Can you ride a bike with no handlebars? Well, you could try but it’s a tough skill to master. Even the name attributed to it, “no-handed riding” tells you all you need to know about the difficulty level of this particular action.
But, for the adrenaline junkies out there nothing is too trying. In fact, riding a bicycle with no handlebars is an essential skill for anyone interested in fun riding and racing.
Plus, it can really come in handy for those times when you’re in a hurry and want to wear a jacket or perform some other action with your hands while pedaling your bike.
Of course, riding bikes with no handlebars looks totally cool and it’s a fun skill to show off once you’ve mastered it. But, you can only really show off when you can do it effortlessly.
If you want to join the “I can ride a bicycle with no handlebars” club, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to ride a bike with no hands by maintaining optimal control and balance.
How Can I Ride My Bike with No Handlebars?
Before you learn how to ride a bicycle with no handlebars, it’s important to check your bicycle and make sure that it’s road-worthy, if you know what we mean.
You ideally want your bike to be even and balanced. However, you might prefer to set one of the mirrors in a certain position in order to optimize the control of your bike as you perform the trick. It’s up to you and whatever makes you feel comfortable.
So long as the bike is safe and easy to control. For further knowledge on how to ride my bike with no handlebars, keep reading.
Make room so that you have enough space to start practicing. You should ideally do this on a proper road, preferably a street with very little to no traffic.
You know when your town or neighborhood streets are at their busiest so this shouldn’t be an issue to figure out.
One of the best ways to learn is to do so on a straight road that has a bit of a downhill slope as this will make it easier to maintain the right speed while pedaling.
2. Pedal Very Fast
Once you’ve found a suitable location and are on your bike, start by pedaling really fast. The goal is to accelerate your bike while keeping it balanced and stable.
Putting your bike in a higher gear will make it easier to achieve this, so make use of this feature if it’s available on your bike.
3. Adjust the Bike Seat
Adjust your bike seat to make sure that it’s optimally positioned. You want your torso to be upright and absolutely comfortable on the bike seat.
The goal is to keep your body weight evenly distributed across the bike wheels and maintain a low center of gravity.
This will make it that much easier to maintain your balance while performing the stunt, especially over longer distances.
4. Try to Take Your Hands Off
At this stage, you should be able to say that “I ride my bike with no handlebars” and be confident in that statement because of what you learned in the above section.
That’s because it always starts with taking one hand off the handlebars, followed by hovering both hands above the handlebars as you get used to it.
You want to keep your hands close to the handlebars still so that you can quickly regain control of the bike when necessary. This will come in especially handy if you start to feel out of balance or get too excited and start losing control.
5. Maintain the Balance
It’s also important to keep a smooth pedaling motion if you’re going to let your handlebars go. This will help you to maintain ultimate balance and control of your bike as you embark on this new journey as a bike rider.
You can even start doing stunts such as leaning slightly onto one side. But you should only do this when you’re confident and used to moving in a straight line.
To make an effective straight turn, start by moving your lower body to the left or right depending on where you plan to go next, while maintaining an upright posture the whole time.
This is a great way to get used to making turns and transitions quickly and comfortably while keeping your hands off the handlebars.
Why Ride a Bicycle with No Handlebars?
Being able to say that you can ride my bike with no handlebars is one of the proudest achievements that you can have as a cyclist.
It also comes with the following benefits:
- If you’re someone who races with your bike, then this skill will come in handy when you’re racing because you can now do other things such as drinking water or adjusting your helmet while pedaling and stay in the race.
- Learning to ride your bike without handles is the beginning of mastering bike stunts. And everyone loves bike stunts. It can be your new party trick.
- This isn’t an easy skill to master so obviously, you’ll feel more self-confident once you’ve mastered it.
While learning how to ride a bicycle with no handlebars can be fun and cool, it also comes with certain risks that you must accept and be aware of before you start.
They are as follows:
You Can Hit Something
If you happen to lose focus and control of the situation even for a split second, then you can find yourself in a very precarious position.
People have been known to crash into light posts and even trees from not paying attention while riding without handlebars.
That’s why it’s advisable to only practice in low traffic or no traffic area and make sure that you’re learning from a pro who has done this before.
You Can Fall
Another risk of riding a bike with no handlebars is that you might potentially fall by accidentally losing control of the bike.
You might also hit a small unnoticed stone that could send your bike flying into the air while your hands are off the handlebars, compounding the risk of injury.
You Can Damage the Bike
Being able to ride a bike with no handlebars doesn’t mean that you should do it all the time as this might lead to damage in the long run.
Things like turning the bike quickly and consistently can lead to unintended accidents, especially if you’re riding at fast speeds.
You Can Get Injured
If any of the aforementioned happens to you while riding your bike without handlebars, then it’s quite possible that you might sustain some minor or even major injuries depending on how severe the incident is.
People have broken bones from doing this trick incorrectly, which is why it’s always a good idea to wear protective gear such as knee pads and a helmet before you go out riding your bike without handlebars.
As you can see, anyone can learn to ride a bike with no handlebars. The most important thing is to stay safe while doing it.
Wear a helmet and some knee pads, and make sure that there’s no traffic on the road that you’re practicing on. It would help to have a friend or two be on the lookout and help you to practice too.
Otherwise, have fun!