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Cycling Physics:Turn left to go right. Interesting article link(5 posts)

Cycling Physics:Turn left to go right. Interesting article link128
May 6, 2002 11:15 AM
might explain that 'steer with your hips' question/issue many threads ago...??
Article summary:128
May 6, 2002 11:18 AM
Ongoing debate in the motorcycling world...miposy
May 6, 2002 1:33 PM
This is also know as countersteering, and it works. It is most noticable on a bike over 10 mph, and almost impossible to steer a motorcycle at high speeds without applying this principle.

People fight about it on motorcycle message boards all the time, but the best way to settle the debate is on the road.

I will beat anybody around a corner who doesn't countersteer no matter how much faster they are than I am in a straight line.

I prove this every time I race a bike or motorcycle, so the physics of it are irrelevant to me. Just get your bike up to about 20 mph and gently but firmly push on either the right or left handlebar (be careful, and don't resist the turn with your other hand). See what happens for yourself. It actually starts to work at about 10 mph, but is more pronounced at higher speeds.


May 6, 2002 5:51 PM
The countersteering initiates the turn. Once the bike starts to lean over, the front tire will turn in the direction of the curve.

I learned this stuff while riding motorcycles also. Very important for accident avoidance where split second timing counts.

re: Cycling Physics:Turn left to go right. Interesting article linkBreakfast
May 6, 2002 7:45 PM
I was reading a page on Coach Carl online about turning and I came across something I'd never considered before.

When you push your bike along in a parking lot by the saddle notice how you can control and steer it by leaning the saddle, this is how a bike steers, by leaning.

I began thinking about this concept while cornering and keeping the most important caveat in mind: Relax, relax, and relax! Tension in the arms and shoulders is bad. Weight shift, pressure on outside pedal and handlebar input is really almost secondary. Center of gravity is the main thing.