Where I live and ride the courses are a combination of technical rock gardens and tight turns. The turns are sharp enough that they ride much faster after you learn where to brake so that you do not lose all of your momentum as you exit the turn.
I rode yesterday in my small chainring (2 x 10), but it was an accident. I always ride in the big ring (I live in TX) and I had forgotten that at the end of the previous ride that I did a spin-down in the small ring for the last 2 miles. Yesterday, I didn't realize that I was in the small ring until about 5 miles into the ride (my legs were before I began yesterday), but I definitely remember thinking to myself, "man, my handling is better today. I must be hitting each turn with the right amount of speed."
So, my post is a question about whether a large changes such as going from the big to the small ring would improve a bike's handling in tight turns?
Of course, the bike climbs better in the big ring (again, we have no mountains, but mostly boulders that climb best when you get more wheel revolution per pedal stroke). Strictly speaking about steering, does anyone suggest the small ring for sections with frequent tight turns?
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