Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Does anyone else stand and scoot their butt back when descending?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Does anyone else stand and scoot their butt back when descending?

Old 05-01-12, 07:03 PM
  #1  
jsdavis
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,309
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Does anyone else stand and scoot their butt back when descending?

When descending hills headed home, I often find myself standing and scooting my butt back such that the saddle clamped between my thighs. Somehow this feels more stable than staying seated. I cannot pedal well in this position but I do not care to do so either.
jsdavis is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:05 PM
  #2  
DX-MAN
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I will do that if I'm descending STAIRS; if it's just a downhill, I lean forward.
DX-MAN is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:10 PM
  #3  
jsdavis
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,309
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I always feel like I am about to go OTB if I lean forward and apply the brakes. I have not attempted descending stairs.
jsdavis is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:16 PM
  #4  
DX-MAN
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The trick with the brakes is:

1. SQUEEEEEEZE, not grab, the brakes EQUALLY.

BTW, I don't like going down stairs all that much, in fact, 5 steps is about my limit; it just happens sometimes. Haven't 'been there' yet on the new bike, a little curious how it will handle it -- the new bike has done SO MUCH BETTER than anything else I've ridden with SO MUCH of my in-ride silliness............
DX-MAN is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:16 PM
  #5  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,852

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
I tend to stand with my arse floating over and slightly behind the saddle, but I don't grip it with my thighs. Defeats the purpose of letting the legs act as shock absorbers...
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:17 PM
  #6  
seely
The Rabbi
 
seely's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,125
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Everyday. I have one *really* steep hill on my way to work. I think its an old mountain biking habit for me -- I assume the position so to speak: butt hovering *just* above the saddle and back, knees out a bit fingers on brake lever tips. Old habits die hard I guess.
seely is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 07:22 PM
  #7  
jsdavis
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,309
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I am usually braking the whole way down on the steeper part, otherwise, I probably will be going 40+ MPH at the bottom.

There is a less steep route where I usually just let the bike go but I give myself about 200-300ft to stop.
jsdavis is offline  
Old 05-01-12, 08:09 PM
  #8  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,681

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
yes. occasionally.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 09:16 AM
  #9  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 6,422

Bikes: '71 Jeunet 640, '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1216 Post(s)
Liked 1,021 Times in 555 Posts
Yup. Mountain biking habit. On a steep descent, I will stand, scoot back, and lean flat. I know it's silly on a road bike, that is to say not needed, but it's what I do. It's for stability, particularly if you're going to encounter some rough surface or unforeseen bumps...
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 09:23 AM
  #10  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 15 Posts
If the terrain is rough or it allows to to get more aero on a particularly fast descent, yes.

I see it is a habit among those of us who also ride off road where most descents tend to have things that will jump up and kill you and where un-weighting the front wheel is very important.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 09:33 AM
  #11  
Breathegood
Senior Member
 
Breathegood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Castle Rock, CO
Posts: 332

Bikes: '09 Gary Fisher "Kaitai, '09 Raleigh Team", '91 Trek 8700, '97 Cannondale SR500, '12 Raleigh Twin Six

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I try not to grip the saddle with my thighs, but yes, this is my descending technique. With my weight off the saddle and on the peddles I can use my whole body to drive the bike rather than just use my hands to steer and hold on for the ride. It also allows me more freedom to adjust my CoG as necessary.
Breathegood is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 09:38 AM
  #12  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,698
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13857 Post(s)
Liked 5,042 Times in 2,845 Posts
Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
I always feel like I am about to go OTB if I lean forward and apply the brakes. I have not attempted descending stairs.
What kind of bike do you have?

What you're doing weights the rear wheel, and if you need to do a panic stop, it'll let you get a lot more out of your front brake, because of it. You're also using your arms and legs as a suspension. This gives you better control (and comfort!) over bad pavement.

I do all that sometimes if I need to descend a steep hill in a straight line. But most of the time when I'm descending, I'll get down in the drops. This weights the front wheel, allowing me to turn more quickly and with less distance, puts me in a more aerodynamic position which lets me pick up more speed, and also helps to stabilize the bike.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 10:00 AM
  #13  
CACycling
Senior Member
 
CACycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Posts: 4,565

Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
On really steep and/or rough decents, I'll hover over the saddle with my butt further back to keep my weight centered. Otherwise I just go to the drops (if I'm on one of my bikes with drop bars) and get as aero as possible.
CACycling is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 10:17 AM
  #14  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,309 Times in 822 Posts
It is a common off road MTB technique for steep slopes, moves your CofG back.

