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When is "squeeze with your knees" most important?

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I've been thinking about this one recently. I know I do this already, but lately I've been trying to experiment with gripping harder with my knees to see if it could help me go faster or be in better control. Anybody have a particular obstacle where they noticed an improvement when gripping harder?

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going thru whoops i grip with my ankles more than usual..... it helps to keep the bike tracking straighter (for me)...

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EVERYWHERE! the insides of your legs should be bruised and tired from gripping your bike. i love having a good looking bike but once i put new graphics on theyre gone in a matter of about 3 rides. just try to really squeeze hard everywhere.

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I think the best way to describe pinching is; stability.

What it does is allows your body to control the machine instead of the machine beating up your body.

Why this is important is; certain obstacles like whoops, braking bumps and sandy sections, disrupt the bikes suspension to the point of disrupting the rider. This disruption is amplified through your body and actually back into the machine, making the bike itself misbehave. At that point, you are no longer in control of the machine, just along for the ride.

When you squeeze the bike with your legs and knees, your lower body is "connected" to the machine and all of a sudden you're in control instead of the machine controlling you. This adds not only stability, but it dampens the effect of certain obstacles and your ability to deal with them.

My suggestion on when to try pinching is... do it everywhere! Just use it when your standing up and see what it does. Whoops are the easiest thing to try it in, but if you arn't doing it now through whoops, you probably arn't going fast enough to notice.

P.S. I grip so hard, I wear out gear quickly and I have to use knee braces or my knees would be bruised after a few hours of riding. Even then, they're still bruised!!!

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all rough parts of the track, every where in sand. and one that every one has forgotten in jumps. especialy ones with kickers.you must grip hard up every jump and on the down ramp

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all rough parts of the track, every where in sand. and one that every one has forgotten in jumps. especialy ones with kickers.you must grip hard up every jump and on the down ramp

I absolutely have to grip the bike on downhill jumps. If I don't, my feet float off the pegs. That's the only place where I grip all that hard.

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whoops and corners are the best place i noticed. if your going through the whoops, over exagerate your knee squeeze hard! youll notice the bike while go very straight. also in corners your rear end wont try to slide out as much.

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Everytime I ride my knees get bruised! I agree with you Tye

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I don't get how you guys can think about this stuff. Not sure how I ride, but I just go race.

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I don't get how you guys can think about this stuff. Not sure how I ride, but I just go race.

Thats right, when your in the zone you don't think about anything, its actually way easier to ride in the zone then outside of it.

My biggest problem is I analyze things way to much and because I come from autocross and roadracing, I'm always in search of "the perfect lap". The only way to do a perfect lap, is to remember what you did wrong during the lap and fix it next time around. Its hard to do that when you're in the zone fully and running more on adrenaline rather then point to point.

But I get your point and its an important one, so thanks for mentioning it.

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I'd say whoops, but you'll notice an improvement everywhere. Just so much more bike control. The rougher the terrain, the more difference it'll make IMO..

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I don't get how you guys can think about this stuff. Not sure how I ride, but I just go race.

That's why we work on forming the proper habits when we're practicing, so when we're "in the zone" racing, we use the correct techniques and go faster than the other guys :thumbsup:

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Gripping with the knees is especially important on deep rutted jump faces. If you relax your lower body grip you will find yourself whipping the bike when you least expect it.:thumbsup:

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everywhere... keep your toes pointed in too. there should be no air gap between your legs and bike. its important to squeeze with legs/knees everywhere so you can control the bike a lot easier,and dont have death grip with your hands causing arm pump.

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hey guys, was wondering what kind of technique the taller riders use. I am 6'2" and skinny. I have skinny legs and I find it difficult to grip the bike with my knees when they are over the seat (when I'm standing) I just started riding last summer and I hope to make some serious ground up this year. I am starting to feel more comfortable with the results I'm getting gripping the bike with my knees while sitting, but I'm trying to stand more and my knees come over the top of the seat while I"m standing. My legs being skinny make it difficult to get leverage on anything. Maybe this is a dumb question? Anyone have anything to suggest?

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Crouch a little more and grip the tank?

I think it's important to squeeze the bike, but I don't think you have to do it particularly hard. Just firm, but relaxed pressure on the tank/seat seems to do it. Bruising your knees might indicate that you are riding a bit tight. Relaxing the upper body is great, but death-gripping the seat is gonna wear you out as well.

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I usually squeeze when im sitting down on the bike. When i stand i don't squeeze as much so the bike can bounce a bit over rough terrain and not throw me all over the place.

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I usually squeeze when im sitting down on the bike. When i stand i don't squeeze as much so the bike can bounce a bit over rough terrain and not throw me all over the place.

squeezing when you stand is real important... otherwise you can get bucked off cause the bike will go wherever it wants

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