Hello - first post. Weight on seat or pedals?

Hello. First post: hope its in the right place!

I am just learning.

Where I am at:

I can mount and sit on my machine while holding the wall, and ride along the wall holding on lightly, and for short periods even letting go with my hand just above the wall.

Reading these pages, I have noticed several posters giving the advice to keep the weight on the seat. I have found it easier to keep most of my weight on my feet, with only enough on the seat for steerage and stability. Am I developing a bad habit here: one that will limit my progress?


Generally when people are learning they tend to put most of their weight on the pedals. It is totally fine to do this while learning, you’ll just want to learn to put your weight on the seat once you are ready to ride longer distances. The reason it is better to have your weight on the seat is so that you don’t tire out your legs. Just keep practicing and have fun!

Thanks. That’s reassuring.

Yes, you are developing a bad habit. As a person learns to ride, they finally get to the point where they consistently travel five pedal revolutions or more. This is the point at which the rider learns to stay up by making corrections as they begin to fall. Instinctively, one stands on the pedals to frantically apply force to make a rapid correction to keep from falling. Beginners remain tense after that first correction and forget to put their weight entirely back in the saddle. This is why we tell them to chant to themselves perpetually, “weight in the seat.”

Having all of your weight in the saddle is much more stable than having your weight on the pedals. If it was easier to have your weight on the pedals, people would first learn how to ride an ultimate wheel, then seat out, then a unicycle with seat in. Anyone who rides knows that the reverse order is the one that makes sense and that an ultimate wheel is ridiculously difficult compared to a unicycle.

You are only putting your weight on the pedals because you are tense (understandably) and you are making corrections which keep you from falling (a good thing.) Now, just remember that after each correction you should remind yourself to put your weight back in the saddle. You will learn faster and you will be less tired.

I also like to ask people to try to ride until they actually fall. Don’t chicken out and put your foot down. You are wasting a correction from which you could learn a lot.

Not to be rude Harper, but I learned just fine, and I fell down once without catching myself (because I was being stupid) while I was learning. . . still only took 5 or 6 hours. I don’t think you get anything out of that but pain, then you don’t want to ride anymore. . . .

in short, by all means, catch yourself before you fall.

I don’t think you’re developing a bad habit, it’s something all beginners will do, and you more than likely won’t have to focus on it going away. Eventually, you relax and naturally put more weight on the seat. Focus on riding, the rest will come.

Yes it’s a bad habit. The sooner you learn to relax your legs and sit down, the sooner you’ll be riding comfortably and not be stopped by total dead-leggedness.

Thanks folks…
If the main issue of riding with most most weight on my feet is fatigue then I can manage. I ride a single gear fixed bike and that is how you do hills! I will gradually transfer weight to saddle as I improve.

A least I know what is going on now, with your advice

No matter how fit you are I think you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get jelly legs putting your weight in the pedals. I was!

But you’re right, be aware of it, keep practicing and try and relax and you’ll get there.

Have fun,