How to Master Hands-Free Cycling

Remember shouting, “Look mom, no hands!” while balancing on your bike as a child? Fast-forward to today, the thrill of hands-free cycling may feel like a distant memory. Yet, it’s a handy skill that could prove essential when you’re mid-ride, tackling an energy bar or adjusting your gear. Given that over 22 million bikes were sold in the European Union in 2021 alone, it’s clear that cycling is more popular than ever. Consequently, many are looking to level up their cycling skills, with hands-free cycling topping the list. Ready to revive your childhood prowess and take on this fun challenge? Let’s roll!

Shifting Your Center of Gravity

The first trick in the hands-free biking playbook is to shift your weight into your seat. Think about slightly tilting your pelvis backwards so that your weight is more towards the back of the bike. This helps in maintaining balance when you finally decide to let go of the handlebars.

Harnessing Your Core Strength

Next up is engaging your core muscles. A strong core acts like your body’s in-built stabilizer, helping you maintain balance as you lift your hands off the handlebars. Imagine your core as a strong pillar that supports your body and bike, uniting them as one.

Casting Your Gaze Forward

Another vital piece of the puzzle is your gaze. Keep it steady and focus straight ahead. Remember, your bike follows your eyes. Glancing down could disrupt your balance and prevent you from spotting any potential obstacles on the path. Always remember, your destination should be in your sight, not your hands.

Maintaining Momentum with Continuous Pedaling

It’s all about maintaining that sweet rhythm. Continual pedaling helps maintain your speed, making it easier to balance. It’s like trying to balance a stationary pencil on your finger – virtually impossible, right? But try it with a spinning top, and it’s a breeze. The same principle applies to biking.

One Hand at a Time

To begin, gently release one hand from the handlebar and let it rest by your side. Once you’re comfortable doing this, try it with the other hand. This stepwise approach builds confidence and gradually prepares you for the full hands-free experience.

Both Hands in the Air

Feeling comfortable riding one-handed? Great, now let’s push the envelope. Start by simultaneously lifting both hands off the bars. Keep them hovering just above the bar initially. This way, they’re ready to swoop in if needed.

Confidence: Your Best Riding Partner

Don’t rush it. The key to mastering any skill is consistent practice. Gradually increase the time you spend riding without hands. Add complexity to your maneuvers only when you’re totally at ease riding hands-free.

Balancing with Core and Hips

Believe it or not, you can steer your bike using your core and hips! It might seem like a magic trick, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a fun and intuitive way to guide your bike.

Mastering the art of hands-free biking is more about trusting your body and being comfortable on your bike than anything else. So put on your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready for an exhilarating journey towards hands-free biking freedom. Enjoy the ride!


a 35-year-old web developer and cycling coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Over the past ten years, my passion for cycling has transformed from a casual hobby into a way of life. As a lover of all things cycling, I am thrilled to share my journey with others who share the same enthusiasm for this incredible sport.