Feet position

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Feet position

Postby hughs » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:22 pm

A couple of magazines this month are extolling the virtues of moving your feet for cornering so that the balls of your feet are on the pedals and not your instep. My question is is this necessary or desirable on the road? Clearly you can't operate the gears or the back brake in that position, but as we've already adjusted speed and gear before the bend then is that a problem? I've tried it, but tend to overthink it at the time so don't really know if it makes any difference to the stability of the bike in the corner.
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Re: Feet position

Postby hughs » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:32 pm

Never mind, I've just seen this http://bam-members.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=171 from 2007.
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Re: Feet position

Postby SimonJ » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:44 pm

Nick's summary on the previous post sums up the pro's and cons better than I could. All that I'd add from personal experience is that balls of the feet does really make a difference in how easy it feels to corner. There's a good article on cornering in Ride magazine this month, where they write a lot about using the balls of the feet position so that you can use the feet to aid steering. Cornering well is all about combining lots of stuff together of course, but feet in the balls type place does really help.
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Re: Feet position

Postby tfdodo » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:37 am

what do you ride ? How do you ride it ?
f'r'instance...

If you're riding a Bandit the way the manufacturer intended [eg fairly relaxed] on a road, or pottering on anything, then foot position on the pegs will have a relatively small effect. May as well stick with instep.

If you're riding an R6 hard, then - although you shouldnt need the extra ground clearance on a road - balls of feet on pegs will make the bike feel much more responsive, and you will appreciate the improved effect of weight shift to assist with steering (although when its working on an R6 it should be ore like "thinking where you want to go" than "steering" :D ).

If you're riding either of the above near their cornering limits (we should be talking circuit here for the R6 ! ), and [Heaven Forbid] hanging off to maximise ground clearance, you will certainly want balls of feet on pegs.

"over-thinking" - well you'll find that with anything you're not familiar with. Experiment until it becomes... not second nature, but less strange... before assessing what difference it makes.

That's a general & important point that goes for much stuff [especially countersteering and emergency braking] - unless you practice it enough to get over the novelty value, then any benefit you could gain, if you ever need it to save your life, is liable to be outweighed by the lack of familiarity.
That's one of the benefits of track work .. the sensation of the back wheel wafting gently from side to side in the breeze under heavy braking elicits a response of "ok, not much more braking available here then" :twisted: rather than "oh-my-god-what-the-hell-is-happening-cucumber!cucumber!cucumber!" :evil: ...and if you're heavily engaged in, say, not running into the back of an RTC then the former is much less distracting :shock:


ps reference to back brake on the Other Post excludes low-speed stuff (and one or two other specifics, possibly including 'trail-braking')
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Re: Feet position

Postby hughs » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:16 pm

Hmm, its probably not going to make that much difference on my 11 year old Bandit then. I think that when I'm thinking about it I'm also thinking about where my weight is (rather than just sitting like a sack of spuds like normal), and that probably makes more of a difference. If it ever stops raining I'll do some more experimenting. For some reason every time in the last two weeks I've used the bike its rained. I'll be in the car tomorrow so it'll be a beautiful day.
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Re: Feet position

Postby tfdodo » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:16 pm

...fwiw, needing to make progress in the rain is when I'm probably most likely to weight-shift on the bike, a it helps keep it more upright for a given corner speed.

Although avoiding the need to make progress in the wet is usually a preferable option ;)
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Re: Feet position

Postby ozzzie » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:17 pm

hughs wrote:Never mind, I've just seen this http://bam-members.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=171 from 2007.


2007? Really?
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Re: Feet position

Postby ozzzie » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:27 pm

SimonJ wrote:using the balls of the feet position so that you can use the feet to aid steering. Cornering well is all about combining lots of stuff together of course, but feet in the balls type place does really help.


How do you manage to keep your feet on the ends of the handlebars?

