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I am a Cat 5. I have discovered that I am good at sprinting, but one thing of concern is that when I put down the hammer my back wheel hops sometimes during the peak of my sprint. To be more specific, I think it hops left and right when I am accelerating. Is this normal? If not how can I correct it?
 

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Shift your weight slightly back, when you start. This is a common problem for many people.
 

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It's a little like what happens when you're climbing loose dirt on a mountain bike. You have to keep your weight back to prevent the rear wheel from slipping. In a road sprint, it helps to keep your weight back a little, until you get on top of the gear that you're sprinting in. In the same way, the more the road is bumpy, the more you have to keep your weight back, or the rear of the bike will jump up and hit you in the ass.
 

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olympic20 said:
I am a Cat 5. I have discovered that I am good at sprinting, but one thing of concern is that when I put down the hammer my back wheel hops sometimes during the peak of my sprint. To be more specific, I think it hops left and right when I am accelerating. Is this normal? If not how can I correct it?
Try to find a tom boonen sprint finish.

He gets wheel hop too.

Which gear are you in?
 

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Mr. Grumpy is correct that keeping your weight back will help significantly. I've heard that there's a tendancy to pull up on the pedals a lot more while sprinting. This combined with being out of the saddle in a more forward position will unweight the rear wheel and cause it to pop up and loose traction. I try and keep my butt back over the seat while standing and in the drops; this seems to help.
 

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Wheel skippping under peak power scenarios is a reflection of poor position on bike. Either you sprint in a funny position, or more likely the bike set up is not suited for such efforts.

That may be a matter of tweaking your current set up so that your centre of mass is transferred back towards the rear wheel when sprinting (it may only require a change of 1cm in bar postion, which might be achieved by using different shaped bars, or a different rise on the stem or different stem length etc etc), or the frame ain't the right dimensions for you.

This happened to me when I eventually "undergrew" a track frame. As I developed as a trackie, my ability to ride in a more agressive (aero) position improved but to do so on the frame I had at the time meant that my COM ended up simply too far forward for the bike when sprinting. A new, more suitable track frame solved that for me.

Such skipping is not good, It's generally not unsafe, although it can look pretty horrible for anyone following your wheel, but it is not good for the primary reason that when your wheel is off the ground, you can't accelerate or get the power down, which is exactly what you want to be able to do when sprinting.
 
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