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  1. #1
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    Berms and parallel foot, wich front?

    Hi, i know that on the internet there are many tutorials and videos, i have learnt from there and also from some mtb teach some years ago, but i have one question: in a Berm, or in a slightly turn that change only a little direction(where you don't need the foot down), you have the parallel feet, ok, BUT, is there a preference of which foot should be in the front?
    For example: right hand berm, parallel foot with left foot in front?

  2. #2
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    I don't think there's a real right or wrong way to deal with this.

    When I'm riding, I choose which foot forward to some level based on comfort (I have a preference for left foot forward), but I also consciously switch it up to train myself to also be comfortable right foot forward, because there are occasions where it DOES matter, and IME, that happens when there's something trailside that presents a clearance issue for the most part.

    Modern mtbs don't generally have this problem, but my commuter/gravel bike does and so it also affects what I do sometimes, and that's toe overlap. Toe overlap is a thing where you turn the bars to initiate a turn, and the deflection of the rear wheel away from the centerline of the bike (when you turn right, the rearward portion of the wheel deflects to the left side of the bike) can interfere with your foot if the outside foot is forward in a "level pedals" or "parallel crank" position. So on my commuter bike I have to pay a LOT of attention to this, and never place my outside foot forward. So sometimes when my mind is focused on other aspects of riding and I've spent a lot of time on that other bike recently, I'll put my inside foot forward on my mtb.

    Also, IME, amount of direction changed isn't necessarily the major determining factor of whether you put the outside foot down. What matters most is the speed you're trying to carry through the turn and how deep your lean is. Dropping the outside foot is a pressure control technique that allows you to fine tune grip on the side knobs.

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    Thank you.... i know that there are 1000 different situations... i know that outside foot pressure, but there are some direction changes(not really turns) that has also a "semi berm" where there are grip, and in my opinion they really don't need the pressure of the outside foot, just some small hips rotation and look where to go.

    Regarding which foot front, i also think that it doesn't matter, but i'm not sure... from what i "feel" in berms, it seems that i'm more confident right hand berm, right foot in front, BUT, analyzing that you want have some hips rotation ending the turn, a left foot in front in a right hand turn could maybe give the body a more natural position for the hips rotation?




    For example, from this picture it seems that all of 3, have the outside foot front... only personal preference?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Berms and parallel foot, wich front?-schermata-2020-02-11-alle-17.23.24.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by zambo78 View Post
    Thank you.... i know that there are 1000 different situations... i know that outside foot pressure, but there are some direction changes(not really turns) that has also a "semi berm" where there are grip, and in my opinion they really don't need the pressure of the outside foot, just some small hips rotation and look where to go.

    Regarding which foot front, i also think that it doesn't matter, but i'm not sure... from what i "feel" in berms, it seems that i'm more confident right hand berm, right foot in front, BUT, analyzing that you want have some hips rotation ending the turn, a left foot in front in a right hand turn could maybe give the body a more natural position for the hips rotation?




    For example, from this picture it seems that all of 3, have the outside foot front... only personal preference?
    Most people have a favored foot forward.

    Most people also have a favored turn direction (one that feels easier than the other).

    Much of the time, the two are related. In that the favored turn direction is a result of the favored foot forward, because it puts your hips in the right direction for the turn naturally, and does weight the front tire more favorably than if the reverse was true.

    For instance, I'm a right foot forward rider by nature, and I feel more comfortable in left hand turns. But for big berms, I do currently consciously try to switch my feet around, to get more practice, and to help force my body to get into the right position for turns. Both to just get better, but also for the times when a turn appears and you don't have time to switch around/etc.

    I think you don't need to overthink this, as for much of riding it doesn't really seem to matter (slight direction changes, etc). But I do think it might be considered "most preferred" to do it on the larger turns.

    There may be reasons when you would want to have the outside foot rearward though. Ie, if you're trying to pump the turn really hard, or wanting to use the rear tire pressure to drift or something like that.

    But for conventional "front wheel based turning", I do think that on big berms, outside foot forward is likely "best". Doesn't mean its the only thing that works though.

    Also, this topic tickled my brain a bit. I watched a video on it a while back somewhere on youtube.

    EDIT:

    Found it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO3MNhiTX2c

    Just want to mention... I'm far from an expert on any of this. You won't see me setting strava KOM's, nor racing in a DH world cup/EWS race. So factor that in, these are just random musings/thoughts.

  5. #5
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    I tend more toward right-foot-forward riding though definitely more comfortable on right turn berms.

    I ride skateboards and snowboards goofy (right foot up front) so my data point may be less the “norm”.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Much of the time, the two are related. In that the favored turn direction is a result of the favored foot forward, because it puts your hips in the right direction for the turn naturally, and does weight the front tire more favorably than if the reverse was true.
    This is a good point. I wasn't thinking about it deeply enough at the time. It's definitely true. For big turns, big berms, and high speeds, rotating your hips is pretty important. For small berms, easy cruising, etc, less so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    I tend more toward right-foot-forward riding though definitely more comfortable on right turn berms.

