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Stand or sit on single-track?

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Well, it's the 57-year old geezer again. I know a little bit about body position, but I'm curious as to any "general rules" for sitting or standing during single-track riding. I think one usually has better control when standing, and MX riders certainly sit only through corners, but what else is important? Your patience with these (perhaps obvious) questions is greatly appreciated!

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the answer is yes. you should stand or sit in singletrack. but it's more complicated than that. standing gives you more ability to react and to hit bumps without launching off the bike but sitting takes alot less energy, so off-road racers sit alot. i would say if you already sit alot, try to stand up more, and if you already stand up alot, try to sit down more. if you can do both effectively and comfortably, then gradually, you will come to apply the fastest and most efficient technique for your situation.

mw

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Personally, I only stand when I have to (regardless of trail size or difficulty), and sit the rest of the time.

Examples of having to stand are: (1) steep downhills, to get your butt over the back tire (2) steep hill climbs, to get your face out over the front wheel to keep from wheelying, (3) whoops or cross-ruts, or anyplace else the back seat is likely to kick up and bounce you off the seat.

The rest of the time I sit because my legs last longer that way. If I stood the entire time, I could only ride 30 miles or so before my legs would be completely worn out.

If you're in great shape I suppose it's better to stand more than sit, but OTOH, if the situation doesn't demand that you stand, why waste the energy?

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I agree with Velosapiens.

I was a sit down rider. When I read about how people felt that standing offered some real advantages I decided to practice standing more.

After a surprisingly short time I am now sliding both wheels on entrances and exits to turns and feeling pretty comfortable. It did require a change in rebound to get the bike to feel "right". Standing loads the suspension differently than sitting.

I avoided standing because you can really get hurt from the shock of dropping a quick foot to the ground when you are at speed. When you are sitting it is much safer to "catch" yourself if the front wheel slips.

I will admit that standing and riding fast is easier on the body and it is fun to practice something new, although I have found some new muscles in my lower back that I didn't know were there. 😢

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Aside from the suspension benefits of standing, it allows you to control the bike more with the footpegs.

The faster you get, the more of the trail you will need to see in order to have time to react.

You can usually see farther ahead on the trail if you are standing.

😢

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I would recommend standing on single track lines. This give you the ability to let the bike wander without throwing your overall momentum off course.

During the four years I raced in the desert, there were not many people sitting unless the sections were smooth enough to do so. Standing allows you to absorb the bumps a lot easier because you can use your legs as suspension. I've always practiced standing as much as possible as its a more difficult riding position to master and be comfortable with. Sitting is easier but is has it's disadvantages when the speeds get higher or the bumps get bigger.

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I stand most of the time. Make it a general rule to stand and you'll figure out the times to "sit".

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Sit to conserve energy, to wind your way through tight single track on an incline, or coasting through the same. As the bumps get bigger and the speeds get higher, you will be on the pegs to let the suspension work, to see farther out and to anticipate the big bumps. Anywhere the suspension will easily handle bumps turns and whoops, I'm on the seat. When it comes to waterbars and whoops- it's back on the pegs. Until you get your suspension set up, you will spend less time on the seat and more on the pegs.

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I'm kind of a stand up rider and when I sit down my body gets beat up a lot more. I prefer to stand but I have a bad habit of sitting for steep uphills. I'm working on standing with my head way out in front. It's starting to work and sink in.

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Well, it's the 57-year old geezer again. I know a little bit about body position, but I'm curious as to any "general rules" for sitting or standing during single-track riding. I think one usually has better control when standing, and MX riders certainly sit only through corners, but what else is important? Your patience with these (perhaps obvious) questions is greatly appreciated!

DR_Greg your 57, you will not be standing as much as some one 37.

I.M.O. Forget about all this standing junk, trust me you will know when to stand. If you look closely most people don't ride STANDing UP as they say, unless the bike is really working under them, or WFO. From what I have seen, most ride ready to lift there butt off the seat.

But...I do remember back in the 70's Malcom Smith saying that if you want to become a good rider remove the seat. Back then we had maybe 6" of travel.

