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  1. #1
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    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?

    If you google "mtb attack position" and look up the images, you'll see a variety of standing positions, some with leveled off backs, some with arms almost straight down, some looking like they're hovering over a public toilet...

    If I were to choose one, I think this is the one I'd like:

    Name:  fundamentalsattack.gif
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    Looks like a nice A-frame is made with the arms and torso, well centered, with a lot of weight supported by the pedals. Doesn't look like much movement is needed to transition to a more comfortable standing pedaling position, or to the seated position (if he had a dropper post to extend the seat).

    I'd argue that the bars can be a bit higher and further out, else it might seem a bit cramped and the knee can bang into the controls. Would bring the rider's center of mass closer to being centered between the wheels too. Basically, apply the trend of forward geo.

    Basically, I'm wondering if current bike geo forces us into uncomfortable attack/ready positions. I recall a bike, the Foes Mixer, claiming to feature a "constant attack position", and that idea sort of stuck. What if the ready position were made natural through thoughtful geo? Going to think up how to set up experiments to investigate further.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
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    Looks like he's on too small of a frame and he's too upright.
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  3. #3
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    I think the right attack position can vary moment by moment.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Looks like he's on too small of a frame and he's too upright.
    Agree.

    This is basically what it looks like but every individual is different.

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-032e088b-fd77-47af-933f-bb3d2483e18a.jpeg

    As long as you are standing and allowing the bike to flow beneath you. Everything else comes natural.
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  5. #5
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    The ready/attack position isn't suppose to be comfortable. It is a position that you should only spend a very small fraction of your ride in. If you watch a good rider descending the vast majority of the time they are in the neutral position, they only switch to the ready position when they need to, and they are out of it as soon and as quickly as possible.

    The ready position isn't really a fixed position, it is more a continuum. The more stability you need the wider and lower you need to be.

    One point to be aware of is to really focus on hinging at the hips. Too many rides get low by bending their legs instead of hinging at the hips. When your legs are bent you do not have a lot room to absorb bumps.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    The ready/attack position isn't suppose to be comfortable. It is a position that you should only spend a very small fraction of your ride in. If you watch a good rider descending the vast majority of the time they are in the neutral position, they only switch to the ready position when they need to, and they are out of it as soon and as quickly as possible.

    The ready position isn't really a fixed position, it is more a continuum. The more stability you need the wider and lower you need to be.

    One point to be aware of is to really focus on hinging at the hips. Too many rides get low by bending their legs instead of hinging at the hips. When your legs are bent you do not have a lot room to absorb bumps.
    Agreed. I've always held that a good descent should be as exhausting as a good climb.
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  7. #7
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    Useless thread.

    There is no such "attack position" for standing still. tee hee

    I figure rider body position should be based on what they are attacking.


    This is probably a great thread for photos like these memes:

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-trpno.jpg

  8. #8
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    I think riding in the ready/attack position should be very comfortable. I need to have coffee in 1 hand while holding the bar with the other. I don't want to spill my coffee while on the trail.
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  9. #9
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    The correct comfortable attack position is subjective.

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-8b78b71d-1291-46ea-b9b8-82e912f22e4a.jpeg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    The ready/attack position isn't suppose to be comfortable. It is a position that you should only spend a very small fraction of your ride in. If you watch a good rider descending the vast majority of the time they are in the neutral position, they only switch to the ready position when they need to, and they are out of it as soon and as quickly as possible.

    The ready position isn't really a fixed position, it is more a continuum. The more stability you need the wider and lower you need to be.

    One point to be aware of is to really focus on hinging at the hips. Too many rides get low by bending their legs instead of hinging at the hips. When your legs are bent you do not have a lot room to absorb bumps.
    Depends on the sorts of rides you do, I guess. I frequently do rides where the downhill is several miles long, fast, and technical, and you've gotta hold a ready position for quite some time. "Comfortable" is relative, too. Holding the ready position takes a good bit of muscle engagement, especially in your core. The better you can engage your muscles for long stretches, the more "comfortable" it's going to be to hold a ready position on your bike. Those long, technical downhills are definitely exhausting. But I'd still say that a ready position on its own isn't inherently uncomfortable. Your bike should allow for it to be reasonably comfortable, and discomfort should come from the muscle engagement you're using to control the bike.

    You still need to have a slight bend to the knees. Yes, you need to hinge at the hips, but your legs need to be able to absorb hits towards your body as well as extend away from it. Think of it like the preload or sag on your bike's suspension. Same principle. You don't want your legs completely extended or your muscles excessively tensed, or you'll get bucked off.

    I do agree that body position is a continuum, and that the more stability you need, the lower and wider you need to be. No question there. Ninjichor is again demonstrating that he has a tendency to overthink and overcomplicate a subject. I also totally agree that the guy in his example pic is on a bike that's WAY too small (the potential for toe overlap is frightening), but he's also demonstrating a more neutral position that's more relaxed (less muscle engagement, so good to alternate with ready/attack to take a break when the trail allows for it) and gives you a better view down the trail.

  11. #11
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    I had the opportunity to ride Ray's Indoor MTB Park 2wice in the last 4 days. If you keep moving, you are always in the attack position. Stuff comes at you constantly. While it is not uncomfortable (at all - at least on my completely dialed 29er), the muscle engagement (<--there's that term again) required to "attack", adjust, pump, drop, flow, corner, and pedal all leads to fatigue and a breakdown of the correct attack form. It's a great workout. There is no trail in the world that packs that much stuff in such a small space (afaik), so it's great for dialing in a bike for some hard trail riding, while also dialing in your attack position. I'll be the first to admit that if your position is bad, or you are whipped, you will probably hit the deck at least once. ...or the wall, and then the deck.
    BTW - I'm starting to think I need a dropper. (say it isn't so!! )

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  12. #12
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    After examining multi-discipline top pros in action: Brandon Semenuk, Mitch Ropelato, Bernard Kerr, Brian Lopes, Chris Akrigg...

    I don't see a frequent pattern of the flat back position, besides when riders are performing an aero tuck. Plenty of resources at VitalMTB, including Rapidfire videos. One resource that seems to support the upright position is the G-out project photo shoots (example).

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    While modern DH riders tend to ride in the flat back position, it's generally more upright than you see in instructional material. Years ago the bikes were too small to ride without hunching.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    After examining multi-discipline top pros in action: Brandon Semenuk, Mitch Ropelato, Bernard Kerr, Brian Lopes, Chris Akrigg...

    I don't see a frequent pattern of the flat back position, besides when riders are performing an aero tuck. Plenty of resources at VitalMTB, including Rapidfire videos. One resource that seems to support the upright position is the G-out project photo shoots (example).
    just stop.

    you're not going to find piles of photos with people doing textbook perfect ready positions. you'll find a few, from skills instructors. But then you're going to find a metric assload of pictures of people at random moments during a ride. Many of those moments are going to look incredibly awkward, because the picture was snapped in the middle of a movement. And that's the thing. you will NEVER hold a single static position for any appreciable amount of time when you're riding. if you're not dynamic, always adjusting to the terrain and the bike, then you're crashing.

    Stop staring at google images and slideshows trying to learn about a single body position. Go ride.

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    Yeah, you can find pictures of riders in all sorts of different positions, it doesn't tell you anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    This is basically what it looks like but every individual is different.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This guys shoulders are a bit too low. Watch some recent UCI DH or EWS footage. Most riders will generally have their elbows at a wider angle and not as much bend in their neck except for brief moments (even in rough terrain).

  17. #17
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    I don't like how that guy's shoulders are way forward of his CoG. When shoulders are that forward, weight is inevitably going to be shifted to the bars, which compromises front end handling.

    I'd recommend the guy to raise his bar height a few inches.

    Heavy feet, light hands.

  18. #18
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    If there is no obstacle or corner to work on then I try to "pump the terrain" or rest some body parts or just do something for fun, so time spent in ready position would be close to none.
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  19. #19
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    Looks like he's about to attack a bunny-hop over a small log.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I don't like how that guy's shoulders are way forward of his CoG. When shoulders are that forward, weight is inevitably going to be shifted to the bars, which compromises front end handling.

