The world record for riding a bike is 84.5 miles per hour over a distance of 18 miles by the late Karl “Speed King” Schwarz in 2012
The current US Record (since 1999) is held by James “Jimbo” Dufficy of New York who rode his bicycle at over 60mph using only one hand!
This has been achieved through the use of special training wheels on the front and back tires, which were adapted to allow him to ride a bicycle with no hands safely and control how fast he went.
So how hard is it to ride a bike with no hands?
Well if you think about it a bike is relatively easy to ride with no hands. In fact it is easier to ride a bike with no hands than most other vehicles because there are no gears, no clutch and you have the ability to balance yourself without any steering wheel!
On a bicycle as long as you remain balanced and can control your speed from pedalling faster or slower, you will be able to ride with no hands. This is true when going up gradients (as long as they are not steep) and going downhill but remember you must practice on flat ground first in order to get used to riding this way.
How hard it really is to ride a bike with no hands is very dependent on the type of bicycle that you are riding. Mountain bikes are harder to ride with no hands as they don’t have the same balance as road bikes, which is why mountain bikers tend to use handlebar extensions instead of trying to learn this skill.
See How hard is it to balance on a unicycle for more information about how easy or hard it is different vehicles.
Why are some bicycles easier to ride with no hands?
Some bicycles are better suited than others at going faster and further without using your hands. The main difference between the two types of bicycles comes down to the wheels, specifically their size and weight along with the amount of grip that they have on the road. The lighter and larger you wheels are, the easier it is for you to take your hands off of the handle bars without losing balance.
The other factor in how easy or hard a bicycle is to ride with no hands has to do with how much grip (tyres) that it has. Bicycle tyres vary from being slick which have very little grip, all the way up to having a block pattern which gives you lots of grip when turning corners at high speeds. Road bikes tend not to use blocks as this would slow them down over longer distances because blocks add more weight and reduce speed when turning corners.