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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Anybody else getting a headache reading this dribble? Let it go already. Every person will have a different technique. Stop forcing your, my way is better, egotistical opinions on others. I mean really? 5 pages of this ****. I can see maybe 2 but it’s getting a bit redundant.
 

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I keep thinking of hucking kitty flying through a rock garden while lounging on a lazy-boy that's mounted to his mountain bike. Maybe while also enjoying a pipe or a fine single malt scotch.

If someone with the appropriate skills and free time could make that happen it would make me really happy.
 

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Not a role model
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Discussion Starter · #325 ·
You're assuming comfort is a significant contributor to success in an attack position. Pretty much never in the history of attack position discussions (outside of this thread) has this ever been discussed. One theory...it's an untapped area where significant gains can be found. More likely, it's not important.

And even if what you say is true, combining scientific principles and analysis to a photograph and guessing as to the comfort level of a rider, without even talking with them or knowing the context of the situation......seems pretty nuts.
No, I'm assuming discomfort/strain is a significant contributor to fatigue. The more technical the trail, the more you're an uncomfortable position, the more fatigue becomes an issue. This creates an artificial barrier on what trails one would be ready to do. Some may have ridden years, and still feel like they're not ready to try some certain trails. Why? Why aren't they training for it? Is it mental or physical? What if the bike compensated for these things, mitigating the need to train, by being better designed?

According to this research, grip strength was a big factor in endurance, inspiring my refinement of the bicycle position to put less load on the hands:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640414.2012.718091

Research on fitness demands in various sports, that also indicate grip strength is a factor in other sports, and gave me inspiration for enabling more efficient cross-training through refining the bicycle position to use muscle groups utilized in other activities (suspecting that seated pedaling endurance is only gained through cycling):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306765/

1. You're projecting onto the situation deficiencies that have no foundation.

2. Let me correct the sentence and use the phrase " I expect, based on my experience, having known dozens of shop employees" in place of "I imagine" to avoid any incorrect connotation . Still, I was answering your question "What would your response be?" in the context of the fiction that you first imagined and presented.


3. That you observed members of a flat earth group enjoying the sense of belonging in a group of like-minded people in no way adds any validity to their assertion that the earth is flat. I hope you enjoy your custom bicycle, but does that mean I also need to accept your ideas about riding technique, bicycle geometry, and the general complacency of both the bike industry and it's consumers?


4. Please explain this "backfire effect". I'm also not sure I understand how a debate can fail as it doesn't require any reconciliation of the opposing ideas in the end
1) Bike geo greatly varies. The rider can sense the differences in geo and how it affects their experience--can be as simple as test riding two sizes of the same bike model. There's parabolic shaped skis and straight skis. This small change affects how the user makes use of the equipment. The analogy needs to be apples to apples, does it not? Refer to the context in post #1?

2) It's still imagination, even if it's shaped by patterns from past experience. The answer to that was a matter of determining whether you're closed minded or open minded, based on the response given. Was intended to show how someone responds to a rational point, when they have emotional interest.

3) You seemingly never opened up. Instead, you've been pushing your ideas on me. What have I been trying to push onto you, personally? I responded to some of your ideas, saying there's some sort of common agreement. You've sent challenges from many different perspectives, and I see it no other way than that you have emotional interest to just not find any agreement, despite saying things that do imply that being comfortable on the bike is important. You just don't clearly define that comfort in any way that can be measured/verified.

4) Backfire effect is when facts and evidence contradicts someone's belief, and in order to not let their vision of the world break down, they strengthen their beliefs. They hype up these beliefs as "truths", and hype themselves up as seekers of truth. They hope to push their beliefs onto others to create "universal truth", forming support groups of like-minded people, which are known in the world of science as tribes. This is what has me rationalizing to not try hard to correct these types. What I've been doing in this thread is more about clearing up misinterpretations. While I suspect people are just illiterate, unintelligent, too lazy to read, trolls, bored drunks, a$$holes, etc. based on my past experience (and their post history), this is my imagination, which in principle, can't be acted on. I instead act on what I feel is more rational, offering another explanation that's hopefully easier to understand.

After 300+ posts maybe you should be asking yourself ' Why do I find the attack - ready position uncomfortable'.

If you're not doing it already, for every hour you spend composing lengthy replies and studying photos trying to divine a solution, why not spend an equal amount of time researching and working on core strength exercises.

One thing I would bet you will find with all of the pros you've looked at in photos is that they are incredibly fit and don't even consider 'comfort' an issue, certainly not one to be mulled over for weeks on end.