    I'd recommend the guy to raise his bar height a few inches.

    Heavy feet, light hands.
    A "few inches?" Even an inch is a pretty huge change for any bike fit adjustment, imo. Assuming of course that the bike is properly sized and fitted reasonably well, which the one in the picture seems to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    you will NEVER hold a single static position for any appreciable amount of time when you're riding. if you're not dynamic, always adjusting to the terrain and the bike, then you're crashing.
    ^This x 1000. The attack position should be comfortable, but you're not going to be stuck in a text book attack position like a statue. Now, if you can't get comfortably get into the attack position it could be a good indicator that you've got some other issue going on like lack of core strength, poor hamstring flexibility, or a bike that doesn't fit well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    This guys shoulders are a bit too low. Watch some recent UCI DH or EWS footage. Most riders will generally have their elbows at a wider angle and not as much bend in their neck except for brief moments (even in rough terrain).
    Looks to me like that rider could use a bit more hinge at the hips and a flatter back. Hinging at the hips allows you to engage your core and flatten your back, which then allows you to bring your head up and look further down the trail without having to kink your neck so much because you're back is rounded and shoulders are dropped.

    When I find myself riding like crap, it's often because I'm not hinging at the hips. That poor position looks like a German Shepherd with but dropped, and back rounded. Should look more like you're doing a squat.
    No dig no whine

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    ^This x 1000. The attack position should be comfortable, but you're not going to be stuck in a text book attack position like a statue. Now, if you can't get comfortably get into the attack position it could be a good indicator that you've got some other issue going on like lack of core strength, poor hamstring flexibility, or a bike that doesn't fit well.
    Yes, but if we look at it that way what would we argue about?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Looks to me like that rider could use a bit more hinge at the hips and a flatter back. Hinging at the hips allows you to engage your core and flatten your back, which then allows you to bring your head up and look further down the trail without having to kink your neck so much because you're back is rounded and shoulders are dropped.

    When I find myself riding like crap, it's often because I'm not hinging at the hips. That poor position looks like a German Shepherd with but dropped, and back rounded. Should look more like you're doing a squat.
    Curious if you mean flatter back or straighter back. Flatter means parallel to the horizon, straighter means, well, straighter.
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  25. #25
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    I think it was Ned Overend who broke it down to the ability to weight and unweight the bike as to best move down the trail. The "attack" position is just means being in the best posture to be able to do that. Yes, you should be comfortable. No, there isn't a particular look. If anything has changed in the last couple of years it would be the addition of dropper posts. Now your attack position can be very close to your seated pedaling position.
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    I think the critics of the OP's photo have forgotten what 26ers were like... of course the handlebars would be higher with a 29er with 6" of travel.

    During "attack" is a great time not to be worrying about the fit of your bike and so if you "attack" things with yours it's good to give it that fit. Then find other hand positions or something to make it tolerable while pedaling. If you are normally grinding out miles then get that Jones bar.

  27. #27
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    BMX riders are always in an attack position on a little bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    BMX riders are always in an attack position on a little bike.
    Attack position varies depending on what you're attacking.

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-img_3011.jpg
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Curious if you mean flatter back or straighter back. Flatter means parallel to the horizon, straighter means, well, straighter.
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    I definitely did not mean more parallel to the horizon. While I don't disagree with the term "straighter", whether it's discussions of riding position or weight lifting seems like I've always heard the term flatter (as opposed to curved) used but don't recall anyone using the term straighter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Yes, but if we look at it that way what would we argue about?
    Well, we haven't had a good dropper post thread in a while.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Attack position varies depending on what you're attacking.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Already covered in post #9.

    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Well, we haven't had a good dropper post thread in a while.
    Iím sure we wonít be disappointed, give it a few days.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I think the critics of the OP's photo have forgotten what 26ers were like... of course the handlebars would be higher with a 29er with 6" of travel.
    Yep, posture will be affected by bike geometry. I also suspect that most professional riders weren't really taught to use attack position. Maybe someone mentioned it along the way but I doubt they spend much time thinking about their 'attack position' form. My background is freestyle bmx and when I started mtb I was using 'attack position' before I knew what attack position was.

  33. #33
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    I am generally suggesting that the bar height be closer to the rider's center of mass, the hips, when they are at a relatively comfortable position.

    I am also generally suggesting that the bars be far enough forward to create an "A-frame" between the back, shoulder, and arms. I also prefer the shoulders being back enough to be in-line with their center of mass. It would be more comfortable to do so, if they were more upright.

    It's like going from a horizontally stretched diamond, to a vertically stretched diamond shape, with the body position (hips, shoulder, hands, feet forming the 4 points).

    It's basically me opening up to forward geo, with a twist. For example, on my last ride, I didn't find my flow until late into the ride. I would like if finding flow were more "natural", which I believe is basically finding your specific bike's fore-aft sweet spot balance. I didn't find the flow/dialed balance until late, because I was following other newbies and was affected by all their mistakes, as I was being guided through a new trail. It wasn't until I came upon really tight twisties, where I struggling to stay on the trail at the speed the trail was trying to give me due to being slightly downsloped (with others watching)... after that part, I pretty much nailed everything, as I was in front of the now-exhausted newbies.

    That balance point, for the particular bike I was on, was quite a bit behind the saddle. I was spreading my knees so the wide rear of the saddle wouldn't be contacting my legs and distracting me, even in its fully dropped state, but such a position worked for the rest of the descent. I was able to lean the bike freely, switching from left to right with minimal resistance or disruption of balance, pumping the contours of the ground more liberally.

    I believe a longer front center would bring that fore-aft sweet spot forward, so I wouldn't need to be so far back. Don't want to lengthen the FC too much... just enough to make it "ready position" more natural. Perhaps so natural that the bike geometry sort of forces you into it. That's where saddle and bar position come into play...

    Experimenting with geo, that takes rider center-of-mass into consideration, so that both the standing and sitting position can be tuned to make it so simple that you just have to think it to do it. Just stand, detach from the bike, and you're already in the sweet spot to pump and carve, letting the bike pitch up and down freely below you.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Yep, posture will be affected by bike geometry. I also suspect that most professional riders weren't really taught to use attack position. Maybe someone mentioned it along the way but I doubt they spend much time thinking about their 'attack position' form. My background is freestyle bmx and when I started mtb I was using 'attack position' before I knew what attack position was.
    Yep, coming from a motocross background the attack position was like second nature to me. Stand up and let the bike flow beneath you on any descent. Itís amazing what our second suspension [your legs] can absorb up.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I am generally suggesting...
    Who are you to be making your silly suggestions? Are you a pro racer with a strong background at high level competition? Are you a trained instructor with years of experience coaching thousands of riders and observing riding techniques and helping people do better? Are you a biomechanics scientist specializing in bicycles, specifically mtb?

    You aren't any of those things. You just think too much and yammer too much (which, I know, is rich coming from me...but seriously).

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I definitely did not mean more parallel to the horizon. While I don't disagree with the term "straighter", whether it's discussions of riding position or weight lifting seems like I've always heard the term flatter (as opposed to curved) used but don't recall anyone using the term straighter.
    Thanks. That's what I thought. Just enough room for confusion between the two words that I thought I'd ask.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Who are you to be making your silly suggestions? Are you a pro racer with a strong background at high level competition? Are you a trained instructor with years of experience coaching thousands of riders and observing riding techniques and helping people do better? Are you a biomechanics scientist specializing in bicycles, specifically mtb?

    You aren't any of those things. You just think too much and yammer too much (which, I know, is rich coming from me...but seriously).
    Why am I making suggestions here? Because I don't claim such titles of expertise. I'm trying to bounce the ideas off of people who do have qualifications. Is there something wrong with those less experienced, coming to those with more experience for feedback?


    Why are you using your qualifications to attack me, rather than the idea? That's the difference between being arrogant and being civil. If you are any of those, why not just discuss the idea?

    Also, what's wrong with thinking too much? Are you implying that it's better if people thought less? I believe that think because I have a drive for progress. I'm opening myself up to being exposed to other perspectives. I didn't know MX had geo so figured out, and people bringing up how things changed from 26 to 29 in regards to bar height was interesting way to see things. MX handlebar heights are actually much higher than even I'm suggesting...


