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  1. #51
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    Keep posting the good advice and videos. We may have a good content article here. Other topics we've covered recently on other threads are:

    1)Tires - match them for the trails and current conditions. A little more knobs on the front. Good Norcal Summer tires are:
    Specialized Purgatory, Butcher, Eskar
    Bontrager XR4
    Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Nobby Nic
    Maxxis Ardent, Minion
    Panaracer CG AM
    WTB Bronson
    Conti Rubber Queen
    Hutchinson Cougar

    2) Tire pressure is critical. Run the lowest pressure you can for your weight and riding style. Wide rims, tubeless, stiff sidewalls, 29ers will allow you to run low pressure. As long as you don't pinch flat or roll the tire off the rim, low pressure gives you more traction and better rolling in rough stuff. For most people, 20-30 psi is sufficient.

    3) Wide handlebars, short stem - Run as wide a bar and as short a stem as you're comfortable with when you are descending fast and working on your cornering. 70 mm stem and 28 inch bars is a good starting point for an all mountain bike. This gives you better balance and control over your bike.

    4) Dropping post - This will put your body in the correct position during cornering, descending and carving.

    5) Flat pedals - flat pedals allow you to use proper physics and work with the bike instead of against it. And while learning, you can step off easily when you bail.

    6) Pump track - Weighting and unweighting gives speed and traction

    7) Proper braking - Scrub the speed off and enter the corner at the proper speed. Maintain speed on the corner and accelerate out.

    fc

  2. #52
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    Great thread! I definitely need to work on this.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Keep posting the good advice and videos. We may have a good content article here. Other topics we've covered recently on other threads are:

    1)Tires - match them for the trails and current conditions. A little more knobs on the front. Good Norcal Summer tires are:
    Specialized Purgatory, Butcher, Eskar
    Bontrager XR4
    Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Nobby Nic
    Maxxis Ardent, Minion
    Panaracer CG AM
    WTB Bronson
    Conti Rubber Queen
    Hutchinson Cougar

    2) Tire pressure is critical. Run the lowest pressure you can for your weight and riding style. Wide rims, tubeless, stiff sidewalls, 29ers will allow you to run low pressure. As long as you don't pinch flat or roll the tire off the rim, low pressure gives you more traction and better rolling in rough stuff. For most people, 20-30 psi is sufficient.

    3) Wide handlebars, short stem - Run as wide a bar and as short a stem as you're comfortable with when you are descending fast and working on your cornering. 70 mm stem and 28 inch bars is a good starting point for an all mountain bike. This gives you better balance and control over your bike.

    4) Dropping post - This will put your body in the correct position during cornering, descending and carving.

    5) Flat pedals - flat pedals allow you to use proper physics and work with the bike instead of against it. And while learning, you can step off easily when you bail.

    6) Pump track - Weighting and unweighting gives speed and traction

    7) Proper braking - Scrub the speed off and enter the corner at the proper speed. Maintain speed on the corner and accelerate out.

    fc
    Great comprehensive post,

    On #2 tho, I'd say that too low is not good for cornering. While you want the tire to deform and create a bigger contact patch. You do not want the tire to be squirmy or wallowy. That will make the tire flex and then break traction quickly. You want you're tires compliant and to maintain their form. The stiffer the casing the less psi you can run. So a downhill dual casing tire might be ran at 25 psi, while the trail version lighter weight one would be run at 32psi, same tread, same volume. Rear tires also need a little more pressure because of the obvious weight bias from your body. I dont' even use tire pressure guages anymore as they are widely inaccurate and inconsistent. I just squeeze the sidewall of the tire and get a feel for how that particular tire feels at different levels of air. Also on an extra sidenote, if you run an All Mountain large size tire on a xc skinny wheel with low air pressure you have a recipe for a terrbile handling bike. It will be squirmy with massive oversteer and blowing off the bead is quite possible.

    #5, not only will flats give you a pedal you can jump off of quickly and also be able to put a foot out motocross style, but it forces you to ride correctly with your heels down. Most people on Clipless (including myself) get into the habit of toes down, which is not correct for bike handling skills. Running flats, you are forced to use the correct orientation and it allows you to pump the bike more easily, keep it planted in the corners, and manipulate the frontend by being able to lean forward without feeling like the front tire is going to wash.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Keep posting the good advice and videos. We may have a good content article here. Other topics we've covered recently on other threads are:

    1)Tires - match them for the trails and current conditions. A little more knobs on the front. Good Norcal Summer tires are:
    Specialized Purgatory, Butcher, Eskar
    Bontrager XR4
    Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Nobby Nic
    Maxxis Ardent, Minion
    Panaracer CG AM
    WTB Bronson
    Conti Rubber Queen
    Hutchinson Cougar

    2) Tire pressure is critical. Run the lowest pressure you can for your weight and riding style. Wide rims, tubeless, stiff sidewalls, 29ers will allow you to run low pressure. As long as you don't pinch flat or roll the tire off the rim, low pressure gives you more traction and better rolling in rough stuff. For most people, 20-30 psi is sufficient.

