Jump to content
seage

Another Foot Position Thread

Recommended Posts

Hey yall, its me again, back with some more beginner questions! I searched the forums first, but the engine isnt the best, haha, so i couldnt find anything that spoke on this part in any depth.

 

So i'm a new rider. Had my wheel not too long and was confined to my basement for a good while due to winter storms. Because of this i kind of learned backwards. I learned to ride very slowly with confidence and faster speeds still kinda throw me a bit. I just got outside and am able to go on extended rides (with breaks) for a few km at a time! I pretty proud of my "babys first glide" ass, honestly, loll. I can easily ride at walking speed now outside due to my confinement. My pivots and turns are ugly as sin, but i can do them,

Anyways, I mention that to say, while learning like that, I found that my feet were flush with the pedals. When i placed my left leg (dominant) on the pedal, id make sure the outer edge of my shoe was parallel to the pedal and just worried about getting it centered, which id test by applying some pressure and doing a spin. With my right, id step up and tuck into the body (by mistake) then pivot my foot to move it outwards a bit. Now with riding outside and going faster, when i mount with my right leg, id step up and i found my heel would be close to, if not touching the wheel, and the toe pointed outwards (out to the right). This KINDA made me feel more stable when riding faster, rather than being perfectly in line with the wheel and within the constraints of the close pedals. I suppose maybe im trying to widen my stance more? I dunno whats going on subconsciously. When looking down it felt like a little bump would bounce my foot off the pedal. I am pretty far off, not using much of the platform. I found when riding slowly outside, after a few km of "warm up" i got comfortable enough to keep moving my feet around on the pedals, and thats when i was able to control the wheel the best. But i'm wondering. Out of most of the best riders ive watched, one of the things ive seen is, one, they keep shifting foot positions. I see toe lifts, heel lifts, little mini pivots side to side, like a heel toe type movement. They dont really seem to suffer from the zombie syndrome. Which probably helps when going long distances. And 2, they seem to have both legs flush with the pedals. Pointing forward. When i do that, i feel like im hugging the wheel and will lose balance at speed. Like i need to have my foot out like a wing, just incase..., but i feel like i could overcome that with practice if its gonna help me become a better rider. I was watching a video from Ian from speedy feet, riding the ks16s and when he pointed the camera down, both of his feet were straight forward on the pedals with the outside of his feet right at the edge. And hes amazing, lol. Then watching Tishawn Fahie, i think his one foot was a bit turned in, which MAY be due to an instep? But im not sure. I havent really watched him walk. 

 

Now interesting thing is, when I walk, i naturally have a straight angle to my feet. I dont have an out turn or in turn at all, its just straight. So im a little surprised that my foot was off to the side. But only when going very slow did it feel comfortable to have both legs flush. But even then i still sometimes managed to fully hug the wheel.

So im curious, should I be trying to keep my feet as straight as possible on the pedals for maximum control? I just feel like having part of my toe/whole side of my foot hanging off is asking for bad news if i ever overlean a corner. Should i be pivoting around? Is it bad to have that overhang? Figure nows the best time to learn!

Thanks all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, seage said:

i naturally have a straight angle to my feet.

Lucky dude. You meant both feet are parallel, right?

If I were you, I would strive for a totally symmetrical stance with a very slight toe in. (ala speedy feet or marthy)

This is not comfortable for all of us but for it will give you a lot of flexibility.

Single foot riding and backward will then come naturally.

Carving and acceleration are easier as it will be like walking or cross country skiing. Weight shifting from one foot to the other avoiding tight squeezes and the dreaded wobbles. The shoulder and arms naturally follow. (not flaying but following)

The advantage of the toe in is that it allows the forward knee (When going forward) to be closer to the center section of the wheel. Great for smoothness, stability and control. Added benefit, by shifting the weight from one foot to the other you avoid fatigue.

When I go backward, I gently cancel the toe in and put more weight on my heels.

This the way I taught my GF.

YMMV

I foresee you are the next Hirsute, brother. ;) 

Edited by pico
corr
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

I started out trying to find that perfect foot position. It really did make a big difference at the time. Now I am happy if my feet are on the pedals. As you get better you will likely just move your feet around until you are comfortable without realizing it.  That is likely how @meepmeepmayer's feet got in that position.

Yep. The nice-looking stances didn't work out and the nice feeling stances looked strange and unsafe (widely overhanging soles, asymmetric, etc.). One day I gave up on the intentional stance and, for a while, even forced myself to not look down until I was riding comfortably to prevent anything getting in the way of "feels right".

