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  1. #1
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    cornering technique - need advice

    During last Sunday's ride I was coming pretty fast into a left turn. Pretty sure I was doing everything right; outside foot in the down position on the pedal, leaning into it, etc... I felt the bike start to slide out and instinctively my left foot shot out and to the ground. (Before anyone goes after me for destroying trail, just know that I wasn't purposefully trying to skid and the trail was covered with newly fallen leaves.) It kind of jolted my leg as I made contact with the ground and my femur/hip joint is still hurting a couple days later.

    Should I have not shot out my foot so quickly or already had it out just in case? Or does this just happen sometimes? Is there something I should work on as far as where I'm putting my upper body weight? I've only been riding for a couple years so coming into turns fast enough for something like this to happen is new for me. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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    no problem sticking out the inside foot....and don't worry about the skid etc....


    Worry about riding in control so you could stop before you hit someone who might be down...just after a blind corner.

  3. #3
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    here are some cornering tips to try:

    first off - tires make a huge difference. the right tire lets you lean farther and rail a turn like never before.

    keep your body up, lean the bike, outside foot down, and, this might seem odd, but inside foot in, with your knee touching the top tube. it's a sort of "body english" move, it also lets you lean your bike much farther than you normally would, and make much tighter faster turns.

  4. #4
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    Sounds to me like you did all the right things.

    You'll never learn to corner faster if you don't push it to the limit like that. And you'll become more comfortable with the back tire not always being hooked up.

    As far as technique... you did right with the pedals. The only other two bits of advice that helped me corner faster sound intuitive, but made a HUGE different.

    1. Look where you want to go. If you look at the outside of a turn because you're worried about going there, that's where you will wind up going.

    2. Point your inside knee in the direction you want to go as well. Helps with shifting your center of gravity and such. Also part of the mental aspects of committing to a fast learn (like step 1). I know this is opposite of what the poster above me said, and I am not saying he is wrong.

    I am by no means a pro or anything. Just trying to share what helped me out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDkid View Post
    During last Sunday's ride I was coming pretty fast into a left turn. Pretty sure I was doing everything right; outside foot in the down position on the pedal, leaning into it, etc... I felt the bike start to slide out and instinctively my left foot shot out and to the ground. (Before anyone goes after me for destroying trail, just know that I wasn't purposefully trying to skid and the trail was covered with newly fallen leaves.) It kind of jolted my leg as I made contact with the ground and my femur/hip joint is still hurting a couple days later.

    Should I have not shot out my foot so quickly or already had it out just in case? Or does this just happen sometimes? Is there something I should work on as far as where I'm putting my upper body weight? I've only been riding for a couple years so coming into turns fast enough for something like this to happen is new for me. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    You were moving too fast for the conditions (the leaf cover). Nothing more.
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    Shiggy nails it. Newly fallen leaves are treacherous. Wet leaves are like marbles. Slow down.

    Some trail stewards like to rake the leaves because of this. I say screw that. The leaves will break down on their own if people ride on them. I only rake if route finding becomes difficult because of deep leaves. And even then, only enough to find the trail. Leaves are like rocks and roots-part of the trail

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Shiggy nails it. Newly fallen leaves are treacherous. Wet leaves are like marbles. Slow down.

    Some trail stewards like to rake the leaves because of this. I say screw that. The leaves will break down on their own if people ride on them. I only rake if route finding becomes difficult because of deep leaves. And even then, only enough to find the trail. Leaves are like rocks and roots-part of the trail
    The other reason to remove leaves is they hold water when they break down. The added moisture can soften the tread and allow ruts and erosion to form.
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  8. #8
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    Right around 3:24... (I recommend watching the whole series)
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the input. In retrospect I probably was just going a little too fast but there are definitely some good points to be taken here and I'm going to make an effort to think about them and practice them next time I ride....which won't be for at least 3 weeks thanks to work.

  10. #10
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    I took a DH lesson at Whistler this summer. My instructor + 2 others that I spoke to recommended keeping the pedals level during a corner vs. dropping the outside pedal. I'd been dropping the outside pedal since reading the Lopes book. The thought is that putting the majority of the weight on the outside pedal makes it more difficult to get the bike leaned over & complicates setting up for the corner.

    YMMV, but I've been cornering with my pedals level since the lesson & feel it helps.

    By the way, not suggesting that your pedal position had anything to do with your slide-out, just seemed like an appropriate thread to mention this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    I took a DH lesson at Whistler this summer. My instructor + 2 others that I spoke to recommended keeping the pedals level during a corner vs. dropping the outside pedal. I'd been dropping the outside pedal since reading the Lopes book. The thought is that putting the majority of the weight on the outside pedal makes it more difficult to get the bike leaned over & complicates setting up for the corner.

    YMMV, but I've been cornering with my pedals level since the lesson & feel it helps.

    By the way, not suggesting that your pedal position had anything to do with your slide-out, just seemed like an appropriate thread to mention this.
    interesting. I use both techniques, depending on what feels right for the situation. I do the pedal down technique more often on my commuter, which has a short wheelbase and has a bit of toe overlap. I don't feel comfortable going pedals-level with my inside foot forward into a turn at speed to avoid the toe overlap problem, so I drop the outside pedal so I can keep my right foot out of the way.

    on my mtb, I'm usually pedals-level.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    The other reason to remove leaves is they hold water when they break down. The added moisture can soften the tread and allow ruts and erosion to form.
    That is true. though I treat that situation as a case-by-case basis doing spot removal in locations where the leaves would otherwise collect and cause that problem. I am not a fan of wholesale leaf removal on miles of trail in an entire system.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    That is true. though I treat that situation as a case-by-case basis doing spot removal in locations where the leaves would otherwise collect and cause that problem. I am not a fan of wholesale leaf removal on miles of trail in an entire system.
    Totally agree.
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  13. #13
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    Maybe your technique isn't spot on. I learned a lot from a thread called Norcal cornering clinic.