    I ride skateboards and snowboards goofy (right foot up front) so my data point may be less the “norm”.


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    Little off topic:
    I've also done many years snowboard, and i'm regular, but, in mtb, in straight sections with parallel foots, it's more natural for me the right foot in front...ahahaha really strange..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Most people have a favored foot forward.


    There may be reasons when you would want to have the outside foot rearward though. Ie, if you're trying to pump the turn really hard, or wanting to use the rear tire pressure to drift or something like that.

    But for conventional "front wheel based turning", I do think that on big berms, outside foot forward is likely "best". Doesn't mean its the only thing that works though.

    Also, this topic tickled my brain a bit. I watched a video on it a while back somewhere on youtube.

    EDIT:

    Found it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO3MNhiTX2c

    Just want to mention... I'm far from an expert on any of this. You won't see me setting strava KOM's, nor racing in a DH world cup/EWS race. So factor that in, these are just random musings/thoughts.
    Thanks you, you give me some really good point to work on...
    I will watch the video, and try to work on it...i'm not a beginner, but also i'm far from a a young "hardcore" enduro or DH racer... i want to always improve my ride as better as i can, keeping it fun, but with the correct body position, etc... i'm always learning.. :-) In summer i'm in some bike park full of these big berms, want to improve my ride in these berms from the previous years. :-)

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    On tight berms/turns, I'm outside foot down. That way I avoid possible inside pedal strikes if I lean over a lot or to help with weight shifting to get more grip or easier to get my inner foot off the pedal and on the ground to stabilize my turn. On easy turns or coasting, I tend to have my right foot forward as it's my stronger foot to start off pedaling with but situation dictates which foot forward or back ie scrubbing etc.

    I actually had to think this through as it's more instinctive muscle memory for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zambo78 View Post
    Thanks you, you give me some really good point to work on...
    I will watch the video, and try to work on it...i'm not a beginner, but also i'm far from a a young "hardcore" enduro or DH racer... i want to always improve my ride as better as i can, keeping it fun, but with the correct body position, etc... i'm always learning.. :-) In summer i'm in some bike park full of these big berms, want to improve my ride in these berms from the previous years. :-)
    I'm right there with you . I'm in my 30's, solidly in the intermediate-ish skill range (I ride all the features on most blue trails I find, and starting to work my way up into black trails atm). I only started riding mountain bikes about a year and a half ago. But I grew up trail riding dirt bikes, which has helped give me a leg up I think (but, since the footpegs are always in the same place on dirt bikes, this particular skill wasn't one that I really had).

    And the one time I went to a bike park... I had the same thoughts that you are having. Next time I go back, I'll be conciously working on that, as its an easy way to lap the same trail without getting exhausted, and actually practice each turn until you "nail it".

  11. #11
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    Right handed, left foot forward. Left handed, right foot forward. Opposite of those is goofy footed. That's not a pejorative. It's just the nomenclature.
    Do the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Right handed, left foot forward. Left handed, right foot forward. Opposite of those is goofy footed. That's not a pejorative. It's just the nomenclature.
    Yes that seems to be case.
    I typically do this, but in some situations I switch. Where I ride the most, there’s little
    elevation change, so to get the speed to do jumps or drops you have to pedal til the last second. And end up goofy.

  13. #13
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    Whichever foot forward you’re more comfortable riding with, do that. Ideally you’d be ambipedal but few people truly are.

    I’m left foot forward and left turns are my stronger direction. I played baseball all the way through high school and I credit the hip snap of swinging a bat as a righty for being able to snap my hips to the left when cornering left on my bike. [Snap!] and I can roost a corner.

    On right turns sometimes I feel like I’m the Pacific Princess cruise ship turning to starboard. “All hands on deck! She’s coming around! Entering the harbor now!”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Right handed, left foot forward. Left handed, right foot forward. Opposite of those is goofy footed. That's not a pejorative. It's just the nomenclature.
    Thanks for your contribution...
    Watching the youtube video posted by ocnLogan, and also another web tutorial found....

    https://betterride.net/blog/2014/how...nering-part-3/
    (this is part 3, i've read also part 1 and 2)

    ...I think that the outside foot should be in the back (opposite than the picture of the 3 riders i've posted).
    With outside foot back, they say the weight is more correctly distributed and, in case you should(or you want), to weight the outside foot down, do that starting from the foot in the back position, is more efficient and comes more "natural".

