Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Mountain Biking
Reload this Page >

Foot/Pedal position while descending

Notices
Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

Foot/Pedal position while descending

Old 05-28-20, 10:41 AM
  #1  
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Posts: 1,115

Bikes: Jones Plus LWB

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 82 Posts
Foot/Pedal position while descending

Hi all - I am relatively new to platforms and MTB. I have been practicing "heals down" technique on descents which are steep, rough, and technical.

I have so far assumed that the foot position should be the same as with my clipless setup: balls of feet lined up with pedal spindle

I noticed my ankles get very tired on long descents and they feel better if I move my feet forward slightly.

Is it considered good technique to slide feet forward slightly while descending or is this a crutch or is this a personal "feel" thing which I am overthinking?
davei1980 is offline  
Old 05-28-20, 12:29 PM
  #2  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,256
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1392 Post(s)
Liked 556 Times in 350 Posts
No, it is not a crutch, and there is no rule about having to have the spindle under the ball of your foot with flats. Or that you have to place the spindle in the same position with flats and clipless in general. I know that for me, I tend to place my foot on flat pedals with the spindle farther back than on my clipless. Nice thing about flats is that you can put your foot wherever you want for whatever situation you are in.

There are some folks (particularly this guy) advocating for running the spindle farther back on the foot with flats in general.
Kapusta is offline  
Likes For Kapusta:
Old 05-28-20, 12:34 PM
  #3  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 819

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 153 Posts
I ride with the ball of my foot just forward of the axle, feels good to me there and in a couple instances has still been far enough that when I've bounced my feet still had length to spare though I have big feet.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 05-28-20, 04:20 PM
  #4  
2cam16
Senior Member
 
2cam16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: San Mateo,Ca.
Posts: 3,445

Bikes: TOO MANY

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 236 Posts
With my flats, spindle is also slightly behind the ball of my foot. I feel like I have more control in that position.
2cam16 is offline  
Likes For 2cam16:
Old 05-28-20, 08:25 PM
  #5  
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Posts: 1,115

Bikes: Jones Plus LWB

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 82 Posts
Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
No, it is not a crutch, and there is no rule about having to have the spindle under the ball of your foot with flats. Or that you have to place the spindle in the same position with flats and clipless in general. I know that for me, I tend to place my foot on flat pedals with the spindle farther back than on my clipless. Nice thing about flats is that you can put your foot wherever you want for whatever situation you are in.

There are some folks (particularly this guy) advocating for running the spindle farther back on the foot with flats in general.
thank you- I just assumed that my clipless setup is optimal. Gonna mess around and see if my ankles thank me.

i might have weak ankles too- when I run my ankles get sore long before I become winded....
davei1980 is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 07:36 PM
  #6  
qclabrat
Senior Member
 
qclabrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,358
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 61 Posts
Keep at this Dave, everything difficult has its rewards
qclabrat is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 08:50 PM
  #7  
Ryder1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 144

Bikes: Evil Following MB, D'back Haanjo, Kona Unit SS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
thank you- I just assumed that my clipless setup is optimal. Gonna mess around and see if my ankles thank me.

i might have weak ankles too- when I run my ankles get sore long before I become winded....
After ~13 years on SPDs, I switched to flat pedals last year for the "sole" purpose of moving my foot forward in reference to the spindle. So much happier now. SPDs were murder on my ankles, etc. But I did have to replace my bikes with longer ones.

I find with larger platform pedals, the foot will naturally move forward more than with smaller ones. There are lots of great large pedals nowadays: OneUp, Crank Bros. Stamp, Kona Wah Wah 2, etc. You can get all those in nylon/composite for $50 or pay more for alloy (which have very few advantages). Sticky shoes also help a lot. Good luck!
Ryder1 is offline  
Old 05-30-20, 09:25 AM
  #8  
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Posts: 1,115

Bikes: Jones Plus LWB

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 82 Posts
Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
After ~13 years on SPDs, I switched to flat pedals last year for the "sole" purpose of moving my foot forward in reference to the spindle. So much happier now. SPDs were murder on my ankles, etc. But I did have to replace my bikes with longer ones.

I find with larger platform pedals, the foot will naturally move forward more than with smaller ones. There are lots of great large pedals nowadays: OneUp, Crank Bros. Stamp, Kona Wah Wah 2, etc. You can get all those in nylon/composite for $50 or pay more for alloy (which have very few advantages). Sticky shoes also help a lot. Good luck!
Thanks man - I am great with nylon pedals but my next ones will have replaceable metal pins unlike my current ones which (DMR V6's) all the pins are sheered off from strikes.

