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  1. #1
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    Body position debate

    Help me settle it.

    My buddy and I have been debating the best position for taking steep rocks and drops at low speed. I love this type of riding and I feel very confident with my weight shifted way back. My arms are bent and flexed and my weight comes back to center once over the obstacle. He says keep the weight over the seat. I get that for fast moving downhill, but for slow techy stuff?

  2. #2
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    Can't really give you an answer without seeing your form and his... for all we know you could both have the same form but a different idea of where your weight is being placed..

    But for slow techy stuff I can't really imagine why anyone would want to be behind the seat... I don't go behind the seat unless im going 15+ or going airborne.

  3. #3
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    Whatever you do, don't ride like this overacting tool in the MBA "26/27.5/29" wheel size grudge match. This drama queen deserves every lost tooth that falls out of his head.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Body position debate-image.jpg  


  4. #4
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    "I can't really imagine why anyone would want to be behind the seat"

    I'm talking low speed on the down side of boulders mainly. Not quite vert, but close. I don't do anything as big as this photo, but same idea. I just can't see rolling down this with my body in the same position it would be on flat ground.


  5. #5
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    Oh.. in that case.. HELL NO... on stuff like that always lean back as displayed in the photo. Trying to ride down that in a neutral riding position will likely result in face being introduced to ground or rear end being penetrated by seat.

    Trying to ride down that boulder in a neutral position would be like purposefully leaving your dropper post fully extended for a long steep downhill... just doesn't make sense and is asking for trouble.

    Also that wheel size chart with all the different body positions is one of the worst things I have ever seen.

  6. #6
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    Yup it's really tough to answer without some pictures to get an idea of specifics. Generally speaking, you want your center of gravity (hips) to remain in relation to your bikes center of gravity (bottom bracket). These to points are variable based on: body type, bike geometry, terrain.

    I will say that a lot of people ride too far back when it comes to the bike pointing downhill, or riding technical terrain. You need to keep adequate weight on your front wheel to pilot the bike. With modern frame geometry having a more slack head angle, I find you don't need to ride very far back in the cockpit.

    In the pic above, that is a pretty normal position on a downhill bike. Because of the size of the frame, and the steepness of terrain...I would describe his hips as being low, not back.

  7. #7
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    Very visual writing there shred. You don't mind if I quote some of those gems when explaining this to my buddy do you

  8. #8
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    I think focusing on where your butt is relative to your seat confuses the issue. What you want to is for your center of mass to be over the bottom bracket. This keeps you centered on your bike.

    In the picture above, if you drew a line from the dude's approximate center of mass through the bottom bracket it would be pointing straight down. That is the position where he is centered and balanced.

    It just so happens that for that particular rider on that particular bike his butt is behind the seat to achieve his centered position.

    If he was too far forward, he would endo. If he was too far behind the seat just for the sake of being behind the seat, he wouldn't be able to pull up for the transition. His position relative to his seat is a secondary result of him finding his center over the bike in that position.

    edit--- just saw LAXcarp wrote the same thing only better a few minutes before me. Good job, Laxcarp

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  10. #10
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    Generally speaking, you want your center of gravity (hips) to remain in relation to your bikes center of gravity (bottom bracket). These to points are variable based on: body type, bike geometry, terrain.
    I like this. It's the closest I've read to an absolute statement on this that covers ups downs and flats. I also like it because it validates my view. As the front axle drops lower on a down hill your weight should move back accordingly, the lower the axle the farther back you go.

  11. #11
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    The image of the DH guy is a little distorted due to the wide angle lens it was shot with..

    A while back I used to think that way behind the seat the way to do it, until I saw some people rolling things steeper than I did, and saw how "centered" they were in their bike. Good example here:

    (rider: Fuglio Pea)



    If you lean too far back, you lose the ability to effectively navigate...
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  12. #12
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    In the first pic you can see his butt is over the rear axle, his upper body is very low and, to your point, his arms are still bent giving him plenty of control over the front end. The rider in teh pic you posted isn't as extreme, but he's definitely back a good bit more than he'd be on a flat section of trail.

