Riding technique question?

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  • Riding technique question?
  • Premier Icon scaredypants

    I find one (can't remember if it's front or back 😯 ) starts to tire unless I swap over now & then – also helps cornering if you have the outside foot forward & down a bit, I think


    You're goofy?


    No ergonomist but surely when your standing on the pedal, more weight is held by the back foot (whether it 'should' be or not), so having your stronger leg at the back would be better?
    Again I'm right footed but have always found I tend to start or lead with my left, have wondered about it a bit but then are you/we just analyzing it too much and should just get on and ride without worrying about it?


    Airwolf, in snowboarding terms you're either goofy, or regular. Goofy = left foot first, regular = right foot first.

    Which ever you are it comes naturally, try doing a skid in socks on the kitchen floor, you'll most likely skid left foot forward, as you will probably approach a step lifting your left foot first or stand in a boxing pose – your left will be first with most of your weight and balance coming from your stronger right foot. At least that's how it works with me.



    Agree about the over-analysing it bit.

    Goofy it is then!


    and it was ever so slightly weakened by this a bit too.

    I lost most of the strength in my right arm due to polio when I was 9. Now both arms are the same…


    in snowboarding terms

    Blimey,here's me thinking I was on a Mountain Bike forum…. 😉


    When i'm standing up on my bikes (freewheeling) i have my left foot forward while the cranks are horizontal even though i am right footed.

    I have always ridden a bike like this since i was a kid and it's fine, except that i sometimes think i might be better off with the stronger leg at the front. It is typically on longer descents and more technical terrain (on my hardtail) when i think this might be an advantage since i sometimes feel my left leg tiring quicker. I should add also that i had two operations on my knee when i was 14 and still growing, and it was ever so slightly weakened by this a bit too.

    However when i've experimented with riding with the right foot forward it always feels really unnatural and completely unbalanced.

    Should i try and switch over, and if so how?

    Or is it simply too late to completely rewire my brain and my riding technique is ultimately buggered for life? 🙁


    So, how can one foot be weighted more than the other?

    You are talking about standing up, with the pedals level right? If you put more weight on one foot than the other you will end up with one pedal at the bottom and one at the top??

    Ride with which ever foot forward feels natural to you!


    Its true about it being natural, as a 'goofy' snowboarder with a mate who is regular it means any sport like cycling/snowboarding/watersking etc means you favour one leg over the other,

    For me this includes always unclipping my left foot first and only being comfy starting a tricky section with my right foot clipped in.

    Having said all that, as a snowboarder i try and spend as much time as i can riding regular (feels really wrong to start with) as its the only way to progress (180's,etc).
    Last year we hired an instructer for a few hours and he had us riding the chair lifts with the wrong foot clipped in!!
    Try that this winter…

    I'm sure we can all learn to most stuff with either foot, we don't because we are too comfy/lazy/not enough time to learn.

    You can put enough weight on the bars to stop the pedals rotating if you have more weight on the front pedal.

    You'll have more weight on the front pedal if you're going down a hill.

    You should have your inside leg forward and possibly slightly up when going round a corner.

    I'm goffy as well, it's not an issue at all, but worth practicing going round corners with your feet int he correct possition, you can learn to make this feel ok.


    I didnt realized I did this too untill I borked a knee just before a trip to the Alps, however after 4 days riding with the other foot leading I now find I can swap at will, and being able to do everything either way around is much better.

    Moral of this is, just keep doing it and it will eventually feel more natural.


    Airwolf, in snowboarding terms you're either goofy, or regular. Goofy = left foot first, regular = right foot first.

    maybe it weren't what ya meant to write, but…in any of the board sports, if you ride/surf/skate with your left foot forward, you're regular.

    otherwise, you're constipated.

    cheap monday morning joke. but i ain't joking about the stance bidness….


    It's useful to be able to lead with either foot. As you say, to swap your legs and use different muscles. It can also be an advantage on very lumpy terrain where swapping pedals might cause them to hit the ground. Or when you're following a contour along a hill-side (you're more likely to fall towards your forward foot so keep it toward the up-slope).

    I learned to lead with either foot last year by just swapping to my less favoured foot on fire-roads. Then on easy singletrack. Then on harder stuff. Now I can do little jumps and drops with my less-favoured foot but I'd always pick my fave for bigger stuff.

    Premier Icon miketually

    I've found that riding with the 'wrong' foot forward sometimes/somehow helps me on techinical stuff.


    Maybe i need to experiment more then.

    Probably on the road first though. Safer that way.

    Premier Icon stevomcd

    This is something I talk about a lot on the trails with guests. Almost everyone has a preferred foot (me = left foot forward, same as when I'm snowboarding) but there are situations where it's useful to swap your feet round. The most obvious one is tight, technical switchbacks. Having the outside foot forward really helps with your balance through the corner.


    just buy a full sus, sit down, slob out and stop worring about it! 😆


    What steve said.
    It helps you with
    Getting speed back.

    What you need is to find a trail with numerous tight switchback (or build yourself one) and you'll see that after a moment it will come naturally.

    All the best

    Goofy = left foot first, regular = right foot first.

    Nope, the opposite way round.



    Oh no no no! Ride the bike with your feet – do NOT sit down!


    if you can swap your feet around your legs are less prone to tire out quickly on long, rough descents. it is also important for riding tight switchbacks if you can have your inside foot at the back, keeping the weight over the back wheel helping the bike pivot round.

    you may also find you are stronger with certain 'tricks' in one direction than the other. i find it easier to endo and swing the back wheel round to the right more than to the left as that is how i always rode when younger. swapping my leading foot over made it a lot easier. it hadn't occured to me that my foot placement was the reason for this.


    Plenty of food for thought here. Might nip out for a quick ride later to test some of these ideas out.

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