Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
aka baycat
Joined
·
8,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
am assuming this is a good bike position when making a decent/downhill: Knees bent in a 90 angle with my a$$ hanging low, past the seat without touching the seat. Is that proper technique?

Plus, my legs get tired, really fast from this locked position, is there way to relieve this? Or should I just be riding more and more till i get used to it?

Thanks for the nsight!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Depends on the downhill. Sounds like you are trying a pretty extreme position.
You should never be in a "locked position" on a bike. Body position changes constantly to maintain balance and control.
 

·
Don't worry, be happy!
Joined
·
8,141 Posts
shiggy said:
Depends on the downhill. Sounds like you are trying a pretty extreme position.
You should never be in a "locked position" on a bike. Body position changes constantly to maintain balance and control.
Shiggy's talking about dynamic riding... totally the opposite of locked. You have to be free to move to shift weight, take on obstacle etc. The position that you work from is out of the saddle, feet at 3/9, arms and legs relaxed, looking ahead. While sometimes you want to get way low behind the saddle, belly on the seat, that's fairly extreme except for the steepest descents. Some descents just require that you be balanced out of the saddle. Think about being balanced on 4 points: your hands and your feet.
You are constantly moving.. you might be above the saddle one moment, behind it the next, always in motion.
And as JimC said, the saddle is not a butt rest for descents.

Here's two pics from my site to help you out:
I'm probably farther back on these stairs than one needs to be,


and here's a pro rider on the NORBA DH course at the nationals.

 

·
Shaman
Joined
·
636 Posts
Try riding with all of your weight on the pedals. By keeping your weight completely on the pedals you lower your center of gravity, the trail seems smoother (less weight on the front end) and you are supporting yourself with your biggest, strongest muscles which results in less back/shoulder strain and pain. You hands should not have any weight on them and at the same time they should not being pulling on the bars either, your hands are simply hovering over the bars with a light grip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
BetterRide said:
Try riding with all of your weight on the pedals. By keeping your weight completely on the pedals you lower your center of gravity, the trail seems smoother (less weight on the front end) and you are supporting yourself with your biggest, strongest muscles which results in less back/shoulder strain and pain. You hands should not have any weight on them and at the same time they should not being pulling on the bars either, your hands are simply hovering over the bars with a light grip.
That is really good advise.
 

·
aka baycat
Joined
·
8,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
this really helped, it was hard to put into words specifically what I was doing. but you guys seemed to hit it spot on, will try it out tomorrow on my ride!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
baycat said:
am assuming this is a good bike position when making a decent/downhill: Knees bent in a 90 angle with my a$$ hanging low, past the seat without touching the seat. Is that proper technique?

Plus, my legs get tired, really fast from this locked position, is there way to relieve this? Or should I just be riding more and more till i get used to it?

Thanks for the nsight!
The new mountain bike skills book by Lee McCormack and Brian Lopes
Mastering Mountian Bike Skills is REALLY good. He does a great job describing this issue among many others.

www.leelikesbikes.com
 

·
cyclemaven.net
Joined
·
364 Posts
This is my favorite new book

ashwinearl said:
The new mountain bike skills book by Lee McCormack and Brian Lopes
Mastering Mountian Bike Skills is REALLY good. He does a great job describing this issue among many others.

www.leelikesbikes.com
I agree that the descriptions are terrific. Also, I love the frame by frame pictures, because you can really get to understand body position and where to shift your weight.
 

·
cyclemaven.net
Joined
·
364 Posts
Any opinions on arm position?

Hey Formica, nice pics and thanks.
It seems to me that both you and the DHer have your elbows out. Is there a general rule on this?
It's not just these pics. I've seen others, and there doesn't seem to be a set way (elbows out, elbows in).
I know that elbows in definitely helps me climb better.
Opinions?
 

·
Shaman
Joined
·
636 Posts
Kallisti said:
Hey Formica, nice pics and thanks.
It seems to me that both you and the DHer have your elbows out. Is there a general rule on this?
It's not just these pics. I've seen others, and there doesn't seem to be a set way (elbows out, elbows in).
I know that elbows in definitely helps me climb better.
Opinions?
Elbows up and out! While climbing too. This a much more athletic position than elbows in. Try breathing deep with elbows in vs. elbows out. Then try lifting and/or pushing down on the bars with elbows in vs. elbows out. Years ago I was taught the elbows in position and while coaching other riders/racers I realized that elbows up and out works much better.

Try steering with your elbows in, it feels weird because of the long level created from your eblow to your wrist.
 

