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tips for cornering.(13 posts)

tips for cornering.Frith
May 30, 2003 5:36 AM
It probably has everything to do with confidence. My cornering is getting better, but it looks nothing like the kind of lean that some roadies are capable of.
I think my form is right.
1. inside leg at twelve o'clock.
2. knee pointed at turn
3. upper body in vertical plane with bike.
I tried keeping my body a little bit more upright while leaning my bike more out towards the turn. I seemed to be able to get a tighter line this way but I know that this isn't the right way to do it.
Anyone have any tips for me?...or is it just a matter of having the confidence to commit to the lean?
More ...Humma Hah
May 30, 2003 6:03 AM
... some of these from my motorcycling days, and they seem to apply to bicycles ...

Brake into the first third of the turn, coast thru the apex, accelerate out the last third.

You may find yourself better oriented if your head remains vertical even as your body leans with the bike.

Stabilize the frame, either by the outside knee against the top tube or the nose of the saddle firmly between the thighs. This should greatly reduce any "wobble" you have been feeling, and improve your confidence greatly.

Some bike/rider combos may benefit by shifting the weight forward or back a little from the normal riding position.

If the bike starts to slide, under no circumstances should you use the brakes. Just hang on and keep the wheels spinning ... chances are fairly good it will stay upright until it hooks up again. Hitting the brakes will do one of two things: either stop the wheels and drop you on the ground like a stone, or make the bike straighten up and stop turning.

The top roadracers usually bear some traces of road-rash from learning just how far they can push into a turn. Practicing turn technique wearing protective gear may give you about the same benefit with far less pain.

The older I get the less inclined I am to corner fast.
more on hitting brakesSteve_0
May 30, 2003 6:13 AM
(those MSF courses come in handy, dont they?)

If you dont think you're going to make the turn, dont hit the brakes; that will stand the bike more upright, INCREASING the turning radius.

Just lean father into the turn; the bike is far more stable at tight angles than it feels.
Weight shifting questionPsalm 147-10_11
May 30, 2003 7:07 AM
You mention that some riders benefit from shifting their weight forward or backward.

I've recently found my cornering much better since I began shifting my weight over the front of the bars on decents. Anybody else find similar results?
May 30, 2003 6:28 AM
According to Davis Phinney: (his book and I went to his camp)

1. Inside leg at twelve o'clock with knee against toptube - not pointed into the turn.
2. Outside leg bolt straight pushing down on the outside pedal for stability. Push hard. Real hard.
3. In the drops, inside arm straight 'ish' and outside arm bent.

The whole idea of countersteering is to put your center of gravity not into the turn, hence the bike will turn itself more sharply. The knee against the toptube will stabilize the bike. After practicing with this technique, you will be able to carve turns. Go to the library and read the chapter on countersteering in Davis Phinney's book. It really works.

Putting you knee into the turn works well with motorcycles since they have fat tires and may be moving faster. Moving that legs' weight toward the center works better for bicycles.

Two different concepts for countersteering at work ...Humma Hah
May 30, 2003 6:51 AM
Excellent tips there. One knee or the other against the top tube.

Yes, weight on the outside pedal works best and is really effective when the bike is leaned well over, such as off-road and clawing for traction in little grooves in the trail.

Bicyclists have picked up a strange useage for the term countersteering. I learned the motorcycing concept, that dominates motorcycle physics at speeds above 35 mph. The same is true on bicycles, but they rarely go that fast so usually operate in a transitional region.

True countersteering is push right, go right, push left, go left. It is totally counterintuitive, and you do not believe it will happen until you try it. My cruiser will do it at 15 mph. Try this: on a gentle downhill grade with plenty of maneuvering room, get up to about 20 mph and in a straight, stable, no-hands coast. Put one fingertip against the back edge of the right bar, and very gently push forward. You believe this will turn the bike to the left, but it will, in fact, turn RIGHT!

Most people lean to turn. First-time riders will usually try to twist the bars to turn, and the ensuing fight with countersteering will make the bike wobble like crazy and probably crash.

But there's a way to combine countersteering and leaning ... push down and away on the side you want to turn to. This gives the crispest, cleanest, most stable turn. Your description of "inside arm straightish" is a perfect description of what will happen when you use this technique.
So if I've got this straight ...Frith
May 30, 2003 7:31 AM
You can benefit from having your body slightly more perpendicular to the horizontal plane than your bike. So In essence you commit your bike to the turning angle more than you commit your body?
May 30, 2003 7:39 AM
The bike turns itself. I would highly reccomend spending $10 on Amazon and buy Davis's book. Then practice. His countersteering technique saved me from having to sprout wings on a Colorado 50mph descent.
Especially for off-road super-hard turns ...Humma Hah
May 30, 2003 8:10 AM
... Back when I was young and indestructable, and fancied myself a downhiller/BMXer, I would get racing down a hill on a dirt road, spot some little half-inch high rut that would do for a berm, lay the wheels against that, and lean the bike over until the inside pedal (at 12 o'clock) was just about dragging, and hang on for dear life.

My inside leg would usually be hooked over the top bar, my outside leg pressing against the outside pedal, and I'd essentially have 90% of my weight way off the top side of the bike. This lowered my c.g., plus transfered my weight so that the outside pedal was actually forcing the tires into the ground. The rate of turn at high speed was incredible.
May 30, 2003 7:40 AM
Countersteering employs the physical principles of precession and outtracking to navigate turns.

I think Phinney should have more appropriately termed his description as 'counterleaning' or 'counter pressure', or such.
What has worked for mehrv
May 30, 2003 7:18 AM
I've found that taking the right line and doing a 'pre-turn'
dramatically improved my cornering. Doing a mini counter-steer right before the turn has eliminated my missing turns and allows me to carve fast and hard through them. Taking the right line avoids having to possibly steer through a too-sharp turn which would be more difficult.

I've played with the knee-against-toptube technique and just feel more comfortable with the knee into turn style. Looking at the pro's corner shows almost all of them corner with knee into turn, and I would imagine any one of them can corner better than any one of us. Can't be that bad of a technique. But I'm still working on knee-against-tt just to add another technique to my arsenal.

simple ..... buy a Gios NmSpirito
May 30, 2003 8:13 AM
May 30, 2003 8:15 AM
and trust your rubber. keep that outside leg planted down. your bike can be pushed much further than you think. the others already covered counter-steering, and you might try learning in a 'clean' corner (no gravel or sand).

good luck.