  14. #14
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    I think the freshly fallen leaves may have had something to do with you front sliding out. Fall isn't my favorite time of year to ride for that very reason. Put your foot down to keep from sliding your skin on the dirt or don't and take the slide like your sliding in to home plate. Your choice.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  15. #15
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    If OP was riding with good technique the front and rear would slide at the same time. Fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    If OP was riding with good technique the front and rear would slide at the same time. Fun!
    Except when you start sliding on leaves you don't tend to stop until you are on your backside...esp wet, frosty leaves.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    I took a DH lesson at Whistler this summer. My instructor + 2 others that I spoke to recommended keeping the pedals level during a corner vs. dropping the outside pedal. I'd been dropping the outside pedal since reading the Lopes book. The thought is that putting the majority of the weight on the outside pedal makes it more difficult to get the bike leaned over & complicates setting up for the corner.

    YMMV, but I've been cornering with my pedals level since the lesson & feel it helps.

    By the way, not suggesting that your pedal position had anything to do with your slide-out, just seemed like an appropriate thread to mention this.
    Yes, this.

    IMO, inside foot down off the pedal or just outside pedal down is only for slow braking switchbacks and sketchy slow gravely drop outs, or naturally recovering from a mistake like you experienced. Layers of leaves are treacherous, and no place to push the limits.

    What? Lopes said drop the outside pedal ....like a roadie with no tire patch?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDkid View Post
    During last Sunday's ride I was coming pretty fast into a left turn. Pretty sure I was doing everything right; outside foot in the down position on the pedal, leaning into it, etc... I felt the bike start to slide out and instinctively my left foot shot out and to the ground. (Before anyone goes after me for destroying trail, just know that I wasn't purposefully trying to skid and the trail was covered with newly fallen leaves.) It kind of jolted my leg as I made contact with the ground and my femur/hip joint is still hurting a couple days later.

    Should I have not shot out my foot so quickly or already had it out just in case? Or does this just happen sometimes? Is there something I should work on as far as where I'm putting my upper body weight? I've only been riding for a couple years so coming into turns fast enough for something like this to happen is new for me. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Some good tips here...

    3 Steps to Faster Corners - Pinkbike

    Cornering Basics with James Wilson Video - Pinkbike

    How To: Cornering and Straight Line - Pinkbike

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    I took a DH lesson at Whistler this summer. My instructor + 2 others that I spoke to recommended keeping the pedals level during a corner vs. dropping the outside pedal. I'd been dropping the outside pedal since reading the Lopes book. The thought is that putting the majority of the weight on the outside pedal makes it more difficult to get the bike leaned over & complicates setting up for the corner.

    YMMV, but I've been cornering with my pedals level since the lesson & feel it helps.

    By the way, not suggesting that your pedal position had anything to do with your slide-out, just seemed like an appropriate thread to mention this.
    Cornering feet level limits your range of motion so you'll end up leaning with the bike once you get to a certain point, you can get away with leaning with the bike on bermed corners. Cornering with the outside foot down will dramatically increase your range of motion and let you lean the bike as much as needed and stay centered over the bottom bracket.

    cornering technique - need advice-jeff_crop.jpg

  20. #20
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    More aggressive tires for the season... Adjust speed for conditions... and like mentioned above learn to react and counter act the sliding at slower speeds until you are comfortable then take the turns faster...

    Think of trying to go around a turn in a car (any for that matter) on road in the snow or rain at the same upper limit speeds as you do on a warm Sunny day.. .. Disaster.. The remedy there is similar.. Proper tires and speed for conditions combined with experience and finesse..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    If OP was riding with good technique the front and rear would slide at the same time. Fun!
    LOL
    Good to know I was using good technique yesterday when I was trying to push the limits of a new Panaracer Rampage I put on the front for fall. I found out how fast is too fast. Me+terra firma=thud+sore shoulder

    Yep too fast for conditions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend View Post
    Cornering with the outside foot down will dramatically increase your range of motion and let you lean the bike as much as needed and stay centered over the bottom bracket.
    Cornering with the outside foot down will also dramatically reduce your ability to absorb bumps in spots where the trail is a bit rough.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Cornering with the outside foot down will also dramatically reduce your ability to absorb bumps in spots where the trail is a bit rough.
    Reduce is the key word. I do not think it hinders bump absorption enough to justify the lesser traction. However, I race XC, so there are considerably fewer bumps on a typical XC trail than a backcountry trail, but at the same time all of the corners on the XC courses are fast. Therefore, I corner like a roadie on dirt. Weight on inside hand, outside foot, looking through the corner with your knee pointed out.
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  24. #24
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    Lots of good tips in here.

    One tidbit that I haven't seen in this thread (although I didn't watch all of each of the vids) is raising your outside elbow up and forward can help you get around a corner. I believe it helps to get more of your weight on the inside hand, however, it feels almost like magic when you get it right.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend View Post
    Cornering feet level limits your range of motion so you'll end up leaning with the bike once you get to a certain point, you can get away with leaning with the bike on bermed corners. Cornering with the outside foot down will dramatically increase your range of motion and let you lean the bike as much as needed and stay centered over the bottom bracket.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not really responding to your post b/c you make a good point & I'm sure that opinion on that issue varies - But your photo is a great illustration of another pointer my instructor gave me: Keep your weight over your outside grip. Keeps the weight over the bigger cornering lugs on the tire (vs. the center lugs) & helps you to get the bike leaned over.
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