Body Position: The secret to confident riding


A slightly retro photo demonstrating the attack position.

Ok so it’s not much of a secret to those of us who have been riding for a while however once the trail gets a bit rough I have seen many an experienced rider go rigid and hug the saddle (usually just before they get a face full of dirt). This is why, no matter how long you have been riding, it’s always good to go back to basics every now and then.

When talking about body position during the article, it is in a mountain bike cross country context however the fundamentals will make you a more confident rider in any discipline you ride. So even if you only ride on the drops and never see any dirt read on, it might just get you a bit quicker on the road.

Your default position on the bike should be the attack position. This will allow the bike to move under you whilst giving you a stable platform to ride across whatever terrain you may encounter and is the difference between a passenger and a rider!

The Attack Position Dissected:

Blue: Look Ahead!

This is possibly the most important thing to remember when riding your bike.

By looking two bike lengths ahead it will give you the chance to react to obstacles and ensure you’re in the right gear selection. Remeber look at the trail or road NOT the obstacle! In most cases your bike will go in the direction you look. If you look at the big rock that’s where your heading.

Green: Use Your Bodies Suspension!

The joy of the Attack Position is that it gives you control of the bike whilst also allowing it to move underneath you. You want your arms and legs to be almost straight with just a very slight bend in them (this will stop you from locking your arms and legs out which is like turning your suspension off). Now when you hit those drops and obstacles your body will soak up that initial hit meaning you can hit them faster whilst staying in control.

On the subject of legs, it is important to note that you should not hug the saddle with your legs. This will throw you off balance if your bike slides or bumps off course. Instead keep a gap so that the bike can move underneath you.

Orange: Distribution of Body Weight!

Try and keep your body weight over the bottom bracket. By keeping your body weight centred it will provide you with grip on both the front and rear end of the bike. When it comes to moving around on the bike pivot from the hips to shift weight back for steep descents and to unweight the front end. once you have ridden an obstacle return to the attack position!

Go Ride!

There you have it, a very brief over view of an essential bike handling skill. By becoming familiar with the attack position any rider can progress to more advance bike handling skills.

So all that is left to say is go ride, enjoy and practice!

Hopefully this blog helped remind you of your cycling basics or taught you a few tricks for smoother riding however if you want a bit more information on the subject or some cycling coaching then please feel free to contact us at tscycling@outlook.com!!


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