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.
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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.
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  1. #1
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    Whats the best way to take flat downhill sweepers with loose surface?

    I enjoy the dowhill part of XC very much and I see it as a reward for a hard climb. I can flow "well" on the trails and pick up some nice speed on the downhill but when I come to a turn that is flat and with a loose gravely surface, I almost come to a stop to take the turn. I feel that I have very little traction and that I will surely wash out if I take it with speed. What advise can you guys give me as to what it the best tecnique to take these turns without having to loose too much speed?


    Cheers
    Abel

  2. #2
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    How fast are we talking about?
    Generally, weight the outside pedal, and I also put some pressure on the inside grip to maximize traction. The looser the surface the more upright you have to be, drifting helps, practice.


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  3. #3
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    Take those types of corners a little faster every time. You might get a little more stability if you shift your weight back a little, not too much though. You will usually start to feel the tires break loose and drift a little before a complete washout, unless you are coming in way too hot for your skill level and equipment.

    Otherwise, put on some pads and give er hell, learning the quick and dirty way.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo28246 View Post
    How fast are we talking about?
    Generally, weight the outside pedal, and I also put some pressure on the inside grip to maximize traction. The looser the surface the more upright you have to be, drifting helps, practice.
    I will probably be doing about 45km/hr before I start braking for the turn. I end up loosing almost all the speed when I am faced with those types of corners. Coming from a sporbike racing background I am familiar with taking curves at speed but I am used to the traction soft rubber against asphalt provides. I try to mantain my sight ahead, on the curves exit point of possible, at first I tried leaning my body into the curve like with sportbikes but I felt it just made it worse. I just feel like my front tire is about to wash out and sometimes it does a little bit and I have to make a quick correction to stop myself form going down.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderPride View Post
    Take those types of corners a little faster every time. You might get a little more stability if you shift your weight back a little, not too much though. You will usually start to feel the tires break loose and drift a little before a complete washout, unless you are coming in way too hot for your skill level and equipment.

    Otherwise, put on some pads and give er hell, learning the quick and dirty way.

    Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Tapatalk 2
    Your last bit of advice sounds like a great idea. I have a set of pads and a motocross helmet for atv riding. I guess Im gonna haul my bike and gear up by car and blast down full gear to test the limits of traction without the fear of having my skin ripped off. I could also try and practice drifting like mojo mentioned.

    Thanks for the tips so far!
    Abel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I enjoy the dowhill part of XC very much and I see it as a reward for a hard climb. I can flow "well" on the trails and pick up some nice speed on the downhill but when I come to a turn that is flat and with a loose gravely surface, I almost come to a stop to take the turn. I feel that I have very little traction and that I will surely wash out if I take it with speed. What advise can you guys give me as to what it the best tecnique to take these turns without having to loose too much speed?


    Cheers
    Abel
    You have to counter steer alot on that type of corner...same as a moto don't go highside.

    Like before get some pads if you want to learn faster.

  6. #6
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    Hard to tell you without a picture but since your'e almost comming to a complete stop it sounds like a 90 degree turn. On the loose stuff I try to enter with lots of speed, brake, swing/drift out the rear end looking for something to bank off(nomatter how small) and exit with whatever speed I have left. At lest I'm not loosing time entering. Better than going in and comming out slow.

    Petty much the same as motocross but without the power to exit.
    Last edited by S_Trek; 09-19-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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  7. #7
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    This is how we did it in the olden days:


  8. #8
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    You touched on one thing, which is that your front tire wants to wash out. That usually means you have to get more of your weight onto the front wheel. It helps me if I try to remember to position my head (more or less) over the handlebar grip in the direction I am turning.

    Also, on a flat corner, you'll want to lean the bike, but keep your body so your mass is perpendicular to the trail surface at the point where the tire contacts the trail. This will drive the knobs down into the trail surface instead of wanting to push them sideways (= washout).

    If you have a berm to turn on, you can lean your body over more as that will keep your mass perpendicular to that section of trail.

    There's also a little trick for sharp turns at speed where you keep the pedals at 3 0'clock and 9 o'clock as you get to the corner, with the outside pedal rearward, and then as you get into the corner, you sort of kick the outside pedal downward (but still a little toward the back). this will help to momentarily drive the rear tread into the trail surface right when you need it.

    There are more little things that all add up, but that's enough to get some more speed for now.

  9. #9
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    Lots of good advice so far, maybe I can clear up some things.

    First, make sure you're not pumping your tires up way high. Lower PSI means more deformation which will make them stick more.

    If your front wheel is breaking loose, like the others said, you need to weight it more. Do this by bringing your sternum closer to your inside hand.

    When the back wheel cuts loose, as stated, weight the outside foot. This is maximized by twisting your outside knee and hip in and pressing the toe of the outside foot out and down.

    By shifting your weight back and forth you can turn quickly on some pretty loose stuff.

