By Robert Hurst
The artwork of Mountain cycling will get deep contained in the topic mountain cycling, deconstructing it from yet-to-be explored angles, and explaining the means of path driving like not anyone else ever has.
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Additional resources for Art of Mountain Biking: Singletrack Skills for All Riders
In reality, the eyes must sort of dart around from one spot to another. At speed, the rider points the eyes far ahead like the guru said, consciously looking beyond to the next feature or turn. But the eyes aren’t pointed intractably forward at all times. In fact, they also move downward from that position repeatedly, fixing on the line around certain features located in the area between the down-trail center of attention and the front tire. Repeatedly the eyes retreat from their primary distant focus, tracking backward toward the rider at just the right pace to freeze the trail—then they flick back up to the top and track down toward the rider, over and over.
And the ball of the foot should be, roughly, just slightly behind the pedal spindle, with some variation possible there as well. You may have to readjust cleat position after a ride or two, as personal ergonomic preferences emerge. With the cranks level, a hypothetical plumb line dropped from the knee should fall roughly at the pedal axle. So they say. I’ve never checked mine. Beyond these few parameters, things get much more foggy: saddle fore-aft and tilt, handlebar height, and stem length. Contrary to majority opinion on these matters, I like somewhat low bars and a slightly downward-pointed saddle.
There are as many rules for out-of-saddle climbing as there are mountain bikers. In fact, there are many more rules than that, as each rider has different rules for different bikes and different days, as well as for different phases within the same ride. Experiment with all the versions of seated pedaling and non-seated pedaling to find out what suits your personal style and local terrain. Relax when standing on the pedals, and let the bike rock back and forth while the upper body stays relatively still.