How to mount and dismount your bike smoothly in transition

We take a look at the correct technique for getting on and off at speed, via the cunning use of elastic bands

Mario Mola racking his bike in transition (image: Janos Schmidt)

Want to know how to mount/dismount with the shoes attached to my bike? Is it a case of practice, practice, practice? Our expert Rob Banino explains all…


It definitely takes practice but knowing what to practice will make perfecting a seamless switch between running and riding easier.

The first thing to do is clip your shoes to the pedals and tie two thin elastic bands through the heel loops. Spin the pedals until the driveside shoe is at 3 o’clock and the other is at 9 o’clock, then stretch the band on the driveside shoe around the front mech and the non-driveside shoe’s band around around the rear brake or quick-release.

Provided the bands are thin enough, they’ll snap as soon as you start pedalling. Now you can start running with your bike, which for most people feels more natural on the non-driveside, so let’s assume that’s what you’ll be doing.

Start slowly and use your right hand to hold the saddle and guide the bike as you run. When it comes to mounting, grab the handlebar with both hands then push off with your left foot as you swing your right leg over the back wheel and onto the saddle. You’re not really jumping onto your bike, it’s more like hurdling onto it; the only difference is that instead of being in front of you and stationary, this hurdle is beside you and moving.

The momentum from your right leg should carry you into place and, even though you’re not jumping, aim to ‘land’ so that your inner thigh is against the saddle. From there, slide into place and start pedalling. Once you’ve got some clear space, reach down to get one foot into its shoe and then the other – while keeping your eyes on the road, of course.

Now for the dismount: as you approach T2, get your feet out of the shoes when it’s safe to do so and slow down to a comfortable running speed. If you’re dismounting to the non-driveside, bring the driveside pedal up to 12 o’clock and shift your weight so you’re standing on the non-driveside pedal. When you’re within about 5m of the dismount line, swing your right leg around over the rear wheel, then you can bring it through between the bike and your left leg.

Once your right leg passes your left leg, step off the pedal so you land on your right foot and begin running immediately. Bringing your right leg through lets you hit the ground in a running position rather than with your right leg overlapping behind your left.

You should be on foot as you reach the dismount line and when you are, let go of the bars and continue running while holding the saddle. Remember: your shoes are no longer banded so you may need to hold it further away to avoid them clouting your shins.

Watch: How to mount and dismount your bike in transition


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