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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a tall rider and I led left foot going down hill, I Ride hard tail and have pretty much mastered my center of gravity and using my knees as a shock absorber. I was wondering does it make a difference which foot leads or if switching positions makes a difference in certain situations i.e.. turning while descending?
 

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Truly Doneski
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541 Posts
I wouldn't think it would ever make a difference. I think most riders lead with one foot more often than the other out of habit and muscle memory.

What's important, of course, is that you keep your pedals horizontal to avoid rock/root strikes.
 

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DynoDon
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Here is a clip from Gene Hamilton of Ride Right MB Training Camp/School this should explain it better then I can.. happy trails

 

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In the end yes it does....

Our hills are more than long enough to cause one leg to cramp out if you keep it forward all the time...

I learned to switch back and forth...usually depending on what the corners are like..or the switchbacks etc.
 

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Braille Riding Instructor
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What jeffscott and Rad Rider said: on descending yet laterally even terrain, I keep my pedals even and alternate which foot is forward to avoid thigh burn.

Unfortunately, a lot of the descents on the trails here in southeast Idaho were cut into slopes, so I keep the downhill pedal lower, which gets old after a mile or more.
 

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T.W.O.
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It does not make any difference which foot is forward, you'd always feel better with your chocolate foot but keep working on the other foot. I usually lead with my right, but on the tamer section I switch to my left to get my muscle memory working. Now I don't even thinks about it.
 

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Token Hillbilly
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712 Posts
If I know the trail well enough, I will sometimes lead with the foot on the opposite side as the direction of my next turn. This way I can use the lead foot to partially cycle forward until the pedal is in the down position. This can help me boost a bit of speed into the turn in flatter areas, and the pedal being down opposite the turn helps me plant the tires maybe a bit more to take turns at a higher rate of speed. It may not do much, but that's the theory I'm working off of.
 

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This is something natural that comes without you even have to think about it. I never noticed personally what foot lead when im downhill.

This is too many details to think,You start picking on each and every insignifiant details like this,thats where you lose your concentration and obviously crash.
 

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It's about showing up.
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It depends on what you mean by "down."

If you are going straight down a hill, no.

As soon as you get into turning one way or another you have to consider which foot to weight to dig the edge of your front wheel in. Further, in that case your foot is not necessarily in the 3 o'clock postion but somewhere between 3 and 6 o'clock, depending upon your weight balance needs for the enitire bike, to apply the appropriate pressure on front and rear tire inside edges. Traversing requires the outside foot be lower than the inside foot for inside edge reasons but again this depends upon degree.
 

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It's a lot like regular vs goofy footing when surfing/skate/snowboarding, one way will just feel right, the other won't. I think it's more common for your dominant foot to be back, but not so common that I'd call it a rule.
 
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