And I would explain to a flat earther who spends hours on YouTube 'researching', how the world has been proven scientifically not flat, and that maybe they could spend their time more usefully.
Interesting point, but I'm not the one relying on pro pictures. I recall posting 2 of them so far by my own will, to contrast to non-pros, but didn't use one because I didn't have context (just was loosely attached). The other time I posted pros, was because someone was interested in a certain source (Val di Sol?), and I went to verify it, to see if there was any agreement between our two perspectives.

If you really have been following, this research was spurred by my concern for others who don't have time to train. I noted one case in which a rider in my group got fatigued enough to worry about their ability to finish an epic ride (Palm Canyon Epic). I'm an advocate of making MTB more inclusive. I was hoping to discover bike geo that makes it more welcoming to those who don't have the luxury to train due to other responsibilities. Technique for cornering and plowing is not is something an e-bike motor helps with, and expensive bikes designed racing probably isn't a help either. What's it cost to change geo of entry level bikes?

The ones trying to suggest me to toughen up are making false assumptions. I believe I wrote somewhere that I have 45k+ miles ridden on mtn bikes, and have owned at numerous (10+) different bikes in the past decade. I'm just practicing open-mindedness, using this opportunity to justify my exploration of various new things, including mixed wheel size, slack HA, steep HA, upright position, handlebar height, RC to FC proportions, etc. I figure if there's going to be change, I'd rather come along willingly, rather than being dragged along. There's that wise saying, "fate leads the willing, but drags the unwilling."
 

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No, I'm assuming discomfort/strain is a significant contributor to fatigue. The more technical the trail, the more you're an uncomfortable position, the more fatigue becomes an issue. This creates an artificial barrier on what trails one would be ready to do. Some may have ridden years, and still feel like they're not ready to try some certain trails. Why? Why aren't they training for it? Is it mental or physical? What if the bike compensated for these things, mitigating the need to train, by being better designed?

According to this research, grip strength was a big factor in endurance, inspiring my refinement of the bicycle position to put less load on the hands:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640414.2012.718091

Research on fitness demands in various sports, that also indicate grip strength is a factor in other sports, and gave me inspiration for enabling more efficient cross-training through refining the bicycle position to use muscle groups utilized in other activities (suspecting that seated pedaling endurance is only gained through cycling):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306765/
But you're assuming that their fatigue is due to discomfort as opposed to physical exertion. There's no basis for this claim. How are you measuring this and able to eliminate other variables (such as the physical exertion) to make this statement?...I should be considerably more than looking at a still photo and guessing as to how comfortable they are. I'm sure discomfort could contribute, but I'd guess it's fairly inconsequential compared to the effort they are putting forth.

And people who have ridden for years yet can't handle a trail has nothing to do with what you're working with (respectfully). It's the bell curve. Most people in any situation over in the middle. If you want to grow as a rider, you put in more time, you try different techniques, lines, etc. Not everyone cares to improve or is willing to put in the time.

Finally, from the abstract, it looks like they did a study that shows that when you actively employ a muscle group, those muscles get fatigued. I'm sure you'd get the same results if you did the same type of test with rock climbers (another activity focused on grip). Seems fairly straight forward. But I don't see that it has anything to do with what you are trying to do.
 

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Not a role model
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Discussion Starter · #327 ·
Discomfort is not only a physical state, but also a mental state. Comfort zones, fear, anxiety... it's strain on the mind, not only on the body. I'm looking for a relaxed ready state, rather than a tense one that's focused on getting position just right. The relaxed neutral position should be one that's easy to use a wider variety of techniques from--hard to use techniques when you're hanging off the back or already hunched over. Needing to return to a neutral position wastes time and energy, and affects the timing of the technique, perhaps forcing you to lower your speed to give time to prepare.

"That trail has drops, jumps, is too fast, is too steep, has chunk, etc., I'm not comfortable riding that yet." Common excuse, yes? Sure, there's variables like suspension, tires, wheels, brakes, etc. that mitigate fatigue, and there's also the rider's intensity and excitement/recklessness to consider, but if you read through the first research paper, the it's not about heart rate, intensity, or pedaling/leg endurance, it's the grip strength. You can measure that with a grip strength tester, or even a bathroom scale. What's a good way to increase grip strength, chin/pull-ups? Do you do these? What's your grip strength, 70 lbs? Measure it before and after a fatiguing technical ride, maybe bike park laps, and see how much it drops.

I'm seeking an alternative solution, to redirect loads into larger muscles that can handle it. I want the legs to take it. It'd be like dirt surfing if done right, hands only used to steer, rather than to hold on and hold balance. The "athletic positions" people show are using quite a bit of lower back, to hold up their upper body weight. I want the legs to hold up the upper body weight too, so there's no question of the hands taking the load, in case the lower back fatigues.

