Foot Position

Was wondering what type of foot position people prefer. I did a quick search of the forums and found that some suggest positioning the balls of your feet over the pedal, while others prefer positioning the arch over the pedal. I learned to ride with pressure on the balls of my feet, but now that I’m starting to get into some muni, I’m questioning if this is the best way to go. On really bumpy terrain, I sometimes find it difficult to keep my feet on the pedals.


balls are better for you (i think)
if you do drops, ride arches, because other wise you WILL roll your ankles (over flex them on the landing)

Extremely good point. Are there any penalties to using the balls such as shorter jumps or less mobility?

not really, that i know of. i am less agressive with balls on the pedals because i know i will get hurt if i do onything big.
pretty much the only difference is comfort ( i find balls more comfortable) and rate of injury

Feet Positioning on the Pedals

For MUni you have to ride arch over the pedal. Balls could be good if you are doing a lot of FreeStyle. I never likes Balls positioning and always found that I had much more power and control with Arch.


I can imagine that using the balls of your feet would be advantageous if you were doing flip tricks…

That power statement isn’t true at all, why do you think a proper riding style on mountain and road cycling is to use the balls of your feet. You get a much larger push force on the pedals when you need it.

I use the balls of my feet because using arch causes the pedals to press into bones that are fairly flexible and weak…doing larger drops could make you much more prone to injury.

Foot Positioning

I see my leg/foot as a lever. The shorter the lever the more power it is going to have. You will be able to lift much more weight with your knee than with your foot.


However at the same time this isn’t a pure physics question, it’s a part of biology. Which muscles can apply the most force without suffering in strength. What I said before tends to be common lore within the biking community.

I tink dat:

Taking big drops(about 2 feet) is all about compression on the joints, not the spring in your step.
Don’t take a big drop with your toes on the pedals unless you know wuz sup.

The best is to use all foot positions available whenever they’re appropriate. I’m always shifting my feet around when I do MUni. I tend to be on the balls when I’m climbing and on the arches when I’m descending.

As long as you’re not hurting yourself because of your foot position, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Just put your feet however they feel best and adjust as needed.

But sureley if you put your arches on a big drop, that will impact much more on your arches than it would on your toes. Think about it, you’re not compacting the toe joints like you would your ankles. You can use your toe joints as a way of increasing the impulse across your ankle and therefore reducing the impact of the force on the ankle.

I use balls for almost everything. Always have, with no ill effects.

The almost is for hard cranking uphill, big drops and anything else where you need power, or might risk hyperextending your ankle. For me that equates to when I’m cranking up really steep hills (MUni). I don’t do that many big drops, though I can see the sense in using your arches for that too.

For everything else, balls!

I’m with phlegm ahem cough ptooie erm, Kevin. Don’t worry about foot position so much… just do what’s comfortable.

If you’re having problems keeping your feet on the pedals, there are a few things you can do… get a pedal with longer pins, try a different shoe, or pull on your handle more.

When things get bumpy and your butt flies out of the seat, if you’re not pulling on the handle, you’ll have a much harder time keeping your feet on the pedals.

Sounds like the writings of someone who’s never injured their ankle on a drop.

Think of the foot as a lever, and the ankle as the fulcrum. For a constant force on the foot, the longer the lever, the more torque is applied to the ankle.

Stay off them toes when you drop, kiddies! Sprained ankles take a while to heal!

…surely that makes my point even more valid. Seeing as I do drops like that and havn’t had an injured ankle from doing it.

Anyway, it’s personal preference at the end of the day. You pick up more the more you ride.

For me, it depends. If im just cruising along, or doing drops under 2 or so feet, its more on the balls of my feet. If I am doing trials, muni, gapping sets, and big drops, I am on my arches.

Heres what happens when you do big drops on your toes. Just let the video load, then skip to 5:59.

WHat size drops are you doing? for drops even just over 3 ft., having the balls of your feet on the pedal give the back of the foot no support, and leads to the straining of the achilles. i did that onces

come ride with me. i know of a nice 9 set(nice and big) you can jump that way. when you you break your ankles i wont be taking you to the ER though.
their is a much better chance of messing up your ankles with your feet o their balls as opposed to the arches.

Wow, you must be an expert! Say, have you had any traumatic brain injuries? If you don’t wear a helmet and you haven’t, I guess that means we don’t need to either! :roll_eyes:

More seriously, personal preference will get you so far. Advice that’s been collected from dozens or hundreds of people who’ve already been there is a little more useful.

yea all my weight it on the arches, it becomes natural over time I think.