    I know we are thanking about foot position, that is less important than: braking correctly before the turn, correct weight and body position, have the correct vision watching always ahead the exit, turn your hips,... But i really want to understand if there is also a correct foot placement when parallel... thanks :-)

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    A few coaches teach the idea of switching which foot you have forward for turns but I've never seen a professional do this. I think this is one of those things for people to nerd out on but not actually important in real life. if your pedals are level then it matters even less as you'll be more centered over the bike than a flat turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    A few coaches teach the idea of switching which foot you have forward for turns but I've never seen a professional do this. I think this is one of those things for people to nerd out on but not actually important in real life. if your pedals are level then it matters even less as you'll be more centered over the bike than a flat turn.
    What you're seeing there is a level of scaffolding of the concept. Get beginners and especially intermediates to think more about their pedal positions and make conscious decisions about it. Gets them ready for the more aggressive "outside foot down" position for hard, high-speed cornering. Also for the various exceptions that are going to come up when riding real-world trails. Learning this in mellow turns drops the risk of crashing because you're going to feel uncomfortable and shaky doing this, the moreso you favor one foot over the other.

    Something I see a lot in beginner and even with lower-intermediate riders is a complete lack of awareness of what their feet are doing. I see the results on the trail all the time. Deep gouges in rocks and logs that shouldn't have any on them at all if folks had a bit of awareness of what's going on. Also, when people start getting tired, attention on what their feet are doing (outside of turning over the pedals) appears to be one of the first things to fade away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    What you're seeing there is a level of scaffolding of the concept. Get beginners and especially intermediates to think more about their pedal positions and make conscious decisions about it. Gets them ready for the more aggressive "outside foot down" position for hard, high-speed cornering. Also for the various exceptions that are going to come up when riding real-world trails. Learning this in mellow turns drops the risk of crashing because you're going to feel uncomfortable and shaky doing this, the moreso you favor one foot over the other.

    Something I see a lot in beginner and even with lower-intermediate riders is a complete lack of awareness of what their feet are doing. I see the results on the trail all the time. Deep gouges in rocks and logs that shouldn't have any on them at all if folks had a bit of awareness of what's going on. Also, when people start getting tired, attention on what their feet are doing (outside of turning over the pedals) appears to be one of the first things to fade away.
    It's fine as a skills drill but it's being taught as a proper technique to use on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    It's fine as a skills drill but it's being taught as a proper technique to use on the trail.
    To drive it home, it needs to be something that riders consciously do with frequency. Limiting the only use of it to skills drills during a daylong or weekend skills course isn't going to cut it. You don't teach 5th graders how to science by making them write a PhD dissertation. You teach them concepts that are over-simplified at first so that they grasp those concepts. As they begin to understand more, you can add more depth and rigor.

    Same thing for mountain bike skills. You can't take what's taught in a beginner clinic and say that the coaches are teaching it as the final say in how to corner. It's an early step of learning cornering technique. It's something that can be built upon as riders grow in their skills. Exceptions and additional variations to the practice can be added. But you've gotta learn and become proficient with the foundation first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    To drive it home, it needs to be something that riders consciously do with frequency. Limiting the only use of it to skills drills during a daylong or weekend skills course isn't going to cut it. You don't teach 5th graders how to science by making them write a PhD dissertation. You teach them concepts that are over-simplified at first so that they grasp those concepts. As they begin to understand more, you can add more depth and rigor.

    Same thing for mountain bike skills. You can't take what's taught in a beginner clinic and say that the coaches are teaching it as the final say in how to corner. It's an early step of learning cornering technique. It's something that can be built upon as riders grow in their skills. Exceptions and additional variations to the practice can be added. But you've gotta learn and become proficient with the foundation first.
    I don't believe that switching your forward foot is foundational. I don't think it needs to be taught at all and at best serves as a little footwork coordination drill.

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    I struggled with this early on but think about it more from a "front side" "backside" not Goofy versus regular in the context of surfing and snowboarding.

    If I'm turning to the left, if my right foot is forward, my hips will be rotated to the left. This gives you the feeling of being "frontside". If I am turning to the right, and my left foot is forward, once again hip rotation will be to the right and I will be "frontside". This also facilitates in the proper rotation, not having to back ratchet, your outside foot dropping to clear a tighter steeper inside turning lip. If you are left/left/ right/right, your natural pedal stroke puts you in the wrong position, just a thought.

    Now think about it opposite foot forward, left foot forward on a left turn, your hips will be turned right and you will get that "backside" feeling of exposing your back. When I first started really trying to learn to rail turns, I noticed immediately I was more jerky, less likely to lean as far, and felt "exposed" when going inside foot forward. The steeper the trail, the more amplified this feeling is.

    Now while if I am thinking about it, I ride outside foot forward, as mentioned above, sometime it has to be opposite for pedal clearance, setting yourself up for a move, etc. So it's good to practice both ways. Just like surfing, sometimes you just got to suck it up and ride backside if that is what the wave dictates.

    Hope that help!
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    I think some of it comes down to what you struggle with honestly.

    Even the article that the OP linked, has this as its closing statement.

    "So focus on the Big Picture techniques like vision, balanced and neutral body position and braking before the corner. IF you ever master these then you can worry about which is forward as your enter a corner or switchback."

    The whole argument for the outside foot being rearward as far as I can see, is that its easier to fine tune foot placement (because backpedaling is easier/more comfortable to find specific foot placement than pedaling forward and maybe meeting resistance or not).

