Heavy feet, light hands

A new reader of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills has found the key to great riding — and it’s opening up a whole new world of stoke.

On good days, I wedge my weight between the pedals and rock the Tea Party grip. This was a good day.


I have been riding for many years and starting reading your book “Mastering Mountain Bike Skills.” I read the section on how to touch your bike and really took note of the handlebar section.

I did not really ever notice how much weight I was actually placing on my bars. This one technique of staying light on my bar and not using them to hold myself up has opened up a whole new level of bike handling.

My turns are sharper, cleaner and my bike instantly feels like a Ginsu knife instead of a fat hog. I always knew I was a “heavy rider,” not heavy in weight but heavy on the bike, never really knew why, just thought that was my style.

I found it was not my style but a bad habit that was holding back my progression more than I knew. Thanks and look forward to reading the rest of your book.


Right on Christian!

You found the A-1 key to bike handling: Heavy feet and light hands.

Have fun!

— Lee

4 replies
  1. Justin Brown says:

    I just rode DH for the first time in a while and my mantra for the day was “heavy feet lite hands.” I can’t say that I was killing it, but I certainly felt sharper on the bike.

  2. Christian says:

    Aah crap! Kinda like golf, I had my grove on yesterday. I was able to keep my hands light and feet heavy, I was in the zone. Today, blew most of my turns because I was not keeping my hands light through the entire turn and looking into the turn instead of through it. Good thing there is always tomorrow, maybe my groove will be back, or I will find that I just really suck like I do at golf. Oh well.

  3. Jonas says:

    Hi Lee
    At the beginning of the season I recognized that I used to ride with my weight far too much back. I allways pulled at the bar.
    It didn’t take long to get it right, weight over the pedals, hands neutral. Not only did I ride a lot better, the problems with my forearms I had before disappeared.
    However, I had some hard crashes I suppose wouldn’t have happened with my position further back. In those situations I couldn’t hold on to my handlebar and went straight over bars after a hit to my front wheel. I guess the problem is that my shoulders are nearly straight over the bars if I have my full weight on the pedals, so there isn’t much room for moving further forward. Is my bike too short for me? I am about 6 ft and ride a Santa Cruz Bullit size M with a 50 mm stem.If not, how would you adjust to this problem?

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