Honestly, there's a lot of twaddle spoken about weighting the pegs to steer the bike. As far as road riding goes, it makes negligible difference. In fact, if you listen to different sources, you'll get opposite information. Some say put weight on the inside peg, some say put weight on the outside peg. The truth is that 95% of your steering input comes from the bars. Good steering technique is key to getting round a bend. Using your bodyweight can make a difference to how far you lean (and therefore how much speed you carry) and it can also make a difference front to back in terms of grip, but we are talking about the extremes of handling. If you're a top racer, then every 1/10 of a second counts and you'll do anything you need to to gain speed. I would (fairly rudely) suggest that we don't have (m)any members who can ride at the level of a top racer.
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Re: Feet position

Postby Horse » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:50 pm

ozzzie wrote:
SimonJ wrote:using the balls of the feet position so that you can use the feet to aid steering. Cornering well is all about combining lots of stuff together of course, but feet in the balls type place does really help.


How do you manage to keep your feet on the ends of the handlebars?

The truth is that 95% of your steering input comes from the bars.


Beat me to it! :)

95%? And the rest! ;)

Example I use is the BMW C1 - or at the other end of the spectrum the Peraves Ecomobile:

Neither has a 'tank to push your knees against', you're seatbelted in - so no body movement, and they don't have 'pegs to weight'. How do the damned things ever get around corners? Magik, oi tells eee!
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Re: Feet position

Postby hughs » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:18 pm

What's the logic behind weighting the outer peg? I would have thought you want all the weight on the inside? Anyway, as it was dry on Friday I tried weighting both the inner and the outer pegs and it made no discernable (to me anyway) difference. The thing that I noticed was that by moving my feet back it pushed my body forward, which made me bend my arms more which made steering much easier.
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Re: Feet position

Postby ozzzie » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:42 pm

hughs wrote:What's the logic behind weighting the outer peg? I would have thought you want all the weight on the inside? Anyway, as it was dry on Friday I tried weighting both the inner and the outer pegs and it made no discernable (to me anyway) difference. The thing that I noticed was that by moving my feet back it pushed my body forward, which made me bend my arms more which made steering much easier.


It's a track technique.

Technically speaking, it's not actually weighting the peg as such (although people like Keith Code have described it that way I seem to remember). When you hang off the inside of the bike, you lock your knee into the tank and that means that you apply pressure to the outside peg to complete the lock in.
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Re: Feet position

Postby DucJohn » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:58 pm

tfdodo wrote:hanging off to maximise ground clearance

Huh. Getting your knee down is for soft domestic cats (begins with P). To be a real man it has to be your head.
Not sure what he was doing with his feet though. :lol:
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Re: Feet position

Postby Horse » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:06 pm

ozzzie wrote:
hughs wrote:What's the logic behind weighting the outer peg? I would have thought you want all the weight on the inside? Anyway, as it was dry on Friday I tried weighting both the inner and the outer pegs and it made no discernable (to me anyway) difference. The thing that I noticed was that by moving my feet back it pushed my body forward, which made me bend my arms more which made steering much easier.


. . . although people like Keith Code have described it that way I seem to remember ). When you hang off the inside of the bike, you lock your knee into the tank and that means that you apply pressure to the outside peg to complete the lock in.


KC used to (and may still) call pressing on the outside peg 'power steering', on the basis that to press you have to invoke Newton and press against something*. To that end, pressing down on the outside peg allows you to press harder and more quickly on the inside (well, to be) 'bar since you're not relying on buttock-clenching on the seat to stop your body from moving.

For a quick example of this, stand with your left side towards a wall and try and push it over with the palm of your left hand, you'll find you push with your right foot - so much so that you'll be able to lift your left foot off the floor*. In a riding context, note how dirt riders keep their 'inside' foot off both peg and the ground in case a 'dab' is needed.

* If at home and noticed, you may well now be hearing "Get your dirty hands off my wallpaper" or similar. Hoss takes no responsibility for any damage or redecoration subsequently required.
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