    I'm thankful that everyone's been helpful, except for you. Do you have some sort of personal grudge? If so, you wanna work it out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Why am I making suggestions here? Because I don't claim such titles. I'm trying to bounce the ideas off of people who do have qualifications. Is there something wrong with those less experienced, coming to those with more experience for feedback?


    Why are you using your qualifications to attack me, rather than the idea? That's the difference between being arrogant and being civil. If you are any of those, why not just discuss the idea?

    Also, what's wrong with thinking too much? Are you implying that it's better if people thought less? I believe that think because I have a drive for progress.
    The problem is that you're getting mired in tiny details rather than the "big picture". I've been trying to get you to take a step back from that mire, not attacking you per se. I've just had to get a bit forceful about it to get your attention.

    The ready position isn't going to look exactly the same for everybody, and you're trying to figure that out. It's just not going to happen. Everybody has slightly different body proportions. Everybody has different strength, fitness, stamina, and flexibility. Lots of people have different bikes with different geometries, and they ride different trails. So there are going to be infinite tiny variations in what that position looks like when you look at "textbook" demonstrations of the position or photographs from someone riding that show a single instant. There is no such thing as a "perfect" ready/attack position. What there is, is a ready position that works.

    The ready position that works is dynamic and it sets you up for what comes next down the trail. By definition, it's a stable and centered position. But exactly what that looks like depends on what the trail is doing beneath you, and the geometry of the bike. It's not something you think your way through analytically, and that's where you're getting mired in detail. You have to FEEL that position. You have to be dynamic and loose on the bike AS YOU RIDE. When you practice, you want to make sure you feel what "wrong" is, and be able to return to what feels "right" and be able to find those limits. So that when you're on the trail riding at full speed, you can adapt to the changes in the trail without undue analytic thinking. Excessive analytic thinking on the trail is going to result in your reaction time being slowed too much. You need to work on REDUCING that by feeling what works and what doesn't in practice scenarios (aka sessioning stuff), developing muscle memory, and making quick adjustments on a more subconscious level.

  39. #39
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    This thread is bringing me the lulz

    Some days, I do miss Karate Chicken

    Plenty of examples for attack position here:
    https://youtu.be/2YlEY5FNh3U
    baker

  40. #40
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    Wow! Talk about over analyzing.

    There is no such thing as one picture perfect attack position. Riders come in all different shapes and sizes, bikes as well. So many variables. Donít worry about what you look like, worry more about getting your bike to fit your body properly. From there you can adjust the set up based on your style and preference.

    As an ex pro, one thing I can tell you is every rider has his own preference. I had teammates that were the same size as me, yet I found their set up almost impossible to ride. What works for one may not work for another... itís all preference.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I am generally suggesting that the bar height be closer to the rider's center of mass, the hips, when they are at a relatively comfortable position.
    I think you are right on point with everything you've put in this thread. Fleas post about Rays Indoor supports your statements. As several others have typed here, it is a continuum and most of us don't hold one position very long. Lately I've been trying to stand and stay off the saddle more (as added exercise to my rides) so am spending time in that attack/ready position. I do like my bars higher nowadays than I use to keep them, and that helps with being comfortable while standing.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    The thread's topic is about whether or not the ready position *should* be comfortable or not. The question, what the ready position should look like, was just to get visualization. The "textbook" photos from skills coaches were just used as a convenient way to visualize. Even the pic in the first post, came from a skill coaching site.

    The big picture is being discussed: does current bike geo dictate such positions on the rider?

    A helpful contributor shared a picture showing a young rider in a ready position to take on non-level terrain, which is a very welcome visualization.

    I'm personally looking at the bike setup in the pictures, in relation to the position. The grip position in relation to the rider is another detail I'm paying close attention to. Someone mentioned that grip height should always be below the fully extended saddle height, but with seat angles changing, I'm thinking more in the lines of tuning things to the standing position.

    I was watching best of followcamfriday recently, enjoying all the different perspectives and how riders tackle the varied terrain. Kind of imagined that I looked like the rider at 1:40 on my last ride:

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-ajfybhs.jpg

    I can't get my ass behind the saddle like that, without certain risks, with my knees bent that much, so I'm glad I have a dropper.

    I'd like my ready position to be more comfortable. It takes more energy than I'd like to purposely get my weight back, and sort of hold it there. I mentioned "toilet bowl hover", and I actually would welcome that compared to my "hanging off the back" position, for my bike in particular. I'd like to save some of that energy, and I think the holy grail is what DJ mentioned with just being in the natural position by just standing up. I have the opportunity to experiment with this, since I'm in the geo finalization stage of creating a custom FS frame.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The thread's topic is about whether or not the ready position *should* be comfortable or not. The question, what the ready position should look like, was just to get visualization. The "textbook" photos from skills coaches were just used as a convenient way to visualize. Even the pic in the first post, came from a skill coaching site.

    The big picture is being discussed: does current bike geo dictate such positions on the rider?

    A helpful contributor shared a picture showing a young rider in a ready position to take on non-level terrain, which is a very welcome visualization.

    I'm personally looking at the bike setup in the pictures, in relation to the position. The grip position in relation to the rider is another detail I'm paying close attention to. Someone mentioned that grip height should always be below the fully extended saddle height, but with seat angles changing, I'm thinking more in the lines of tuning things to the standing position.

    I was watching best of followcamfriday recently, enjoying all the different perspectives and how riders tackle the varied terrain. Kind of imagined that I looked like the rider at 1:40 on my last ride:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't get my ass behind the saddle like that, without certain risks, with my knees bent that much, so I'm glad I have a dropper.

    I'd like my ready position to be more comfortable. It takes more energy than I'd like to purposely get my weight back, and sort of hold it there. I mentioned "toilet bowl hover", and that's actually how it feels for me, for my bike in particular. I'd like to save some of that energy, and I think the holy grail is what DJ mentioned with just being in the natural position by just standing up. I have the opportunity to experiment with this, since I'm in the geo finalization stage of creating a custom FS frame.
    As Harold said, you don't ride in attack position so your focus on it being comfortable is probably wasted energy. You should be constantly adjusting your position according to trail and it's features and get in attack position only for a fraction of time before actually "attacking" a feature/piece of trail.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    .. Stand up and let the bike flow beneath you on any descent. Itís amazing what our second suspension [your legs] can absorb up.
    Right on.

    The proper attack position is one that allow the bike to move under you while you are still in complete control. You are not fighting the bike and the bike is not fighting you. Both are loose and fluid and NOT static. Let your arms move and legs move. Your core should be relatively stable to the ground, but this not something you "force", but is a result of letting the bike move, but maintaining control. When you are stiff and not fluid the bike moves and your try fight back and things go awry. When you are fluild you can let the bike move and also as needed weight the front rear or side to side in a natural way. You are not actually forcing the bike but guiding it. I don't do trials, but I strongly suspect the best of these guys don't "force" the bike either. They guild the bike as an extension of themselves while always being loose and relaxed enough let the bike move.

    The idea of knees and elbow bent is really just to ensure you lets the bike move. Straight knees and elbows transmit all the movement of the bike to your core impacting your balance. Bent elbows and knees allow that movement to be absorbed. Dropper seat posts just allow greater range body position relative to the bike so you can let it move more under you. As for comfort it should never hurt, but does take energy as bent elbows and needs require muscle strength to hold your body in position. Think of push ups and where you elbows are and squats with your knees. In both cases straight elbow/knees take less effort than bent, but also you can't absorb anything with straight joints.
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    @nya If the "attack position" is a level back (nearly parallel to horizon) position for charging fast and hard, I wouldn't mind if I would never have to get in that position, except for racing.

    If the ready position simply is one in which you can corner, jump, drop, manual, wheelie, nose-pivot, bunnyhop, and plow chunk from, then you're often in it. Switching back and forth to the ready position, from the seated or standing pedaling position or idle position, is energy expenditure that I'm figure can be minimized through geo.