    And as far as I can tell, that part is true. It is easier to trail with your outside foot parallel, and have it drift to full straight down if needed, than the other way around.

    Personally, I struggle to weight the front tire enough in corners, and I know it. I also struggle to move my hips enough typically. So far I have found outside foot forward has been helping me with those two other important elements.

    The one time I was at a bike park though, I did notice that I was instinctively going outside foot down in the higher pressure turns. Either because I was needing the additional traction/lower center of gravity, or maybe even that I was too weak to withstand the G forces, I'm honestly not sure.

    I'll have to do more testing to see how I feel about it all I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    ...The whole argument for the outside foot being rearward as far as I can see, is that its easier to fine tune foot placement (because backpedaling is easier/more comfortable to find specific foot placement than pedaling forward and maybe meeting resistance or not)...
    Maybe I am from Mars but I find this to be exactly opposite of how I feel. Back-ratcheting on a steep turn shifts my weight back even further than I probably already am and seems would increase the odds of losing your front wheel. When I'm going down something steep, I want to be attack mode and ready to pedal forward coming out of the turn, not have to power down on the inside leg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I don't believe that switching your forward foot is foundational. I don't think it needs to be taught at all and at best serves as a little footwork coordination drill.
    The two posts after yours are asserting that there is some benefit of moving your feet around based on the direction you're turning (particularly the one about how foot position affects your ability to rotate your hips) and runs counter to your assertion.

    I assert that it's important to get comfortable riding with either foot forward in a variety of scenarios, and there's nothing wrong with teaching people to switch feet when moving from one corner to the next. I've tried it and it's definitely challenging to execute smoothly. Simply for that reason, it's something that I feel I should work on, because I want to be smooth and comfortable on my bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Maybe I am from Mars but I find this to be exactly opposite of how I feel. Back-ratcheting on a steep turn shifts my weight back even further than I probably already am and seems would increase the odds of losing your front wheel. When I'm going down something steep, I want to be attack mode and ready to pedal forward coming out of the turn, not have to power down on the inside leg.
    No idea if you're martian or not, I'm just saying I'm pretty sure thats what the guy in the blog post is arguing for?

    Personally, dropping a front outside foot from horizontal, to vertical mid turn does feel a bit weird/"notchy" to me. Whereas dropping the back foot down from horizontal to vertical does feel a bit more natural. I always assumed the front foot on the inside feeling weird was just due to my inexperience/weird body positioning, but maybe not?

    At this point, I'm just not sure if that benefit is enough for me to give up the hip turning/front tire weighting benefits of staying with outside front foot. And forcing myself to switch outside feet for the time being has been helping with those. Maybe there will be a time when the position/hip turning is natural, then maybe I'll think more about the feet.

    Either way, more testing/thinking about it I guess.

    Maybe I'm from Pluto though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Even the article that the OP linked, has this as its closing statement.

    "So focus on the Big Picture techniques like vision, balanced and neutral body position and braking before the corner. IF you ever master these then you can worry about which is forward as your enter a corner or switchback."
    I agree with this 100%. Body position is way more important.

    Your bike park experience is a good example. Lots of new rider will try to lower their CG in high speed berms or try to stay low and end up squatting on the seat due to the g forces. You really should be pushing through the turn with your legs and keeping your hips high enough to avoid squatting. This also helps keep weight on the front tire. Most riders keep their feet pretty level in high speed berms.

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    Saw an interview with the GOAT Greg Minaar and he sorted said there is no time or need to change which foot is forward --the corners in DH racing are not tight enough to worry about. His answer glanced off of some off-camera racer who confirmed this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Saw an interview with the GOAT Greg Minaar and he sorted said there is no time or need to change which foot is forward --the corners in DH racing are not tight enough to worry about. His answer glanced off of some off-camera racer who confirmed this.
    Neko Mullaly said something similar about not dropping his outside foot much due to the turns typically not being tight enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Saw an interview with the GOAT Greg Minaar and he sorted said there is no time or need to change which foot is forward --the corners in DH racing are not tight enough to worry about. His answer glanced off of some off-camera racer who confirmed this.
    Totally agree it doesn't matter in turns that are not sharp and/or steep, but getting into the right habit of setup for those turns, as a beginner, will help the transition to corners which ARE steep and sharp enough to justify it. As I mention above, the awkwardness of being inside foot forward to me is SUPER amplified on steep sharp turns, which also is a common feature on more technically advanced trails. I know this is the beginners forum, but this is where it all starts. Why not set yourself up for success from the get go?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Saw an interview with the GOAT Greg Minaar and he sorted said there is no time or need to change which foot is forward --the corners in DH racing are not tight enough to worry about. His answer glanced off of some off-camera racer who confirmed this.
    I definitely see from that perspective that the goal is to do whatever is fastest and is the most efficient. Certainly moving in ways that aren't absolutely necessary will slow you down and reduce efficiency. But, there certainly are situations where you'll need to move a foot, or cases where you might lead into the next corner with a different foot than you lead with through the previous one, such as when you pedal out of one turn before you enter the other, but the timing of your pedal strokes resulted in a different foot forward. You want to be able to roll with what you've got. Being comfortable doing it however, I would argue, is still important. If you don't practice switching your leading foot, it won't help you to minimize the difference in comfort of turning your "strong" direction vs. your "weak" direction.