If there's any argument, it's about fatiguing the legs sooner. It's valid to fear the leg day consequences. I choose to accept this trade-off, optimistic about the strength this develops. I highly doubt every ride will leave you unable to walk. With a more upright position, and a steeper STA, the position mimics more of a stair climbing position, even while seated--I essentially optimized for the casual out-of-the-saddle pedaling position. The challenge was to make it so the bike behaved well with the rider in this position, as it'd be endo prone if people tried this on a current bike, at least one that was optimized for the seated position with a slack STA.

The solution was to increase the front center, but how much exactly? I estimated that the balance I'm looking for exists along a scale (see post #96). Some 160mm enduro bikes found one of the sweet spots, 435mm CS with 1210-1245mm WB (some long travel 26ers found it with 420 CS and 1150-1190 WB). I wanted a longer WB, since I am more ambitious with the speed I want to achieve on the trails I ride. I played it relatively safe and looked to the most extreme examples of it today, the Geometron and Pole, and followed people's impression of them. Now there's the Doctahawk to get impressions from...

Rather than imagining hucking kitty, imagine a crash test dummy rigged like the picture in post #1, maybe with a gimbal to keep the back angle fixed and a spring between the calf and hamstring to allow knee flex, being able to successfully straight line over all sorts of obstacles, from dead sailoring over jumps and drops, to just standing as the bike pitches up and down over chunk and rollers, all in-control. The trade off is that a defensive stance, or an aggro chin-forward-of-the-handlebar position makes the bike misbehave. A "static" position will work, but it won't look static because the bike pitches up and down, making it look the rider has outstretched arms and is behind the saddle on downslopes, or making it look like the rider is forward of the saddle and ready to hammer on an upslope, on top of the legs being used as suspension (like a crouch, rather than a rearward hip hinge); it's just faster and more efficient to be more dynamic, and transfer weight back and forward to negotiate over obstacles with the typical rowing/pump-track motion.

In my perfect world, bike shoppers would choose a bike based on complexity/maintenance requirements (singlespeed, gearbox, derailleurs, rigid, hardtail, FS), the wheelbase (shorter for slow tech, longer for high speed/momentum), how much feedback they want to feel from the ground (susp, wheel/tire size), and luxury level (reduced weight burden, extra conveniences like built-in storage accommodations, head lights, motor assist, etc.). I suppose bike brands could further differentiate based on toughness/strength, aesthetics, style (defensive, vs neutral or aggro positioning), and shopping experience (warranty, partnered service centers).

See all the different riding disciplines here, all using a more neutral position: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6pTrW6QGFHQIjkKbzrmAFPh9WoCzueM6
 

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IF you're uncomfortable in the attack position then your bike doesn't fit or you have a fitness/health issue. Both of my bikes are comfortable in the attack position and it doesn't matter that one has 419mm chain stays and the other 438mm.
 

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Not a role model
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Discussion Starter · #329 ·
IF you're uncomfortable in the attack position then your bike doesn't fit or you have a fitness/health issue. Both of my bikes are comfortable in the attack position and it doesn't matter that one has 419mm chain stays and the other 438mm.
Can't argue with that. It really should be that simple.

How important is fit though? Seems people insist that the body can adapt, getting used to it, and coaching is recommended to help... I suppose this is one of those things you don't know/learn, until you explore and discover for yourself.
 

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Can't argue with that. It really should be that simple.

How important is fit though? Seems people insist that the body can adapt, getting used to it, and coaching is recommended to help... I suppose this is one of those things you don't know/learn, until you explore and discover for yourself.
It's very important but it's not that hard to find a bike that fits well. I'm 6'5" and still am able to find bikes that fit well. And yes, it takes a bit of experience to figure out what works well for yourself. Coming from BMX, when I bought my first mtb I almost bought the size large of model bike I ended up on. Thankfully the shop talked me into the XL. A year later I realized even that bike was too small and sold it.
 

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Up In Smoke
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How does one learn what fit is best though? Keep test riding bikes, replacing if you feel a newer bike fits better? Any other alternative?
People make a living out of fitting bikes for people, you see like a resourful cat, I’m sure you could find someone local to offer an opinion.I’ve tried adapting to bikes that were not a proper fit for me and that resulted in back pain.
 

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Not a role model
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Discussion Starter · #334 ·
It's very important but it's not that hard to find a bike that fits well. I'm 6'5" and still am able to find bikes that fit well. And yes, it takes a bit of experience to figure out what works well for yourself. Coming from BMX, when I bought my first mtb I almost bought the size large of model bike I ended up on. Thankfully the shop talked me into the XL. A year later I realized even that bike was too small and sold it.
Ever ride a long travel bike and thought it was worse than a shorter travel bike from the same brand? Or maybe the size L felt more balanced than the XL? Ever think you wanted something for going faster (e.g. Enduro racing), but the CS was too short in XL or the HA too slack (causing instability with the front wheel)?

