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Master the Attack Position with Your Mountain Bike: 5 Steps

Mountain bikes are one of those must-have bikes for cyclists who love going on off-the-road adventures. They are perfect for traveling on rough terrains, going uphill, and biking down curvy slopes.

Learning the attack position is essential for those looking forward to riding along twisted, uneven, rocky roads. Besides, mastering this position can also help to work with other derived riding techniques, making you an expert with your mountain bike on off-trails.

You’ll need to learn five steps to master the attack position with your mountain bike. These involve positioning every part of your body to balance your ride.

The Attack Position Explained

The Attack position is a position every off-road biker should learn, as it’s the foundation of every standing cycling position. To master this position, whether on mountain bikes or other off-trail bikes, you basically have to learn how to ride while standing on the pedals and balancing yourself.

All cyclists are habituated to riding their bikes in a seated, neutral position while on the road. This is a stable position for plain terrains; however, it won’t let you maneuver well enough when riding twisted, rocky trails and up and down the slopes with hurdles ahead. That’s why learning the attached position is a must.

Anyone can learn the attack position with proper instructions. Whether you’re learning it or your kids are, you’ll need to understand the proper steps to master the position.

Steps to Master the Attack Position With Mountain Bike

Following are the steps to master the attack position with your mountain bike and enjoy the benefits of biking simultaneously. Keep in mind that you’ll need to balance your arms and legs as you are supposed to maneuver your bike against the twists and turns on the rough terrains. For that, you’ll need to engage your entire body.

1.  Standing on the Pedals

Before you start riding on the attack position, you must first practice standing on the pedals. This is also something vital for kids if they’re just learning how to ride a bike.

As the first step to it, position yourself to align your weight with the center of the bike, keeping your knees bent slightly and open for some balance. The next step is to distribute your weight evenly, as over half of your body weight will be on the pedals.

The core focus will be on your legs rather than your arms so that your hands are free for steering. Level the crank horizontally by dropping your heels toward the ground, bringing the center of your weight closer to the bike.

2.  Position of the Elbows

Your elbows should be wide open and apart from your body instead of bringing them close. This will allow you to steer and control your bike better since mountain bikes are typically heavy. You’ll also be weighing forward this way, maintaining inertia for your bike to move forward.

You should keep your elbows directly above the handlebars to put the rest of your body weight on the front wheels of your bike. This will ensure proper control and balance and put your weight towards the front of the bike to allow smooth forward movement.

3.  Bending the Limbs

Your arms and knees should always be bent and away from your body. This won’t just help to keep some space to turn and control your bike with the uneven trails but also to allow enough balance for a proper attack position.

Bending your arms and legs will also allow you to look straight on the trail instead of focusing on how you operate your bike. Riding your mountain bike will then feel like second nature to you. And if you face something you need to jump over, you’ll be prepared to lift your bike up with your limbs and bounce over it freely.

4.  Holding the Brakes

This is important to learn and make a habit of your reflexes in the attack position. Don’t engage all your fingers on the handlebars. Instead, you should cover your brakes with one finger to ensure braking on time when you spot an unavoidable obstacle ahead.

You may think that keeping all the fingers on the handlebar won’t do much harm and that you can break it anytime you want. But that’s not the case. Instead, it’ll cause you more trouble no matter how fast your reflexes are.

Covering your brakes with one finger will allow you to brake instantly in the face of a hindrance instead of wasting two precious seconds in switching fingers to hold the brakes.

5.  Position From the Head to the Spine

Your posture can be your biggest asset and liability, depending on how you position yourself. Your head should be forward, your spine should be straight from the neck to the tailbone, and your upper body should be unswerving.

It’s vital to keep your head straight since you’ll be riding on the highs and lows and rocky roads. You’ll have to face several barriers that require taking instant actions instead of braking, which calls for being alert to the surroundings and deciding things quickly.

You should be able to move your bike with your arms and legs, focusing most of your weight on your legs to balance yourself properly. Keep your torso straight to balance your center of mass low and stable.


Mountain bikes are a must-have for you and your kids if you all love exploring the rough terrains above the ground. While it can be exciting, riding on those roads can also be dangerous, which is why learning the attack position is necessary.

Master the attack position with your mountain bike, and you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful sunsets and sunrises while ensuring your safety at the same time.


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