Understand the Center of Mass for Mountain Bike Racers

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How to Shift the Weight Around for Mountain Bike Racers....5

Learn about proper weight distribution for off road mountain bike racing in this free video series that covers the basics of how to become a knowledgeable off-road bike racer.

Part of the Video Series: Racing Tips for Mountain Bikers
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Video Transcript

Unlike most other vehicles that you have probably have experience operating, you weigh a lot more than your bicycle. Because of that, your center of mass, or your center of gravity as it's commonly referred to, is really important to the way the bicycle, the way the bicycle rides, and the way it responds to your inputs. The thing about your own center of gravity is me standing here right now, if I dropped a line, a counter balanced line down from my belly, it'll basically just be sort of right down here below me. You can almost see it visually. If I go like this, which is pretty close to the optimal mountain biking position, what we call the attack position, my center of gravity sort of comes right down to my sternum straight to the ground. We want to try to apply that same sort of concept when we're riding a bike. I'm on my bike. If I'm just sitting bolt up right like this when I'm trying to climb a hill, you drop down that center of mass that's over here around the cranks and everything like that, and there's no weight on the front wheel. The front wheel wanders and lifts up and stuff like that. Same sort of thing if I'm sitting way over the front of the bike when I'm descending. The bike's going straight. My center of mass is front of that axle right there and the bike's going to handle real bad. I'm not going to be able to turn it, I'm not going to be able to slow it down. Instead what you want to do is you want to assume that same sort of position that I was talking about. Nice and low, and crunched.

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