People make a living out of fitting bikes for people, you see like a resourceful cat, I’m sure you could find someone local to offer an opinion. I’ve tried adapting to bikes that were not a proper fit for me and that resulted in back pain.
What was your experience with trying to solve your back pain? Did you try inexpensive solutions first, before eventually going from one bike to another? What limitations did the back pain cause, looking back, that you were able to overcome with the better fit?

Just looking for merit behind the fitting, to understand how critical it is in your view.
 

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jcd's best friend
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What was your experience with trying to solve your back pain?
Foam roller. Proper stretching and warmup routines which were designed by my fitness coach. I've never had a back problem on any bike ever since.
 

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Ever ride a long travel bike and thought it was worse than a shorter travel bike from the same brand?
Not really.

Or maybe the size L felt more balanced than the XL?
The fit aspect is too overriding once the bike is that undersized for me.

Ever think you wanted something for going faster (e.g. Enduro racing), but the CS was too short in XL or the HA too slack (causing instability with the front wheel)?
I do prefer longer chainstays for high speed. I've never thought the HTA was too slack for going fast (slack HTA is more stable at speed).
 

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well mannered lout
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I see it no other way than that you have emotional interest to just not find any agreement, despite saying things that do imply that being comfortable on the bike is important. You just don't clearly define that comfort in any way that can be measured/verified.
I'll respond here, because I think this paragraph gets to the refined point that we disagree about. I don't simply imply that comfort is important, I pointed out in the "Rank the most important factors" thread that I think having a bike that I can be comfortable on is first and last. I "just don't clearly define that comfort in any way that can be measured/verified", because I don't believe it can be reduced down to numbers. After reading all the reviews, considering the parts spec.s, and crunching the geometry numbers, I know more about a bike from a two minute test ride blasting over the curbs and pedaling through a few turns. The numbers may influence me enough to go try a bike, but it'll never get me to buy a bike...the data means nothing when my hands hit the bars. So we view these things through two very different lenses, and ours is a good and honest disagreement. My "emotional interest" here is not to be contrary, only to be understood. It's good that there are people like you in the world Ninji, and it's good that there are people like me.

I will say that, going back to the original question, my ideas about what the "attack position" means have been reshaped. I've had this verbal picture of the attack / ready position the same way I think if the crash position on an airplane...a sort of bracing for impact We've used still photos in this thread to study this attack position, but none of that describes what happens in mountain biking. Nothing that happens on the bike is still. There wasn't a static moment before and after the picture was snapped. The forces acting on the rider and the bike were changing, met with anticipation, reaction and motion from the rider. A rider needs to be dynamic moving front to back, high and low and be comfortable and strong within that range of motion. I'm not sure isolating a single posture a rider might have within that space as an attack position is really that useful?
 

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A rider needs to be dynamic moving front to back, high and low and be comfortable and strong within that range of motion. I'm not sure isolating a single posture a rider might have within that space as an attack position really that useful?
It's as basic as this. An attack position is a fluid position where you are able to adjust with the terrain. Making changes to a static position for this benefit has very little relevance, if any.
 

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Not a role model
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Discussion Starter · #339 ·
So we're back to making new definitions of what the attack position is... the semantics game again.

Is the ready position is different from the attack position?

- The ready position is the position one takes to prepare to use a technique? Before hitting a drop, before pumping an obstacle, before shifting weight to lessen an impact of rolling over a large obstacle, before taking off of a jump? It could be neutral, it could be defensive, it could be aggressive?

- The attack position is the position one takes to attack a feature? Taking any of the features above, with more momentum maybe? How much more momentum is relative to what the rider feels is comfortable?

So all these positions that are successful, but are judged not to be good attack positions compared to the pros, are what? I called some of them to be defensive, and some to be roadie-inspired, but said they're uncomfortable looking, and that techniques probably required moving back to a neutral position to be executed, wasting time and energy.

If I describe them like that, then am I asking, what's an efficient ready position look like? A neutral position that is balanced and stable, and requires the least amount of movement to execute a technique from? If there's demand to make things faster, and execute skills faster, then it should be uncomfortable, at least from a mental standpoint, therefore an attack position maybe by definition should be uncomfortable?

What about fatigue? If you were to figure out how to get through a rough trail, and wanted to make sure you stayed fresh to the end, how would you plan your approach? Reduce the amount of total movement you make, trying to stay smooth, use a heavy feet and light hands strategy, stayed loose and relaxed, and selectively pumped/rowed the terrain? Would bike choice and/or position play a role? If so, what would be ideal for a trail that can be ridden on an XC bike, Enduro bike, or chubby/fat-tire bike, all being valid choices due to the roughness (backcountry) and overall length/elevation (3+ hours).
 
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