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Thread: cornering

  1. #1
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    cornering

    I can not get smooth control of my bike on corners. I know a lot of it has to do with the amount of speed I have going into it, and I need to work on feeling and knowing how fast or how slow I should go on corners. But, my problem of my front end being squirly is still persisting, I come out of corners off of my intended line all the time and its caused by under-steering or over-steering. I keep my inside pedal up and sort of aim my knee towards the direction I want to go. When Im going down a hill I stand up but on the flats I stay seeted. Should I stand up on corners as well? Or do I really need to just practice more to get a hold on it?

  2. #2
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    Standing up in the corners is a must. It allows you to put more pressure on the edge knobs and make tiny adjustments. Come into the corner as wide as possible leading with your inside foot. When you hit the corner drop your inside foot as much as you can get away with through the apex of the turn and keep pressure on it. Every tire has an edging sweet spot you're just gonna have to find and get used to yours. After you enter the turn aim inside in as straight a line as possible towards the apex of the turn. After you hit the apex bring your inside foot back up level, level the bike out, aim for the outside, and pedal out hard if possible.

  3. #3
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    I forgot to mention that if you feel your front starting to wash out shift a little more weight to the front. If you feel the rear starting to wash out shift weight over the rear.

  4. #4
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    there's a good vid in here under 'switchbacks'

    http://bikeskills.com/videoclips.php
    'Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.'
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  5. #5
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    I respectfully disagree. Keep your inside pedal UP, not down. This gives you more clearance, and more control of your tires. Imagine skiing....where is your inside leg on any given turn? Above your downhill leg, that's where.

    Putting downward force on the inside of your bike while cornering is only going to cause you to wash out....that is, if you don't slam your pedal first.

    Downward pressure on the outside pedal while you lean into a turn transfers weight through the frame, and down to the inside edge of your tires, giving you more traction. This is also better than level pedals, because it allows your weight to act more on the lower end of your bike. Since your outer crank arm is fully extended towards the ground, it acts as a lever on your bike frame, with the bottom bracket being the fulcrum. Downward force is applied to all parts of the bike below the fulcrum....such as the wheels and tires. Try this in the opposite direction, and you're actually removing downward force from the tires, which would cause them to lift from the ground and wash out.

    I might be reading your description wrong, MrBlonde, but I'll keep your method in mind next time I'm cornering.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMook
    I respectfully disagree. Keep your inside pedal UP, not down. This gives you more clearance, and more control of your tires. Imagine skiing....where is your inside leg on any given turn? Above your downhill leg, that's where.

    Putting downward force on the inside of your bike while cornering is only going to cause you to wash out....that is, if you don't slam your pedal first.

    Downward pressure on the outside pedal while you lean into a turn transfers weight through the frame, and down to the inside edge of your tires, giving you more traction. This is also better than level pedals, because it allows your weight to act more on the lower end of your bike. Since your outer crank arm is fully extended towards the ground, it acts as a lever on your bike frame, with the bottom bracket being the fulcrum. Downward force is applied to all parts of the bike below the fulcrum....such as the wheels and tires. Try this in the opposite direction, and you're actually removing downward force from the tires, which would cause them to lift from the ground and wash out.

    I might be reading your description wrong, MrBlonde, but I'll keep your method in mind next time I'm cornering.
    I agree with you 100% for an advanced rider at high speeds. Right now he could benefit from getting used to getting his body leaned over and his weight low and centralized. Dropping his inside foot will force him to do that and get him used to laying it over a bit. I seriously doubt edge traction is the biggest problem for him at the moment.

  7. #7
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    Stand or sit, inside pedal up, distrubute weight between the front and back tires evenly...

    This feels like lots of weight on the front...

    Drive smooth and steady, steer with your hips, don't move the bar much..

    When it slips just straighten up a little and catch it..

    So practice with lots of run out room.

    Practice on gravel it is hardest.