    3) Wide handlebars, short stem - Run as wide a bar and as short a stem as you're comfortable with when you are descending fast and working on your cornering. 70 mm stem and 28 inch bars is a good starting point for an all mountain bike. This gives you better balance and control over your bike.

    4) Dropping post - This will put your body in the correct position during cornering, descending and carving.

    5) Flat pedals - flat pedals allow you to use proper physics and work with the bike instead of against it. And while learning, you can step off easily when you bail.

    6) Pump track - Weighting and unweighting gives speed and traction

    7) Proper braking - Scrub the speed off and enter the corner at the proper speed. Maintain speed on the corner and accelerate out.

    fc

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    braaaaap noises help
    This reminds me of a South Park episode.

  6. #56
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    awesome thread!

    My $.02:
    I've been working on cornering for the past year -- almost exclusively -- and while it might sound stupid this focus has really put the fun back in riding for me. To hell with Strava: railing corners is the main reason I ride these days, no joke! So much improvement still to be made, but such fun trying...

    A couple of things that really helped me (in addition to those that have been mentioned) are Lee McCormack & Brian Lopes' book, but even more importantly James Wilson's strength programs. I've had serious back problems since I was a teenager, and Wilson helped me realize that my hip mobility was sadly lacking. This makes it impossible to steer with the hips (as mentioned in the "Hey Coach" video, and readily visible in most of the others). So I recommend some of Wilson's hip mobility exercises, and the Turkish GetUp. Check out his take on cornering (very similar to Hamilton's, but with narration):

    Last edited by budgie; 07-16-2012 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennW View Post
    I find mountain bike and dirt bike (motorcycle) have similar techniques, but street bike (motorcycle) is the opposite. i.e. pushing the inside bar down vs hanging off the inside of the bike.
    This. It took a little bit when I transitioned from sport bike to dirt/supermoto. Dirt/Supermoto technique applies to MTB, definitely, but absolutely not sport bike.

    One thing I find, too, from riding upright single cylinder thumpers is I can never use a dropper seat post. One of the things I like is have the seat there for my knees to feel, like having your knees against the gas tank for dirt/supermoto when cornering. For me, the seat is kind of a "marker", letting me know where my body is at in relation to the bike in a turn.

    I know it sounds weird, but that's just my personal thing from years of riding thumpers.

    Squaring up turns and understanding camber and hitting apexes has helped me a lot in MTB. Also, how to make the most out of the contact patch of a tire. Anybody who has ridden motorcycles, especially dirt/Supermoto riders, can understand this.
    Last edited by Dion; 07-16-2012 at 03:18 PM.

  8. #58
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    I deleted my comment and did more research before I go spouting off on the interwebs............I googled "dirt bike vs. street bike cornering" ......... at slower speeds it is close, and that makes sense..........I guess my previos comments would apply to the idea of shifting hips, looking through the corner, and watching when you brake.......while the two aren't the opposite, they certainly are very different. The video just above where he says to point your belly button toward where you want to turn is GREAT advice, it's a good way to think about hip movement without having to think about your hips.........This is good stuff!!


    grain of salt with my opinions of course...........I am a hack of all trades for sure
    Last edited by digthemlows; 07-16-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    That was intentional bro. It's from my upcoming dvd.... seconds before disaster.
    part 2: mtbr bend oregon slalom course - YouTube

    fc
    HO! Laughing with tears! Riding today I thought about the bars. Initiating the turn by pressing down on the inside grip then locking it in by lifting the outside. Fc you're right about pressing down or for me it's like trying to pull the grip off.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyS600 View Post
    He's not serious.
    A noob might read this and think it is. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    5) Flat pedals - flat pedals allow you to use proper physics and work with the bike instead of against it. And while learning, you can step off easily when you bail.
    fc
    Wow,#5 is blasphemy in some of the other forums on here. Way to go NorCal! Or at least, I make an easier target for really juvenile responses whenever I try to make this point.

    Anyway, great summary! I would add a point about leading with the eyes and looking out of the corner, as this seems to be the often overlooked, often forgotten (in my own case), critical component. Maybe this one thing works its magic more in slow-speed tight switchbacks, but I think it applies no matter what you're doing on the trail.
    Never use your face as a brake pad.
    -Jake Watson

  12. #62
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    On the point of #4...
    I'm still not all that sold on a lower seat for cornering. Steeps and drops, yeah. After years I'll concede the point on that one, but not sure on the cornering aspect.

    Of course I'm thinking about getting one of those dropper post things in the near future, so I'm sure my opinion on this matter will change shortly after I get one.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto'n'PushBiker View Post
    Fabien Barel has some great skills videos. Here's the one on cornering

    Cornering on Pinkbike



    and the rest is here:
    Fabien-Barel Video Channel
    I really like this video. It is exactly what I would teach the noobs when I hosted SuperMoto track days at Stockton Motoplex.

    Sometimes I forget to employ my old motorcycle techniques. Today I was inspired by this thread and went out and cornered the way I know how... and it's much faster through!

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    A noob might read this and think it is. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
    You almost make my point.

    learning to ride a bike via internet forums is beyond stupid.

    You have no idea if the people writing are skilled, BS'ing, etc.

    If you hurt yourself because you read it on the internet: it's on you.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Went for a tiny ride today and tried to pay attention on all the corners. Man it is hard. There's so much going on specially with proper braking and bike weighting.

    But it made a boring trail interesting. And I did hear that ripping sound once when I attained maximus traction.

    fc
    Very true. I got a lot of bad habits to break.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Use LOTS of front brake, when cornering. Especially when its loose and steep. Hit the brakes right when you're in the apex of the turn, leaning hard into the corner.

    You should grab a handfull, hard - and then to what Francois said, keep your weight on the inside arm.

    When you hit the brakes, your weight shifts, creating MORE traction, which of course helps you corner better!

    Isnt learning MTB skills on the interwebs great?!?!
    Damn you IHB, now I have no front teef!

  17. #67
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    Couple of questions:

    - When steering, do you 1) pull on the outside handlebar or 2) push on the inside? I have been taught 2 for street motorbike and 1 for MTB riding. I haven't had enough time to compare both styles on the MTB.

    - for braking, do you let completely go off the brakes before the corner and let the forks come up or drag the brakes to keep equal front wheel pressure on the ground?
    Correct number of bikes: n+1 bikes
    Correct nody weight: m-10 pounds

  18. #68
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    If one could teach it to everyone... we all could do it like a pro

    Great thread. Very interesting to see that everyone has a different take on cornering.

    Here's mine:

    I think back to my brief street bike days, and remember the instructors said to push down on the inside bar to initiate the lean and weight the outside peg.

    My MTB instructor at N* emphasized leaning the bike with hip positioning or motor bike style weighting of inside bar and then weighting the outside bar end to control the turn, and also to weight the outside pedal.

    These things make sense to me.

    But I believe the main thing is to practice...practice...practice...

    Find more time to ride!

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    You almost make my point.

    learning to ride a bike via internet forums is beyond stupid.

    You have no idea if the people writing are skilled, BS'ing, etc.

    If you hurt yourself because you read it on the internet: it's on you.
    I trust that everybody here, especially Francis, has good intentions. I don't think anybody here would want to put anybody in harm's way. All posts here have been great, except for your sarcastic remark, which, somebody who doesn't get it could take it seriously. So, in essence, you are the only one putting somebody in danger. I mean, somebody even had to ask if you were serious.

    As far as learning on the internet - Keith Code was putting out sport bike instructional videos and books well before the internet, and thousands of guys took that information to the racetrack. I've hit the pavement at 110MPH and slid my ass into the kitty litter at the track. Did I blame Keith Code? Nope.

    Eddie Bravo, Jujitsu Master, has instructional videos on his website people can have unlimited downloads for $4.99/month, so that those without access to a Jujitsu school can learn. He's not the only one doing that.

    There are a ton of threads on this forum on how to wrench on your bike, or do modifications - isn't that a liability?

    And lastly, I work in the financial industry and I am appalled at what I see/hear on TV and the radio by "financial pros".

    Clinics are expensive and not everybody has access to them. I've attended a handful of clinics and learned a lot on the internet. Both have merit, and anybody with a BS meter can see who has good intentions or not.

    I guess you need to add a disclaimer, Francis.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    You almost make my point.

    learning to ride a bike via internet forums is beyond stupid.

