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best position for fast turns?(13 posts)

best position for fast turns?ishmael
Aug 21, 2002 6:32 AM
I feel safest in the drops, out of the saddle, with my weight towards the rear. This position feels safest to me but I'm thinking seated might be better, and more weight towards the front putting more pressure on the front wheel to hold it down. But so far, in fast turns (theyve all been downhill) my front wheel hasnt been a problem, its been my back wheel that chatters loose and sometimes slips out from under me. The thought of the slightest bump in the road on a turn makes me want to stand and ride it like a rodeo instead of sitting it down and making it stick, is this good? What works best for you?
i sitColnagoFE
Aug 21, 2002 7:21 AM
Weight on the outside pedal as much as possible. Usually put a knee inside like motorcycle riders though I've heard good reasons to keep the knee in as well. It just feels more natural to me to do it that way though. For fast straight descents where I'm getting up past 50MPH I usually sit up a bit from the saddle to absorb road shock and reduce the chance of a high speed shimmy.
re: best position for fast turns?DougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 7:38 AM
It depends a little on the situation; a solo steep descent down mountain twisties isn't the same as following a wheel in a crit.

For absolute speed, I think you need to be in the drops, elbows bent, your rear slightly off the saddle but close enough to use it for stability, if necessary, with knees slightly bent but outside leg extended. Press on the inside handlebar for some countersteer. Adjust weight fore/aft to maintain pressure on both tires and for braking, if necessary.

Most importantly you must remain "light on the bike," so that if you hit a bump, sand, and need to adjust the line quickly, you can keep your tires firmly on the road. Your body is the shock absorber. If you corner at the limit planted on the saddle and with stiff arms, you might get away with it sometimes, but sooner or later you'll hit a bump and your tires with lose contact with the pavement, even momentarily, and you'll be down. Think "floating".

don't you meanlotterypick
Aug 21, 2002 9:37 AM
put pressure on the outside bar rather than inside? inside would make you slide out, whereas outside out mae the contact patch bigger while still allowing the body lean.

maybe i've been doing it wrong all these years. that would be a unsurprising shock.
Aug 21, 2002 9:46 AM
Countersteering is counter-intuitive. Pressure on the inside turns the wheel out a bit, which unduces lean and turns the bike. Do a Google search for "bicycle countersteer" and you'll get some articles on it.

Aug 21, 2002 11:11 AM
i read some of the articles but didn't get it. vague references to counter steer but nothing directly saying "to turn with confidence and fast, do this..."

in my mind i see turning fast and that pressure on the outside IS counter intuitive and is counter steering (i think) because you want the bike to lean and turn say right, but you are pushing down with the left which is making your bike stand up against your turn (counter steering).

so my thinking is that the standing up of the bike makes the bike more stable at speed when the rest of your forces are into the turn.

you could say that the bike is standing up more because you are pushing the handlebar down which under flat conditions would cause a steer in that direction.

correct me man. i'm confused.
Pushing is more an <i>inactive</i> than active action...Tig
Aug 21, 2002 11:25 AM
To push hard against the inside bar could cause problems. A slight pressure is all it takes. Go by feel. This kind of action tends to be more automatic, but by thinking about it a little before the curve, you learn to adjust and improve your turning performance.

I'm sure we all do it without knowing it during high speed cornering.
Aug 21, 2002 11:58 AM
you can't take a high speed corner without contersteering. not sure why people obsess over it because to me it just feels natural to do it that way. the only time you might not do it is if you are turining on ice at slower speeds--then just "steering" might be your only option as you don't want to lean the bike or you will lose traction for sure.
i'm just gonna turnlotterypick
Aug 21, 2002 12:33 PM
my mind is swirling. i'm reading a cornell west essay, which puts me in deep water intellectually, historically and virtually every other way and then i've got this countersteer theory.

my plan of action is this: i'm gonna finish the essay and be a better right wing wacko for it and i'm gonna go hard into a fast turn and just go straigggggg.

sorry there. almost lost my mind. i've decided i'm just gonna turn and go with the "it's automatic like breathing" and hope i come out the other end right side up and not drifting into oncoming traffic.

gotta keep my mind fresh for tonight. SIGNS. heard it's a clean tense movie. hope so.
i find relaxing to be the most important element in cornering (nColnagoFE
Aug 21, 2002 1:26 PM
think of the turn as disected into 3 parts that blend together..Lone Gunman
Aug 21, 2002 3:31 PM
First, choose your line correctly.

Now the 3 mechanical action parts are arms and hands, hips, and feet:

Arms and hands, arms relaxed and flexible hands in the drops and pushing down on the inside or pulling up on the outside of the bar(relative to the turn direction)

Hips: since your outside foot will be in the 6:00 position and the inside at 12:00, your inside knee will be close in height to the top tube. Push that knee against the top tube and your hips will turn away from the direction of the turn. You may feel the opposite inside of the leg pushing against the saddle, sort of like scissoring the frame with your leg pressure.

Feet, weight the outside foot (relative to the turn) as much as needed or in some cases possible in the 6:00 position

Another way to visualize what I am describing with the hips and arms is sitting in a swivel seat chair and reach for the floor with your right hand while trying to keep your shoulders facing forward and not bending forward at the waist. One way to reach the floor is to swivel to the left, the right hand is applying downward pressure. This action would simulate the action for a right hand turn.

It takes practice and some planning until this all comes together and sometimes getting 2 of the 3 elements to come together gets you through the turn more upright and quicker than leaning and risking a skid. When it all comes together you feel it and gain confidence.
re: best position for fast turns?Leisure
Aug 21, 2002 9:28 PM
When I'm leaning hard on a descent my positioning is basically the same as yours. Moving your weight to the rear makes sense on the descent just because it compensates against the bike being on a downward slope to keep your CG placed correctly between where the tires contact the road. Do the same curve at the same speed on a level surface and you'll feel more comfortable not leaning back as much. Or for you leaning back might help to adjust your CG which on your bike might be placed somewhat forward due of fitment considerations. You also want more weight over the rear tires for braking considerations. As soon as you brake, some of the downward force your mass applies on the bike moves to the front wheel, which can allow your rear to skate around on surface inconsistencies. No matter what the specific situation is, I think it all ends up depending on the center of gravity.
And I definitely stand just a bit over the saddle to let the legs dissipate bumps, as opposed to letting yourself get bumped off your seat, unweighting the tires and compromising traction.
On the whole countersteering thing, I don't much pay attention and think it has more to do with making it easier to execute turns cleanly as opposed to somehow maximizing grip, but I bet Tig's right that a lot of people probably do it without thinking. I do notice that I leave my inside knee against the top tube when I'm cornering. Beyond that, I can never remember what they say "proper countersteering form" is and even if I did, I'm usually too busy actually executing the turn to analyze myself.
Watch the prosvelocity
Aug 22, 2002 6:55 AM
here's a feather mcgraw image from nyc race.