Can the Da Vinci Technique help you Mountain Bike Better?

Believe it or not, but the wise words of Leonardo da Vinci can help you mountain bike better.  Da Vinci once said ‘Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication’.  And to become more sophisticated and more capable mountain bikers we need to continually strive to simplify our thoughts.

Rather than cramming your head with a constant stream of do’s and don’ts as you ride the trail, use this simple technique.  I call it the Da Vinci Technique.  It will sharpen your focus, clear your thoughts, and help you mountain bike better.

Click HERE to watch the Da Vinci Technique in Action (2:33)


And if you missed it a few days ago, click below to watch MTBtips Live Show 12:

Watch Live Show 12 HERE (4:10) – it’s got some great tips, Groovers!


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2 Responses to Can the Da Vinci Technique help you Mountain Bike Better?

  1. Dan says:

    If you really want to take your riding to the next level, you should learn to unhinge the top half of your body from the bottom half, at the hips.

    If you can subconsciously control the bottom half, and get it to pedal with consistent power without any conscious thought, using your upper body to react to the trail and shift gears and control direction, you can take your FS efficiency and endurance to new levels. Turning off the brain and doing things subconsciously saves you from so much mental strain, which often can lead to your mind being the first thing to give out.

    When riding more aggressively, you can use your lower half of the body to control the movement of the rear wheel, while your upper half controls the front wheel. You can perform movements such as throwing your rear wheel into a turn or around an obstacle (ex. tight chicane) that your front might have zig-zagged through. Humans can’t effectively multitask doing things that require conscious thought, but if you can get your bottom half to do it with a mere though and go through the motions subconsciously, your skill will then start to be compared to more skillful pro riders, such as Chris Akrigg and Chris Doney (trail riding skills more than their trials skills).

    Taking advantage of this unhinge technique takes deliberate practice though. You must drill the movements into your body to make them subconscious, by repeatedly doing them. Your senses for your surroundings will start to sharpen and process more of the trail feedback and other sensory data to improve sensitivity and accuracy of your movements as you practice. Expect a lot of error in trials before mastery, unless you have a natural understanding of physics, strong enough muscles to perform the movement, and stamina to perform them repeatedly.

    Chris, keep up the good work. I hope this advice leads to some more advanced tips. Everyone, remember to give (buying bike stuff doesn’t count), instead of just taking, and do some good for the community, as it can’t survive if everyone just keeps taking from it selfishly. Also, dabs are not a crime; don’t be afraid to put a foot down when trying something rad and taking it a bit too far out of your comfort zone.

    • Chris Carter says:

      Thanks, Dan. Quite a comprehensive explanation there! Well put. I agree with all you say. At my skills clinics I teach ‘separating’ your top from your bottom half, legs for power, arms/torso for direction/control, plus more advance techniques for aggressive riding. It is quite a process, as you say, to help riders develop the ability to separate or ‘unhinge’ as you term it. I’ve been working on a video that covers those things, as I feel it’s really needed. I might steal some of your vocab! Thanks.
      ~ Chris

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