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How to Track Stand on A Fixie (8 Critical Tips for This Typical Trick)

In this article, you will learn what a trackstand is, how to do one, And whether it’s easy to do a trackstand on a fixed gear or single speed bike. 

Cyclist wearing flip flops doing a track stand on a specialized fixed gear bike. Source: Lukas Smith, Unsplash
Cyclist wearing flip flops doing a track stand on a specialized fixed gear bike. Source: Lukas Smith, Unsplash

There’s no cycling trick that is more synonymous with fixed gear riding than the track stand. It’s a great way to stay upright when at a standstill, and it looks awesome. But how do you track stand on bike?

To do a track stand on a fixie, use pedal straps, practice somewhere that it’s safe, and come to a complete halt. Next, even out your pedal straps horizontally and turn your wheels 45 degrees. Then, pedal slightly forward and backward until you reach equilibrium. Keep practicing until you get the hang of it. 

But there’s a lot more to it than that. So, if you want to learn to track stand, you’re in the right place. This article will teach you what a track stand is, how to do one, and whether it’s challenging to do a track stand on a fixie. 

Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 7, 2022, to include additional information regarding fixie tricks.

What is a track stand?

A track stand is a neat trick every fixie rider should know. This is a useful skill to have if you’re commuting around town and have to stop at traffic lights, street corners, etc. Clipped into your pedals or toe straps, you can stop for a while and continue riding without ever having to unclip. This is a useful trick to learn and play around with. So, with that out of the way, let’s learn how to do a track stand.

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Why do cyclists do track stands?

The track stand is a crucial fixed-gear cycling skill. The track stand gets its name from the ability of velodrome riders to balance their bikes on the track (not to mention a fun skill to show off). It may help you keep your balance without having to unclip, and it allows you to take off from a halting position in a matter of seconds.

Image of a fixie cyclist on a trackstand in the city streets.
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Image of a fixie cyclist on a trackstand in the city streets. Source: Tom Austin on Unsplash

How to do a track stand on a fixed gear bicycle

A track stand relies on a precise sense of equilibrium. Below are some tips for achieving this popular cycling trick.

  1. Try to use pedal straps

    When you learn how to track stand, foot straps make it easier as you will be able to pull up and down on the crank arms with both downward and upward pressure. 

    Don’t use clipless pedals because if you lose your balance and start to fall over, you might not be able to get your feet unhooked in time.

    If you’re new to riding, check out our how to ride a fixie article. I recommend practicing for a few hours without straps at first to get the hang of balancing. At first, you will want to take your feet off and place them on the ground several times, and having them strapped in might make you fall. So, try it without straps for the first day. Then strap in when you’re more confident and comfortable. 

    These are the toe cages I use on my own* bike. If you don’t have pedal straps, check out some of these below.

  2. Practice somewhere safe

    Wherever possible, ride your bike in an area where you won’t be harassed by other people and have some cushion-like on a patch of grass. Practicing on your own is the best way to ensure that you won’t fall over in front of your sweetheart. When practicing, be at a slight angle on an incline. Starting on a slight incline will help you use gravity to your advantage.

  3. Come to a halt

    Begin pedaling and gradually reduce your speed until you come to a complete halt. As you slow down, get out of the saddle and maintain your weight balanced on the bottom bracket by standing up. 

  4. Even out your pedals

    Even out your pedals, staging the pedal crank arms evenly and horizontally. Then, stand on the pedals and try to balance.

  5. Turn your wheel 45 degrees

    Turn your wheel 45 degrees in either direction as you approach a complete stop. (You should be able to tell which direction you are more comfortable with).

  6. Shifting the pedals backward and forward

    Your center of gravity should be shifting left and right as soon as you turn the wheel. This is where your center of gravity and balance comes into play: You can achieve a perfectly balanced position by shifting your body weight slightly and shifting the pedals slightly backward and forward. If you feel like you’re falling, apply more pressure to the forward pedal.

  7. Look forward, not down

    As tempting as it may be to stare at the front wheel and your feet, it can make it easier to shift your weight forward and make it more challenging to maintain balance. So instead, try to keep your eyes on the road ahead and your feet on the ground. Then, you’ll be able to see the light change or your opponent begin his sprint while looking cooler than the kid next to you who is staring at his hub!

    So, try not to look at your feet. You’re likely to freak out and mess up. But, on the other hand, if you look forward and focus on one point, you’re more likely to gain your balance because you are more relaxed.

  8. Have fun 

    If learning isn’t fun, you’re just going to drop it—literally. So, enjoy the learning process and have fun as you ride.

If you want to see an example of this in action, check out this video called How to track stand on Any Bike from the FOAD YouTube Channel.

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A video called How to Trackstand on Any Bike from the FOAD YouTube Channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Below are some commonly asked questions regarding track standing on a fixed gear or track bike.

Are track stands difficult to do?

Not particularly. This is one of the easier fixie tricks. But even so, every trick is difficult to do—until you do it. Remember that everyone was once a beginner. So if doing a track stand seems like a difficult task for you now, it won’t be after a few weeks of practice.

How do you practice track stands?

The best way to practice a track stand is on a safe surface such as a patch of grass, ideally, with a gentle incline. This way, if you fall, you fall soft. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t give up. Every trick is difficult at first. But after a few weeks of practice, you will be able to master the track stand.

What is the longest track stand?

During the MTV show Nitro Circus, Jim DeChamp (USA) held the longest track stand of 21.34 seconds at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, USA, on November 18, 2008.

Conclusion

Doing a track stand can be a lot of fun. But it takes practice, so if you don’t get the hang of it at first, don’t give up. Eventually, you will master the track stand—guaranteed. 

This article covered what a track stand is, how to do one, and whether it’s challenging to do a track stand on a fixie or track bike. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • To learn how to track stand, start somewhere safe.
  • Try to use pedal straps
  • Practice somewhere safe
  • Come to a halt
  • Even out your pedals
  • Turn your wheel 45 degrees
  • Shifting the pedals backward and forward
  • Look forward, not down
  • Have fun while practicing
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So, do you know how to track stand? Are you a red light track stand master? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

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Written by Bradly Knight

As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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