What Position Is Banned in Cycling: Learn About the Unconventional Cycling Positions

robert dellert

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Position Is Banned In Cycling

Cycling is a sport where every second counts and riders constantly seek ways to gain an edge. In the quest for speed and efficiency, some cyclists have experimented with unconventional positions, hoping to outpace their rivals. 

However, the world of competitive cycling has strict rules and regulations in place to ensure safety, fairness, and uniformity. This blog post delves into one of the most intriguing aspects of cycling: the positions that are banned. 

We explore the reasons behind these restrictions, how they impact the sport, and the controversies that have arisen over the years.

From the controversial Superman position to other non-standard riding postures, we’ll uncover the history, safety concerns, and the role of governing bodies like the UCI in shaping the future of competitive cycling. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the limits of innovation in this exhilarating sport, read on to discover the positions that have been deemed beyond the pale.

What Position Is Banned in Cycling?

In the sport of cycling, there isn’t a specific “position” that is banned in a general sense. However, there are rules and regulations that govern how cyclists can ride during races and in certain situations. 

For example, cyclists are generally not allowed to engage in drafting or slipstreaming behind motorized vehicles, as this can provide an unfair advantage. 

Additionally, cyclists must adhere to rules regarding blocking, sprinting, and other tactics to ensure fair competition.

It’s worth noting that different types of cycling disciplines, such as road cycling, track cycling, and mountain biking, have their own specific rules and regulations. 

Violating these rules can lead to penalties or disqualification from a race. If you have a specific situation or position in mind that you believe may be banned, please provide more details, and I can offer more specific information.

The Basics of Cycling Positions

In cycling, different positions are used depending on the type of riding, terrain, and specific goals. Here are some basic cycling positions:

Upright Position

This is a relaxed and comfortable position often used by recreational and city cyclists. 

The rider sits more upright with their back straight, and the hands are on the handlebars, providing good visibility and comfort for shorter rides.

Drop Handlebar Position

Common in road cycling, this position involves the rider bending forward and reaching the handlebars with their hands on the “drops” (the lower part of the handlebars). 

This more aerodynamic position allows for greater speed and efficiency.

Aero Position

In time trials and triathlons, cyclists use an extreme aerodynamic position to minimize air resistance. This involves tucking the body low, with the forearms on special aero handlebars and the hands close together.

Climbing Position

When climbing steep hills, cyclists often shift their weight forward on the saddle and use the tops of the handlebars for better control and leverage.

Time Trial Position

In time trial events, riders use specialized bikes and positions to maximize aerodynamics. This position typically involves a tucked upper body and aero bars.

Sprinting Position

During a sprint finish or when trying to break away from a group, riders crouch low on the bike, gripping the handlebars tightly, and engaging in high-speed, explosive pedaling.

Descending Position

When going downhill at high speeds, cyclists shift their weight back on the saddle, lower their center of gravity, and use the drops or hoods of the handlebars to maintain control.

Drafting Position

In group rides and races, cyclists use the slipstream created by the rider in front of them to reduce wind resistance. This position involves riding closely behind another cyclist, often with a slightly crouched posture.

Time Trial Triathlon (TTT) Position

In team time trials, cyclists form a paceline, riding closely together to minimize air resistance. This requires coordination and communication within the team.

Off-road Positions

In mountain biking, riders often adopt various positions based on the terrain. 

This can include crouching low for technical descents, standing on the pedals for steep climbs, or shifting weight dynamically for balance and control.

These positions can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the rider’s comfort and experience level. 

Cyclists often shift between these positions during a ride to optimize their performance and comfort. Proper bike fit and flexibility are important factors in achieving and maintaining these positions effectively.

The Controversial Superman Position Cycling 

The “Superman position” in cycling refers to a highly controversial and unconventional aerodynamic position that some cyclists have experimented with in pursuit of greater speed. 

This position involves the rider essentially lying flat on their stomach, with their arms extended forward and their head positioned low. The goal is to reduce aerodynamic drag and potentially increase speed.

The controversy surrounding the Superman position primarily revolves around safety concerns and the potential for unfair advantages in competition. 

Traditional cycling positions, such as riding on the drops or using aero bars, have well-established safety benefits, allowing riders to maintain control and react to sudden changes in road conditions. 

The Superman position, with the rider’s body prone and low to the ground, raises concerns about reduced visibility, difficulty in handling the bike, and increased risk in traffic.

