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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    No confidence in high speed turns

    I've been getting back into mountain biking and need some advice.

    On high speed turns (namely those that come up after a downhill section), I find that I usually find that my front tire comes close to washing out. I"m having some trouble setting up my body position for high speed turns.

    Generally I am hovering over the seat by a few inches. From what I have read, I want to put weight on the inside handle bar and weigh down on the outside pedal.

    Is the front end washing out because I am turning the handle bars too much? Should I lean the bike harder into the turn? Usually after I start to feel the front tire lose its grip I apply the brakes which is a no-no, but I believe the bad braking habbit is a result of the loss of traction.

    I'm certain my bad form is slowing me down in the turns and the front tire is a brand new kenda nevegal.

    Can anyone offer some suggestions? When I would set my motorcycle up for a high speed turn I would lean my body over into the turn and push the motorcycle away from my body. I would essentially balance my weight off that of the motorcycle. I don't think this applies toward mountain biking though.

  2. #2
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    Well, your technique sounds good (hand/foot placement). Have you noticed wether other riders are coming out of that turn faster than you are? If you're posture is correct, and your tire is new, there's always the possibility that you're actually takin the turn as fast as you can. Especially if you're ALMOST washing out your front. And yes, braking during a turn is a no-no. You do have your outside pedal down/inside up, not parallel to the ground right? Have ya tried NOT braking? It may sound crazy, but if you haven't crashed, then you haven't really gone "too fast" yet have ya? That's my stupid way of thinking... But if you are making it around, there may be a little more speed to be found, but not much. Also, not sure how far up the sidewalls the tread on those Nevegals go, but you can lean just like your moto bike, till you run out of tread.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  3. #3
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    Try to keep your weight over the BB. That will keep you even so there is enough pressure on the front so it won't skid out, but not so much that you end up face first in the dirt. Brake before the turn and come out fast at the apex. Just like driving a car.

    If you find the font tire digging in too much, check your front suspension. If it's too cush, It will settle down in the turn and feel funny. Also if you have a FS, make sure the back isn't too cushy for the same reason. It makes high speed turns unsettling and you won't know what to expect from your bike. So you ride slower to be more sure.

    I hope this helps some. There are a lot of other factors but start with some like these.

  4. #4
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    While I haven't tested my theory out, I'm starting to believe it has alot to do with the lines I'm choosing.

    I believe what might be happening is that I'm not entering the turn wide enough.l As I cut the apex I'm pointed the wrong direction (off the trail) and then I turn the handle bars sharply to correct. I think I'm putting too much traction on the front wheel which is causing it to sllip.

    On my next ride, I will try to go wider on corner entry and try to steer the bike by leaning it over by putting pressure on the inside handle bar rather than turning the handlebars. I think its time to bust out the armor and go for a ride...

  5. #5
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    Am I correct in assuming that taking a high speed progressive turn would be very different that taking a switchback? At the lower speeds of the switchback, it becomes necessary to make the turn by moving the handlebars, whereas a long sweeper would require a turn based upon leaning the whole bike over?

  6. #6
    loves me some carbon
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    Quote Originally Posted by profchaos349
    Am I correct in assuming that taking a high speed progressive turn would be very different that taking a switchback? At the lower speeds of the switchback, it becomes necessary to make the turn by moving the handlebars, whereas a long sweeper would require a turn based upon leaning the whole bike over?

    Correct. Switchbacks require you to keep the bike very upright and steer around them, making sure the front wheel tracks around the outside of the corner.
    high speed corners are done by leaning.
    Let me give you the benefit of my experience from exactly the opposite point of view as yours. My brother let me have ride on his motorbike a couple of years ago. I have very little experience riding moto, especially road bikes. I found that just turning out of the drive onto the street I was struggling to get the bike to turn. Eventually I found out why. He hangs his whole body off the inside of the bike in corners, while I was trying to lean the bike but keep my body upright. Bad on a motorbike, but it works for me on an mtb since they are so much lighter. My technique is to lean the bike as much as possible to get the edge blocks of the tires biting properly, but not to hang my weight off the inside, rather using it as a counter weight. If you aren't leaning the bike enough with an edging tire like a Nevegal you lose traction and get a vague feeling as neither the edge or centre blocks are hooking up.

    Hope this helps.

    Hope this helps.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  7. #7
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    This is one of the things I love about MTB'ing, I have fooled around with different techniques and wheels in pursuit of better cornering, its fun to experiment and learn what works and what doesn't. My main input is do not sweat the washing too much, heck I get front and back tire washing at same time in some corners, there is always room for improvement on my technique and tire selection - but, the main thing is I am learning from trial and error. The washing, although a bit scarey, has not really led to a crash or anything. I just ride hard anyway, if I crash, well I guess I crash - pushing my limits is where I find myself enjoying the ride most, and its how I get better.

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