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Mountain Biking Neutral Position


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A poster presentation detailing the correct technique for the neutral, or attack position in mountain biking.

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Mountain Biking Neutral Position

  1. 1. The Mountain Biking ‘Attack’ Position A good attack position forms the foundation for mountain biking; whether you are a novice or a pro the attack position should be mastered. (Lopes and McCormack, 2010). A good attack position helps you make every move with more power, and can make the ride more comfortable (Lopes and McCormack, 2010). A good attack position acts as the start and finish position for every mountain biking skill (7stanes, 2012). Skill Progression Head up, and eyes forward - On a flat surface practice rolling along in the attack position, swapping the lead foot around. The ability to ride with either foot forward will come in handy for more advanced techniques. - Practice lowering your body, making sure you stay centred over the bike. Ensure your weight is on the pedals at all times, and not on the handlebars. (Isometric contraction Flexion at the hip Flexion at knee) - Have your ride partner check your positioning and give feedback. Weight driving into the pedals - Once you feel confident on a flat surface try it out on some basic trail features. (Flexion at the neck) Hips back Elbows out (Isometric contraction, Flexion at the elbow Abduction at the shoulders and elbows) Knees bent (Isometric contraction, Plantar flexion of the foot) Cooper, 2012 The photo above shows the attack position, and the key principles that can help make your ride faster and more comfortable. Hips back: Head up and eyes forward: Elbows out: Keep your eyes on the prize, your bike will automatically follow your line-of-sight, so looking at the tree will inadvertently drive you towards it, so make sure you look where you want to go, not worrying about where you don’t want to go (Mountain Bike Guru, 2011). Riding with your elbows out increases your range of motion, making it easier to push, pull and lean as needed along the trail (MTB Techniques,2009; Lopes and McCormack, Pushing your hips back will bring your shoulders forward, balancing each other out, it will also allow you to ride with more power and stability. 2010). Knees bent: Bending your knees allows your body to work as a spring, going over lumps and bumps on the trail will be much more comfortable. It also lowers your centre of gravity, the lower the better (Speciality Outdoors, 2006). Weight driving into the pedals: Your feet should be heavy on the pedals, and allowing your hands to be lightly resting on your handle bars (Lopes and McCormack, 2010). With all your weight being supported on the pedals you will use the handlebars for stability and to help you stay balanced (MTB Technique, 2009). Things to avoid: Riding too high Too stiff or tensed up Too far forward or back Bottom too close to the seat
  2. 2. Reference List Forth, C. (2011) The Mountain Bike Skills Manual: Fitness and Skills for Every Rider. London:A&C Black Publishers Ltd. Lopes, B. and McCormack, L. (2010) Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Dawsonera [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 31 March 2013). Mills, S. and Mills, H. (2003) Mountain Biking: The Essential Guide to Equipment and Techniques. Mountain Bike Guru (2011) The Attack Position. Available at: (Accessed: 6 April 2013). MTB Techniques (2009) Fundamentals: The Attack Position. Available at: (Accessed: 6 April 2013). Nealy, W. (2007) Mountain Bike! A Manual of Beginning to Advanced Technique. 13th edn. USA: Menasha Ridge Press. Speciality Outdoors (2006) Mountain Bike Tips, Opinions and Comments. Available at: (Accessed: 6 April 2013). 7stanes (2012) Core Techniques. Available at: (Accessed: 6 April 2013). Background Image: Centre Image: Cooper, B. (2012)