1 hour ago, RockyTop said:

(those legs need some sunshine! B)

Tell me about it:D

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

Well I think that you may have just started the first "foot fetish" thread on the forum.   ;)

deletes post whilst screaming

8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

But seriously, you have obviously been trying to work out the best way for you, which is great - unfortunately this is one of those "every rider is different" scenarios.

Having said that, there are some trends...

You are quite right about moving your feet - this will promote circulation and reduce any foot pain. Lifting one heel and the opposite toe and then switching allows you to keep the same momentum, while having a "mini-stretch."

Yep! Im still moving around like crazy, trying to figure this out, haha! Im about to head back out before this evenings rain to try some more with the new tips in my mind. 

But thank for the heel and toe thing! I think i was trying to do it but it wasnt clicking and my feet were hurting. 

8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

The front-to-back positioning also has an affect. Keeping your feet further forward will give you better acceleration (and make it easier to go up hills), but braking will be less effective. While feet further back makes for great braking, but your acceleration will suck. So moving your feet around for this purpose is also beneficial. A growing number of riders I know of are starting to ride with one foot forward (the accelerator foot) and one foot back (the brake foot), giving you much more dynamic control instantaneously.

I noticed that! I wonder which foot would be my accelerator.. Im left footed..so...whatever,, time to ride and see, haha. Its interesting so much of this stuff is on the fly.  But having some knowledge in my back pocket makes it easier for isolated training. 

8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

As to inward / outward foot angle. Again, everyone is different. There is a little known rider over in California who goes by the name of @Marty Backe and if you watch almost any of his videos you will notice he rides with his feet turned inward - this bring his knees together a little more (sort of locking him into position?) and provides very good riding control (at any speed).

Ah yeahh! I was going to mention him, but i didnt want to bother him with a tag, haha. "Little known rider" XD!! Im going to play with that, see how it works for me. Eventually after all this training id like to see where my feet naturally fall. Once i get comfortable that is. 

8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

Personally, I am more bow legged, so my feed tend to angle out a little - though I try to minimise that as shoe leather grips the asphalt better than pedals do in tight turns - sometimes making them VERY tight turns!   :shock2:   

YEP! Thats the part i didnt like so much about the hang off, haha!

8 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

So what does all of this mean for you? Well, not much probably... I think the key thing to focus on above all is finding a position that is comfortable for you. If you aren't comfortable you won't relax, and if you don't relax you will struggle to achieve the zen-like one-ness that gives you total control. Remember also that it will take time - even after thousands of kilometres I still discover new positions and moves - little things, just tweaks that I didn't do before. And provided you are comfortable and relaxed, the miles just get better and better.

It actually means a lot. Ive got a few tidbits now to give a shot during my little practice session. Im looking for that relaxed zone. I rode 8km yesterday and it wasnt until right at the end that i finally was super comfortable. But then i only have like 41km on my wheel thus far and 2 days of continuous riding! I'll keep putting in those miles/km in canada, lol and getting used to things, trying new stuff out and see how it goes! Thank you!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

You are quite right about moving your feet - this will promote circulation and reduce any foot pain. Lifting one heel and the opposite toe and then switching allows you to keep the same momentum, while having a "mini-stretch."

Nice tip.. as another noob EUC'er, I struggle to reposition while riding, and I often have to limit my ride distance because of feet getting tired and achy feeling mostly from not learning to fully relax yet, but it keeps getting better the more I ride. Anyway hopefully this tip will help me too.   I might inadvertently be doing that toe gripping thing as well...I will have to think about that to see if I'm doing it while riding.  Always more to learn and I guess that's also part of the fun.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: that’s so funny, not long ago i had the same problem, how do i place these feet.

I analyzed every YouTube video out there, if my foot was 1mm of i felt unstable.

That was driving me crazy, sometimes i thought is it just me that’s to stupid to do this like all the others.:w00t2:

And then after the 400km mark it was just gone.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second what meep said about getting on without looking once you are able and adjusting from there. Whenever I get on and fail to get a good start it's almost always when I start out looking down at my feet and then do a half start, have to stop and try again.  When I just look forward and push off and lift my off foot up and put it on the pedal it's usually much smoother.