Because of price, reputation, color choices (I prefer pink pedals, long story, lots of daughters), etc. I am going to try RF Chester's next - I have very small feet (size 8 in mens/41 eur) with EXTREMELY high arches so I don't think I need a huge platform.

Gonna try some new foot positions and see if my ankles love me for the decreased leverage on them.

Cheers!
davei1980 is offline  
Old 05-30-20, 01:02 PM
  #9  
Ryder1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 144

Bikes: Evil Following MB, D'back Haanjo, Kona Unit SS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post

Because of price, reputation, color choices (I prefer pink pedals, long story, lots of daughters), etc. I am going to try RF Chester's next - I have very small feet (size 8 in mens/41 eur) with EXTREMELY high arches so I don't think I need a huge platform.

Gonna try some new foot positions and see if my ankles love me for the decreased leverage on them.
I also have crazy high arches and ankle issues - coincidence? Even with the SPD cleats fully rearward on shoe, they feel too far forward, like I'm tippy-toeing. Flats feel so much better, more stable to me. Maybe people with high arches are better candidates for flat pedals?

Chester colors are great. I am currently picking out a custom powder coat color, so I looked at the Chester colors for inspiration, lol. RF needs to make a "large" version already, would definitely sell.
Ryder1 is offline  
Likes For Ryder1:
Old 05-31-20, 07:09 PM
  #10  
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Posts: 1,115

Bikes: Jones Plus LWB

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 82 Posts
Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
I also have crazy high arches and ankle issues - coincidence? Even with the SPD cleats fully rearward on shoe, they feel too far forward, like I'm tippy-toeing. Flats feel so much better, more stable to me. Maybe people with high arches are better candidates for flat pedals?

Chester colors are great. I am currently picking out a custom powder coat color, so I looked at the Chester colors for inspiration, lol. RF needs to make a "large" version already, would definitely sell.
Cheers to those of us with hi arches! My mom was SO disappointed me and my brothers didn't do ballet.

Clipless is not a problem for me but I never did long descents while standing either, that's when I get in to trouble with my ankles. Gonna mess around a bit with different foot positions as soon as my bike comes back from the shop (new brakes, so exciting!)
davei1980 is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 07:19 AM
  #11  
skibum69
Junior Member
 
skibum69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: New Melbourne, NL
Posts: 13

Bikes: 1999 Brodie JoJo 2003 Litespeed Palmares 2004 Surly 1x1 2004 Surly Steamroller 2008 Electra Super Deluxe 2008 Electra Daisy 2009 Intense VP Tracer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I have always run my pedals, SPD or flats, with the spindle under the ball of my foot, anything else just feels weird. Same goes on my motorcycles.
skibum69 is offline  
Likes For skibum69:
Old 06-10-20, 08:12 AM
  #12  
Amt0571
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Catalonia
Posts: 498

Bikes: Canyon Grand Canyon AL SL 8.0, Btwin Ultra 520 AF GF, Dahon Mu P27, Triban Road 7

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 50 Posts
I use SPD pedals and have the cleat positioned in the rearmost position my shoes allow. The ball of my foot is very slightly forwards of the axle. I use the same position in my MTB and in my road bike.

I set it up like this because if I placed the ball of my feet directly over the axle, I developed pain in my heels on long rides.
Amt0571 is offline  
Likes For Amt0571:
Old 06-10-20, 11:28 PM
  #13  
WannaGetGood
B*ck From Th* D**d
 
WannaGetGood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Lower Mainland, BC
Posts: 2,514

Bikes: 2015 Kona Process 153

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
I haven't read all of the posts above mine so I am sorry if I repeat something. Foot positioning in my opinion is what your comfortable with. One thing I can recommend is that no matter where your feet are on the pedals, its more important to be using your legs to drive the back-end into the ground in order to keep a solid base.Your feet do no need to be super vertical to do that. Keep trying new things, within a logical limit, to find what you find you like.
WannaGetGood is offline  
Likes For WannaGetGood:
Old 06-11-20, 09:09 AM
  #14  
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Posts: 1,115

Bikes: Jones Plus LWB

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 82 Posts
Originally Posted by WannaGetGood View Post
I haven't read all of the posts above mine so I am sorry if I repeat something. Foot positioning in my opinion is what your comfortable with. One thing I can recommend is that no matter where your feet are on the pedals, its more important to be using your legs to drive the back-end into the ground in order to keep a solid base.Your feet do no need to be super vertical to do that. Keep trying new things, within a logical limit, to find what you find you like.
That's a really good point and no, hasn't been mentioned before in this thread
davei1980 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.