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    When things are getting real and a mistake might mean something bad will happen, my favorite foot finds it's way to the front with no concern for what is believed to be the proper technique. I came to this conclusion a long time ago and stopped practicing ambidexterity and just go with the position I am most confident in. Switching feet in rapidly transitioning s-curves does look cool though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zambo78 View Post
    Little off topic:
    I've also done many years snowboard, and i'm regular, but, in mtb, in straight sections with parallel foots, it's more natural for me the right foot in front...ahahaha really strange..
    Interesting, as I am the same as snowboard: Regular boarder and for MTBing more comfy with my left foot forward. I do make an effort to switch it up though when riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehayes View Post
    Interesting, as I am the same as snowboard: Regular boarder and for MTBing more comfy with my left foot forward. I do make an effort to switch it up though when riding.
    I am goofy snowboard/surfing (right foot fwd), but I definitely prefer left foot forward while riding neutral ground on MTB. This is really a weird relationship. I wonder what it is mentally that can trigger differing stance preferences between say a board sport and MTB?

    I typed in sports physiology study stance preference in surfing and the below study came up. I'm STOKED to read it, thank you OP for starting this thread. I'm a total medical journal geek and I've always wondered but never bothered to look for studies on this!

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6033504/
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    Hmm just read the abstract and it focuses more on strength training benefits on unstable issues. So probably not what I am looking for. The search continues!

    It is interesting though that the idea of core strength most probably has a factor in determine stance preference. Given that, you would assume that training the core and finding / strengthening the weaker elements may be way to equal out stance preference or at least performance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    When things are getting real and a mistake might mean something bad will happen, my favorite foot finds it's way to the front with no concern for what is believed to be the proper technique. I came to this conclusion a long time ago and stopped practicing ambidexterity and just go with the position I am most confident in. Switching feet in rapidly transitioning s-curves does look cool though.
    Yeah the only reason you should end up with the wrong foot forward is from pedaling. I've never had this issue riding DH. If it happens trail riding then cornering is the least of my worries. I think learning to drop or ride rock gardens ambidextrously would be more beneficial. I have occasionally hit drops with the wrong foot forward on slower tech trails but cornering hasn't been an issue.
    Last edited by jeremy3220; 1 Week Ago at 09:44 PM.

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    What applies to top racers doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else. Best practice, especially starting off, is to have the outside foot back. The less confident you are on a turn, the more important it is to have the option to drop the the outside heel. Plus, having the outside foot back allows better hip mobility in the direction you are turning. Most riders don't have elite level flexibility, and they a decent percentage of rider don't hinge very well in corners. Outside foot back also allows a rider to lean the bike more.

    Bottom line: outside foot back isn't always necessary, but it gives most rider their best chance of pulling off a corner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    What applies to top racers doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else. Best practice, especially starting off, is to have the outside foot back. The less confident you are on a turn, the more important it is to have the option to drop the the outside heel. Plus, having the outside foot back allows better hip mobility in the direction you are turning. Most riders don't have elite level flexibility, and they a decent percentage of rider don't hinge very well in corners. Outside foot back also allows a rider to lean the bike more.

    Bottom line: outside foot back isn't always necessary, but it gives most rider their best chance of pulling off a corner.
    Again, maybe I'm from pluto here, so take that into account.

    How does the outside foot back help you lean the bike more, or have better flexibility? With the outside foot back, your hips are already starting out pointing in the "wrong" direction for a turn so wouldn't that require more flexibility/movement than the outside foot forward, which seems harder (as it requires more movement)?

    It seems easier for people to start with their hips pointing into the direction of the turn, as it kind of forces the issue on hip direction/placement, and gives them one less thing to think about. At least how I've been thinking about it anyway.

    I agree its easier to drop from horizontal to vertical (outside down) with the outside foot starting out in the back. But I must admit, right now the rest of the statement has me confused, as I seem to experience the exact opposite of what you're describing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    What applies to top racers doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else. Best practice, especially starting off, is to have the outside foot back. The less confident you are on a turn, the more important it is to have the option to drop the the outside heel. Plus, having the outside foot back allows better hip mobility in the direction you are turning. Most riders don't have elite level flexibility, and they a decent percentage of rider don't hinge very well in corners. Outside foot back also allows a rider to lean the bike more.

    Bottom line: outside foot back isn't always necessary, but it gives most rider their best chance of pulling off a corner.
    Maybe. I think having level pedals with your favorite foot forward is the position from which you are most likely to successfully navigate most trail features. Having most of your weight on one pedal --like you see some folks do while cornering --is a position from which I cannot bunny hop, lift the front wheel up or lift the back wheel up. For this reason, I avoid dropping a pedal unless I am just trying to survive a super loose corner and want to have a foot out.