After more experience I find my feet have mostly stopped getting sore, but I went for a 6 mile ride (30 min or so) last night and found my right knee was getting sore near the end.  Feels like my knee is loose sometimes.  Haven't been able to figure out what's going on there yet or why it gets sore mostly in the right knee.  My guess is it's because it's my dominant leg and I must be twisting it in some unnatural way or putting weight on it in a weird way.  Not sure if a knee brace would help or just make it worse.  maybe it's just an issue of developing the muscles and stabilizers for longer rides in the knee area

Edited by Heyzeus
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Rywokast said:

personally i prefer to have my feet pointing straight forward, tucked tightly against the side of the unit and centered on the pedals... but it doesnt matter what i like everyones foot shape, how they carry themselves or how they feel comfortable will be different... dont think about it too much, relax and let yourself naturally find a position youre comfortable with... it will come with practice, when i first started out i would stop at a pole every few blocks and adjust my feet trying to get in a more confortable position but what ive found is you need to think less and just do, just let it come naturally and dont force yourself to be in an uncomfortable position because X is a great rider and has his feet like this

Learned this on todays ride. My foot shape really called for a different style. I was able to get into position tucked a bit tighter and safely on the pedals. Was comfortable, except my knees got tired, because i was practicing going over speed bumps and just kinda stayed bent and ready for everything, haha. But yeah. I think i got it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

The above two posts say everything very well. There's no general ideal stance.

Some things a good stance should do:

  • You're as relaxed as possible.
  • You're in good control of the wheel.
  • You're firmly on the pedals and don't easily slip off.
  • If you stand still, your stance should be mostly neutral. Or maybe not even that, that might just be a part of being relaxed and not strictly necessary on its own.
  • Maybe vary it a bit during a longer ride so you stay relaxed.

Applied all those points and found my happy stance. Although it varies a little. I need to shift around a bit as my calf started dying part way through, haha. 

14 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

That's pretty much it. Nothing wrong with an asymmetrical stance (or anything else that might seem "unusual") as long as it works.

The only other tip I can think of: you'll instinctively try to grab the pedals with your toes, which doesn't work with shoes and cramps your feet (= not relaxed), so you can consciously try to not do grab with your toes and keep your toes relaxed.

Thanks for mentioning this. I took note and realized i was doing it. I stopped and was able to ride MUCH further!

14 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Personally, my primary (left) foot is the accelerator foot and rotated outwards, also hanging a lot over the pedal edge (obviously pedal shape and size also plays a role, and even the shoes). The right foot is a little more parallel to the wheel and a little more inside and backwards and acts as the brake foot. Kudos to @The Fat Unicyclist for spelling out what I always did.

My left is flush and right is out but my left seems to still be the accelerator. Great for fatigue, loll... 

And thanks for the pictures. I should post mine too, haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, seage said:

Learned this on todays ride. My foot shape really called for a different style. I was able to get into position tucked a bit tighter and safely on the pedals. Was comfortable, except my knees got tired, because i was practicing going over speed bumps and just kinda stayed bent and ready for everything, haha. But yeah. I think i got it!

nice.. yea i find it a lot more comfortable to be up against the side of the unit, i feel like you have more control and for my skinny legs the unit wont be allowed to wobble back and forth between my legs and if you go over an unexpected bump or w/e and your feet get bounced around you have a lot of room to move whereas if they were right up against the edge of the pedal or even hanging off slightly they could come off like i have seen in a few videos where people hit something unexpected and their foot bounces off causing them to crash or bail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, pico said:

Lucky dude. You meant both feet are parallel, right?

If I were you, I would strive for a totally symmetrical stance with a very slight toe in. (ala speedy feet or marthy)

This is not comfortable for all of us but for it will give you a lot of flexibility.

Single foot riding and backward will then come naturally.

Carving and acceleration are easier as it will be like walking or cross country skiing. Weight shifting from one foot to the other avoiding tight squeezes and the dreaded wobbles. The shoulder and arms naturally follow. (not flaying but following)

The advantage of the toe in is that it allows the forward knee (When going forward) to be closer to the center section of the wheel. Great for smoothness, stability and control. Added benefit, by shifting the weight from one foot to the other you avoid fatigue.

When I go backward, I gently cancel the toe in and put more weight on my heels.

This the way I taught my GF.

YMMV

I foresee you are the next Hirsute, brother. ;) 

Welp, i tried it, but it didnt go so well, so im sticking with my odd stance. It seems to work well. I adjusted it a lot more so its a bit more flush, but still kinda outside on the pedal. Still secure though! I think im close to getting single foot since my left leg is flush, it easily locks the wheel. But we'll see what happens next. Carving is easier now. Wobbles are going away too. Havent dealt with them much at speed, thankfully. But i dont really have much experience yet still, so we'll see what happens..

