Leading foot

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  • Leading foot
  • svalgis
    Member

    This is going to be a bit weird and most probably pointless, but it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do right?

    I can’t decide which my leading foot is. When I pedal wheelie, I lead with my right (which is the strongest, the one I primarily use for football and so on). However, when I manual or bunny hop (well, try to), I prefer to lead with the left for some reason, which in turn makes me lead with the left on the descents most of the time.

    Is this weird? Bad habit worth getting rid of? Or just something to ignore? Can’t say for sure if it affects my riding at all.

    It isn’t bad at all. If anything, you want to try to use each foot equally because it will help with your cornering, particularly on tight switchbacks and will also help if you get into a position where you can’t change to your preferred foot into something.

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    When you manual are you sure you’re not just pushing off with your right which then leaves your left foot forward?

    Dunno really but I’ve taken to trying to lead with whatever foot points toward the next corner

    If there’s no corner or obvious hill I’d always lead with my right

    svalgis
    Member

    getonyourbike: That makes sense. So maybe spend some time trying to get used to pedal wheeling with the left and vice versa then?

    The reason I first started wondering about this in the first place was in relation to pedal wheeling/manualing, where the latter is more or less the former but without the pedalling to get it all going. For me it’s like two completely different things because pedal wheeling with the left leading feels really weird, and the same goes for manualling with the right. Again, not sure it actually affects me in any way though. Maybe it would somehow be easier to go from pedal wheelie to manual if I got used to leading with the same foot for both?

    tmb457: Just to set the record straight: I can’t really manual properly at all, as in getting my weight back enough to find the balance point, so when I say manual it’s just about getting the wheel slightly in the air over small drops and such (or just for the hell of it, but again, not really a proper manual).

    Anyway, these “manuals” are performed by pushing the bike away from me, without pedalling, like shown here: http://youtu.be/PiQGFX_RlW4?t=22m30s

    gears_suck
    Member

    I think leading with either foot is essential. Particularly, it’s important for beginning a climb or hopping up something where you will have to change your rhythm if you need to switch to lead with a particular foot.
    That said, I can’t always make it work in practice.
    It’s perfectly natural to have a dominant foot, just as we have a dominant hand, ear, eye etc. the human body, including the brain, is asymmetrical. Otherwise we would all be completely ambidextrous.

    Yeh, try to get used to free wheeling and manualing etc with the other foot. It can only benefit your riding. Gain for no pain.

    svalgis
    Member

    It’s perfectly natural to have a dominant foot, just as we have a dominant hand, ear, eye etc

    Of course, I was just under the impression that normal folk would tend to lead with their stronger foot, whether they’re bunny hopping, manualling, pedal wheeling or just riding along. For me it differs depending on what I do.

    I suspected that it was a silly question, and it’s pretty obvious that of course the best thing is to try to get used to doing anything with any foot. I guess that I was just curious, more than anything, if there’s others out there inclined to lead with different feet depending on activitiy.

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    From what I’ve been taught by the esteemed Ed Oxley, a manual and a pedal wheel and a bunny hop and a drop-off all start with the same thing. Power to the wheels comes from the legs – direction comes from the arms. Up for manual – straight ahead for drop offs – down for transitions from height(not for me!)

    Arms aren’t for lifting

    Ps – I still can’t manual yet

    Spin
    Member

    Riding fixed cured me of favouring one foot.

    DrP
    Member

    ^^
    Interesting – I’ve lost my ‘favoured foot’ and can quite happily ‘enter’ technical sections etc with any foot now, yet never really put it down to my recent uptake of fixie riding…..

    Hmm…..

    DrP

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    You’ll probably find your leading foot is the same as if you were snowboarding (left for regular, right for goofy).

    It’s not related to which is your leading hand.

    Also I think some people have a very strong preference, for some people it’s not strong and they can switch easily. So I giess that works on the bike too.

    sambob
    Member

    I’m the same as you, pedal wheelie is right foot first, anything else is left foot first. Better going around left hand corners than I am right.

    gears_suck
    Member

    The fixie theory makes no sense to me. When you pull up to a stop you naturally come to halt at a point that’s good to start back up from especially if you’re going to track stand. This will subconsciously favour your leading foot unless you make a conscious effort to overcome that. Personally, I don’t see the point in over analysing it to that degree. “Get on bike, pedal!”

    oliverd1981
    Member

    You’ll probably find your leading foot is the same as if you were snowboarding (left for regular, right for goofy).

    As my riding group pretty much all snowboard as well – I can categorically deny this.

    An obviously it should be reffered to as your “Chocolate Foot” – as decreed by Hans Rey

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan
    Subscriber

    Not sure you can do this on yourself, but:

    How To Find the Lead Foot.

    Get the subject to close their eyes.
    Stand behind them and push them firmly forward.
    They will put out a foot to balance themselves.
    That is the lead foot.

    APF

    There seems to be a difference between the sexes with this too. I’ve found that it’s common for men to have a ‘fixed’ leading foot but women often have the ability to change their lead foot without thinking about it*. 60% – 70% of people lead with their left also.

    * Women tell me this is due to them being more inteligent and using both sides of the brain 😀

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    I’m right-footed but lead with the left 99% of the time, not sure why I started like that but it feels more natural now

    freeridenick
    Member

    my chocolate foot is right
    but I snowboard regular.
    and heavily left footed/handed
    play golf & cricket right handed

    wierd huh..

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    I tend to lead with my right foot, then change when my legs get tired on a long descent. It really doesn’t matter. Outside foot down on corners though.

    johnellison
    Member

    It’s perfectly natural to have a dominant foot, just as we have a dominant hand, ear, eye etc. the human body, including the brain, is asymmetrical. Otherwise we would all be completely ambidextrous.

    At the same time though it is possible to be “cross dominant” – i.e. the margin of domination is so small as to be non-existant. This manifests itself as true ambidexterity.

    I used to take part in practical pistol shooting which occasionally calls for you to use your pistol one handed, in your weak hand whilst acquiring a target picture with your non-dominant eye. I used to struggle on these stages badly, but a colleague could swap over without thinking about it and suffer no loss in accuracy or speed.

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