  13. #13
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    Actually, this is a GREAT example...
    So what's your take? Keep the butt pretty much over the seat or getting behind it? That guys butt is definitely behind the seat, no?

  14. #14
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    Re: Body position debate

    The seat is irrelevant. Your center of gravity(hips) over bikes(bottom bracket) center of gravity! As stated very clearly, multiple times above.....or the best 3 outta 5 on said obstacles.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, maybe we need some female riders to in order make a more informed assessment here.

    I'm liking this explanation also.

  16. #16
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    So as I was saying, if you take a look at her butt you'll see its behind the seat.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoob View Post
    The seat is irrelevant. Your center of gravity(hips) over bikes(bottom bracket) center of gravity! As stated very clearly, multiple times above.....or the best 3 outta 5 on said obstacles.
    Hey, I stated this opinion pretty clearly to my buddy too, but he's still debating it so I'm just looking for other input. There are other opinions apparently.

    I get it, the butt relative to seat isn't really the point, but generally as things get steeper your butt moves back.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsqueri View Post
    In the first pic you can see his butt is over the rear axle, his upper body is very low and, to your point, his arms are still bent giving him plenty of control over the front end. The rider in teh pic you posted isn't as extreme, but he's definitely back a good bit more than he'd be on a flat section of trail.
    The point of the photo was to show that his head/shoulders are the important part, not the position of his arse. And in the first pic, his rear end is NOT over the axle:




    Quote Originally Posted by jsqueri View Post
    So what's your take? Keep the butt pretty much over the seat or getting behind it? That guys butt is definitely behind the seat, no?
    They're not moving "back" so much as they are down. Its not about the butt. Don't look at his butt (well, if that's your thing, feel free of course :P ) But check his shoulders/head - it's about moving your center of gravity *down* and in to the bike. The fact that there's a seat in the way is beside the point - except you have to move behind the seat to get low, and that's what happening in the photos. The first rider is more "extremely" positioned, but he is lower - not further back than my man Fuglio.

    If you were to keep moving back further and further, your arms would straighten out, and you loose any hope for control.


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  19. #19
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    The point of the photo was to show that his head/shoulders are the important part
    I got it. That's why I wrote the following in response to your post.
    his upper body is very low and, to your point, his arms are still bent giving him plenty of control
    They're not moving "back" so much as they are down.
    This the debate I guess I'm talking about. So you just lower your COG. I have found keeping my COG over the BB is the trick. Yes, I'm lower, but I'm also farther back. If you don't move your hips back your COG gets ahead of teh center of the bike the steeper the incline, afaik.

    I know I'm geekin out here, but I really want to understand this.

  20. #20
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    That's awesome. Your boys I assume.

  21. #21
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    low and back, unless you like to do faceplants
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    Whatever you do, don't ride like this overacting tool in the MBA "26/27.5/29" wheel size grudge match. This drama queen deserves every lost tooth that falls out of his head.
    just read that article and they even admit that "in experianced hands" the 26er beats both 27 and 29 up and down. But then go on to claim that 27.5 is the best because MTBA readers are not very experianced. I always get the feeling that MTBA is written by roadies who pick up a MTB once or twice a year.
    Switzerland doesn't need a bike park, Switzerland is a bike park.

  23. #23
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    Dirt Rag FTW

  24. #24
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    Lee Likes Bikes

    there's some info in there about body position. Dig around his site for more info, or better yet, buy his book. well worth it.
    continuous growth is the strategy of a cancer cell.

  25. #25
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    Watch Fluidride: Ride Like a Pro.

    Has a good sections on drops.

    The freebie can be had here: Fluidride Like A Pro MTB PART4 - YouTube

    If you need diagrams and text, download the pdf for Instructor course from Terra Method:

    http://www.terramethod.com/downloads...forwebsite.pdf

    Good luck.

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