You have an amazingly efficient suspension system in your arms (and your legs as well when you rise off your saddle); they bend and flex to absorb bumps, automatically adjusting to the degree of impact.
Experts claim that your riding position must distribute your weight more or less equally between your front and rear wheel, with your handlebar lower than your saddle, resulting in the conventional back-bent, neck-wrenched and arms-stretched posture.
If your arms have to stretch to reach the handlebar, your ability to balance and steer using the flexibility of your upper body to shift your centre-of-gravity is seriously hampered. That’s why the expense, weight and complications of a ‘proper’ suspension system is so vital for most mountain-bikers; it partially compensates for the inflexibility of their riding posture.
This weight-bias-equalisation thing seems to be part of that “rider-and-bicycle-moving-as-one” idea; the bike fits you perfectly; everything is in exactly the right place, all you have to do is remain in a relatively fixed position on your saddle and spin your pedals. In some people’s minds, this idea can be seen as entirely appropriate, but only when you’re riding on a smooth road and trying to beat the clock.
Cross-country adventures, with their varied terrain, demand a less passive posture; you need to actively shift your weight forwards, backwards and side to side. This natural suspension system comes free of charge, requires minimal maintenance and is most efficient with the flexibility an upright riding posture provides.
Posted by JezT
Nobody (except Geoff) has sat down to really think about which posture may be ideal for the variability of true cross-country cycling.
Interestingly, there has been a gradual move towards a slightly more upright posture on trail bikes over recent years, but there’s a long way to go to get that Cleland ‘poise’.
Does this make sense to you?
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