    I'm not ruling out the possibility that it's viable to design a bike in which the seated and standing pedaling and idle position are all one and the same as the ready position. What if it were a plain position, such as just sitting up or standing up? Can simply just detach from the bike once terrain comes. Sure would beat trying to shift weight back, from an already behind-the-saddle position on a descent. I had a crash since I couldn't shift back any more when I rolled up on a long boulder, and its backside was downsloped into a drop, instead of a roller, and the front wheel just immediately dived.

    I'm getting the idea that one reason why I crouch into such a position when my bike is pitched forward downhill, is because my grips are too far and low, which limits how much vertical springing motion I have the freedom to use. Good fit should allow plenty of freedom of movement, right? If geo dictates this position, I'm up for tweaking geo to make it dictate a more comfortable one.

  46. #46
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    Question:
    If the topic is meant to be "Is the READY position meant to be comfortable", then we have more questions.

    Ready for what?
    If I am going to hit a technical downhill and riding a flat area in case there is an unexpected hill, I think I'd be pretty uncomfortable.
    If I am ready to a bunny hop but climbing a hill, that sounds pretty uncomfortable too.
    I think you get the idea. It's just hard to understand the suggested body position when there is no 'one riding condition' that one's body position on any given bike is adequate for. My old 26" hard tail warrants a different body position than my 29'er full suspension than it does for my 27.5+ hard tail. While yes the basics are there, there is still no 'one position fits all".

    I seem to do alright and I'm not in position for any one particular thing. I evaluate the trail condition a few feet ahead. I'm at the obstacle too soon to have become uncomfortable.



    Next question:
    Are you (OP) trying to learn techniques or is this meant as a discussion?
    I'm not sure how seriously to be taking the thread.

    In a nutshell to answer the original question -yes my attack position is comfortable for whatever I am preparing to attack. But to say I am riding around "ready", then I can't personally answer that.

  47. #47
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    I would say if you are not riding over an obstacle/corner/etc (trail feature) you should be in more of a neutral position than attack that one should be comfortable. Attack position to me is a position from which I can do most of bike handling, but I will go into that position only for a fraction of a second just before doing some kind of maneuver and all in one fluid movement so as I said you don't necessarily ride in it, it is just a "meta position ".
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    If the ready position simply is one in which you can corner, jump, drop, manual, wheelie, nose-pivot, bunnyhop, and plow chunk from, then you're often in it. Switching back and forth to the ready position, from the seated or standing pedaling position or idle position, is energy expenditure that I'm figure can be minimized through geo.

    I'm not ruling out the possibility that it's possible to design a bike in which the seated and standing pedaling and idle position are all one and the same as the ready position. Can simply just detach from the bike once terrain comes. Sure would beat trying to shift weight back, from an already behind-the-saddle position on a descent.
    It doesn't work this way.

    Are you TRYING to reduce the range-of-motion available to a rider? That's counterproductive, as it limits the rider's ability to adjust to the terrain. Riding technical terrain and moving your body the way it needs to move is GOING to be exhausting. It just is. The way you minimize how much it affects you is not to limit the movement, but rather to TRAIN for the movement. Get stronger. Build fitness.

    I think you need to work on your actual bike handling skills rather than trying to do whatever it is you're doing here. The crashes you describe most likely had very little to do with the bike and more to do with what you brought to the table.

  49. #49
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    @Harold You say get stronger and build fitness, but you have a finite amount of energy and time. You have to choose what to split your training focus to. Heck, training is so specific that the effort you spent training pedaling in the saddle on a 73d seat angle bike, doesn't transfer 100% completely over to a bike with a 76d seat angle and vice versa.

    Rhetorical question: can you pedal comfortably while in your attack or ready position? The answer is expected to depend on how much effort and time you spend practicing/training this. You get more comfortable the better trained you are, yes, but why are bikes putting you into a position you are not trained to hold?

    Can all the different positions become consolidated so the time you spend training is all from a central point: standing pedaling, seated pedaling, ready position, idle coasting, and whatever else? How about make slight motions so much more effective, so you need less movement overall to successfully negotiate the terrain.

    I theorize that it can be done balancing the fore-aft balance of the bike, through adjusting the front center and rear center ratio, bringing the seated position forward to match the standing position, and locating the grips to a point that balances out where the hips are and puts the shoulders to a point over the forefoot. Take it further and also tune the bike's center of mass to better match the rider's, in terms of fore and aft location.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Can all the different positions become consolidated so the time you spend training is all from a central point: standing pedaling, seated pedaling, ready position, idle coasting, and whatever else? How about make slight motions so much more effective, so you need less movement overall to successfully negotiate the terrain.

    I theorize that it can be done balancing the fore-aft balance of the bike, through adjusting the front center and rear center ratio, bringing the seated position forward to match the standing position, and locating the grips to a point that balances out where the hips are and puts the shoulders to a point over the forefoot. Take it further and also tune the bike's center of mass to better match the rider's, in terms of fore and aft location.
    It cannot be done without sacrificing a lot of capability. Old geo was closer to this. But those bikes were endo prone and no margin for error before you would wreck. Watch old "downhill" vids sometime. Lots and lots of people barely hanging on for life and lots of them eating it. On what would nowadays be a relatively uninteresting gravel road or trail.

    New geo requires more body movement for many things, but gives a much bigger margin of error. They are not as endo prone as old geo bikes. All because the rider is between the wheels rather than on top of them (especially the front wheel). They also enable the rider to do much more with the bike, if they just practice with it and learn the ins and outs of the bike and how it handles.

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  51. #51
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    This sounds like a thesis topic..."Maintaining optimum cycling efficiency by minimizing body position changes during the discipline of mountain biking" (while trying to have fun and not fall off of your bike due to said optimal positioning)
    baker

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    Some how I managed to ride many different bikes over the course of better than five decades without knowing the front to rear "ratio" or being fixed into a rigid "attack" position. Riding a bike, especially in the dirt is a very fluid activity and body position by necessity is fluid as well. Stop over thinking all of the bullet points from the "experts" latest pod cast (whatever that is) and go ride your bike like you haven't a worry in the world.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post

    Rhetorical question: can you pedal comfortably while in your attack or ready position?

    I can cut through the rhetoric with a simple observation. A seated position is very efficient because the bike holds your body weight. The attack position works because the bike is free to move around under the rider. Energy can be added by the rider manipulating how their weight is loading and unloading into the bike ( children understand this young when they learn how to "pump" a swing on the playground). Sure you can pedal while standing or give input to the bike from the saddle, but the overlap is pretty small.
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    @Harold I'm essentially predicting where I believe modern forward geo is going to settle, rather than suggesting reverting to old geo that sacrifices capability. I'm just adding grip location to the equation, and visualizing a rider's position.

    Can have modern forward geo "perfecting" fit and handling, but there's still open variables: the wheelbase, travel, bb height, and mechanical trail (affected by fork offset and head angle), on top of the chassis stiffness, parts spec and weight.

    How steep of a seat angle is too steep? How much reach is too much? How much stack is too tall? How slack of a head angle is too slack? What's the ideal chainstay length?

    STA will go as far as putting the saddle right under your butt in your standing pedaling position.

    Since the STA is steepened, the head tube needs to be pushed forward and raised/lengthened to maintain a comfortable distance from the new saddle position.

    Reach is determined from the above, but don't be afraid that you can't get behind the saddle and have your butt buzzed by the rear tire, as the saddle is forward a proportional amount that the reach was brought forward (approx 12mm per degree steeper STA). The wheel buzz will be less likely, fortunately.

    Stack will need to rise, to match a higher saddle height, due to the steepened STA. Don't be afraid of a 650mm+ stack.

    Head angles will be more about bump response, considering steering response can be tuned with fork offset. 62d seems to be an angle that puts telescopic forks at a decent compromise to reduce amount of impact force being translated as harshness.

    There's no single ideal chainstay length. It needs to be a length that balances out the front center, according to the rider's positioning. Shouldn't design around a certain chainstay length and build 3+ sizes around it, as all but 1 size will be compromised.

