Words by Beth Hodge

It’s that time of year, and even though we’re already into the Cyclocross season it’s never too late to pick up a bike and try or just improve on those essential skills. In a series of videos, we’ll be taking you through some of the core skills step-by-step with Huw Williams, a Cyclocross coach at Cadence Performance.

Everything you need to know about cyclocross

This week it’s all about the dismount, crucial for dealing with obstacles on the course such as jumping over planks and running up steep banks. The better the dismount the less time you’ll lose on the course.

There are two dismount options - the step-back and the step-through. Ideally, you'll learn to master both and apply them in different situations - but it's best to start with the 'step-back' if you're still growing your confidence.

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Step Back Cyclocross Dismount

This technique is better suited to lower speed dismounts, an example being when you need to run up a steep bank.

Starting position: Make sure you give yourself enough room before the obstacle that requires you to dismount.

Momentum: Get your braking done early to achieve the speed that it’s possible to get off the bike, this is dictated by your running speed, too fast and you’ll lose control.

Body position: Having your hands on the hoods allows you to get the braking done and select the correct gear for when you re-mount. Make sure you don’t look down at the floor but keep your head up. This allows you to maintain a straight line

With your left foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke, unclip your right foot, and swing the leg behind you and onto the ground behind the left foot.

As you ground the right foot, unclip the left foot and step off the bike, maintaining forward momentum. The pedals should now be in the correct position to begin pedalling when you re-mount.

Step Through Cyclocross Dismount

Use this technique for faster dismounts, such as running over a set of planks.

The technique remains the same as above but instead of stepping behind the left foot, lean the bike away from you slightly and bring the right leg through, between the frame and your left leg.

Unclip the left foot as your right foot steps down, and step forward into a smooth, running action.

Watch the video below for a full demonstration. In the next video, we’ll be looking at the skills to confidently tackle steep descents...

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