To follow off my last question (what are good training program for offroad racing?), what is the best ridding position/riding positions for each portion of XC racing?

  • 2
    The one that best suits you is the best
    – ebrohman
    Nov 27, 2015 at 22:07
  • 2
    As written it is not clear what you are looking for. You may want to provide either examples or a definition of what you mean by an XC position. Are you talking about cockpit changes such as bar to saddle drop or something crazy like upright bike MTB vs a recumbent MTB? If it is the former it is also good to describe the what type of trail system you are riding on (e.g., North Shore BC Canada XC riding is super technical with big drops and hits, requiring a much more upright cockpit position relative to flatter areas - e.g., Bend Oregon).
    – Rider_X
    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:03
  • @Rider_X see thats exactly what im asking. i dont know, i want to learn these things.
    – BuildNC
    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:18
  • Suggest you research "Attack position" on google, watch some videos etc, as it is the starting point of virtually every technical technique - cornering, drops, hill climbs, rock gardens etc.
    – mattnz
    Nov 29, 2015 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


Feet on the pedals, hands on the handle bars, one or two fingers on your brake levers would be a base position.

If you're doing something technical, then bum off the seat or at least unweighted, with pedals fore-and-aft. Doesn't matter which pedal leads, but it'll probably be your primary side, right foot for those who are right handed.

Pedaling when you are able to helps maintain momentum. Pedaling on a downhill may feel redundant but it gets you up to speed faster.

On a long climb sit forward in the saddle and lean forward to keep your center of mass forward. If it gets too steep and the front wheel starts lifting on the downstroke, stand up and lean forwards. You can get your stem right up close to your crotch and still pedal uphill.

For downhill you want the opposite, to have your weight back. The skilled and truly insane drop their seats and can essentially put their arse on the rear tyre while riding. This reduces the chance of doing an end over end, over the handlebars should the front wheel drop into a hole.

Cornering - There are plenty of different opinions on cornering technique, as per comments below.

Cornering depends a lot on the surface. If its hardpack treat it like a road and lean in, raising the inside pedal and pushing down on the outside one. If the surface is looser you should unweight the front wheel by leaning back a little through the corner. Lean the bike a bit more to get the knobbly shoulder bumps of the tyre biting the ground surface. The rider should not lean as much as the bike leans.

That's a start, I'm sure the offroaders here can expand on points.

On hindsight this answer is somewhat facetious, so please use comments to clarify.

  • The way you describe cornering on loose surface is wrong. The front wheel will slide out unless you put weight on it. Outside pedal is low and heavily loaded, bike leaned into the corner to get the side knobs of the tires working, rider more upright than the bike, off the saddle, in attack position, weight forward. Unlike road, the bike needs to move independent of the rider.
    – mattnz
    Nov 28, 2015 at 19:35
  • @mattnz A rider can often recover from a rear wheel slide, whereas if the front wheel slides its all-over. I agree with you about the side knobblies.
    – Criggie
    Nov 28, 2015 at 21:01
  • A rear wheel slide is actually harder to recover from if you've weighted the rear wheel due to a pendulum effect. Plus the front wheel will push or slide out when unweighted. If you are worried about washing out the front you can always come into the corner with the inside foot off the pedal and ready to tri-pod.
    – Rider_X
    Nov 29, 2015 at 3:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.