    People will choose wheelbase, travel, bb height, and mech trail to match their trails and riding style. 1150mm or shorter for tight twisty wooded stuff, and general flat lander terrain. 1300mm for big mountain high speed riding, maybe Mont Saint Anne WC DH style. 1225mm for foothills, small mountains, moderate elevations, canyons, and rugged backcountry. Less travel for a lot of stop-and-go acceleration, long travel for high speed momentum preserving. High BB height for rock crawling neglected jeep trails, and low BB for groomed flowy trails. Short mech trail for direct sensitive steering and long mech trail for light touch, straight lining stability.

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-p5pb15393823.jpg

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    @Harold I'm essentially predicting where I believe modern forward geo is going to settle, rather than suggesting reverting to old geo that sacrifices capability. I'm just adding grip location to the equation, and visualizing a rider's position.

    Can have modern forward geo "perfecting" fit and handling, but the opens variables are the wheelbase, travel, bb height, and mechanical trail (affected by fork offset and head angle), on top of the chassis stiffness, parts spec and weight.

    How steep of a seat angle is too steep? How much reach is too much? How much stack is too tall? How slack of a head angle is too slack? What's the ideal chainstay length?

    STA will go as far as putting the saddle right under your butt in your standing pedaling position.

    Since the STA is steepened, the head tube needs to be pushed forward and raised/lengthened to maintain a comfortable distance from the new saddle position.

    Reach is determined from the above, but don't be afraid that you can't get behind the saddle and have your butt buzzed by the rear tire, as the saddle is forward a proportional amount that the reach was brought forward (approx 12mm per degree steeper STA). The wheel buzz will be less likely, fortunately.

    Stack will need to rise, to match a higher saddle height, due to the steepened STA. Don't be afraid of a 650mm+ stack.

    There's no single ideal chainstay length. It needs to be a length that balances out the front center, according to the rider's positioning. Shouldn't design around a certain chainstay length and build 3+ sizes around it, as all but 1 size will be compromised.

    People will choose wheelbase, travel, bb height, and mech trail to match their trails and riding style. 1150mm or shorter for tight twisty wooded stuff, and general flat lander terrain. 1300mm for big mountain high speed riding, maybe Mont Saint Anne WC DH style. 1225mm for foothills, small mountains, moderate elevations, canyons, and rugged backcountry. Less travel for a lot of stop-and-go acceleration, long travel for high speed momentum preserving. High BB height for rock crawling neglected jeep trails, and low BB for groomed flowy trails. Short mech trail for direct sensitive steering and long mech trail for light touch, straight lining stability.




    It's little wonder that you struggle since you seem to spend so much precious time analyzing bikes instead of riding them. Just sayin.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Some how I managed to ride many different bikes over the course of better than five decades without knowing the front to rear "ratio" or being fixed into a rigid "attack" position. Riding a bike, especially in the dirt is a very fluid activity and body position by necessity is fluid as well. Stop over thinking all of the bullet points from the "experts" latest pod cast (whatever that is) and go ride your bike like you haven't a worry in the world.
    Listen bud, this isn't about experience, success, or having fun on your bike. This is serious internet analysis. We need STA's, wattage numbers, ratios, positional analysis and chainstay lengths. Here is a good place to start your research if you would like to participate effectively in this conversation

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786204/

    ;-)
    baker

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    I am perplexed.

    How is it that you can write such detailed bicycle geometry-specific information and not grasp that there is no one body position for all situations. You just said how one would need to make adjustments to one dimension if another dimension is altered. Isn't that enough to convince yourself that there is no one right answer?

    I think the thread went off topic from the beginning because of poor word selection. This entire thread has been back and forth about body position for attack. Attack for every situation is different from another.

    Regardless of geometry/design, a rider will not be able to ride as aggressively over a given challenge if body position is adjusted to another trail obstacle.

    I totally understand that your desire is to design a bicycle that allows a comfortable standing position that is suitable for all trail scenarios.

    I do not mean any disrespect -but from what I am READING I am led to believe you do not have a lot of trail experience and are disappointed in how active the rider position needs to be. With that said, it certainly sounds like you have a lot of bicycle knowledge indicating you have logged a lot of miles.

    To sum it up, the thread conversation sounds like information that is spewed out from a college student that has all the problems solved after reading a book, but with no experience in practice.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    Listen bud, this isn't about experience, success, or having fun on your bike. This is serious internet analysis. We need STA's, wattage numbers, ratios, positional analysis and chainstay lengths. Here is a good place to start your research if you would like to participate effectively in this conversation

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786204/

    ;-)
    Interesting. This study was basically trying to find the precise reason why steeper seat angles were more efficient, through examining the differences in muscle recruitment.

    It mentions this study as if it were conclusive that the 80d STA was more efficient than 68 and 74: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9293416

    It also mentioned a few other studies that that were inconclusive in finding out why steeper STA angles were more efficient, which could only suggest that the timing of muscle recruitment could be a factor, such as later activation of the knee extensors, further into the predominant power generating phase.

    *shrug* if anyone still caught on this micro detail, here it is from the experts. How it fits into discovering bike geo that possibly allows for a comfortable ready position...

  59. #59
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    Duke Ellington was once asked about how you can tell if music is good or not.


    "If it sounds good, it is good."


    It might be a waste of a life to to try to quantify every detail of this life. I'm going to pour a glass of wine and go check out Mikesee's thread again. That guy is getting it right.
    Last edited by MOJO K; 1 Week Ago at 03:16 AM.
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  60. #60
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    if you want to know how to ride, study him...

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...anny+macaskill

  61. #61
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    That Danny guy seems to be cycling in a most inefficient manner. He should probably do some research before his next video clip.

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  62. #62
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    @ninjichor. Youíre exhausting. Lol. Itís a bike.... nothing more.

    Turn off the noise.

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    ninja - do yourself a favor and take a fundamentals course from an ICP certified instructor. They will show you positioning and explain them.

    Ready position is just that; the position from which you are ready to tackle the terrain in front of you. There is an exaggerated ready position that is very low, used to get you used to bending your knees, getting your elbows out (rather than back) and finding your balance. But in reality, on the trail, you will be not quite so exaggerated and you will modify the positioning to suit the terrain and maneuver you're about to encounter. Remember, ready means READY to ride things. You may be in a tall ready position or a very low one. You may be forward or back. And you may be moving your bike from side to side. It all depends on what you are about to ride over.

    No, there is no one position. No, there is no "just standing up off the seat"; you need to stand and find your balance and proper position for what's to come.

    Ready position is as much a ready mental state as a body position, too.

    Is it comfortable? Mostly. And the more you practice it, the better, more natural and more comfortable it will feel to you. But extended downhill or technical sections will be uncomfortable from fatigue, as has been mentioned.

    And unless you are riding level, smooth paths, you'll be in the ready position far more than neutral - a more relaxed position. (Sorry LMN - the reason pro riders look like they're in a neutral position is practice, practice, practice! But they are in the ready position for far, far more time than a neutral position.)

    Again, do yourself a favor, ninja. Find a fundamentals class and take it. And then move to intermediate skills, where you can put more of it to practice.

    Check this link and find certified instructors near you and when their next course is: https://icp.bike/membership-account-2/directory/ Take one. You will not get better debating the minutiae of positioning here, where you have a pretty broad range of riders with knowledge that ranges from formal instruction to "well, that didn't kill me so it must be right". Take the course!

  64. #64
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    It just dawned on me that someone is now back under a different username and talking the same smack.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    It just dawned on me that someone is now back under a different username and talking the same smack.
    So what you're saying is that this thread is quickly going to be swirling down the toilet?

  66. #66
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    The wonder of engineering is that when it works, no one thinks about it, but when it doesn't work (as expected), there's an urge to come up with a solution, showing just how strong your engineering skills are. xD

    With bikes constantly changing, I'm wondering if the exhaustion of change is just making people bitter.

    I understand that humans can adapt, but in this case adapting the product to better fit humans is also an option. It's a super complicated option that requires great knowledge, but I want to create something that doesn't yet exist. A comfortable, naturally intuitive ready position is one feature... the promise is to feel the flow all the time, rather than mid-ride, after a "trigger" on the trail reminds you.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The wonder of engineering is that when it works, no one thinks about it, but when it doesn't work, there's an urge to come up with a solution, showing just how strong your engineering skills are. xD

    With bikes constantly changing, I'm wondering if the exhaustion of change is just making people bitter.
    No. It means engineers do not have the answer to everything. Engineers exhaust me more than anyone else, and I am more analytical than most as it is. Some things just cannot be engineered-away (at least in a general understanding sense).

