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Riding question: why do I keep my pedal down?

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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I clipped my right pedal 3 times today as I was freewheeling. Last week, I almost went OTB on the same kind of accident.

I was very conscious of it afterward the last time, but I wonder if others have absentmindedly rotated their foot down...
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,914
509
Warsaw :/
Maybe you were tired? It doesn't happen to me too often (and I'm far from a good rider) but when it does it happens only when I'm dead tired.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,949
1,239
Seattle
Cornering or going straight? And do you typically lead right foot or left? I've got a tendency to lead left foot, but am pretty good about dropping my outside foot a bit cornering to avoid pedal strikes. This is also probably the result of me riding some STUPID low bikes, my DH bike (7.75" of travel) has a 12.85" BB height, and my last two trail bikes have been 4.25" of travel with a 12.5" BB and 5" with a 12.9" BB so I'm well trained.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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Cornering or going straight? And do you typically lead right foot or left? I've got a tendency to lead left foot, but am pretty good about dropping my outside foot a bit cornering to avoid pedal strikes. This is also probably the result of me riding some STUPID low bikes, my DH bike (7.75" of travel) has a 12.85" BB height, and my last two trail bikes have been 4.25" of travel with a 12.5" BB and 5" with a 12.9" BB so I'm well trained.
I lead normally with my right foot, and I have been clipping it on the straights.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,949
1,239
Seattle
Trust me, after heading off the trail in a ravine, I am paying a lot more attention
Mkay. But seriously, just think about your foot positioning. When I started riding lower and lower bikes I had to think about what I was doing for a bit, but it didn't take that long to figure it out. First time I rode a really familiar trail on my current DH bike I ate **** almost immediately because I hit a rock with a pedal that I wasn't used to having to avoid. I realized needed to pay more attention, made a conscious effort to think about where my feet were more, and it stopped being an issue pretty fast. If you're tagging the same foot consistently while coasting you're not thinking about your feet that much. It's also weird that it's your right, since I hit my right foot more too, but we lead with different feet.
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
If you are on the back brake too late into a corner it can make it impossible to drop your outside foot. Maybe you're getting locked into position like that.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
Why are you dropping your foot while cornering? All that does is throw your balance off in the corner.
As for clipping pedals in straight-aways,nthat is tired/ laziness, where it takes more effort to maintain centered feet
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
I used to do that when i was tired and coasting down hills. It helped to stretch out my legs a little bit. Last time i did it was about 5 years ago. I ended up hangin my pedal up on a rock, getting tossed sideways, high siding, and getting slammed down hard. I still do it once in a great while, but when i do it, i'm very aware of the trail.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,949
1,239
Seattle
Why are you dropping your foot while cornering? All that does is throw your balance off in the corner.
If that was at me, I'm talking cranks at maybe 2 o clock/ 4 o clock depending on which way I'm cornering. Not even close to vertical. On a bike as low as my DH bike that's often necessary to avoid clipping the inside foot.
 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
Umm, wut? I may not be a wc racer, but weighting your outside foot is pretty crucial to proper cornering technique.
Try going through a corner level footed. It is *shockingly* faster. It just feels abnormally uncomfortable until you get used to it
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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Try going through a corner level footed. It is *shockingly* faster. It just feels abnormally uncomfortable until you get used to it
I disagree.

On open track, a foot down on the outside allows you to shift body weight to the inside, just like a motobike. I think of it as pinning your leg against the tank.

Feet level gives you the most clearance.

I will give it a try and see how I like it, though.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Umm, wut? I may not be a wc racer, but weighting your outside foot is pretty crucial to proper cornering technique.
Hm, the world cup racer I took a course with spent hours following us and ensuring our pedals were level. Bowlegged stance, bike heeled over beneath a vertical body position with body weight thus over the tire contact patch, pedals level at all times unless actually pedaling.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
Hm, the world cup racer I took a course with spent hours following us and ensuring our pedals were level. Bowlegged stance, bike heeled over beneath a vertical body position with body weight thus over the tire contact patch, pedals level at all times unless actually pedaling.
Shaums is fun to ride with, isn't he... He also hammered us to keep our chins up. My god, does that help you go faster.:thumb:

Edit: We were riding with him for fun, not the class... It's good having a roommate racing in Worlds. You meet the darndest people.
 
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MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Yeah--he was a lot of fun to ride and hang out with. Super dude. Had one of the faster women of the early 21st century with him too, but forget the name.

And he was really clear that the dynamics of riding a bicycle downhill are pretty different than those of riding a dirtbike with a big engine, lots of power on tap, and a totally opposite relationship of rider-to-machine mass.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
Probably Marla? She did a lot of work with the local women in the Bay Area
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
Probably Leigh. Very talented, and technical rider. Which is why she won so much.
 

DhDork

Monkey
Mar 30, 2007
353
0
Hell, AZ
Umm, wut? I may not be a wc racer, but weighting your outside foot is pretty crucial to proper cornering technique.
You may not be, but they are:

Nathan Rennie

Stevie Smith

Rémi Thirion

Ben Reid

Gee Atherton

Sam Hill

Note, some of them are not COMPLETELY level, but thats to compensate for angle of the bike (getting the bike to move under you), camber of the turn, ground conditions, etc. Yes, you will find those that have the inside pedal completely up, but there is always a reason. But for fast, quick, and bermed corners, nothing is better than level pedals, hips and shoulders pointed where you want to go (think spine pointing to the end of the turn) chin up, and lean more than steer.
And believe it or not, your leading foot is a huge factor to your turning skill. Outside foot should always lead. Allows for better stance and control over the bike. There is a video somewhere online, showing some leg workout techniques to allow riding switch easier.
 
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Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
Pedals level on bermed turns works. pedals level on flat turns does not work as well as keeping your outside foot down.
 

DhDork

Monkey
Mar 30, 2007
353
0
Hell, AZ
Pedals level on bermed turns works. pedals level on flat turns does not work as well as keeping your outside foot down.
After riding today I tried to pay more attention to foot placement through the turns. This was pretty much the conclusion. If it was banked at all, keep the pedals level, or inside slightly elevated. But when it was flat or off camber I had to drop the outside pedal. When there were multiple turns in a row (S turns) I tried to keep them level so that I wasn't 'flopping' back and forth.

Going to have to try the outside foot always leading thing...
This is really hard to get used to and train yourself to do. The way I found it easier to do was practicing a lot in the driveway or cruising in town to the next shred spot on my hardtail.
 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,863
2,094
Colorado
I learned the outside foot down style by trying to get extra pedal strokes in, and realizing that I was going through turns and off drops 'wrong foot' lead. Once you get acclimated to it though, your speed will definitely increase.
 

ebarker9

Monkey
Oct 2, 2007
483
15
It sounds like a laziness/fatigue thing. The same way you tend to rest more weight on one leg or the other after standing up for an extended period of time. With the pedals level, both knees are flexed so your muscles are working. With one pedal dropped and the weight on that leg you're using more of your skeletal system to support your weight.