  8. #8
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    unless the turns are super tight i tend to steer with my body and less with the bars kinda leaning and steering with my legs, hard to describe it just comes naturally to me

    i think speed is important too, not too slow but not too fast...for each individual turn, obviously you arent going to bomb into an almost 180 degree switch back and likewise you arent going to granny speed through a flowy s section...

  9. #9
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    Try deflating your tires just a bit, this will give a larger contact patch, which will give you more traction.

    And just practice, practice, practice

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv_rong
    I can not get smooth control of my bike on corners. I know a lot of it has to do with the amount of speed I have going into it, and I need to work on feeling and knowing how fast or how slow I should go on corners. But, my problem of my front end being squirly is still persisting, I come out of corners off of my intended line all the time and its caused by under-steering or over-steering. I keep my inside pedal up and sort of aim my knee towards the direction I want to go. When Im going down a hill I stand up but on the flats I stay seeted. Should I stand up on corners as well? Or do I really need to just practice more to get a hold on it?
    I don't like the advice you've gotten so far. Ignore it.

    You sound like you are doing fine so far. Don't stand up on turns.

    It sounds to me like you are too tense in the arms while turning and this results in rigid lines and a 'squirrelly' feeling.
    Try to relax your grip and keep your arms relaxed while turning. Initially just coast through the turns like you are (pointing inside knee is good). Your entry speed is important...but with time your entry speed can go faster and faster with your lean going over more and more.

    Eventually you will even learn to continue to pedal through the turns that don't require too much lean.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyeager
    I don't like the advice you've gotten so far. Ignore it.

    You sound like you are doing fine so far. Don't stand up on turns.

    It sounds to me like you are too tense in the arms while turning and this results in rigid lines and a 'squirrelly' feeling.
    Try to relax your grip and keep your arms relaxed while turning. Initially just coast through the turns like you are (pointing inside knee is good). Your entry speed is important...but with time your entry speed can go faster and faster with your lean going over more and more.

    Eventually you will even learn to continue to pedal through the turns that don't require too much lean.
    Props on your advice champ. You gave no advice on body position, pedal position, braking, or anything else even remotely helpful. The sum of what you said is relax.......Duh and don't stand up in corners. Here's a link to Freecaster: http://freecaster.tv/MTB If you think you don't stand up in corners maybe you should watch a few people that know how it's done.

  12. #12
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    yeah, i think your tips on turning leaves lost left to be desired, jyeager.

    definately: keep your inside pedal up. this increases ground clearance. also, stand up, its much easier to exploit your balance.

    a few tips i can give you, though by no means gospel:

    coming into the turn, brake hard to shift weight to the front tire, and help keep it planted on your chosen line. then as you apex, shift your weight back to keep the front from washing out, this also lets you get maximium traction so when you begin pedaling (asap!!) your tire doesnt lose grip. dont pedal too soon, or you'll tripod your bike into the ditch.. keep your foot out in front a bit too, because, if you sketch, you can use it to spring away from the ground.

  13. #13
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    I think I mentioned it before. Remove the squirrels from your bike and install chipmunks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    I think I mentioned it before. Remove the squirrels from your bike and install chipmunks.
    hahaha, I tired that, those damn chipmunks were pooping all over me

  15. #15
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    It's simple, slide your butt up to your tank, inside leg out, outside elbow up, weight the outside footpeg, don't look at your front tire. Oops, that's motocross! Some things still apply, though. Weight the outside pedal. This forces the bike to get better traction. Keep weight centered or forward or your front tire won't get traction. Look ahead, never down in front of your tire. After re-reading your post I would guess your weight is too far back, not allowing your front tire to track.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyeager

    You sound like you are doing fine so far. Don't stand up on turns.
    That is completely wrong. Unless it is a turn gradual enough that you still choose to pedal, you should always be out of the saddle, even if your butt is only an inch or two above the saddle. This way, you can lean your bike, NOT your body, and make small adjustments by shifting your weight mid-corner.