    BTW As stated above, you can also lock up your rear brake and power slide around it, but those of us who spill sweat and blood building and maintaining trails usually find this in poor taste. As do many of the organizations that work hard to get us access to ride public trails.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Also, on a flat corner, you'll want to lean the bike, but keep your body so your mass is perpendicular to the trail surface at the point where the tire contacts the trail. This will drive the knobs down into the trail surface instead of wanting to push them sideways (= washout).

    I know it's against conventional wisdom, but I often find that the opposite gets the best/fastest results. When I'm on a flat and/or loose surface I keep the bike more upright and lean my upper body into the corner.

    My theory is that it keeps the tires away from the point of sliding out because, since the point of contact is nearer to the center of the tire, there is more tread gripping the dirt. No idea if that's true, but I do know it's a technique that leaves other riders behind.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by txclimber View Post
    Lots of good advice so far, maybe I can clear up some things.

    First, make sure you're not pumping your tires up way high. Lower PSI means more deformation which will make them stick more.

    If your front wheel is breaking loose, like the others said, you need to weight it more. Do this by bringing your sternum closer to your inside hand.

    When the back wheel cuts loose, as stated, weight the outside foot. This is maximized by twisting your outside knee and hip in and pressing the toe of the outside foot out and down.

    By shifting your weight back and forth you can turn quickly on some pretty loose stuff.

    BTW As stated above, you can also lock up your rear brake and power slide around it, but those of us who spill sweat and blood building and maintaining trails usually find this in poor taste. As do many of the organizations that work hard to get us access to ride public trails.
    ^^^
    This...

    Tire pressure and fork rebound/preload can really affect cornering speed...
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  12. #12
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    Here"s a Video with some tips.
    Cornering with Fabien Barel - YouTube

  13. #13
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    Just adding to the advice so far. Part of the reason your bike wants to wash out is because it's rotational speed slows down (front tire in relation to the rear) so much that it needs to release the pressure thus resulting into the wash out feeling or an actual wash out.

    Going with the weigh the outside pedal either at 12/6 or 3/9 position as jeffj said and applying pressure to rotate your hips more and torso aka falling in, also keep your eyes/head where you want to go. Don't focus on other spots on the trail. Now like I said because your turn is close to a stop and go turn you need to create a better apex. FWIW I hate the type of turns/corner you are dealing with lol.

    Anyways, so sense your turn is set up like this I would try is counter directional steering to set up the apex then followed by counter steering this is where the rotational speed of the tires comes into play. As your bike begins to to washout the counter directional steering creates the apex and counter steering counters what the bike wants to do. The basic idea behind this is the start of a two wheel drift. This IMO is the hardest to do but it will keep your speed up, it's sketchy at first but once you learn how to drift without locking up the rear you'll be a happy MTBer. Best of luck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bammer150 View Post
    I know it's against conventional wisdom, but I often find that the opposite gets the best/fastest results. When I'm on a flat and/or loose surface I keep the bike more upright and lean my upper body into the corner.

    My theory is that it keeps the tires away from the point of sliding out because, since the point of contact is nearer to the center of the tire, there is more tread gripping the dirt. No idea if that's true, but I do know it's a technique that leaves other riders behind.
    don't do this please. you will maintain much more momentum by weighting the outside foot and leaning the bike, not your body. the concept is exactly the opposite of sportbike racing. do not drag your knee

    and you should always be countersteering, but the OP comes from a sportbike, so he doesn't need to be told.

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  16. #16
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    Thanks for all your tips guys. They have helped me a lot. I can now take those turns with more speed and confidence but I still have lots more room for improvement. Here is a video of me taking those turns that I mentioned before. The soil was packed because they had worked on the roads recently(coffee farms use them to transport coffee beans) but it was slick and somewhat muddy as we are now in the rainy season. I find that leaning my bike more that my body and weighing my outside pedal (contrary to sportbikes) has helped a lot If you guys could give me more input by looking at the video would be great. With the front tire washing out as I mentioned before, it happens in this video @ 3:48, I almost lost it there. I am using a maxxis ignitor 2.35 in front and 2.0 captain control on the back




    Cheers,
    Abel F

  17. #17
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    That looks like a great place for a fast ride. At the 3:48 mark as you mentioned, you caught that pretty well before it got too far. Nice reaction time.

    Let me see if I'm reading the video right. When you twitched in the video at 3:48, the wheel twitched suddenly to the right, in the same direction as you were turning. Were you actually trying to turn the wheel to the right? Iím asking because in that second when your front wheel broke traction, it turned more to the right very fast until you caught it.

    Iíve been trying to learn how to corner correctly as well, and here is what I have found in my search.

