position when riding, or to use something like the mtb eurgo grips?

    Luck

    Reply

  37. I'm starting to ride again after a bad lumbar injury in 2010, so I probably won't be spending much time in the drops. Probably won't be going fast enough for it to matter anyway. 馃榾

    Reply

  38. 3:52 if you can ride like this out of the saddle, it's a bit unsteady, and you look like a dork my are drops off

    Reply

  39. is it really that standing is less efficient or just that it makes use of less trained muscles in cyclists (hams and glutes)?

    Reply

  40. Um, you didn鈥檛 really explain positioning very well? Like, how your elbows should be relaxed, move your hands around so your arm doesn鈥檛 go to sleep, shoulder back and relaxed..

    Reply

  41. What about the back and shoulders? Two weeks ago I've started to feel pain in my neck after about 20 minutes from the start of the ride. Then I discovered that I lift my shoulders too high, maybe trying to gain some extra power by doing that. Now I try to relax my shoulders as much as possible and almost don't feel pain. Still I think I something wrong. Any advice guys? (:

    Reply

  42. I notice that when getting off the saddle the bike swerves around a lot.
    Is there are concern with this leading to an increased distance traveled?

    Reply

  43. I have to lean forward much to reach the handlebar in my cycle, and it often causes back pain.
    Is this posture bad for health?

    Reply

  44. I put one brake lever on the top & one on the side ("drop"). Cause I use the top half the time & the drops the other half but I always need to do sudden stops since I'm always getting cut off in traffic. I'm still learning how to change positions quickly but safely & without getting too distracted on only that. I need to be able to focus just as well as I do when I'm not switching positions & just riding. It's hard for a beginner! 馃 Thinking about going from top to drop should only take 2 seconds at the most, it takes me at least a few minutes. I guess I got a ways to go (pun intended 馃槒).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *