ZEP'S How-To: Mythbusters and How to Learn

Jan 20, 2015
by Paul Howard  
This is part of a new series of riding tips from ZEP Mountain Bike Camps where we will discuss some of the "classic" techniques we often see and hear in the industry that, simply put, can often hinder more than they help. These articles are intended for any rider interested in learning some core techniques to progress their skills, as well as for instructors/coaches who are looking to improve the quality and consistency of their lessons. The "myths" and topics we'll be taking a look at include;

BRAKING THROUGH DOWNHILL CORNERS
ELBOWS & CLIMBING TECHNICAL TERRAIN
BODY POSITION FOR RIDING DOWNHILL
SPEED CONTROL ON STEEPS & ROCK ROLLS
TECHNIQUES FOR FLAT VS. BERMED CORNERS
JUMPING PART I: MYTHS VS. FACTS
JUMPING PART II: THE 3 COMPONENTS OF AIR

ZEP Techniques

But first, let’s take a look at why these "myths" exist in the first place...

Mountain biking is still a relatively young sport, so when people first started trying to write "how to” articles (or teach people), they naturally looked at techniques from the early days of mountain biking and also from other sports... like road biking. From there these myths have simply been regurgitated over the years, often resulting in a confusing message. The point is, some techniques in mountain biking haven’t always come from the most reliable, experienced resources, thereby creating “myths” in common riding technique. And unfortunately, this still happens in the industry today.

The other reason of course, is evolution. It's a natural part of any growing sport. As bikes, equipment and trails change, so do riding techniques. In this progression, some things don't evolve as quickly as they should do, resulting in some techniques from "back in the day" still bouncing around today and causing havoc!

One of our goals through our camps, clinics and instructor training at ZEP, has always been to not only improve the standards of teaching within the sport, but to also help bring consistency within the teaching so we can hopefully reduce the amount of conflicting information out there. Ultimately, we’re trying to make the sport easier and safer to learn, and this is what this series is all about… finding ways to have more fun on the bike, from proven, reliable, up-to-date information you can trust. Let's continue by taking a further look at why these myths exist and how we can change our approach to learning (and teaching), to improve your chances of success.

MYTHS FROM TEACHING “WRONG & RIGHT” RATHER THAN “CAUSE & EFFECTS"
There is a ton of professional research out there on the effects of positive learning, in a huge variety of different teaching and learning applications. People of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels, generally learn and perform best in a fun, positive environment. It is strange then that some instructors tend to teach techniques with a “right” vs “wrong” mantra. This naturally produces a negative learning environment since the only way to assess and improve a student is to find out what they are doing "wrong", so it can be "corrected".

credit www.timhailwoodphotography.com

Instead of this, try to think of skills and techniques as “tools"; and like any tool, it can be used in a variety of different situations.

In some situations a tool might work really well and in others, less so. Every tool will have a list of advantages and disadvantages and from understanding these, a rider can then make a better (more educated) decision of when to use what technique, and why. Both instructor and student gain a better understanding of the relationship between the cause and effect of each, particular technique, making the learning environment far more effective (and fun!). Some simple examples can be used to help gain a better appreciation of this "Cause & Effect" relationship. I've chosen the following example as we've seen many riders (and instructors) in recent times who have been told they can NEVER drop their outside pedal. Let's take a look and figure it out...

PEDAL POSITION IN FLAT CORNERS
Technique 1: Drop the outside pedal

PROS
- Can help riders lean the bike more underneath them, allowing them to turn the bike more, aiding traction and stability
- Can make it easier for a rider to "push" down into the bike, aiding traction
- Can help riders move their hips laterally, keeping their body more on top of the bike for better stability

CONS
- Can cause riders to get "stuck" in one position through a corner, making it more difficult to adjust during the corner
- Transfers most of the riders weight to one leg. One leg is not as strong as two.
- Trying to drop the outside pedal between corners that link quickly can cause riders to lose traction, stability and flow

Steve Peat always corners with perfect style and it s no surprise Josh does the same.

If dropping the pedal is good enough for these fellas, it's good enough for the rest of us!


Technique 2: Keep the pedals level.

PROS
- Can help riders deal better with bumps and changes in the corner, since they are sharing their weight between both legs
- Can help some riders have more adjustability through the corner with moving and leaning the bike
- It's usually easier to pump the bike (for traction and speed in the corner) for most riders, when the pedals are level

CONS
- Some riders can find it difficult to "push" down on the bike, to generate pressure and grip (dropping the outside pedal can help this)
- Angulation (leaning the bike more than the body) can be harder with level pedals
- Can make it harder to move the body laterally across the bike, towards the outside of the corner, compromising stability and balance

While I've only described just a few points here, the reality is pretty clear... a rider could really do either one. Both techniques have their pros and cons. As such, simply teaching or learning that one is "right" and the other is "wrong", just doesn't make sense. For sure, we can help simplify things by saying that for most riders, most of the time, dropping the outside pedal in a flat corner will be easier for them and will give them a better result. However, if we really want to improve, we need to keep our mind open for how keeping the pedals level may help. And of course there's some middle ground too... you could drop the outside pedal only a small amount, and perhaps gain the best of both worlds.


Peaty and Mick Hannah head to head in the first round of heats.

Mic and Peaty showing both techniques in pretty much the same corner... neither is wrong or right, just pros and cons.


Mic comes from more of a BMX background, riding berms with bikes that have very low seats; two things that make corner with level pedals more sense. He's also shorter, meaning there is less need for him to lower his weight (which dropping the outside pedal helps with). Peaty originally comes from racing XC mountain bikes with the seats up and mostly on flatter corners. Trying to corner with the seat up is very difficult unless you drop the outside pedal. Peaty is more used to this technique but also a lot taller which means dropping the outside pedal helps him get lower, which he needs more than Mic. Two riders, two different backgrounds, two different body types, two different techniques, both shredding!

From this approach, we can gain a deeper understanding of each, specific technique. Since no technique is labelled as “wrong”, every technique has the potential for being used, in some situation. The "wrong" technique in one situation could be the "right" technique in another... so it's not "wrong" in the first place. As a result, someone teaching has a much deeper pool of knowledge to draw from (particularly helpful when teaching advanced riders), and the student never feels like they are “doing things wrong”, and has the freedom to experiment to find what works best for them. The end result is a more progressive, "cause and effect" approach to teaching for the instructor, and a more positive, effective learning environment for the student.

The con to this "cause & effects" approach (their are pros and cons to everything!) is it doesn't always offer a clear cut, "black and white" approach. Unfortunately, in our quest to keep things simple, instructors and students sometimes want a "magical" answer that works all the time. A classic example is again with cornering. Corners are innately very diverse, so a technique that works in one corner, may not be the best "tool" for a different corner. However, the student wants to know how to ride "all corners", so the instructor tends to teach "this is how you ride corners". On the surface, the job is done, but in reality, the student walks away with the idea that they "do this in every corner"... and so potentially creating a new "myth".

credit www.timhailwoodphotography.com

Corners come in many different shapes and sizes so the techniques we use can greatly vary.


FOUR TIPS ON HOW TO LEARN
Be Patient... good technique takes time!
It's partly the culture of today's world; people want what they want, and they want it now. But mountain biking is a difficult sport (relatively speaking) and good, smooth, consistent technique takes a long time to learn. Be patient when you're learning, be open to different techniques and be careful of always looking for "one size fits all" technique, or a "quick fix". For sure, there are simple techniques that do help when applied most of the time, but that doesn't mean everything in biking has a simple answer.

Try to embrace the process of learning and enjoy the progression. The sooner you stop worrying about what you "can't do", and focus on "how much you've improved", the better. When I was a kid, it took me six months practicing wheelies everyday until I could wheelie for any real distance... and even then it was still only for twenty metres! Also, bear in mind when you started mountain biking. If you've started as an adult you have inherently missed out on years (thousands of hours) of skill development that you would have had, if you started as a kid. Many adults forget this so try not to get frustrated if you're not learning things as quickly as others.

Ask yourself... are you ready?
This kind of ties in with being patient. Just because you want to learn something, doesn't mean you are ready to. Make sure you have enough skills, experience and knowledge before moving on to the "next thing". For example, if someone wants to learn to jump, I first assess their core riding skills, such as Position & Balance, Pressure Control & Timing. Then I assess what other, more basic maneuvers can they already do. They want to learn to jump, so, it makes sense that before they learn this, they should be able to at least do some basic drop offs, front and rear wheels lifts and maybe even a bunnyhop or wheelie. If they are still trying to learn these more basic maneuvers, then they typically aren't ready to jump. So, a note to instructors... just because your client asks to learn something, it doesn't mean they get to! Assess them first and decide if they are ready before anything else.

One thing at a time...
Teaching more than one thing at a time is difficult... at least to teach it safely and effectively. Learning more than one thing at a time is even more difficult. Think of techniques as tools in a tool box... you can only use one at a time. It's better to do one thing well (and improve it), than a few things poorly. The other reason you want to try and focus on one skill at a time is knowing how it affects your riding. If you are trying to do three things at once and you feel a difference in your riding... how do you know which technique helped? On the other hand, if you are working on only one technique and you feel a difference, you will know exactly why. The learning is more efficient, objective and ultimately faster.

Easier terrain vs. harder terrain...
Many riders typically choose to "push their riding" by trying to ride faster or on harder trails. While this can definitely help progress your skills, it can represent a "do or die" environment for learning. Teaching riders from a beginner level all the way up to coaching athletes on a world-cup stage often involves a more progressive approach, that we call Minimum Terrain - Maximum Technique. Easier terrain (based on the rider's ability) provides an environment that is better suited to trying new things. The rider feels comfortable enough to not only think about something specific but to also physically try it. Difficult terrain makes it very challenging for a rider to try anything other than "survive" and get down safely. On easier terrain, a rider can also work on new techniques more often and to a greater extent: they can exaggerate it. Exaggerating techniques is a great way of building new muscle memory and learning more quickly and effectively. Finally, it is also much safer! Since the terrain is easier, the rider can choose how much they want to push it. So, trying to ride an easier trail but maximizing the technique helps you learn faster, learn better, while keeping you safer.

ZEP s How To

You can ride Crank It Up. Great. Can you manual over the jumps, take inside lines, or bunnyhop over things as you go down it?


Manuals can be great for developing Position & Balance, or Braking skills. Inside lines and squaring off corners can be great for developing Direction Control skills, like leaning the bike or rotating the hips & knees. Ride a familiar trail, be creative, try different lines and ride it faster... you'll be amazed how much this can develop your fundamental riding skills

In the next article, we'll take a look at the myth of "not braking in corners", and go through some ideas that will explain why, when and how braking in corners can actually help your riding.

'Till next time,

Paul


ABOUT ZEP
ZEPtechniques is a Whistler-based mountain bike camps and instructor training company. Established in 2006, ZEP offers single and multi-week, adult specific rider improvement camps, as well as weekly clinics, private lessons and tours. ZEP's Instructor Training services include the industry's original, multi-week mountain bike instructor training camps; training riders four days per week with evening seminars on suspension set up, bike mechanics, nutrition, as well as strength & conditioning sessions, all with industry experts. As developers of the internationally available Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Certifications and Directors of the PMBI Association, ZEP has long played a key role in establishing and improving the finest teaching practices and instructor certifications, within mountain biking.

ZEP s How To

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83 Comments

  • + 169
 these are a definite step up from those last instructional videos a few months back where the guy that couldnt jump was teaching people how to jump. thanks PB
  • - 95
flag FlowMasterO (Jan 20, 2015 at 15:46) (Below Threshold)
 But what happened to EBOLA?!?!?!?
  • + 28
 dafuq that come from flow?
  • + 15
 I think monkeys or birds, or doing bad things to monkeys and birds.
  • + 16
 It comes from kissing dead people and eating bats according to my mate who works in Africa.

(Seriously)
  • - 28
flag Martinezorlando (Jan 21, 2015 at 4:49) (Below Threshold)
 the best and fastesss guy in the world once said you must flow like H2O,water>,its the one thing that keeps us up,and the power thinker's still don;t no of H2O working's,so like this guy said if u havin fun who givin a f..k.,just keep it 5th GEE PINNID,or RATBOY to flat,its your game.me i be a ROCKETMAN THINKER,.
  • + 34
 what?
  • + 53
 these have to be the wierdest replies to a single comment i have ever seen.
  • + 5
 Crack is Wack !!.. just say No ...
  • + 61
 looking forward to these
  • - 17
flag thrasher2 (Jan 20, 2015 at 15:12) (Below Threshold)
 Me too. Skip straight to the jumping please.
  • + 53
 Didn't you read it? Just because you want it, doesn't mean they teach it. You'll learn what I give ya to learn, boy, AND you'll like it!
  • + 35
 Well said allmountin. Thrasher2 needs a copy of karate kid. Wax on..
  • + 32
 Screw this, I'm going to Cobra Kai. They will teach me the ways ways of winning.
  • + 9
 already signed up for Pole dancing ! (traditional and interpretative)
  • + 43
 I really like the "no right and wrong" approach. There are techniques that can come in handy despite being considered wrong by some.
  • + 37
 What is this?
An article to help improve my riding not just spend
all my little money?
Very nice!
LOVE IT!
  • + 68
 But can this advice be Kashima coated?
  • + 33
 this is gonna be a good, and fresh series of articles, can't wait for the next one!
  • + 11
 I couldn't agree more, this is an excellent article. In my opinion there is an imbalance between tech/components articles and skills articles, so this kind of quality stuff is truly welcome.
  • + 14
 The whole dropped outside pedal vs. flat pedals was always really confusing to me. Not conceptually - it makes a lot of sense to keep the pedals flat if you're flowing from turn to turn, and to drop the outside pedal when you're really trying to rail. But when you're going down a trail you don't know really well, there's just a lot of conscious thinking that goes into deciding what's appropriate for which turn, all while you're trying to pick a line, control your speed, and do all the other stuff you're doing while riding. Conscious thinking is pretty slow, so trying to pick one of the two leads to a lot of jerky riding.

Simon Lawton made a huge difference for me on that. Took a short clinic with him, and he's all about just always dipping the outside pedal while turning in your body, and dipping/committing more as needed. Basically likens the motion to what you're doing in skiing and tries to get you to do the whole thing in one dynamic motion, pumping the turn and staying nice and centered over your bottom bracket. Did some drills that drove that home in a really neat way to build some muscle memory. I'm a long way from having fully integrated that into my riding, but it's made a huge difference. Essentially, it takes what these guys are saying (there's lots of pros and cons for either technique) and gives you a mechanism to auto-adjust your body position and loading dynamically with the turn, with less thinking and more flowing. Check him out on fluidride.com.
  • + 7
 It is all centered (literally) around the bottom bracket. You want even weight distribution driving through your BB, which doesn't necessarily mean outside foot down on every corner, and it doesn't mean level pedals every corner. It is more of a "horizontal" pedal approach relative to what your bike is doing; ie - if you lean a little, drop your outside foot a little. If you lean a lot, drop your outside foot a lot. It should be a dynamic movement that ebbs and flows depending on the situation you are in, how hard you are cornering, if there is a berm, if there are micro adjustments in the corner, etc. but in every situation you have to be in a good position with your weight centered over your BB.
  • + 2
 A small technique someone taught me was to point the inside knee the direction of the turn (like Peaty) in the side by side picture. By turning the knee it automatically in weights the inside foot a bit, causing the outside pedal to drop. The further you turn the knee the further the outside pedal drops. It helped take the thinking out of it for me. Just point the knee where you want to go.
  • + 11
 According to LeeMcCormack it's belly button that should point there. The most important thing of them all though is to look where you want to be. That is easy to remember and damn hard to learn
  • + 2
 Yea you have to point more than just the knee. There has to be torso and hip turn involved as well, all pointing where you want to go. But the knee is what will help with weighting and weighting the pedal, if you chose to use the technique of dropping the outside pedal.
  • + 2
 If you are riding XC style and sitting all the time, pointing the knee is all you can physically do. Once you get off your seat, however, you should try to point your entire body in the direction you want to go. The pic directly below Peaty's is an excellent example: the bike is pointed one way, but the rider has both knees/shoulders/hips/torso/head/vision pointed towards the exit of the corner. Textbook shredding.
  • + 1
 Kind of related, something I do to keep my pedals dropped if i'm in some tight twisting corners but still want/need to drop the outside but don't have time to pull around a full stroke, is drop a little, then backpedal to get the other foot down while changing directions.
  • + 13
 Great stuff. For those of us who don't wake up in the morning with WC DHer skills, this stuff is a great resource, however, nothing beats in-person coaching. I've taken a few worth while classes, and am on the lookout for a 1on1 coaching session currently. It's really helped my riding (go from ultra ultra shit to just ultra shit) Smile
  • + 9
 I like it. Same way my uncle taught me to ski. "Ski the easy stuff hard so you can ski the hard stuff easy." I'll be looking forward to reading the rest of these How-To articles.
  • + 8
 Great article Paul! I'm always impressed at how clear and concise you can convey your thoughts.
  • + 4
 Very useful and practical advice here. Paul has successfully broken down elements of bike skills and has a methodology to teaching that promotes fun and encouragement...rather than "right or wrong." I use many of his techniques when I instruct my riders and racers. Keep up the good work ZEP!
  • + 4
 Great write up -- I agree with pretty much everything

sorta on the subject --- don't believe all those high-tech websites that tell how to buy a bike -- IMO, those aren't worth a hoot ---not at all. you cant algorithm a firkin build kit into a computer database. Good buddy of mine spent a shit ton of time doing some sorta computer generated build kit for his over priced frame. I won't open up that can of worms letting you know that company name but, lets just say, they charged him extra for this so called "Professional Service" --- he provided all sorts of info about inseam, arm length, total height, shoulder width along with a whole bunch of other points of interest --- after getting the bike, riding it for a while -- he sold it... he hated it. said the feel of the bike was horrible, couldn't stand "the fit". there's a whole bunch of trial and error when it comes to a well built bike... what night have felt great on bike A might not feel great on bike B...
  • + 4
 Whenever I see a flat corner, without any helping prophile and there is a muddy surface I drop the outside pedal and it really helps me with staying on my line. Then I really find it difficult whenever I have to switch pedals to drop the right one before next corner, expecially where it is so tight, that I have to rotate it backwards to do the switch.
  • + 5
 When you have dropped the outside pedal. Is your knee in front of your ankle? Or are you swinging off the back?
think of your knee in front of your ankLe as "soft knees".
Keeping soft knees, which will mean more weight on your arms-shoulders will.
also. ... think about cycling no handed. You steer with your stomach. Imagine a pole coming straight out of your belly button. Point that pole where you want to go. The legs and knees will follow.
1. Soft knees
2. Point that belly button

If you find you are still struggling, do some front and side plank a couple of times a week, core is key to cornering.
  • + 0
 I tried it and it is possible to steer the bike quite vividly using only hips and barely holding the bars. Also what article misses is dynamic way, where you ride leveled and drop the heel when you want to generate additional pressure which is a hell of a skill on it's own as you can do it slowly generating less pressure but on prolonged period of time/distance or really fast to provide maximum available traction in one point. Then you need to learn it without altering fore-aft weight distribution or by shifting weight in a desired way. All of this is nice theory, worthless without practice. Muscle memory must be created in one way or another Big Grin
  • + 1
 To be honest I don't know where my knee is when I am cornering. You know it all happens so fast Smile and there is difficulty in saying if it is more to the front when a slope is steep. I am using the belly technique a lot, but I don't believe applying more weight on my arms than on my legs will help while descending. This sounds more like OTB. A dropped pedal helps on slipery, but I am still in need to learn a quick switch. I will write down your advice and take it to the forest to try it out. Thanks.
  • + 0
 WAKI, that is possibly the worst article.... why?
Well, many riders consider themselves forward, when they are hanging off the back.
Just look at the position of the head and shoulders of pretty much every pro rider.
Every photo in the article has soft knees.
Clips and Flats also work very slightly different (hence why a clipped rider looks different to a flats rider often through a section).

Soft knees
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/759920
Forward....
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/697473
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/749718
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/744231
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/695096
Even I can do it sometimes
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/695305
www.rootsandrain.com/photos/689153
  • + 2
 Betsie, that is an article by possibly best MTB skills coach out there. It goes hand in hand with what LeeMcCormack says. Other than that I do not dare to discuss anything
  • + 1
 I could argue though that if you took pictures you posted and drew a vertical line from BB up (given photo is taken horisontally) it would go very closely if not directly through riders center of mass which is somewhere around belly button. That is arbitrary in a way that top riders move around a lot in proximity of terrain features so they may momentarily adjust their COM to be behind BB in case some force is going to act on them, that would push them ahead. Landing front wheel first, coming into a hip of a jump. I'd say that on descent, having your COM ahead of BB happens very rarely, and is done to "load the gun" in order to gain range of movement to push bike forward. As to flats, technique and position is very similar, at least on longer travel bikes. It is the undkilled rider (like me) who will hang on the back too much in order to keep feet on pedals, instead of reacting to terrain better. Flats promote bad habit of hanging on the rear. In such respect clipless promote bad habit by letting us get away with sloppy lower body action.
  • + 2
 My point WAKI is that beginners will think they are forward when they are not. That is why for beginners, not getting over the front is a bad message, no matter how good you are at coaching. Try coaching a beginner who hangs off the back, thinks they loose control because their suspension is too soft, is 5ft tall and 9st, and wants to ride 780mm bars with an extra firm spring up front with a super soft rear end..... correct that rider and come back to the table.
  • + 3
 Put your weight on front tire and it gets more grip. As obvious as it sounds. Put too much weight on the front tire and you will have a lot of time in your new bed for next couple months to think it over again. If normal weight bias is 50 / 50 when you stand up and balance it into default, it changes into 60 / 40 and 70 / 30. Leaving less than 20% of weight on a tire is just like locking the brake on this wheel. If you tell me to lean forwards I feel it should not be more than 60% of weight over front wheel and it means rear tire sliding slightly outwards like handbraking in a rally car. These numbers are only to show what I feel the bias is. I did not use any scale to measure it. Telemetry for rent is the answear. I would like to be able to rent a telemetry on chainreactioncycles or elsewhere, but only in good bike shops.
  • - 1
 Betsie - again, as I said, those guys Gene and Lee are one of the best in thr world, their articles taught me a lot. In April or May I will take Lee's remote skills coaching program.

That's it that's all
www.pinkbike.com/photo/9463490
  • - 1
 forget all that turning nonsense-

how much dinero to guarantee manuals and kovarik scrub, berm drift and destruction techniques in a 3 day camp?!
  • + 0
 Waki, +1 for Lee McCormack. Probably the best skills coach I've ever had the pleasure of working with. A few years ago I took half a dozen NICA riders up to Boulder, Co for bike skills summer camp. Lee had the greenest rider's shredding pump tracks and taking drops in no time. Everyone left his sessions a much improved rider, including me and another coach. It's a martial sport, learn to protect your temple!
  • - 1
 just shut up and ride your bike. it's so dynamic, you can't be in that "perfect" position the whole time unless on a road or somthing ,.......
  • + 1
 www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/article/mtb-tips-body-position-42027

I shot this video last year - I think I smashed it. Also did one for jumps and it's funny how many views the jumps one has compared to basic body position when so many people don't get the fundamental weight through your feet position nailed. Interested to know what you think of it. There is more to it obviously but for a 2 minute video there is only so much you can go into...
  • + 0
 not bad rockstorm, but brake lever position was a bit too far towards "universal solution for greater good" Big Grin More horisontal brake setup indeed increases the chance of putting elbows lower but A-no one will save anyone from results of not remembering it B - it does a few great things: 1.it does same thing to hands as dropping heels does to legs: by creating a slight angle between hand and forearm, it allows for minimal movement and hit absorption, which in case of wrists is excellent because muscles and ligaments take a bit of shock by stretching slightly, instead of bones and joints getting everything by acting directly on one another- so less chance of seeing a doctor about wrists. 2.It will provide beter cushioning for your palms as transfer of forces from bars through hand will go more into full width of base of palms of your hand rather than just he support of the thumb. Less nerve pain, less palm fatigue, possibly less arm pump.

The bit about dropping heels was well shown, and this is exactly why beginners should ride flat pedals as much as they can - because that is the right technique regardless of what kind of pedal you use, and flats won't let you get away with bad position or getting too tense on heels.
  • + 0
 Thanks for the reply and debate waki. Brake lever position is a contentious issue between me and some fellow coaches I know and partly comes from me being a tall man riding small bikes and preferring hucking gaps to manualling at the pump track. Elbows forward helps to pump downsides of landings or rollers and levers up helps my collegue to pull manuals for longer.

I often coach pointing in towards your front hub with you forefingers to encorage elbows out and you bar to rest more on the outside of your palm (ala ergons new 'enduro' grip). Most of my clients are people who have never adjusted their controls oit of the box though so I get them to play around with what suits them depending on each individuals preferences and style of riding. Elbows out and wrists straight always looks better in photos though:p
  • + 1
 I will be honest with you - I parroted it from some article quoting no one else but Rob Warner Big Grin I think it was on Dirt website on something. It made a lot of sense to me. As to preferences - I believe good ones come from quality testing, experience and critical approach to results. Just because someone says he likes a lot to run 30% of sag on his 160mm fork and no compression, does not make it any good Big Grin

One thing if I may - manual. Do you start it with heels raised up or dropped? I am still struggling to get quite even raises of the front wheel into the float zone. I thought this would be a good first phase, to learn to pop that wheel high enough in a consistent manner, then learn to control fore aft balance, then side to side.
  • + 2
 Rockstorm. Not sure I agree with your advice. This is not the place to have the debate, buy the elbows out, straight legs and only drop your heels is not ideal. your legs can carry you up and down mountains, they have amazing strength to react to the ground. I am a more stood up rider also. But I would never put my brake levers down and elbows out like that. I get that you were exaggerating the position for the sake of a video. Different riders have different styles for what suits their strengths, bike size, suspension setup preference.
  • + 6
 Instructions unclear. Got leg stuck between fork stanchions.
  • + 4
 The peaty bike tilt!. Always been a fan. He's been chucking that pose since the Coors days.
  • + 1
 They forgot one thing.....a soda can ( or beer if your adventurist) wedged on the wheel behind the fork makes your bike sound like a dirt bike, is very cooool. And makes other people think your doing something your not,....like riding a dirt bike.
  • + 2
 Really good instructional! (and i'm usually disappointed with such articles)
longer than usual, but still a good read. keep it up.
  • + 0
 I've usually heard the reason to dip the outside pedal, i.e., unweight the inside pedal, on flat and off camber turns is about leverage rather than body position—though it surely is easier to rotate the hips properly with the inside up, so that's a nice side-effect. Inside weight will lever the lower frame up and alter the direction of force slightly toward the center of the tire (and away from the knobbies in the dirt) while weighting the outside will move it toward the lower edge (and toward the knobbies actually in the dirt.) If that's correct—and it may well not be, physics obviously isn't my forte—I wouldn't see dipping choice as one of those "both are correct" things.

For what little it's worth, I have experimented with weighting (on different runs) the inside and the outside pedal. Weighting the inside resulted in me washing out at lower speed as did even weighting, that's just me though.

Lawton often discusses this topic, and explains a nice technique in one of his videos (Flow-Tonic I think.) I'll second g-42 that it's worthwhile checking out his courses and videos, even if just as a review of fundamentals we already "know" from another perspective: fluidride.com (you can also find his vids online, e.g., iTunes.) Perhaps Lawton's wrong, but I have to say I prefer his attempt to understand and explain better and worse over the above contradictory pros and cons of "technique 1" and "technique 2" that leave us with little more than "everyone's right and its group hug time!" ;-)
  • + 1
 what about which pedal to put in the forward position? say, if I turn right, what is the pros and cons of putting the right pedal forward, and vice versa?
  • + 3
 "The 3 components of air" oxygen, nitrogen & I forgot the other one
  • + 1
 Radness.
  • + 2
 Carbon, argon...
  • + 2
 Methane
  • + 1
 balls
  • + 1
 That's a very useful post. The next one will confirm what Andretti said : "They are guys who still think that brakes serve to stop".
And how do we jump, by the way ?
  • + 2
 But can they teach Enduro?
  • + 2
 Dang this was actually really helpful!
  • + 1
 I "love" speech marks!
Good "article" though. Roll on the next "installment".
  • + 2
 good stuff! Well written.
  • - 1
 that's funny because when I corner I just drift the shit outta my bike (Vegas is super loose and we dont have groomed trails like the PacWest)
I carve too but drifting is hellava lot funner.
  • + 4
 Was about to initiate hate for drifting on trails, then see that you ride in Vegas. All is forgiven.
  • + 7
 will continue to initiate and fully commence hate for trying to claim the PNW has "groomed trails." thats just ignorant. stick to the slots and all you can eat buffets champ.
  • + 1
 PNW west does have a few groomed trails, does it not? The closest groomed trail to Las Vegas is in Park City.
  • - 1
 To complement these articles check out mtbtips.com for hours of skills lessons for any Mountain Biker! Derived from WC level technique it is proven through 60000 subscribers that they make you ride better, faster, sooner.
  • + 1
 whens the next instalment coming?????
  • + 2
 Next one now please!
  • + 1
 finally! lookout 2015?
  • + 1
 ⬅⬅
  • + 1
 Zep's how
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