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    I think reading this thread is starting to confuse myself, kinda like if typed in a password or punched a door code every day for decades and someone asks you for the code and you have to stop and think what the actual code is since the motion for the pass code is so ingrained in muscle memory.

    I guess when I do hard turns on berms, my outside foot is down but slightly back. It feels more natural of a position and kinda pushing down on the back to keep the rear traction going. To me it makes sense 'cause if I had to lean really hard to a point I needed to drop my inside foot down, if I had it behind me, it's a lot more distance for that leg to travel ahead of my body so that I could plant it on the ground and roll the bike around. If you look at skiiers taking a hard turn, their outside leg is always slightly trailing behind them and their body position.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinimon View Post
    I think reading this thread is starting to confuse myself, kinda like if typed in a password or punched a door code every day for decades and someone asks you for the code and you have to stop and think what the actual code is since the motion for the pass code is so ingrained in muscle memory.

    I guess when I do hard turns on berms, my outside foot is down but slightly back. It feels more natural of a position and kinda pushing down on the back to keep the rear traction going. To me it makes sense 'cause if I had to lean really hard to a point I needed to drop my inside foot down, if I had it behind me, it's a lot more distance for that leg to travel ahead of my body so that I could plant it on the ground and roll the bike around. If you look at skiiers taking a hard turn, their outside leg is always slightly trailing behind them and their body position.

    Ha, I'm with you there on the second guessing bit. I'm flip flopping all over the place here atm. Sitting at my desk, and moving my feet back and forth leaning. I'm sure my co-workers all think this is totally normal...

    I think your statement about traction is the key though.

    The outside foot will almost always generate the most amount of traction, just because of physics in a turn.

    So if you're prioritizing rear traction (or pumping, or bunnyhopping, anything that wants you to preload the rear), I'd imagine outside foot trailing would be "best". To keep front end traction, I would guess that it would require more core/hip movement to get the front end weighted correctly as well, as you're starting from a (slightly) disadvantageous position.

    But if your objective is to weight the front tier as not to wash out (my current struggle), then outside foot front would seem to be the best option. It also seems like it "should" take the least amount of effort from a hip rotation/core movement perspective.

    Thoughts?

    For skiiers, I guess I think its different though? They're taking the load from their body weight all on the outside foot, so it has to stay centralish. And their lean angle is so severe, that they have to get the inside foot out of the way, so of course it comes up as they bend their hip/knee (going back would trail/drag, and be disastrous causing crashes I'd imagine).

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    Regardless of the situation for me, whenever the wrong foot is forward I feel like I'm going to crash.
    If you feel the same way you should swap your leading foot position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Ha, I'm with you there on the second guessing bit. I'm flip flopping all over the place here atm. Sitting at my desk, and moving my feet back and forth leaning. I'm sure my co-workers all think this is totally normal...
    lol, I was doing the same motions on my work chair trying to see what felt natural. My cowoker was asking if I had an itch. ha!

    I'm probably going to accidentally toe drag and wipe out on my next ride as I run this through my head going around a berm. ;P

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    .

    But if your objective is to weight the front tier as not to wash out (my current struggle), then outside foot front would seem to be the best option. It also seems like it "should" take the least amount of effort from a hip rotation/core movement perspective.
    Body position is more important than foot position for weighting the front. It's very easy to still have poor body position regardless of foot work. Keep your chest down, head over the stem and hinge at the hips (don't squat down or lean back). Pay attention to the pressure your hands put on the bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    I struggled with this early on but think about it more from a "front side" "backside" not Goofy versus regular in the context of surfing and snowboarding.

    If I'm turning to the left, if my right foot is forward, my hips will be rotated to the left. This gives you the feeling of being "frontside". If I am turning to the right, and my left foot is forward, once again hip rotation will be to the right and I will be "frontside".
    That's an interesting idea. I also snowboard so I know the sensation you're describing. When I'm on my bike though, regardless of which foot is forward my torso is facing more or less forward, so I don't feel that frontside versus backside turn difference like you do.

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    I did a ride today and actually paid attention to what my feet do. On the road, I do tend to switch feet and in the dirt, less so depending on how fast the corners are coming at me. I never put one pedal down ...always flat. Here's the crazy part ...I find my left foot forward nearly every time I stop pedalling. I believe somewhere in this thread I said, "...right foot forward...". I was left foot forward as a young punk skateboarder too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    That's an interesting idea. I also snowboard so I know the sensation you're describing. When I'm on my bike though, regardless of which foot is forward my torso is facing more or less forward, so I don't feel that frontside versus backside turn difference like you do.
    I think it a lot depends on the steepness of the trails your ride. My local loop has some seriously steep sections, like 30%+ DH with switchbacks and high speed turns. This is where this feeling gets most amplified.