·
cyclemaven.net
Joined
·
364 Posts
Thank you, this is interesting...

BetterRide said:
Elbows up and out! While climbing too. This a much more athletic position than elbows in. Try breathing deep with elbows in vs. elbows out. Then try lifting and/or pushing down on the bars with elbows in vs. elbows out. Years ago I was taught the elbows in position and while coaching other riders/racers I realized that elbows up and out works much better.

Try steering with your elbows in, it feels weird because of the long level created from your eblow to your wrist.
I had just taken a lesson from someone who told me that I stick my elbows out on the climb, but that I shouldn't. I've been practicing elbows in since, but yeah, I definitely feels weird. So now I'm confused.
On the downhill, up and out makes physical sense to me, but I wanted to make sure that this was correct. I might use the analogy that it feels like you're using the same muscles to bench press, as you do when "absorbing the shock" with your arms. Does that make sense?
 

·
Don't worry, be happy!
Joined
·
8,141 Posts
Kallisti said:
Hey Formica, nice pics and thanks.
It seems to me that both you and the DHer have your elbows out. Is there a general rule on this?
It's not just these pics. I've seen others, and there doesn't seem to be a set way (elbows out, elbows in).
I know that elbows in definitely helps me climb better.
Opinions?
I don't make a point of putting my elbows into a position. I used to ride like that, some one had told me to point them out like < > viewed from the front but some good buddies fixed that. I just think relaxed and not locked, is all.

dunno if that will help or not.

formica
 

·
Shaman
Joined
·
636 Posts
Kallisti said:
I had just taken a lesson from someone who told me that I stick my elbows out on the climb, but that I shouldn't. I've been practicing elbows in since, but yeah, I definitely feels weird. So now I'm confused.
On the downhill, up and out makes physical sense to me, but I wanted to make sure that this was correct. I might use the analogy that it feels like you're using the same muscles to bench press, as you do when "absorbing the shock" with your arms. Does that make sense?
Yes, that makes sense. You can use more and stronger muscle groups and have a much better range of motion. Elbows up and out is a strong dynamic position and far better than elbows in. Simply stand over your bike and try the exercises I mentioned in my first "elbows out post".

Again this is better for climbing too, with elbows in how are you going to pull up on the bars? How can you get a full breath? Elbows in is very "old school" information, it works but not as well as elbows out. I am sorry to hear that someone corrected your correct form and told you to do it less efficently. I would love to have someone explain how elbows in is good. I very well could be missing something here but I have not been able to figure out any advantages to riding with the elbows in (other than being more aero but at climbing speeds that is hardly a factor).
 

·
DOH!
Joined
·
473 Posts
BetterRide said:
Yes, that makes sense. You can use more and stronger muscle groups and have a much better range of motion. Elbows up and out is a strong dynamic position and far better than elbows in. Simply stand over your bike and try the exercises I mentioned in my first "elbows out post".
Definitely listen to Gene. He knows what he's talking about. :D

If you question elbows-out while climbing, get on a single-speed. Now point the bike uphill, and try to pedal to the top with your elbows tucked-in. I don't think it's physically possible.

Oh, and everyone knows the proper downhill position is the fetal postion. ;) ....Wait, I guess that's only if you ride like I do. :rolleyes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Up and out only because straight bars force you into that position. I find it awkward and unnatural to ride with my hand perpendicular to the direction of travel. It does let you brace better though I am able to climb, maneuver and absorb bumps more easily with my hands in a more fore-aft position and my elbows down and back. Breathing is not restricted.

So if you are using barends, dropbars, On-One Mary bars, Jones HBars or other bars with lots of back sweep, elbows up and out is out.


 

·
cyclemaven.net
Joined
·
364 Posts
OK, I'm going to rethink my uphill position.

BetterRide said:
Yes, that makes sense. You can use more and stronger muscle groups and have a much better range of motion. Elbows up and out is a strong dynamic position and far better than elbows in. Simply stand over your bike and try the exercises I mentioned in my first "elbows out post".

Again this is better for climbing too, with elbows in how are you going to pull up on the bars? How can you get a full breath? Elbows in is very "old school" information, it works but not as well as elbows out. I am sorry to hear that someone corrected your correct form and told you to do it less efficently. I would love to have someone explain how elbows in is good. I very well could be missing something here but I have not been able to figure out any advantages to riding with the elbows in (other than being more aero but at climbing speeds that is hardly a factor).
Armed with more knowledge, I'm going to play around with the uphill position, again.
I think the thing that felt the weirdest about elbows in was how twitchy the front became.
Thanks for the help.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top