    Riding a bicycle is something that engineers STILL don't have complete grasp of from a mathematical standpoint. But yet, the human brain is able to intuit how to make it work in fairly short order. When it comes to riding skills, there are some generalities that apply, but the nitty gritty details are something that each rider has to intuit for themselves. It takes practice for that to happen (more for some than for others).

    Just go outside with your bike and practice your intuition and try to put your analytical nature into a box for later.

    And yes, consider taking a skills course. ICP isn't the only certification program, though. There are others (PMBIA is the other major one, but there are still other, smaller programs). Many instructors are even cross-certified. Sometimes with USA Cycling certification (which is more fitness-based than skills-based), too. ANY certified, experienced skills instructor will be able to put you on a better track to improve your skills and understand what you're doing. But you're still going to have to put your engineer analytical self on a shelf during the course, and truly listen to what they're trying to teach you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I understand that humans can adapt, but in this case adapting the product to better fit humans is also an option. It's a super complicated option that requires great knowledge, but I want to create something that doesn't yet exist.
    MTBR isn't going to be the place for any of that discussion to happen. You're going to need to enlist the assistance of someone who is an expert in the biomechanics of riding mountain bikes, to start with. You're going to need to stop yapping, and start building some prototypes to see if your ideas are going to work at all. It's actually GOOD and USEFUL for the rider to move about above their bike. I cannot envision a scenario on a mountain bike where I would want to minimize the body movement required to negotiate technical terrain. The result I see of an attempt to do this would be a bike that is less capable than what's available now (especially if we admit that mtb's now are better and more capable than they have ever been).

    Sure, there are all sorts of weird niche bikes that have come and gone on the market. Many of them have had some pretty bold claims. The early marketing for this thing was pretty hilarious, with bold claims it was just as capable as a "standard geometry" upright bike. You can probably find a few threads about it on mtbr if you dig enough. None of those ideas have really taken hold. Think about how truly long the bicycle has had the same basic form. It has kept that form because it works. All the changes we whine about on mtbr are really just minor details if you look at the big picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    In a nutshell to answer the original question -yes my attack position is comfortable for whatever I am preparing to attack. But to say I am riding around "ready", then I can't personally answer that.
    This.

    Personally, I ride mainly in the "lazy" position.
    But overall, when you're faced with some technical challenges on trails, there is definitely a range of positions you want to work within on approach. It's more of an overall state than a defined set of parameters, but there's not THAT much variation for general trail riding between how you begin to address most techncial challenges. The same general concept works on all sorts of terrain.

    A couple from the archives that I think demonstrate a solid 'attack position'.


    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-bs5683.jpg

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-bs5103.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The wonder of engineering is that when it works, no one thinks about it, but when it doesn't work (as expected), there's an urge to come up with a solution, showing just how strong your engineering skills are. xD

    With bikes constantly changing, I'm wondering if the exhaustion of change is just making people bitter.

    I understand that humans can adapt, but in this case adapting the product to better fit humans is also an option. It's a super complicated option that requires great knowledge, but I want to create something that doesn't yet exist. A comfortable, naturally intuitive ready position is one feature... the promise is to feel the flow all the time, rather than mid-ride, after a "trigger" on the trail reminds you.
    All of you are really challenging my attention span...

    Engineering is often just about managing your compromises. Sure, you collect data, and you do all the math, but for any engineer to say "I thought of everything" would be idiotic. The first time you "optimize" your design, someone will choose to use it for an unintended purpose. All that math goes out the window.

    This is why bikes look like they do.
    This is also why 99.99% of people have no desire to borrow my bike.

    If you want to experiment with a neutral (or whatever) attack position, start in zero gravity or under water, with no bicycle.

    -F
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Why are you using your qualifications to attack me.
    He's not attacking you.



























    He's in the "ready" position!
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    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-man-riding-bicycle-playing-violin-funny-picture.jpg
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    @Harold Interesting "thing"... the BB is essentially centered between the wheels.

    What you guys call "dynamic movement/position", I call "hunting for the balance sweet spot", or "compensating for the bike's weight bias".

    Shorter folks who have much shorter limbs and torso have much more limited range of movement. I've identified the problem that short folk face as size 15-17" (sm-med) being compromised with super short front centers (FC), in relation to the chainstay length (RC/rear center). I've learned from owning various bikes--every time I've gone up to a longer travel bike, it's improved my riding, due to the FC getting longer through a slacker HA and longer fork. For example, I didn't have to make as large of an effort to negotiate drops. I could just sort of sit in the bike's sweet spot and *push the bike forward* off the drop--a great contrast to all the guys saying *pull back*, to avoid the front wheel from diving hard. My taller riding buddies brag that they do the same stuff on less travel, but I'd argue that their FC has a similar ratio to their RC as my bike, and I think that's what matters most when it comes to intuitively riding well.

    If bike geo dictates where a rider should shift their center-of-mass to maintain good balance [and find flow], why not adjust the geo so the bike balances out and flows when the rider is merely standing up? That's as comfortable as a ready position as I can imagine. Rather than saying the rider's movement is being minimized, I'm saying that the riding would be simplified. Marketing will say capable, effortless, and/or confidence inspiring, but I hate the go-fast race-inspired marketing. I just want a bike that is safe and allows me to enjoy the camaraderie of riding together, without tragedy.

    I tried finding my flow on the trails today and I only found it when I was going at a moderate speed (10-15 mph), on a very slight decline on a trail that encouraged pumping, that kept this up for about 2 minutes. On the other parts of the trail, I was often just "hunting" and finding ways to maintain balance through trial-and-error and intuition. I've probably put my foot down at least a dozen times from the errors and learning process... I was pushing away from by bars on uphill switchbacks, I was trying to find ways to save energy and ride more efficiently, but I never really felt settled and comfortable.

    I'm putting my theories into a prototype, but have to rely on a custom frame builder who works with steel..I know my buddies would balk at anything that weighs as much as the bike I'm getting done, which probably would be 33+ lbs, and I'm not confident to rely on conjecture that it'll be stronger (4130 cro-mo 34.9mm 1.1x0.9x1.1 downtube, 31.6 top tube. 38.1mm tubing in 1.2mm straight gauge only), as I'm not a engineer with material science knowledge. I imagine mainstream buyers want something far lighter. The main thing I'm doing is modeling a rider on the bike as a system and making the bike ride well with rider's center of gravity (CG) in mind. The placement of the CG point seems to not have any industry standard. I've seen it placed over the BB in some cases, or slightly in front, but I'm placing it according to a standing rider (and moving the seat forward to have the seated CG match, in my case resulting in a 81d STA). On current slack SA bikes, I notice that I have to shift my hips back and hover my ass over where the saddle would be, to get decent traction on my rear wheel when climbing out of the saddle, for example--if I just got out of the saddle, leaned forward, and just hammered, I would expect to hear power being wasted into making the rear tire throw dirt. The geo is tuned for a CG that is too far back, IMO. I want the CG point at the center point between the wheels/axles, preferably making the center point line up with the rider's forefoot and shoulder.

    Should the attack/ready position be comfortable? What should it look like?-h7aqruk.png
    - one of the earlier prototype drafts. Comfortable rider ready position will line up with the diamond (shoulders at the top point).

    P.S. if you measure the SB150 (Med), Fezzari La Sal Peak (L), Ripmo (L), and other "top bikes" and you'll find they'll all have the center point between the wheels at the forefoot (measure pixels between the rear/front axle to pedal threads of forward-set crank, using a selection box in image program)

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I don't like this picture...

    ..only as if that were me in it, that would be heading for a horrific faceplant of epic proportions
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    @Harold Interesting "thing"... the BB is essentially centered between the wheels.

    What you guys call "dynamic movement/position", I call "hunting for the balance sweet spot", or "compensating for the bike's weight bias".

