Having the correct bike position in mountain biking is crucial as it helps you to ride efficiently and safely in the trails. We headed to a Specialized Progressions, a skills clinic organised by Specialized Malaysia over at Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
The following tips are from Aaron Chan, an ambassador for Specialized and an avid mountain biker.
This #1 Body Position mistake that most mountain bikers make is… Dropping their elbows when riding.
When elbows are dropped, you are unable to steer the bike correctly. It is crucial to get your fundamentals dialled in before this mistake becomes a permanent habit.
How to correct it: Angry Arms
What is the Angry Arms position?
The Angry Arms position is when your elbows are up, in a ready-to-attack position.
When you are descending downhill or going over an obstacle, it will be easier and more efficient if you can push down the bike as if you are in a push-up position. This is a way of using your suspension rather than pulling the bike towards you.
To add on, angry arms position allows you to be able to steer the bike easier because there is a lot of space and allowance for you to manoeuvre the bike. Furthermore, your arms also work as extended suspension. This is how you can balance correctly, especially when you are attacking any obstacles.
Life pro tip: Adopting this position while attacking daily obstacles in life like when you are arguing with your wife works as well.
Dialling in the right body position
Imagine that when you are on the bike, you are moving like a pendulum; there is no one fixed spot where you stay in while you are riding in the trails.
Your body position changes when you are climbing, riding downhill, or manoeuvring through a bend.
If your centre of gravity is too far back, the front wheel will be lifted from the ground. This is where you have to adjust your body position accordingly to the gradient of the terrain.
Having your elbows out helps to shift your weight forward to help with front-end grip and also places you in a more powerful position where you are less likely to get thrown offline.
It also engages bigger muscle groups, which will reduce your upper body fatigue—you will be able to ride better for longer.
Especially when descending or attacking any obstacles, a correct body position is key to getting you through obstacles quickly and safely.
Hope this little tip helps you to correct a common body position mistake that most mountain bikers make. Next time when you head to the trails, keep reminding yourself to keep your elbows up, and whisper in your head “Angry Arms, Angry Arms”.
Click here to find out more about the range of Trail Mountain Bikes that Specialized offers.
You can find Specialized mountain bikes and equipment at the following store in Singapore:
Shop Address: Block 28 Sin Ming Lane, #04-133, Midview City, Singapore (573972)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 3.00 pm – 9.30 pm
Telephone: (+65) 6659 0903