UCI Regulations on Bike Superman Position

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) had regulations in place regarding the Superman position in competitive cycling. It’s essential to note that these regulations may have evolved or changed since then, so it’s advisable to check the most recent UCI rulebook for the most up-to-date information.

The UCI typically regulates various aspects of competitive cycling, including equipment, rider positions, and safety. 

Here are some key points related to the Superman position as of my last update:

Position Restrictions

The UCI had specific rules prohibiting positions like the Superman position or any other position that could be deemed unsafe or provide an unfair aerodynamic advantage. 

These rules aim to ensure rider safety and fair competition.

Equipment Regulations

The UCI also regulates the design of bicycles, including handlebars and the overall geometry of the bike. 

Any design or equipment that facilitates the Superman position or similar unconventional positions is likely to be banned.

Approval Process

If a rider or team wishes to use innovative or non-standard equipment or positions in a UCI-sanctioned event, they typically need to obtain approval from the UCI beforehand. 

The UCI assesses the safety and fairness of such equipment or positions on a case-by-case basis.

Keep in mind that these rules are in place to maintain the integrity and safety of competitive cycling events. 

It’s crucial for riders, teams, and equipment manufacturers to adhere to UCI regulations to ensure a level playing field and the well-being of all participants.

Case Study: Michael Guerra cyclist Disqualified

In August 2016, Italian cyclist Michael Guerra gained notoriety when a video of him performing a daring “Superman” maneuver while racing surfaced. 

During a competitive cycling event, Guerra unclipped from his pedals, lay flat on the bicycle seat, and stretched out his legs to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. 

This unconventional move was captured in footage that quickly went viral.

The “Superman” Move

Guerra’s “Superman” move involved relinquishing a significant amount of control over his bicycle, allowing the pedals to spin freely while he maintained a prone position. 

This risky maneuver appeared to give him a competitive advantage, enabling him to overtake his fellow cyclists during the race.


While the “Superman” maneuver was impressive, it raised concerns within the cycling community and governing bodies. 

The move was seen as a potential safety hazard due to the reduced control and increased risk of accidents. As a result, Michael Guerra was disqualified from the race in which he performed this daring move.

Safety Concerns

Competitive cycling events prioritize safety, and rules and regulations are in place to ensure fair and secure races. 

The “Superman” position was considered incompatible with these safety standards, leading to Guerra’s disqualification.

Michael Guerra’s “Superman” maneuver might have showcased extraordinary skill and aerodynamic efficiency, but it ultimately resulted in his disqualification from the race. 

This case highlights the importance of adhering to safety regulations and maintaining control while participating in competitive cycling events.


Why was the Superman position in cycling banned?

The Superman position, where a cyclist extends their arms forward while riding, was banned for safety reasons. It reduces control and increases the risk of accidents.

Why was Michael Guerra, the cyclist, banned?

Michael Guerra, to the best of my knowledge, has not been banned from cycling. Please provide more context or specific information for a more accurate answer.

Did the cycling Superman position get banned?

Yes, the Superman position in cycling was banned due to safety concerns. It is considered dangerous and not allowed in competitive cycling events.

What are the banned cycling positions?

In competitive cycling, there are no specific banned positions aside from the Superman position. However, riders must adhere to general safety rules and maintain control of their bicycles.

Who is Michael Guerra?

Michael Guerra, as of my knowledge cutoff date in January 2022, is not a widely known figure in the cycling world. Please provide more context or specify which Michael Guerra you are referring to for a more accurate response.

Wrapping Up

In the world of competitive cycling, innovation knows few bounds. Riders continually push the envelope, seeking that elusive edge. 

However, while the pursuit of speed and efficiency is admirable, the governing bodies, including the UCI, have established rules to maintain the integrity and safety of the sport. 

The banning of certain positions, such as the notorious Superman posture, is a testament to the need for regulation. 

Safety, fairness, and the preservation of cycling’s core values are paramount. As the sport evolves and technology advances, these rules will continue to adapt.

Cycling will always be a balance between tradition and innovation, and understanding the positions that are banned is essential for all cyclists and fans. 

The controversies surrounding unconventional positions reflect the sport’s enduring spirit of exploration, but they also underscore the importance of responsible competition and sportsmanship.

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robert dellert

I'm a professional BMX racer at Powerlite Bike co. I've been racing for the past 5 years. I started out as a kid with a bike and now I'm sponsored by some of the biggest brands in the industry. I love what I do and it's my dream to make it to the Olympics one day. LinkedIn

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