Stay on ball of foot on the foot pegs?

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#1
This is a new concept for me. Seems like there are some instructors and riders that recommend keeping on the balls of your feet on the footpegs vs. the arch of the foot. I guess the idea is you can more easily keep your knees against the tank and control your body’s center of gravity on the bike.

Riding in this manner requires moving the feet to brake and or shift, then returning the ball of the foot after. I tried this today and I can say that it is relatively comfortable and seems to lend toward better posture and maybe even better control of the bike in turns, etc.

It was a little weird feeling though, as I am used to just turning my foot right where it is on the pegs and shifting/braking. This is going to require some practice to get the muscle memory down and keep it smooth if I continue with this technique.

Anybody out there ride this way on their S10? Wondering if this is a skill worth developing or not. Thanks.
 

Ape

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#2
It is funny that you write this. Just the other day I was trying to ride with my arch on the pegs flat footed and I find it very hard to do. I always migrate back to the balls of my feet on the pegs. It just seems natural to me.
 

markjenn

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#3
Bike design permitting, it's pretty much universally recommended that one's default position for maximum bike control is to have your feet with weight on the balls of your feet, not your instep. It leads to a more "active" riding position in which you're using your leg muscles to weight/unweight the pegs (both for handling and bump absorption) and to grip the bike with your knees and have a more "locked-in" riding position. It's also advantageous to have your weight situated to be to be able to move around on the bike for cornering/ And your riding posture is slightly more aggressive with your weight back and leaning more forward which is good for handling.

But, as mentioned, it does require re-positioning one's feet for shifting/rear-braking and it is not necessarily the most comfortable position. Many riders compromise by kicking back for the droning and only get in the "attack" position when they're going to be actively cornering the bike. With bikes like the S10 with integrated braking, their isn't much need to use the rear brake pedal, so one's right foot can generally stay put.

To me, the question of what you do with your feet position is a little like covering the front brake all the time..... there are performance advantages but they need to be traded off with comfort considerations. No absolute answers.

And some bikes (most cruisers) don't give you the option - you're locked into the c-clamp riding position and you couldn't get the weight on the balls of your feet if you wanted to.

- Mark
 

WJBertrand

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#5
Besides the advice above, another really important reason to keep the balls of your feet up on the pegs is to avoid touching down your toes in a hard corner. If you ground your foot hard enough it can be knocked off on the peg or worse, dragged under and injured.


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Don in Lodi

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#6
WJBertrand said:
Besides the advice above, another really important reason to keep the balls of your feet up on the pegs is to avoid touching down your toes in a hard corner. If you ground your foot hard enough it can be knocked off on the peg or worse, dragged under and injured.


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It bothers me a lot when I can't see daylight under a rider's toes.
 
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#8
I am on the right track then looks like! It’s exciting to learn a new skill and put it into practice (even at almost 50yrs old!).

All of the years I rode and everything I have read up until recently, this technique was NEVER covered. Not even during the MSF safety course - the initial one not the advanced courses.

I think I initially learned about it on the MCrider YouTube channel, which I think is great for safety and skill building.

Another reason why I love this forum. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
 
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#9
WJBertrand said:
Besides the advice above, another really important reason to keep the balls of your feet up on the pegs is to avoid touching down your toes in a hard corner. If you ground your foot hard enough it can be knocked off on the peg or worse, dragged under and injured.


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::026:: I still remember the first hard corner that I touched my toe on the pavement. That is what woke me up to have my balls of my feet on the pegs.

Or you could try what this guy was trying and just rest your foot right on the ground Fred Flintstone style! Not sure what he was trying to do here? Manual tilt/grind sensor? He is lucky he didn't break his leg!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYxU_lYBHpY
 
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#10
Man that guy was lucky he was wearing boots. Even still that looked ugly as hell when his foot goes behind and under when he lowsides.
 
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#12
WJBertrand said:
The most important thing is that he maintained his “cool”.


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::025:: Absolutely! If you are going to crash at least make it seem like you meant to do it!
 

VRODE

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#14
When I was growing up riding dirtbikes and later racing MX I always rode on the arch (and stood up a lot). When I started street riding in my 40's I went to riding on the balls of my feet. Mostly because whenever I saw pics of racers or street riders, that's what I noticed. I only ride on my arches when standing up now, which is seldom (only over really gnarly stuff).
 
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#15
Glad you brought that up. As far as the S10 goes, weighting the pegs on the balls of the feet seems fine while seated, but I tried it while standing and my balance seemed way off until I moved backward toward the arch.

But I guess this would make sense since you would not lean the bike (or your body?) in such an exaggerated manner while off-road or in situations which would warrant standing on the pegs in the first place?

God I would love to take the MSF off road course. On my bucket list.
 

WJBertrand

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#16
I will rest the arches of my feet on the pegs occasionally when riding longer, relatively straight freeways & highways. It changes the knee angle and the way you are distributing your weight on the seat, so helps with fatigue. At the first hint of any turns though - back up on the balls.
 

VRODE

Easy Does It
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#17
WJBertrand said:
I will rest the arches of my feet on the pegs occasionally when riding longer, relatively straight freeways & highways. It changes the knee angle and the way you are distributing your weight on the seat, so helps with fatigue. At the first hint of any turns though - back up on the balls.
[/quote

Same here. (arthritic knee)
 
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#18
I tend to in my relaxed street riding to ride on my arches , and have noticed when im slightly more focused (aggressive ) I move my feet so the balls are on the pegs , seems to help in feel and control..... it seems that those with dirt experience ride on the balls as a matter of course ….. as I have been exploring the purchase of a dirt bike to play with I have learned through you tube video instruction that dirt riders mostly use the ball of the foot , helps in control and is safer for the foot as its less likely to get hung up in objects you may encounter along the trail etc.... makes sense , don't need help to hang my size twelves..... something new to learn is always good.
 
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