But yeah, hopefully with a little shifting when i do things, i can manage to learn to do all the cool things you do! Hhaha. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, RockyTop said:

I started out trying to find that perfect foot position. It really did make a big difference at the time. Now I am happy if my feet are on the pedals. As you get better you will likely just move your feet around until you are comfortable without realizing it. 

I decided to try for this. Just moving and praying. I found slow speed carving helped me figure out if i was in the right place, then once i felt it, id accelerate! Felt like a good formula, haha. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

Another thing that I find helps with circulation in the feet is some good old carving or slaloming... If your ride happens to include a good wide and long stretch, rather than just ride through it "stationary", the act of swinging from side to side will "adjust" your muscle tension and foot pressure, pumping that blood back up a bit more.

Oh, and it is just way more fun too!   :D

I did this today after reading the thread! It worrrrrrrrrrrks! Helped so much, and felt so good to slalom. I felt like i had so much more control of my wheel after id slalom a bit. Its more active than just going, and it helped me to stay active and not get caught offguard by anything on the road. 

 

6 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

that’s so funny, not long ago i had the same problem, how do i place these feet.

I analyzed every YouTube video out there, if my foot was 1mm of i felt unstable.

That was driving me crazy, sometimes i thought is it just me that’s to stupid to do this like all the others.:w00t2:

And then after the 400km mark it was just gone.

I guess thats what its all about... just finding your thing. But im still glad i asked. I got some really good tips that helped me today, like the offset and heel and toe to stretch and so on. 

 

6 hours ago, Heyzeus said:

I second what meep said about getting on without looking once you are able and adjusting from there. Whenever I get on and fail to get a good start it's almost always when I start out looking down at my feet and then do a half start, have to stop and try again.  When I just look forward and push off and lift my off foot up and put it on the pedal it's usually much smoother.

I found the more relaxed the lift, the better my stance. When i try to rush it or hop on, its almost always a bad take. But you're right. I like this approach, haha.

 

6 hours ago, Heyzeus said:

After more experience I find my feet have mostly stopped getting sore, but I went for a 6 mile ride (30 min or so) last night and found my right knee was getting sore near the end.  Feels like my knee is loose sometimes.  Haven't been able to figure out what's going on there yet or why it gets sore mostly in the right knee.  My guess is it's because it's my dominant leg and I must be twisting it in some unnatural way or putting weight on it in a weird way.  Not sure if a knee brace would help or not just make it worse.  maybe it's just an issue of developing the muscles and stabilizers for longer rides in the knee area

Im sore...always... ALWAYS. But today my knees were sore. I changed my stance up for impact. Knees bent most of the ride, going over bumps and stuff. After a while i didnt even realize i was still in a stance to take imperfections. The pressure eased off when i stood up straight again. Were you riding on a long stretch of uneven/broken ground or offroad? It may have done it. Ive only been able to do 4miles at one time (that was today) and that was good enough for me. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Rywokast said:

nice.. yea i find it a lot more comfortable to be up against the side of the unit, i feel like you have more control and for my skinny legs the unit wont be allowed to wobble back and forth between my legs and if you go over an unexpected bump or w/e and your feet get bounced around you have a lot of room to move whereas if they were right up against the edge of the pedal or even hanging off slightly they could come off like i have seen in a few videos where people hit something unexpected and their foot bounces off causing them to crash or bail

Yeah, see thats what i want to never happen. Its what i was worried about, but i think im tucked in enough for it not to. Even when hitting those bumps and bouncing a bit, i seemed to land pretty well, and stay fairly locked into the wheel. I dont want to experience that. It sounds like that kinda panic you get wehn you miss the last step and just drop. Ugh, my heart, hahaha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Rywokast said:

like this 

 

Im surprised that his face went down. It felt like he caught himself with his hands, then suddenly he face slid???? It almost looked like he passed out or something. But watching it , he got a few steps in, fell forward, caught himself with his hands, and then just...... i dont get it. Is it the weight of the helmet that pushed his head down maybe? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, seage said:

Im surprised that his face went down. It felt like he caught himself with his hands, then suddenly he face slid???? It almost looked like he passed out or something. But watching it , he got a few steps in, fell forward, caught himself with his hands, and then just...... i dont get it. Is it the weight of the helmet that pushed his head down maybe? 

just got tripped up.. doesnt look to be in peak physical condition lol so im assuming he just couldnt keep up the speed on his feet and tumbled down

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch @ that video, just a further reminder of why I need to keep saving up for my full face helm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Heyzeus said:

Ouch @ that video, just a further reminder of why I need to keep saving up for my full face helm

And an EUC Bodyguard...   :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×