    I think it is very analogous to surfing. If you're on a little wave without much shoulder or sidewall, eh hip rotation doesn't matter much. Now pump it up to 10' faces and steep / barrels? You will see everyone almost square hipwise to the face.

    Now on a bike your feet aren't "as" parallel to the hill ... except when you start considering what foot is forward in the context of a steep turn and the lean into the hill, then the analogy starts to become more relevant and IMO more impacting. I'm not saying riding switch in this case is a "bad" thing and with experience, I'm sure either way will feel "fine", but maybe the issue is more about what position are you more comfortable leaning your bike rather than foot forward?

    Above someone said outside foot back allows for more hip rotation... ummm ... the human body does not defy physics. You will always have an easier time turning your hip in the direction from your leading foot to your back foot. That's just straight up body mechanics 101.
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    Good thread.

    I have spent time descending and purposely changed feet to favour my weak side. Its a good skill to practise.

    I discovered that i usually end up in my stronger stance Only as it favours putting down the next burst of power.

    After doing this for awhile, it starts to become easier to stop pedalling in the weaker stance position.

    But just take these turns how you feel most comfortable.

    If your a beginner, as i am, Try this for fun.
    Inside the garage or other limited space, Make figure 8 turns while standing and going nice and slow. Pedal through each turn and see which side feels more comfortable. Work on making both directions feel equally comfortable.

    Practice in a hard gear and an easy gear. Learn to trail drag the brake. Learn how it helps to correct your line.

    After you get comfortable. Pay attention to entering the turns with feet one way and then try with feet the other way. You will quickly learn a preference. But also its good practice for when things need to be the other way.

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    I feel like just seeing a good rider on a serious descent makes it obvious why trying to pedal to switch back and forth between having your left and right foot forward doesn't make sense.


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    Wouldn't sweat the foot position detail much. Having feet level is how I take berms too, rather than weighting outside foot. I'm surprised that beginners use their lower body much at all. They tend to be all tensed up and focused on trying to find some passive position for the lower body, perhaps trying to soak up bumps a little, but using mostly upper body and weight shifts for technique.

    Need to expand footwork and such to be more active use of the lower body besides for pumping. If you aren't pumping, perhaps start there. Get in the habit of unweighting any short upslopes and weighting and all downslopes. Then start using the lower body to gain a connection to the ground through the bike, to feel what's going on and further refine adapting.

    In the end, berms are just you using inertia as gravity, and sort of taking a jump that is turned over to be on its side. Get the skill down for jumps and you can get the skill down for berms (and vice versa); no coincidence that they're found together. A trail builder good at making jumps likely is good at making nice berms too (see pump tracks, like the one at Whistler as an example).
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Hmm just read the abstract and it focuses more on strength training benefits on unstable issues. So probably not what I am looking for. The search continues!

    It is interesting though that the idea of core strength most probably has a factor in determine stance preference. Given that, you would assume that training the core and finding / strengthening the weaker elements may be way to equal out stance preference or at least performance.
    Good comment. I think your on to something there.

    I deal with back issues and find my biking has helped strengthen my core.

    I like to learn and enjoy biking alot. My wife and i were riding and she mentioned core strength. So as a challenge to myself i tried pedalling along on the trail (easy green) standing with one hand on the bar. Then i switched and did it with the other hand to compare sides. It wasnt as easy as you think but i was able to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Above someone said outside foot back allows for more hip rotation... ummm ... the human body does not defy physics. You will always have an easier time turning your hip in the direction from your leading foot to your back foot. That's just straight up body mechanics 101.
    Your trunk might want to turn in the direction of your front foot outside, but I don't think that's telling the whole story. Seems to me an inside back hip in particular is limited in it's ability to roll in the direction of the turn. With the back foot outside, the hip supporting the compressed leg/higher knee angle opens up.

    Do whatever works for you though.



    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post

    I think it is very analogous to surfing. If you're on a little wave without much shoulder or sidewall, eh hip rotation doesn't matter much. Now pump it up to 10' faces and steep / barrels? You will see everyone almost square hipwise to the face.
    Not sure how analogous surfing is as hip rotation etc is relative to heal/toe and fore/aft pressure. I don't think many skilled hp surfers would agree with you either... Generating speed through pumping (or even cutting back) in small waves is done best with a solid amount of hip/trunk rotation as opposed to just stomping out the fire. Going straight and fast in a barrel backside typically means grabbing rail and dragging front hand where there is typically a sh!tload of hip rotation. I see them as not having many similarities regardless of trail type etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Your trunk might want to turn in the direction of your front foot outside, but I don't think that's telling the whole story. Seems to me an inside back hip in particular is limited in it's ability to roll in the direction of the turn. With the back foot outside, the hip supporting the compressed leg/higher knee angle opens up.

    Do whatever works for you though.