    ...........
    You keep contradicting yourself dude.
    Thanks for keeping us entertained though.
    Can't wait to see what Wednesday brings us.

    : popcorn:

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    What you guys call "dynamic movement/position", I call "hunting for the balance sweet spot", or "compensating for the bike's weight bias".

    It's this desire to keep the weight balanced in one place between the wheels that has me lost. Turn that long slack bike up a really steep punchy climb and what happens the the balance then?
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    Reminds of a trail ride where I caught up to a rider on a descent who was in the "MTB Action ready/attack position" standing on the pedals. I was basically sitting on my dropped saddle, unweighting it when needed.

    Jesus, he was slow.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlx john View Post
    Reminds of a trail ride where I caught up to a rider on a descent who was in the "MTB Action ready/attack position" standing on the pedals. I was basically sitting on my dropped saddle, unweighting it when needed.

    Jesus, he was slow.
    Just because the other rider was working on that ideal position does not automatically make them fast. He was prob using his brakes and was a less confident rider. So what? Doesn't invalidate anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I don't like this picture...

    ..only as if that were me in it, that would be heading for a horrific faceplant of epic proportions
    The transition IS a bit abrupt.
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    My bad, I forgot that
    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    this isn't about experience, success, or having fun on your bike. This is serious internet analysis. We need STA's, wattage numbers, ratios, positional analysis and chainstay lengths.

    ;-)
    It was anecdotal, not invalidation. My comments are usually meaningless and unimportant, much like this thread.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    It's this desire to keep the weight balanced in one place between the wheels that has me lost. Turn that long slack bike up a really steep punchy climb and what happens the the balance then?
    +1

    The OP's comments on "finding my flow on the trails today and I only found it when I was going at a moderate speed (10-15 mph), on a very slight decline on a trail that encouraged pumping, that kept this up for about 2 minutes." Has me thinking that they have not been exposed to a lot of different terrain - making their view of the MTB world somewhat limited. ???

    Riders find flow even in NE rockfests at 4 mph. It has more to do with conserving momentum by weighting/unweighting wheels, shifting weight fore/aft, sneaking in a pedal stroke between the derailleur-killer rocks, cornering with some kind of "correct" (I use this term very loosely) form... and a lot of that comes from simply "seeing" the trail the right way. While the bike can make a difference at a basic level, it's really not the bike.

    When the obstacles are far apart, the attack position - the getting-ready-for-the-next-obstacle position - can last an eternity. When the obstacles are literally stacked on top of eachother, that continuum of adjustments to the terrain means that you are never "in" the attack position. The attack position might be a reference position where the rider is neither fore, aft, up, or down, but they pass through it 10X in a minute as the bike needs to be allowed to move around beneath the rider. And maybe that is what the OP is getting at - the fact that if you really have good bike-body separation, that maybe the body can be somewhat static while the bike does all its crazy-ness. I tend to disagree with that theory - even with long limbs, and even when I've ridden with 5" of travel.

    -F
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post

    Riders find flow even in NE rockfests at 4 mph. It has more to do with conserving momentum by weighting/unweighting wheels, shifting weight fore/aft, sneaking in a pedal stroke...

    I've always told people that there is no flow here in CT, but if it's done right, there is a rhythm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    I've always told people that there is no flow here in CT, but if it's done right, there is a rhythm.
    I think that before "flow trails" those two words were synonymous. I still tend to consider them as synonymous, even though lots of new riders ONLY think of "flow trails" as having flow. Even the early IMBA trailbuilding literature (from 15+yrs ago or so) seemed to use them synonymously. One issue in particular that I recall brought up in the book was how to avoid ABRUPT changes in flow (or rhythm) and how to smooth transitions between a fast section and something that might be really slow and technical and twisty.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    I've always told people that there is no flow here in CT, but if it's done right, there is a rhythm.
    potato
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    -F
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    And maybe that is what the OP is getting at - the fact that if you really have good bike-body separation, that maybe the body can be somewhat static while the bike does all its crazy-ness. I tend to disagree with that theory - even with long limbs, and even when I've ridden with 5" of travel.

    -F
    Maybe that's what OP wants, but I agree with you that it doesn't really work that way. It sounds much like how you'd ride a road bike - where the trail doesn't do much underneath you. Sure, you stand up on a road bike, but your body position doesn't vary nearly as much as on a mtb.

    The more the trail varies, the more the mtb rider needs to move their body. Ride over a boulder field and you HAVE to use a lot of body english and use explosive movements to get the bike to roll over the stuff. Ride over smooth, level, straight pavement and you don't have to do much.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I think that before "flow trails" those two words were synonymous. I still tend to consider them as synonymous, even though lots of new riders ONLY think of "flow trails" as having flow. Even the early IMBA trailbuilding literature (from 15+yrs ago or so) seemed to use them synonymously. One issue in particular that I recall brought up in the book was how to avoid ABRUPT changes in flow (or rhythm) and how to smooth transitions between a fast section and something that might be really slow and technical and twisty.
    I guess the difference here is that there are whole trail systems here are made up of nothing but ABRUPT changes. It's due to the fact that so many of them were designed as hiking trails navigating through a landscape of exposed ledge. There really is no flow. But, still, with enough skill and fitness you could ride hit after hit after hit and move through the woods. Locally they were called "X-Stuntry " trails

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugIlixr2pnI
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    Just put Trumbull on next season's 'must ride' list.
    Does that first trail have a name? I might be in love.
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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    The transition IS a bit abrupt.
    Was your username derived from that transition?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Was your username derived from that transition?
    HAH! No, but it sure could've been! Well, that one and a thousand others, not to mention learning to ride during the 'huck to flat' ages.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    I guess the difference here is that there are whole trail systems here are made up of nothing but ABRUPT changes. It's due to the fact that so many of them were designed as hiking trails navigating through a landscape of exposed ledge. There really is no flow. But, still, with enough skill and fitness you could ride hit after hit after hit and move through the woods. Locally they were called "X-Stuntry " trails

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugIlixr2pnI
    I think you missed my point. You're definitely using "flow" and "rhythm" in different ways. I'm saying that in the past, they seem to have been used interchangeably, and I still do. By "abrupt changes in flow" I'm talking about things like a super fast downhill that suddenly ends in an extremely sharp corner. If the landscape dictates a sharp corner, then you use trail design to slow riders down and prepare them for that sharp corner. Say, start with some gradual curves and maybe some uphill undulations before the sharp curve to get riders slowing down more gradually without needing to mash onto their brakes.

    The sharp transitions from really fast to slow/tech are probably the worst, since they encourage hard mashing on the brakes, promote skidding, overshooting the corner, and crashing. Sharp transitions from slow to fast are less of an issue, because all you need to do is just pedal. But if the trail is bidirectional, the transitions should be smooth either direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    +1
    The attack position might be a reference position where the rider is neither fore, aft, up, or down, but they pass through it 10X in a minute as the bike needs to be allowed to move around beneath the rider.

    -F
    Again I agree with Fleas. On techy trail (where 4mph is making good time) I may be moving around the bike a lot compared to a flowy section when I'm more of a 'staying put' as the bike moves under me. When I ride the Flow trails in my area I get real attached to the feeling of piloting the bike as the trail comes at me. I drop smoothly into berms and feel like I'm lifted out of the corner. Then I start thinking about the joy of tight/twisty/roots/rocks and how I enjoy "making time" on them. That's when it is time for the Oleta River trails and a whole different kind of flow.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    Some of you got it. When I find flow, I find my body's center-of-mass sort of assumes a position that's centered between the tire contact points with the ground, if you draw a perpendicular line down. I can just sort of let the bike pitch up and down underneath me, and I'm not fighting myself when I turn (e.g. tense arms), able to just point the bike where I want it to go.

    When I'm "hunting", moving around to find a balance, it's often based on getting the weight bias just right. Need enough weight on the rear to avoid spinning out, when out of the saddle. I find that the bike's geo has plenty of weight on the front, so I rarely wash out on corners, unless I take a line through loose dirt or force traction to break with my brakes or a sudden weight shift.

