1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Attack Position?

    Ok, so I am a noob. Fourth ride today on a pretty flat track. I've been reading Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Among the other things I have been practicing (heavy feet, light hands, shifting weight fore and aft and side to side for climb/descent and turns, etc.) I tried the attack position today (as described in Mastering: head up, back flat, hips/weight over pedals).

    First, I didn't really think to engage it until I had been riding for a while. Second it was in the upper 90s today and the sun beat harder through the trees than I expected. Third, I was a little bit fatigued before I even started.

    The net result of this was that the attack position wasn't very comfortable for me. A major part was standing pedaling I think. I was just too out of it to stand much, particularly bent over.

    Now that I think about it, maybe attack position isn't for pedaling?

    What?

    Any thoughts would be welcome.

  2. #2
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    A correction to the above. Hips are not to be over pedals, just weight. I misstated that, but I don't think my position was goofy because of it. My weight was on the pedals and hands were light.

    Another bit of oddness. I have ridden a hybrid off and on for about 20 years. I am not a noob to cycling. But I havent been on it in a year or more. I have experienced ZERO saddle soreness in the two or three weeks I have had my MTB, with daily around town rides and odd-day trail rides. That surprises me a bit. Saddle is common WTB sport (old avocet gel on the hybrid,maybe it busted my ass real good), I did appreciate how comfortable it was since my tired ass wanted to sit a lot today.

  3. #3
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    The attack position you mentioned would be an advanced technique to use while pedaling through corners, rock gardens and downhill bump sections. Initially use it standing and not pedaling to allow you to choose your line, shift your weight and lean the bike.
    This guy has some good vids including one recommending pedaling through obstacles.
    7 Ways You Can Pedal Smarter to Mountain Bike Faster - YouTube
    And one on drops.

  4. #4
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    Ok thanks. That book, while interesting, seems to be somewhat high-level. But yeah I can see its utility with pedals level going over rough stuff.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    The "attack position" is important - but it is used for a purpose, not all the time just to be in the position. It gives you the maximum flexibility for absorbing bumps and moving your weight around. Just cruising on smooth ground it only gets you tired.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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