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Riding Position

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I have been riding on the street for over 25 years, but am still very new to off-road riding. I'm getting used to standing most of the time, but what is the correct body positioning for downhill vs. level terrain vs. uphill? Thanks.

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downhill..... GET AS FAR BACK AS YOU CAN AND DO NOT SIT(unless you enjoy death)

uphill......... I like to sit but get your weight forward as far over the tank as you can get, seated or not its the same and for the same reason

level terrain. Most people will say stand up knees and elbows up. That is the way to stand. Sitting I sit as far forward on the tank as i can comfortably elbows up. in regards to footing put the balls of your feet on the pegs.

Standing now will also keep you out of the bad habit of sitting (like me) and you do tend to ride faster while standing.

The more you ride the more it will naturally come to you the most important thing is to not over ride your ability. If you think "i need to keep my elbows up and look up" you will there is no effort involved its just the way your brain works.

Have fun and be safe

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Aw, sitting down isn't a "bad habit"...you can use it to rest, for some corners, standing just lets you get over rough stuff quicker and easier, you'll learn what's worth what. And there's some stuff where you HAVE to sit down to get better traction with the back wheel(at least for me). And there's lots of times(like on hills) where I only come up a bit, enough to let the bike move around. And sometimes you'll just plain get whacked off by branches if you stand up :), or you can ride through that like a jockey:D

Generally, you need tobe balanced over the pegs, don't rely on the bars to keep your balance(though everybody grabs leather sometime), if you need extra security with quick accel/deccel grip with the knees(but not death grip)--this keeps your center of gravity/balance low and centered. Going up or down you lean forward/back to maintain this balance over the pegs. Don't hang onto the bars to pull you up the hill(your weight is on the pegs pushing you up), or lean on the bars going downhill(or as little as possible), whenever you are leaning/pulling on the bars you get all stiff and lose that quick ability to flow up/down/over tricky stuff.

I dunno, I find going up steep loose or slick stuff the bike tracks straighter if I sit middle or a tad back on the seat, otherwise the back wheel squirrels all over and spins--not alarming or scary, but inefficient and slower going. At least for me. And I still haven't got the feel for standing up going up a steep hill--my stomach hits the bars and I feel so awkward, I can just do it better sitting down. And then there's those berm/switchback things you have to swoop up sideways to get up--I can't see how I would stand up on those(and I haven't noticed anybody else standing up on those either).

As I think of it, the bend of your leg's joint angles don't change much between up/down/level? I mean they are boinging/absorbing shock, but there is a "neutral" position where you are balanced and that doesn't change much. I think the angle of the upper body changes the most. SO take that plumb line down through hip to heel and "generally" that stays up and down--you can look at trees and match their up and downness, or think about how your legs are balanced if you were to walk it?

I guess that's enough blahblah, I guess the most important thing is to be thinking of how youre balanced on those pegs and how your security comes from that, rather than using the bars for hanging on. Hanging on to the bars to keep yourself on the bike is the kiss of death for wipeouts and endos and looping-ness and throttle surprises.

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Mr Rudder says stand when you have, to sit when you can. Down hills I stand....but it looks like I am sitting on the rear fender. There is barely any clearance there. That is sort of the same way I get through the whoops too. Up hill I sit as far fwd on the tank as I can get, but again sometimes it feels almost like a hover, but barely touching the bike tension on the legs and arms pulling the body forward. I sit where ever the trails is smooth enough to, and if the section is not super rough I sit fwd with legs cocked below me so I can get that minimum clearance between butt and seat to ease the jarring sensation. I have a friend who never ever sits it seems. Straights, turns, brakeslides, up hill, or down hill it does not seem to matter. Might be why he is so much faster than me!

Every trail and every rider is different, you just gotta find what works for you.

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Every trail and every rider is different, you just gotta find what works for you.

DING DING DING we have a winner.... That is 100% correct. Ride however is comfortable for you... that's why i sit

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Although learning to stand properly is good. Even the so call Standers, the guys who say they stand most of the time, sit more than they think they do. Some of us sit and use a lot of upper body english and stand when it gets rough or the bike "TELLS" you to stand. You will learn where you need to stand and where you can sit.

Dwight

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Even the so call Standers, the guys who say they stand most of the time, sit more than they think they do.

That's for sure! My hub was always whipping me(figuratively) to stand up, and I thought he stood up all the time, but now this summer I can keep up with him better, and haha I can see he SITS--and says he needs taller bars and lower pegs :)

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Everyone: Thanks for the suggestions!👍 I went riding last week and felt so much more controlled going downhill. Standing up and getting as far back as you can makes all the difference in the world. My legs got very tired, very quickly, but I guess that's something that you have to get used to.

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Nobody naturally stands when they learn to ride. Everyone has to learn to stand. The only way to learn to stand is to stand, and stand a lot.

Stand all the time. Stand as much as possible. Stand when and where you are the most uncomfortable standing.

You will not figure out when to stand: You will figure out when to sit.

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