Steg Pegz for Adventure Riding – A Good or Bad Idea?
Steg Pegz probably aren’t too well known in the adventure scene, so in case you’re not familiar with them, here’s what they are:
They are essentially just a rubber stopper that mounts behind the top of your riding boot so that when you’re standing and lean back, they give you a support to put your weight on so you can keep your weight back without tiring your arms. Further, besides just being an arm saver the nature of having your feet fixed on the pegs, is that by leaning against the Steg Pegz it creates a fulcrum where the result is that the wight of your body above this point, which is much more significant than the weight below, tries to push your feet forward. Because the arches of your feet/boots are on the pegs, it drives your heel into and against the peg, keeping your feet secure. The net result of this is that you now have a leverage situation creating a twisting moment somewhere between the foot pegs and the Steg Pegz. This twisting moment tries to rotate the bike backwards and the end result is that the front wheel becomes lighter. This is great for lofting the front wheel across the top of whoops and for riding across sand to stop the front tyre digging in.
While this may sound more applicable for enduro or desert racing, there’s a thought that these don’t apply to the adventure scene. Is that a misconception?
You bet your arse it is. The area that an adventure bike lets us down the most is sand. Even if you’re a good rider, there’s no getting around the sheer weight of some adventure bikes, particularly when fully loaded. Even if you’re leaning back and standing, there’s a lot of weight acting on a small front tyre on a surface that isn’t giving it much support. As soon as the front starts burying in and you’re trying to turn, or even just to go straight when the ruts are zig-zagging, the huge weight of bike, luggage and rider combined keeps pushing the bike straight and digging the wheel in deeper until it eventually tucks in and you low-side or even get into a big ol’ tank slapper and get jettisoned or nailed by the bike.
As they help combat this, Steg Pegz are arguably more appropriate for adventure riding than any other endeavour.
Use an Adventure Bike But Don’t Ride Like an Adventure Rider
Another misconception in the adventure riding world that seems to disempower riders, is the idea that “enduro riding” is somehow a totally unrelated thing to adventure riding and looked upon as something for racers only. It’s as if adventure riding is its own style of riding.
This idea is total shit and helps no one. Adventure riding pretty much only comes down to where you’re going and somewhat what you’re taking. It doesn’t even come down to what bike you’re riding. I’ve had multi-day adventure rides on my old CRF250X that was loaded up with a full size swag held on with occy (bungee) straps and a backpack full of tuna and dehydrated food. I just avoided open tracks/roads so I wasn’t over revving the bike and boring myself to death. With a lightweight bike and having some enduro racing experience, it was a lot more adventurous than most “proper adventure riding” which requires a slow revving, oversized bike.
Starting from this background and later incorporating adventure riding was the best thing possible. I have a GS1200 as well but when I get on it, I don’t try and ride it different, I just turn the ABS off and then wrestle the big girl sideways around corners. Being a good rider is as simple as being a good rider – you either are or you aren’t. There’s no different styles, just areas of proficiency.
Stop trying to categorise things and just focus on getting better. A craftsman never blames his tools, even if the tool is a 300kg boat on wheels that’s somewhat reminiscent of trying to surf on top of a floating door.
Stand Up More
At motorcyclecamping.com we’re far more concerned with giving helpful, enabling advice than we are with trying to have a gentle approach. Sure, sometimes people need gentle encouragement, but sometimes they just need a kick up the arse.
So here’s the deal, if you don’t think you’d benefit from Steg Pegz in an adventure riding scene, you’re either a top-class rider who doesn’t need them or you’re just not standing up enough.
If you’re not standing up enough, the tracks you’re taking are too boring.
Let’s be honest: If you’re only ever taking gravel roads that present nothing requiring standing, you’re commuting, not adventure riding.
Stand up more.
Steg Pegz and Pivot Pegz – The Ultimate Combo
I have Steg Pegz on all my bikes from including my EXC500 which is my favourite bike by far and also on the seemingly most inappropriate, my GS1200.
I also have Pivot Pegz on all my bikes. As mentioned earlier, where the Steg Pegz are causing your foot to drive into the foot peg mainly at the heel, the side-effect of this is that you’re only making contact with the rearward side of the peg with your boot. Pivot Pegz, which replace your stock foot pegs, are pegs that can rotate forward and backwards slightly. This allows full contact with the sole of your boot while leaning back on to the Steg Pegz.
The only criticism I have of Pivot Pegz and Steg Pegz is that none of these wankers can spell properly. Why do people think it’s cool to deliberately misspell things?