    ...
    Blasphemy. This is mtbr, not the internets. It's a circle of trust where trolls are outed. You can get valid bike and beer recommendations from strangers.

    fc

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto'n'PushBiker View Post
    Couple of questions:

    - When steering, do you 1) pull on the outside handlebar or 2) push on the inside? I have been taught 2 for street motorbike and 1 for MTB riding. I haven't had enough time to compare both styles on the MTB.

    - for braking, do you let completely go off the brakes before the corner and let the forks come up or drag the brakes to keep equal front wheel pressure on the ground?
    For handlebar control, I would say it's a combination of both, but with the majority of effort put into the inside hand, as this will force you to keep your weight over the bike, not beside the bike if you lean on the outside hand. Use the outside one to pull up on the bar, as others have said.

    For braking, it depends on the situation. Trail composition, your ability, your tires, etc. all have an effect on how you and your bike will behave. 95% of the time, you want to get off the front brake early on when initiating a turn on loose terrain, such as gravel, sand, snow...as these surfaces will reduce your tire's ability to maintain ground contact. Using the front brake (or the back one, but not to the same extent) takes your weight and pushes it straight out of the turn, instead of allowing your weight to travel around the turn with your bike. This will cause your tires to loose traction, and potentially wash out (drifting counters this, but takes a lot of practice).

    Hard-pack and pavement allow for more aggressive braking technique, but the same physics still apply.

  22. #72
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    If you're cornering with a high seat you have to have your body in front of the seat. That's not bad until an obstacle comes up in a turn and you have to get behind the seat quickly.
    Years ago a fast rider told me to lower my seat before a long DH. So I lowered it 4 inches and he said "NO LOWER IT ALL THE WAY" That the day I began improving.
    Get a dropper with 5 or more inches if possible.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    If you're cornering with a high seat you have to have your body in front of the seat. That's not bad until an obstacle comes up in a turn and you have to get behind the seat quickly.
    Years ago a fast rider told me to lower my seat before a long DH. So I lowered it 4 inches and he said "NO LOWER IT ALL THE WAY" That the day I began improving.
    Get a dropper with 5 or more inches if possible.

    Not very possible with an hardtail XC bike...top tube is too high to lower the seat much. Makes you apply other techniques to compensate, like the weighting and handlebar control.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    If you're cornering with a high seat you have to have your body in front of the seat. That's not bad until an obstacle comes up in a turn and you have to get behind the seat quickly.
    Years ago a fast rider told me to lower my seat before a long DH. So I lowered it 4 inches and he said "NO LOWER IT ALL THE WAY" That the day I began improving.
    Get a dropper with 5 or more inches if possible.
    5" is a large amount to "need" ....even on full suspension if your bike is sized right I cant imagine having 7" of seat post (the dropper posts have about 2 - 3 inches that don't go down into the seat tube. I'm 6'7" with a 23" frame and my 4" dropper is barely raised.....just wondering if a lot of folks really have a need for even 5" of seat post if it isn't a dropper??

    On another note, my Joplin 4 went to CB for service and the tight switchbacks at Tamarancho were nearly imposible on the way down because of having to get behind the seat which was up high and a pain to manuever around............I find droppers to be very useful for lots of situations that arent always Downhill or even All Mountain................Good stuff!!

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I trust that everybody here, especially Francis, has good intentions. I don't think anybody here would want to put anybody in harm's way. All posts here have been great, except for your sarcastic remark, which, somebody who doesn't get it could take it seriously. So, in essence, you are the only one putting somebody in danger. I mean, somebody even had to ask if you were serious.

    As far as learning on the internet - Keith Code was putting out sport bike instructional videos and books well before the internet, and thousands of guys took that information to the racetrack. I've hit the pavement at 110MPH and slid my ass into the kitty litter at the track. Did I blame Keith Code? Nope.

    Eddie Bravo, Jujitsu Master, has instructional videos on his website people can have unlimited downloads for $4.99/month, so that those without access to a Jujitsu school can learn. He's not the only one doing that.

    There are a ton of threads on this forum on how to wrench on your bike, or do modifications - isn't that a liability?

    And lastly, I work in the financial industry and I am appalled at what I see/hear on TV and the radio by "financial pros".

    Clinics are expensive and not everybody has access to them. I've attended a handful of clinics and learned a lot on the internet. Both have merit, and anybody with a BS meter can see who has good intentions or not.

    I guess you need to add a disclaimer, Francis.
    IHB was trolling? I'm shocked.

    Incidentally, the heavy fog/mist we got in Santa Cruz yesterday knocked a lot of dust down. Perfect conditions and trails for playing with cornering techniques.

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