1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Upset Improve cornering

    Hi all, long time luker, new poster...


    I have an '07 Cannondale F5 and I have noticed that I am having trouble in turns. I have to slow down to almost a complete stop to avoid going over. I have had two pretty good falls on my last two rides because I have not been able to hold the line in a turn and left the trail or hit a tree. Any moves to practice or just general tips on holding a good line in a turn?

    Thanks

    N
    Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.

  2. #2
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    The biggest thing is to look at the trail, and only the trail. You said you hit a tree on one of your rides. My guess is that you recognized the tree as an obstacle and something to avoid, and, in turn, focuses on the tree rather than the trail. When riding, the bike will travel where you're looking. Focus on where you want to go, and ignore everything else. It may seem opposite to what feels natural, but it works!

  3. #3
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    You say "To avoid going over"

    Do you mean not making the turn and taking a larger-than-required radius and bouncing off the trail? Or do you mean over the bars?

    Are you nervous about leaning into the turn more?

  4. #4
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    Put your outside leg down and your inside leg into the turn to transfer your body weight. Also put a little more weight than usual on the front wheel to really dig into the turn. Practice makes perfect.

  5. #5
    spec4life???..smh...
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    There are a few things to try and ways to address the problem.

    Adressing technique first, when entering a turn if possible choose your line before ever getting to the turn. You should already be looking ahead so as you aproach the turn asess and determine the best route. Also while going into the turn stand up and put your outside pedal down and your inside one up while leaning the bike further than your body into the turn. This will give you greater control of your bike as well as put more weight on those side knobs pressing them into the dirt for better grip. This is something youll have to practicce and commit to. The more you do it the more comforatable you will become and youll push it harder and harder until you wash out. This isnt a bad thing because then you know your limit. There are also tutorials on turning and switchbacks on youtube look them up.

    Another thing to adress is equipment. First of all and most simply, lower your tire pressure. This will give you more grip but will also create more rolling resistence, but its just a trade off. Also look at your tires, maybe they just dont hook up well, maybe they are worn out? Also alot of people run wider 2.3 tires in the front for more tractions. Just things to consider.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson
    You say "To avoid going over"

    Do you mean not making the turn and taking a larger-than-required radius and bouncing off the trail?
    This is exactly what I keep doing. My turns are stupid wide sometimes.

    Thanks all for the help everyone!

    N
    Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.

  7. #7
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    Technique wise: it is all about shifting your weight. I scoot back behind the saddle a few inches. Some people like to drop their outside foot (while on the pedal), while others, myself included, prefer to keep their pedals level. Lean your bike, don't turn the bars; practice forcing the bike into the ground and push down on the inside bar. In order to make leaning your bike beneficial, you also need to be going faster than you are now.

    Try watching some videos of pro downhillers, and watch how they shift their weight and "push" their bike into the ground. There are also some great instructional links that people have posted in threads like this; try doing a search.

  8. #8
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    Try to slow down before the turn, rather than during the turn. Gradually work your way up to higher speeds in the turns.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spec4life

    Another thing to adress is equipment. First of all and most simply, lower your tire pressure. This will give you more grip but will also create more rolling resistence, but its just a trade off:
    Actually, he should maintain the same amount of rolling resistance by dropping the pressure, as long as he stays on dirt. Counter-intuitive, but it works out

    We don't know if he's washing out or just not making it.

    Which is it?

  10. #10
    Geaux ride!
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    I'd add that on top of "leaning" your bike into the turn, try keeping your center of gravity (COG) over the bike. If you lean too far, your COG will not be over the bike's, making you/the bike unstable and thus falling. I find this especially useful in loose/sandy trails. Hope this helps!
    -'08 Jamis Dragon Comp
    "Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary…that's what gets you" - Jeremy Clarkson

  11. #11
    spec4life???..smh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson
    Actually, he should maintain the same amount of rolling resistance by dropping the pressure, as long as he stays on dirt. Counter-intuitive, but it works out

    We don't know if he's washing out or just not making it.

    Which is it?
    I dont claim to be an expert, but all iv ever heard as well as common sense points to the fact that when you lower your tire pressure you create a wider surface area coming in contact with the ground, so there for the more that touches the ground the more tire there is to create resistence.

    Am i wrong

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Al
    "push" their bike into the ground.
    I just read somewhere to push down on the outside pedal. I have been trying that lately and it really seems to help. I think it accomplishes the same thing as "pushing" the bike into the ground.

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