    I like to corner by getting out of the saddle, and leaning my bike, but not my body. I look around the corner, not straight ahead, and shift my hips so that they point slightly in the direction of the turn. I usually keep my pedals level (with my good foot forward).

    If you prefer to drop a pedal, make sure it is the outside one. It will push your bike into the ground, instead of out from under you. Also, it will not catch on the ground.

  17. #17
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    Mr. Blonde, sorry I hurt your feelings.

    Since we're in the beginner forum and the problem described by the OP implied very basic stuff, I only gave a small amount of advice.

    Standing on turns can work and might be called for when turning over roots. But standing on turns as a standard protocol? Give me a break! Do you weenies need to come out of your seat to properly lean your bike over?

  18. #18
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    One thing I only saw briefly mentioned on here was bike setup. You can adjust your riding style to your current setup AND/OR tweak the setup a little to make it more advantageous. IF you ARE running XC style tires, they usually have a LOT less tread and grip and can have the tendancy to slide out from under you on hard turns if you're not balanced correctly on the bike. I wouldn't hurt to try another a thicker tread with more side nobs if you try to adjust your riding style and STILL find that you washout a lot with the front wheel. Another thing you can change, set-up wise, is the air in the tube itself. Someone mentioned running at a lower PSI for more rubber contact on the trail. Me personnally, I like to run higher PSI up front and lower PSI in the rear to find the happy medium. The low rear gives me a lot of "meat" to push off with while the higher front tire cuts a clean line and doesn't give me that "tire rolling off the rim sideways" feel. I roll a pretty knobby Velociraptor tire up front though. Try a couple of variations and see if you like the feel a little more. Good riding.

  19. #19
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    i think that what will fix this is more practice. you will eventually develop a feel for what you can get away with. corning at speed is a tricky thing to master. you are going to get a little slide **read- drift*** any way you look at it. you are changing momentum. your body and bike are travelling in one direction and you are trying to change that direction. i have been successful overcoming the slide by adjusting the entry line to allow some drift and keeping my wieght centered on the bike. when i feel the front wash out, i lean forward, when i feel the rear wash out, i lean back. when both wheels wash out, i stay right where i am and try to pump the bike into the ground to gain what little traction i can. outside pedal down all the time, lean the bike under your body into the corner and roll with it, and resist the temptation to brake. you'll eat it nearly every time. practice makes as close to perfect as you can get. with my new bike, i have picked it up out in the woods after eating it on higher speed corners and sliding right off the trail. it will take trial and error, and more error and more error until one day, you post up here that corning is no big deal anymore unless it is an off camber, uphill switchback with roots and mud.. and for that.... i pick the bike up and walk it uphill because my fat a$$ still cannot tackle many of them even after all these years.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv_rong
    I can not get smooth control of my bike on corners. I know a lot of it has to do with the amount of speed I have going into it, and I need to work on feeling and knowing how fast or how slow I should go on corners. But, my problem of my front end being squirly is still persisting, I come out of corners off of my intended line all the time and its caused by under-steering or over-steering. I keep my inside pedal up and sort of aim my knee towards the direction I want to go. When Im going down a hill I stand up but on the flats I stay seeted. Should I stand up on corners as well? Or do I really need to just practice more to get a hold on it?
    As far as I'm concerned, unless you are riding pavement, you should be out of your seat in the turns. You can get away with staying in the seat on a smooth surface with good reliable traction, but I don't see what you gain from it other than developing bad form. I also cannot imagine why one would but the inside pedal down.

    Anyway, I think there are things to be said for going in with the outside pedal down as well as pedals level. I tend to do the outside pedal down when it is smoother, level when things are rougher. Either way, being out of the saddle lets the bike move underneath you, so you can lean it more easily (and change the amount of lean as needed), and if you loose some traction, you can let it slide some without going with it. Also, you can absorb bumps better, which helps maintain traction.

    You may want to experiment with how you distribute your weight (front to back) in the turns. Being out of the saddle will help you with this as well.

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