Also useful when there is a big bump you see, and so, anticipate,
get off the saddle and let your legs be the springs.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 10:37 AM
  #15  
MadCityCyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 305

Bikes: Brompton M6R, Salsa Mukluk II, Trek 7500, Raliegh fixie, 3 SS cruisers, JC Higgins Color Flow, Junker Flying Jet, KHS F20-A, Worksman trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do it over downhill bumps, but certainly not the entire hill.
MadCityCyclist is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 10:59 AM
  #16  
modernjess
ride for a change
 
modernjess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 2,221

Bikes: Surly Cross-check & Moonlander, Pivot Mach 429, Ted Wojcik Sof-Trac, Ridley Orion. Santa Cruz Stigmata

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Yup. Mountain biking habit. On a steep descent, I will stand, scoot back, and lean flat. I know it's silly on a road bike, that is to say not needed, but it's what I do. It's for stability, particularly if you're going to encounter some rough surface or unforeseen bumps...
+1 mountain biking taught me this. On big steeps, and you take it to the extreme and get your ass way back almost rubbing the back tire which makes it's nearly impossible to go over the bars. A less extreme version I'll do even though it's not necessary per se on a road bike. It's just a habit and it make it feel like I'm more prepared in case of unforeseen obstacles, and there isn't a compelling reason to not do it.
modernjess is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 11:22 AM
  #17  
ben4345
Kitten Legion Master
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 900

Bikes: Fuji silhouette, Dawes SST-aL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do, going down a steep hill, you'll need to use your front brakes and more overall stability. I place my butt at the rear end of my seat, now I don't take if off it unless I am going over bumps. And I put my weight as low as I can, giving me as low center of gravity as I can.
I've wiped out or flipped on my bike to know when I need to do this.
ben4345 is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 11:52 AM
  #18  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,691

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9904 Post(s)
Liked 2,087 Times in 1,433 Posts
Originally Posted by seely View Post
Everyday. I have one *really* steep hill on my way to work. I think its an old mountain biking habit for me -- I assume the position so to speak: butt hovering *just* above the saddle and back, knees out a bit fingers on brake lever tips. Old habits die hard I guess.
This is what I do too... but not an MTB habit for me, almost all my riding has been street.
genec is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 11:58 AM
  #19  
Tigerprawn
Pug lover! Dogs and bikes
 
Tigerprawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Always on steep steep descents. Nothing on a commute, but it makes me feel a lot more safe during the steep stuff
Tigerprawn is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 01:49 PM
  #20  
DVC45
Senior Member
 
DVC45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,878
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Standing up and forward here too, if it's a clear route. Love the feeling. Kinda like flying or like a ski jump.
DVC45 is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 08:27 PM
  #21  
Digital_Cowboy
Senior Member
 
Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 9,352

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock Mountain (Stolen); Giant Seek 2 (Stolen); Diamondback Ascent mid 1980 - 1997

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
When descending hills headed home, I often find myself standing and scooting my butt back such that the saddle clamped between my thighs. Somehow this feels more stable than staying seated. I cannot pedal well in this position but I do not care to do so either.
It depends on if I'm sprinting/hammering or if I'm coasting. If I'm sprinting/hammering then I'm standing and leaning forward in as aero of a position as I can assume. If I'm coasting then I'm still assuming an aero position but have scooted back.

Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
I will do that if I'm descending STAIRS; if it's just a downhill, I lean forward.
I haven't tempted stairs. It might be fun to give try sometime.

Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I tend to stand with my arse floating over and slightly behind the saddle, but I don't grip it with my thighs. Defeats the purpose of letting the legs act as shock absorbers...
Agreed, that's why I'm "standing" while both hammering and/or coasting. So that I can use my legs legs as shock absorbers. I don't grip anything with my thighs.
Digital_Cowboy is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 08:34 PM
  #22  
me and my bike
a student and his bike
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: irvine
Posts: 76

Bikes: felt brougham

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
not going to lie, sometimes i do so even on small hills cuz i feel like a bad a**
me and my bike is offline  
Old 05-03-12, 05:51 AM
  #23  
ryanwood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern Iowa
Posts: 502

Bikes: surly cross check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have 2 pretty long descents on my route, and I usually stand for both of them. This is a habit from long touring trips where I take advantage of a few seconds of coasting to take the weight of my rear end and stretch a little bit.
ryanwood is offline  
Old 05-03-12, 08:12 AM
  #24  
JReade
Senior Member
 
JReade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,617
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'll stand if I want to stretch, otherwise, I'm in the drops and maybe have my rear off the saddle for bumps.
JReade is offline  
Old 05-04-12, 05:34 AM
  #25  
badger1
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 4,495
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1201 Post(s)
Liked 401 Times in 233 Posts
Depends on the situation but yes (excluding the 'saddle grip') ... as with some others here, mtb habit transferred to the street/road. It's the mtb "attack" or "control" position: hover over the saddle/lightly cover the brakes; shift weight back when descending and/or braking hard, use legs as shock absorbers. Don't do it so much anymore (descending) on the open road, but in traffic (possible sudden stops) or when anticipating rough ground, using that position is pretty much instinctive with me.
badger1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.