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I'm another 57 year old geezer who just got back into riding off-road (new KTM). Dr_greg, I don't know what your level of expertise is but something I've found very useful is a book "Pro Motocross & Off-Road Motorcycle" by Bales and Semics. It covers most of the questions I have about how to ride these bikes. If someone knows of a better book, let me know what it is and I'll grab a copy. This one had good reviews on Amazon and to me - a neophyte - it looks pretty good.

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Everyones natural tendancy is to sit on a motorcycle. People have to learn to stand. Standing takes a conscious effort. Learn to ride standing and the sitting part will follow. There have been many times where I was sitting and hit a bump, root, rock, log hidden under leaves, etc. where I have said to myself, sh$% I wish I had been standing for that one. I've never told myself: Man, I wish I had been sitting for that one!

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There have been many times where I was sitting and hit a bump, root, rock, log hidden under leaves, etc. where I have said to myself, sh$% I wish I had been standing for that one. I've never told myself: Man, I wish I had been sitting for that one!

LOL so very true, any time you are not sure what going to be hidden under sand or brush stand. It will save you at some point or another. 😢

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I seems that everyone has a very different definition of what single track is. When I think of single track its basically a trail cut through manzita or other tight brush that is as wide as your rear tire on the ground and just wide enough to fit a set of handle bars through. Most places if you stand, a limb will take your head off.

If its 1-2 feet wide and clear enough to stand all the time, its not single track in my book. Personally I find *true* single track a lot of work, but narrow trails are a lot of fun.

The kind of single track I don't enjoy is the one's where your on the side of hill where you look down to one side and can barely see the bottom. At least with tight trees etc. you got something to grab onto and maybe catch your bike if you mess up and go off the 4 inch wide trail.

Maybe my definition is too strict, but that's what I've always consider single track. (eg. the name implies a single track right?)

Maybe someone could post some pics, the stuff I'm thinking of usually there is no place to stop cause the trails not wide enough to get off your bike let along wader around and take a picture?

Cheers,

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I tend to ride sitting down a large portion of the time partialy since I agree with OHVrider's definition of single track. I stand if I need to but not anywhere else. When I ride with MX'ers they always tell me that I have to stand more (to the point that it is anoying) but at the end of the day I have almost invariably crashed less, have more energy, and have traveled farther over more difficult terrain than they ever have in one day. So I sit and I have noticed that a lot of riders who ride single track as defined by OHVrider sit a lot.

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ya i was on some single track sunday that was made for midgets, my 6'4" 😢 on one of the tallest bikes known to man,was ridin through some laurel thickets with my chin on the bar pad and still got ripped off the bike!!!the worst part was everyone in front of me(and by this time it was everyone!)was turning around and looking for me; whats the matter? damn midgets,they knew what was a'matter! 😢

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Stand.

In general standing up loads the bike on a lower point, the pegs, thus increasing stability. It allows the bike to move more freely in following the terrain. You can help the suspension making your ride more smooth. And if you fall, it's easier to jump clear of your bike..

On single tracks: standing allows for tighter turning (just try to turn at full lock standing or sitting down) leaning your bike over further, easier lift the front over a rock, fallen tree or mud puddle and better vision. Just sit when the "roof" is too low.

On two track or open terrain, high speed driving: Stand. You can look ahead further!! Better control when hitting a rut or another obstacle. Only sit when the terrain can be trusted to have no surprises.

Downside is that the windforce against your body makes it very tiring to stand at 100 km/h (60mph) and more.

I'm 44 and started off-road riding last year, been riding every weekend since and done about 5000 off road miles since. Ride a lot and your ability to endure grows quickly, even if you're not 30 😢 .

you get tired from driving too fast, not from standing up. I can be worn out in 30 minutes or keep going for 8 hours. Totally depends on how you pace yourself.

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Single track to me is any trail not wide enough for two bikes to pass weather in the same direction or opposite directions, What your describing to me is alot of work!! 😢 :cry: All depends on ones own level of abilities I guess! 😢 :cry:

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Stand as often as you can. You can ride through anything standing but you limit yourself sitting. Standing lowers your center of gravity. The more weight on the pegs the better your bike will handle. As your learning consider the length of your ride. If you burn out your legs early, you could get hurt later. I just saw a video of Malcom Smith riding and he still stands up continually at age 72. Im 50 and getting faster every year. It helps that I ride a ktm which has a seat made of wood.

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