    My suggestions are a "what if". What if people stressed over the rear center and front center ratio, to demand it from the bicycle makers. If you make the FC too long, compared to the RC, the front would be squirrely. There were cases where this was mentioned by the media, which summed it up as "maybe the chainstays are too short". Too many bikes I've ridden have too short of a FC--fine if you want a cruiser where you can sit in a relaxed seated position and defensively react to technical stuff, getting weight super far back, rather than trying to link all the technical features of a trail together in a flamboyant and confident manner ("attack mode"?).

    I'm going custom since there aren't any bikes that get it in size small and medium. Most bikes have it dialed in size large. Riders who typically get XL have to go short travel to find the "magic ratio". People between sizes often feel better on one bike over the other... sometimes its due to the ETT being just right and they feel comfy in the saddle, other times its due to them finding "balance" out of the saddle that makes the bike handle more intuitively.

    I don't feel flow if I'm having to excessively use the brakes in sort of a stop-and-go style of riding. If I'm just modulating the brakes to maintain a natural feeling speed, or to give me just a slight bit more time to react to what's coming up, that's okay.

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    There are two different generations of 'flow' it seems.

    The new-school version is one where the trail hands it to you, all packaged up on a platter, and all you have to do is show up.

    The old school version is one where the rider creates it through their own skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    There are two different generations of 'flow' it seems.

    The new-school version is one where the trail hands it to you, all packaged up on a platter, and all you have to do is show up.

    The old school version is one where the rider creates it through their own skills.
    Yes. I want to introduce the Flow-finder XS, for us shorties. This wondrous invention will revolutionize MTB, making you able to ride like how you see your taller buddies ride, without resorting to a 30+ lb 6+" travel FS enduro rig.

    All it will take is the industry, including us riders, figuring out that maybe demanding a 420mm reach and 68d head angle (or steeper) and adjusting the CS length to be as short as possible, with 29er wheels, is actually creating bikes that suck at finding flow. Just because it's slack for a XC bike, doesn't mean you should settle with a crappy compromise. "It's modern, and better than before". "XC bikes shouldn't be any slacker, else they'd be slow as trail bikes." F'ing stupid BS...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Some of you got it. When I find flow, I find my body's center-of-mass sort of assumes a position that's centered between the tire contact points with the ground, if you draw a perpendicular line down. I can just sort of let the bike pitch up and down underneath me, and I'm not fighting myself when I turn (e.g. tense arms), able to just point the bike where I want it to go.

    When I'm "hunting", moving around to find a balance, it's often based on getting the weight bias just right. Need enough weight on the rear to avoid spinning out, when out of the saddle. I find that the bike's geo has plenty of weight on the front, so I rarely wash out on corners, unless I take a line through loose dirt or force traction to break with my brakes or a sudden weight shift.

    My suggestions are a "what if". What if people stressed over the rear center and front center ratio, to demand it from the bicycle makers. If you make the FC too long, compared to the RC, the front would be squirrely. There were cases where this was mentioned by the media, which summed it up as "maybe the chainstays are too short". Too many bikes I've ridden have too short of a FC--fine if you want a cruiser where you can sit in a relaxed seated position and defensively react to technical stuff, getting weight super far back, rather than trying to link all the technical features of a trail together in a flamboyant and confident manner ("attack mode"?).

    I'm going custom since there aren't any bikes that get it in size small and medium. Most bikes have it dialed in size large. Riders who typically get XL have to go short travel to find the "magic ratio". People between sizes often feel better on one bike over the other... sometimes its due to the ETT being just right and they feel comfy in the saddle, other times its due to them finding "balance" out of the saddle that makes the bike handle more intuitively.

    I don't feel flow if I'm having to excessively use the brakes in sort of a stop-and-go style of riding. If I'm just modulating the brakes to maintain a natural feeling speed, or to give me just a slight bit more time to react to what's coming up, that's okay.
    I can't wait to see the videos of this. I figure they'll feature prominently on PB's Friday Fails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Yes. I want to introduce the Flow-finder XS, for us shorties. This wondrous invention will revolutionize MTB, making you able to ride like how you see your taller buddies ride, without resorting to a 30+ lb 6+" travel FS enduro rig.
    I know a lot of shorties and they have great flow on their current bikes, could it be you and not the bike?
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  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by nya View Post
    I know a lot of shorties and they have great flow on their current bikes, could it be you and not the bike?
    I bet they'd flow easier on a better designed bike. Why settle with a status quo?

    Take the same frame engineering, and apply it to a bike that gets the proportions between the rear center and front center dialed in better...

    My estimated sweet spot proportions*, that get the rider well centered without needing to hang far off the back or need to purposely weight the front:
    415mm CS to 1130-1175 wheelbase (Canfield Riot/Toir S/M)
    420 CS to 1150-1195 wheelbase (Honzo M, Jekyll 27.5 M, Spider 275c M)
    425 CS to 1170-1220 wheelbase (Process 157 29 M/L, Esker Elkat M/L, 5010 L)
    430 CS to 1190-1240 wheelbase (Offering M/L, Spartan 29 L, Tallboy/Blur XL, Bronson/Nomad L)
    435 CS to 1210-1260 wheelbase (SB150 M, SB130 L, SB45c XL, Ripmo L, Instinct XL, Fezzari La Sal Peak L)
    440 CS to 1230-1285 wheelbase (Ransom 900 L, Rip9 XL)
    445 CS to 1250-1310 wheelbase (?? My proto?)
    450 CS to 1270-1340 wheelbase (Nicolai G1 S/M)

    *WB length varies due to suspension travel shortening the front and lengthening the rear, considering the HA and axle path. The longer the WB, the less precise the RC and FC ratio needs to be, since the sweet spot is wider. Conventional 100mm bike w/steep HA would work for the low end, and a 180mm bike with slack HA and relatively high rear pivot (rearward axle path) would work well with the high end.

    Downsize from the sizes suggested for these example models, and you'll likely need to hang your butt off the back to feel balanced and flow. Upsize, and you'll likely need to purposely weight the front, else it'd feel squirrelly.

    Demand proportions, rather than shop geo figures like a checklist. All the super short CS bikes I've had, had a common symptom of the rear wheels and tires getting punished extremely hard. You can dictate seated fit with ETT and ensuring your BB-to-saddle length works with the bike, but the builder can fit that in and design the bike for ride handling by varying the other #s. 490mm reach and 650mm stack shouldn't scare someone used to a 590mm ETT, as such numbers make sense with a 81d SA (which also shouldn't be scary), when all the numbers are combined.

  97. #97
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I bet they'd flow easier on a better designed bike. Why settle with a status quo?
    And I bet they wouldn't or if there would be a difference, it would be so minuscule that it is not worth the troubles.
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Yes. I want to introduce the Flow-finder XS, for us shorties. This wondrous invention will revolutionize MTB, making you able to ride like how you see your taller buddies ride, without resorting to a 30+ lb 6+" travel FS enduro rig.

    All it will take is the industry, including us riders, figuring out that maybe demanding a 420mm reach and 68d head angle (or steeper) and adjusting the CS length to be as short as possible, with 29er wheels, is actually creating bikes that suck at finding flow. Just because it's slack for a XC bike, doesn't mean you should settle with a crappy compromise. "It's modern, and better than before". "XC bikes shouldn't be any slacker, else they'd be slow as trail bikes." F'ing stupid BS...
    Meh...I don't really find the bike specifics to be all that critical. Once you're adjusted to whatever you happen to be riding, the rest just happens.
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  99. #99
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You're definitely using "flow" and "rhythm" in different ways. I'm saying that in the past, they seem to have been used interchangeably, and I still do.

    I understand the words are sometimes used synonymously and I had thought it was an assumption made about my comments. I only wanted to explain that the can describe contrasting riding experiences that are very different, but equally favorable. FWIW, X-stuntry riding is all about moving around on the bike and manipulating the balance front to back.

    I think I still have the IMBA texts on the end of my bench somewhere.


    All good.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Meh...I don't really find the bike specifics to be all that critical. Once you're adjusted to whatever you happen to be riding, the rest just happens.
    Yup, the sweet spot is feet on the pedals, hands on the bars, rubber side down, and working your ass off while having a blast.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

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