    Not sure how analogous surfing is as hip rotation etc is relative to heal/toe and fore/aft pressure. I don't think many skilled hp surfers would agree with you either... Generating speed through pumping (or even cutting back) in small waves is done best with a solid amount of hip/trunk rotation as opposed to just stomping out the fire. Going straight and fast in a barrel backside typically means grabbing rail and dragging front hand where there is typically a sh!tload of hip rotation. I see them as not having many similarities regardless of trail type etc.
    Man, you and I see 0% same on this. I literally read your post and went, what? Case in point you can do it in your chair. Plant either foot forward, weight each foot in turn as you rotate away from each foot. The difference between turn and hip rotation both in degree and ease is noticeable with rotation from your front foot towards your back easier in every aspect.

    As for surfing, you used a backside argument. That's exactly my point. Backside is less than optimal on a large barrel and most surfers pro or amateur choose to surf frontside when given the option. They also score better frontside in contests and feel more comfortable.

    https://www.theinertia.com/surf/this...eir-frontside/
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Above someone said outside foot back allows for more hip rotation... ummm ... the human body does not defy physics. You will always have an easier time turning your hip in the direction from your leading foot to your back foot. That's just straight up body mechanics 101.
    You might be right when not accounting for a bike between your legs. Try it on the bike and lean the bike over as far as possible. Even with great mobility, the top tube or dropped saddle will interfere with your ability to lean the bike more with your front foot outboard on a turn.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Again, maybe I'm from pluto here, so take that into account.

    How does the outside foot back help you lean the bike more, or have better flexibility? With the outside foot back, your hips are already starting out pointing in the "wrong" direction for a turn so wouldn't that require more flexibility/movement than the outside foot forward, which seems harder (as it requires more movement)?

    It seems easier for people to start with their hips pointing into the direction of the turn, as it kind of forces the issue on hip direction/placement, and gives them one less thing to think about. At least how I've been thinking about it anyway.

    I agree its easier to drop from horizontal to vertical (outside down) with the outside foot starting out in the back. But I must admit, right now the rest of the statement has me confused, as I seem to experience the exact opposite of what you're describing.
    Outside foot back allows the bike to be leaned over more. Try it on the bike. Turning with front foot out will hit your top tube or saddle earlier. This doesn't come into play as much on berms because body angle and bike angle are going to be fairly similar.

    Foot position doesn't affect a person's level of flexibility, but it does affect their available range of motion because of the bike being in the way. People with better flexibility can make more stuff work than people who are tighter. And yes, hinging and pointing your hips in the direction of the turn is great. More = better most of the time.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    You might be right when not accounting for a bike between your legs. Try it on the bike and lean the bike over as far as possible. Even with great mobility, the top tube or dropped saddle will interfere with your ability to lean the bike more with your front foot outboard on a turn.
    I think that goes beyond OP's scenario, but it's absolutely true. Another good reason why a rider might want to change which foot is pointed forward in a turn. Wrapping the inside leg over the top tube in a turn definitely gives the rider the ability to swing their hips farther to the outside of the turn and lean the bike over much deeper. For me, though, and this probably points to a lack of hip flexibility, I pretty much have to start dropping the outside pedal to be able to do this. Not necessarily at a 6-and-12 o'clock position, but my inside knee does need to clear the top tube. Of course, the height of the top tube on a given frame is another factor here.

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    Turning with inside foot forward, and cranks level, the front tip of my shoes touch the ground if I'm riding hard enough. Bothered me, but never a big deal yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Man, you and I see 0% same on this. I literally read your post and went, what? Case in point you can do it in your chair. Plant either foot forward, weight each foot in turn as you rotate away from each foot. The difference between turn and hip rotation both in degree and ease is noticeable with rotation from your front foot towards your back easier in every aspect.

    As for surfing, you used a backside argument. That's exactly my point. Backside is less than optimal on a large barrel and most surfers pro or amateur choose to surf frontside when given the option. They also score better frontside in contests and feel more comfortable.

    https://www.theinertia.com/surf/this...eir-frontside/

    Leave it to the German's to do a study on what most surfers know... you can read the wave better frontside and hence better timing. If it was that much of a disadvantage you'd see backside WCT surfers getting smoked at point/direction specific waves. In general, they don't... and any slight disadvantage is not due the body mechanics you state. Most people turn a snowboard better on heal edge effectively turning towards their front foot. Beginners are a good example. Like I said, I don't feel the analogy fits.

    Back to bikes. Instead of a chair, hold a lunge both ways and twist both ways feeling range and control. Maybe it's just me, but I always feel that there is more range of motion and less effort turning towards my front foot, and my body wants to fall towards the front foot as if initiating a turn. In a dynamic situation where you're sucking up compressions etc and clocking pedals, I'd imagine this is magnified.

    But, like anything, do what works for you...

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Leave it to the German's to...
    Dammit!

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    Outside foot forward
    Last edited by Train Wreck; 5 Days Ago at 04:43 PM.
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    Came across this vid by Simon Lawton. Explains why my front sometimes wipe out on my on my weak side but now it's gonna take a bit of practice to rewrite decades of bad technique. Damn, guess more bike time. lol


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