One of the hidden advantages to Standing Pedaling is that you actually have better balance when you are on the trail. When you are sitting down your center of gravity – a.k.a. your hips – are stuck in on place, making it very tough to respond to sudden changes in your bikes position or to let the bike move under you to navigate up and over obstacles.
Wow I tried what you suggested on our ride tonight and I didn’t fall once!
I was reminded of this by an exchange I had with a rider recently who was looking to improve their balance on the trail…
Q: “Hi James…I’ve been with a personal training for 6 months or so building my strength to ride. I am new to mountain biking. I fall a lot on the trails. Is this normal for a beginner? We focus a lot on strength and mobility in the gym but I wonder if I fall because my technique is bad or I’m just not strong enough yet? Any helpful hints?”
A: “Falling a lot at first is pretty normal, however some things that can help are 1) ride flat pedals, 2) get a dropper post or at least lower your seat for downhills and 3) stand up more as you have better balance when your butt isn’t planted to your seat. Hope this helps, good luck and have fun…”
Here was here reply the next day…
“Thank you! My local bike shop also told me my breaks are off. The rear brake isn’t engaging and my front brakes are so when I was squeezing them both only the front was working!
I also didn’t realize that you have better balance standing on the bike? I was trying to stay seated thinking it would give me more balance. I have so much to learn.
I share your wisdom with the team (5 older ladies training for an xterra triathlon) None of us knew how to ride bikes when we started training so you stuff has really helped. I also share your stuff with our trainer. Thanks again.”
And here was an email she sent out of the blue a couple days later…
“Wow I tried what you suggested on our ride tonight and I didn’t fall once! I felt more comfortable standing peddling. I also dropped my seat all the way down too. Thank you.
I watched the rotating deadlift video and will try that in my work out, cornering is usually when I fall so that should help.”
The take home message is that you shouldn’t be shackled to your seat. Use Standing Pedaling more and you’ll have better balance, posture and power…all of which add up to the most important thing – more fun!
That’s it for now, if you have any questions about this article or any tips you’ve found helpful in improving your balance on the trail please post a comment below.
And if you liked this tip please click one of the Share of Like button below to help me spread the word.
Until next time…
MTB Strength Training Systems