Dragging your foot - Don't do it!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Dragging your foot - Don't do it!

    This is more of a complaint but it is also good advice for any rider.

    I was on a big Turkey Day ride. My group, some of who I hadn't ridden with but the ones I have are great riders, were making a long fireroad descent. I decided to go last because I was the only one on a hardtail.

    I quickly realized that I was faster than the slow group, despite their rear suspension and my lack thereof. One guy clipped out on every corner and dragged his foot on every fast turn.

    I was finally able to pass midway on a short climb, but after I got held up by the next set of riders, he passed me when I took a blind corner too hot and went off the road for a moment. The next turn he proceeds to put his foot down again, except this time he hooks it into a large branch that was on the inside of the turn.

    He kicked the branch into my path, but I was able to swerve around it barely.

    My advice to beginners is not to put your foot down on fast corners. It slows you down and put yourself and others at risk. Keep in mind this isn't Klunkers. Disc brakes and even modern rim brakes slow you adequately to take every turn safely.

    And if you think you are emulating motocross by putting your foot down, keep in mind two things: in motocross, they position the leg forward to weighing down the front end in turns, not to prevent them for falling; and MX riders have calf-high boots to prevent ankle breaks.

    I made every turn without my feet touching the ground. I weighed my front end, counter-steered, and I leaned more with my body than my bike to maximize traction.

    I will put my foot out on slow speed switchbacks, but it is more of a panacea than a real technique. I can make most switchbacks by executing good technique, not planting my foot.

  2. #2
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    Putting your foot down is stupid dangerous and will mess up your shoes and cleats.
    I'm baffled when I see people do it...

  3. #3
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    A couple months ago a friend and I rode on a group ride and a guy on that ride would do this. Around any friggin turn he'd kick his foot out like he was motocrossing or something.

    We started calling him "Captain Nitro" and you'll see us kick out our feet every once in a while - uphill, on the road, etc, and immediately everyone in the group yells "CAPTAAAINNNNN NIITRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
    :wq

  4. #4
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    If you are actually dragging your foot, yeah, that is kind of pointless and dangerous, but dropping an inside foot (not dragging) it pretty useful in some situations. It's got nothing to do with slowing down or using it to catch yourself, more with where your weight is, and how you lean the bike. That said, if you are doing it on every turn, something is off. It is something I do not do very often, but it is a technique in my quiver.

  5. #5
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    I can understand what you say if it relates to bermed corners but does your advice extend to an off camber or loose gravel corner?

    I find when riding at speed down a firetrail or road surfaced in gravel I hang my foot out (not drag) on some of the tighter corners. Maybe its just a hangover from my motocross days but I find it helps me, even if its all in my mind.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomit
    Oh, Ned is just a poser.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swaussie
    I can understand what you say if it relates to bermed corners but does your advice extend to an off camber or loose gravel corner?

    I find when riding at speed down a firetrail or road surfaced in gravel I hang my foot out (not drag) on some of the tighter corners. Maybe its just a hangover from my motocross days but I find it helps me, even if its all in my mind.
    That's a good question. Plus I got a good laugh from Ned's cover photo.

    Looking at that pic, he can no longer support his weight with his feet, which also means he can no longer reposition his body, whether it is a lean into a turn or to put weight back. Plus it looks like his sac is being crushed.

    I looked at one of my favorite cornering vids, the test event before 2008 WC DH championship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3zW648ok-U

    I watched the medalists all take a big sweeping turn, and two of them put their foot down.

    They were also drifting their rear wheels on a corner they were taking at 40mph, which is not exactly a beginner technique or a beginner speed.

  9. #9
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    Hi,

    Just read this thread and wanted to add my 2p.

    There are two techniques being described above, but I believe getting confused.

    The first mention is dragging a foot through a corner, aka skateboarding.

    The second is having your foot as low and in as possible without touching, aka out rigging.

    They are two seperate techniques for different circumstances, if used the wrong way around can causes exactly the above described crash.

    Out rigging is an advanced tech, it lowers your centre of gravity and help dig the side tread of a tyre into the ground. This is used for high speed cornering and when you need that extra bit of grip.

    Scateboarding is a beginners bad habit that has it's uses, and everyone does it, just the more experienced are less prone to admit it. This increases your balance and enables a bit more stability at low speed. It is a bad technique and should be avoided, I just wish I could stop doing it!!!!

    Outrigging is great and will give you a traction boost when riding. The key part it is puts more weight on the side of your tyre (the bit with the big treads on). If your foot touches the ground, the weight will be lifted of the tyre with a drastic reduction in traction. This can either be used if you have the skill, but normally will increase the chances of a crash.

  10. #10
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    Hi,

    Just read this thread and wanted to add my 2p.

    There are two techniques being described above, but I believe getting confused.

    The first mention is dragging a foot through a corner, aka skateboarding.

    The second is having your foot as low and in as possible without touching, aka out rigging.

    They are two seperate techniques for different circumstances, if used the wrong way around can causes exactly the above described crash.

    Out rigging is an advanced tech, it lowers your centre of gravity and help dig the side tread of a tyre into the ground. This is used for high speed cornering and when you need that extra bit of grip.

    Scateboarding is a beginners bad habit that has it's uses, and everyone does it, just the more experienced are less prone to admit it. This increases your balance and enables a bit more stability at low speed. It is a bad technique and should be avoided, I just wish I could stop doing it!!!!

    Outrigging is great and will give you a traction boost when riding. The key part it is puts more weight on the side of your tyre (the bit with the big treads on). If your foot touches the ground, the weight will be lifted of the tyre with a drastic reduction in traction. This can either be used if you have the skill, but normally will increase the chances of a crash.
    Good distinction.

    I must say, though, that I don't think I have EVERY intentionally "skateboarded", and I can't ever remember doing it unintentionally, either, even as a beginner. If I have, it has been many, many years. It sounds pretty sketchy. I sometimes "dab" in a tech section, but I don't think that is what you are talking about.

  11. #11
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    I generally put my inside foot out on loose corners, ive washed out one too many times and at least with the foot out i can attempt to save myself instead of washing out and slamming hard. Also it does allow for a better weight transfer for the side knobs of the tire to hook up better.

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