    Step 1: If you were turning the wheel right in a right hand turnÖdonít do that. This will sound completely counter intuitive, but turn away from the direction of the corner ever so slightly. Counter steering is the term, and if you google it, youíll get tons of lessons and dissertations about it, for mountain bikes and motorcycles. This makes the bike lean instead of you, which follows into the next pointÖ

    Step 2: At the same time as counter steering, make sure your body leans less than the bike leans, and put your weight on the outside pedal. Others have already mentioned this, and this is key. Stay as upright as possible (slight lean against centrifugal force), while letting the bike below you do the leaning. Youíll see this especially in that Fabien Barrel video posted earlier.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuarte View Post
    T

    Let me see if I'm reading the video right. When you twitched in the video at 3:48, the wheel twitched suddenly to the right, in the same direction as you were turning. Were you actually trying to turn the wheel to the right? Iím asking because in that second when your front wheel broke traction, it turned more to the right very fast until you caught it.

    Iíve been trying to learn how to corner correctly as well, and here is what I have found in my search.

    Step 1: If you were turning the wheel right in a right hand turnÖdonít do that. This will sound completely counter intuitive, but turn away from the direction of the corner ever so slightly. Counter steering is the term, and if you google it, youíll get tons of lessons and dissertations about it, for mountain bikes and motorcycles. This makes the bike lean instead of you, which follows into the next pointÖ

    Step 2: At the same time as counter steering, make sure your body leans less than the bike leans, and put your weight on the outside pedal. Others have already mentioned this, and this is key. Stay as upright as possible (slight lean against centrifugal force), while letting the bike below you do the leaning. Youíll see this especially in that Fabien Barrel video posted earlier.
    Thanks for the input Zuarte. When the wheel washed out, it slid to the left or to the outside of the turn. I am not exactly sure what my reaction was as it was almost pure reflex but I suspect I corrected by turning the wheel left or towards the outside of the turn.

    As far as counter steering goes, yes, that is the basic principle but its only at the initiation of the turn that your wheel actualy points away from where your are trying to turn. This is done to get the bike off balance and get it to lean towards the inside, during most of the cornering time your wheel will actually be pointing in the direction of the turn (not necessarily when drifting) . Everybody counter steers, you just cant turn a two wheel vehicle without it, but not everyone is aware that they are actually doing it. Once you are aware, you can work even better with it and get out of panic situations better.

    I have been trying to apply what you mention in step 2 and it has helped me a lot, its given me way more traction and confidence when turning.


    Cheers
    Abel F

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Thanks for the input Zuarte. When the wheel washed out, it slid to the left or to the outside of the turn. I am not exactly sure what my reaction was as it was almost pure reflex but I suspect I corrected by turning the wheel left or towards the outside of the turn.

    As far as counter steering goes, yes, that is the basic principle but its only at the initiation of the turn that your wheel actualy points away from where your are trying to turn. This is done to get the bike off balance and get it to lean towards the inside, during most of the cornering time your wheel will actually be pointing in the direction of the turn (not necessarily when drifting) . Everybody counter steers, you just cant turn a two wheel vehicle without it, but not everyone is aware that they are actually doing it. Once you are aware, you can work even better with it and get out of panic situations better.

    I have been trying to apply what you mention in step 2 and it has helped me a lot, its given me way more traction and confidence when turning.


    Cheers
    Abel F
    Sounds like you're already well versed in the counter steering principle. That's awesome. I've only started learning about proper cornering as well in the last few months, and I've found that the counter steering, the bike angulation, and the pointing of hips really all work together. I've already seen a massive improvement in my cornering confidence, and I know I still have a lot more to learn.

    This might help too.

    Hey Coach! Ep. 1 - Cornering on Vimeo

  20. #20
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    from your video i noticed a few things

    1) you are going faster than everyone else
    2) people stopping in the middle of the road are slowing you down

    one thing i have found is that with a dropper post I can conveniently get the seat completely out of the way, When the seat is low enough that Icant really sit on it, I get a ton more weight on the outside pedal. You might want to try lowering your seat just to see what the feel of your full weight on the outside of the pedal is like.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post

    one thing i have found is that with a dropper post I can conveniently get the seat completely out of the way, When the seat is low enough that Icant really sit on it, I get a ton more weight on the outside pedal. You might want to try lowering your seat just to see what the feel of your full weight on the outside of the pedal is like.
    That could be I key factor. I cannot lower me seat enough as to get it completely out of my way, I guess I could get a dropper post or go the cheap route and cut some of that excess seat post (without getting it past the minimum safe length).

    Thank You

  22. #22
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    I didn't see this posted yet, but this video might help. It's from a series about downhill fundamentals.

    Looks exactly like what you're facing - flat, downhill, fast sweeper. Pause it and see how much he has the bike angulated compared to his own torso. That's something I'm working on too.

    Mountain Bike - High Speed Turns - YouTube

  23. #23
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    I think this whole discussion should move over to the general thread located here:

    Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic

    We have been covering all sorts of cornering technique over the past couple of months...lots of good information, and I think it'd be pretty helpful for the OP

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