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  1. #1
    fc
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    Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic

    This is how ya do it. Lean on inside bar. Weight on outside foot. Torso and head forward into the turn. Eyes wayy up front.



    This is how not to do it.


    The reward

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    I know what you mean about the "eyes way up front" thing. If I look down right in front of me, I slow way down.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    Photo #1 - Thats bad ass skills right there.

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    It's good for learning cornering skills to wash out like that. It's like learning how to wheelie, you're only going to find your balance point one way and that is to flip the bike over a couple of times. Same applies to leaning into turns, you'll find that balance point, but you'll have to crash a couple times while you're at it.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Biker View Post
    Photo #1 - Thats bad ass skills right there.
    That's an old dude journalist from New Zealand. It was pissing me off that I could not keep up with him in the corners. But when I see this photo, I concede.

    fc

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    n00b.

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    Is this the Better ride skills camp?
    Bend, OR

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    That shot says it all!! Also getting foreward on the bike. It looks like his chin is over the stem. A girl rider taught me about over leaning the bike. The shot shows that perfectly. That's been huge for me. If you feel like you aren't going to make the corner lay the bike over more between your legs. That adds a whole new dimention to turning a bike. It sure is fun making a corner with both tires sliding and not hitting the brakes.

  9. #9
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    Also read/know to point your hips into the turn (from a Pinkbike vid?)...the exact opposite from skiing, which is why it took me so long to figure it out! Give it a shot...it really helps with the "finding your balance point" thing, i.e, learning how to "drift" the bike while cornering on the loose stuff. Also helpful on snow (both to learn and to apply conering skills)

    The first photo really illustrates this point.

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    Man, I need to work on my technique. I always think I am going to wash out but the bike is actually holding fine. I'll remember this picture in my head next time.

  11. #11
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    is there videos with good advices about riding technique on the internet?

  12. #12
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    NSMB.com: Hey Coach! Ep. 1 - Cornering Video - Pinkbike

    Enjoy...kinda funny, too, haha

    Also, if you click on the "Videos" tab at the top of the page, there are TONS more.





    Ride on

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    NSMB.com: Hey Coach! Ep. 1 - Cornering Video - Pinkbike

    Enjoy...kinda funny, too, haha

    Also, if you click on the "Videos" tab at the top of the page, there are TONS more.





    Ride on
    Thanks for the link. This one was good also.
    Cornering Video - Pinkbike

  14. #14
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    braaaaap noises help

  15. #15
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    Here's a good video I found the other day. Please feel free to embed other good videos.



    fc

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    thanks, i'll try that technique as soon as the rain stop and the forest dries a little.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is how ya do it. Lean on inside bar. Weight on outside foot. Torso and head forward into the turn. Eyes wayy up front.
    Have a berm handy.

  18. #18
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    Thanks fc - fast cornering is the hardest thing, I think - ok maybe not harder than doing double backflips, lol. But practicing some figure-eight drills in the street/parking lot that gene hamilton gave (below) has helped me get the counter-steering effect, especially helps loosen you up enough to "get" the bike-body separation bit of getting your hips leaning one way and bike the other. Steep and loose stuff really kills my cornering-practice motivation though - I need some drills to get the mind/fear out of the way!

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  19. #19
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    I still need to master this technique if I want to not have to rely on the climbs alone to get podiums.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  20. #20
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    this one's a very useful pointer too

    How-to: Learn to Corner Better - Video - Pinkbike

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    braaaaap noises help
    After being scolded by a group of hikers from the city for not having bells or horns on our bikes we make that sound at all times. Not really but that was strange.

  22. #22
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    Not that I'm amazing at cornering, but I also like to spend time in the mountains on my Ducati and the cornering videos and tutorials for motorcycles hold true for mtn bikes too.

  23. #23
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    Actually, every time I ride the mountain bike I gain more confidence on the street bike. You use the suspension more with a Mountain Bike and the way suspensions are tuned on motorcycles you don't throw it around as much. Number one rule on the motorcyle is to always look through the corner....it's a little like the saying in golf "If you look down to see a good swing you never will" ...... If you look down at your wheels to watch yourself corner it just wont work...........

  24. #24
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    Cool. I started this thread just to mock myself but it looks like some learning is available here.

    Here's the Diamondback video:

    from Diamondback Bicycles on Vimeo.

    Diamondback DF5 Rider and Fluidride Instruction owner Simon Lawton works with Kyle Thomas on foot work.



    Another big area that hasn't been covered is weighting and unweighting. Setting up for corners then pushing your weight down into the tires is another dimension of technique. Spending time at a pump track seems really good for this.

    fc

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    Throwing the outside elbow up and forward is what makes that technique work for me. Almost like throwing a football block. And the wider your bars are the better it's gonna work.

  26. #26
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    Shift your weight, whether in the saddle (like photo #1) or standing. Braking try not to brake while in the corner (brake before) and think of "speeding up" out of the corner, even if that doesnt mean pedaling, you'll start to lean back, sit up, and get ready to power out of the corner, it helps with weight placement.

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    For me, it's more about pulling up on the outside grip than leaning on the inside one. That outside elbow is the key to the whole thing.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Not that I'm amazing at cornering, but I also like to spend time in the mountains on my Ducati and the cornering videos and tutorials for motorcycles hold true for mtn bikes too.
    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.
    Not really doing much Ridin' or Diggin' :skep:

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post

    Here's the Diamondback video:

    fc
    Wow, that's just like snowboarding! I think it is all starting to make sense now.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is how ya do it. Lean on inside bar. Weight on outside foot. Torso and head forward into the turn. Eyes wayy up front.



    This is how not to do it.


    The reward
    This thread enhanced my ride today. I was railing the corners. I havent been leaning forward enough. Thx

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    Just think of that front wheel like your girl, grab her hair and put it exactly where you want it, High performance riding is all about taking control of the cockpit.

  32. #32
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    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
    Correct number of bikes: n+1 bikes
    Correct body weight: m-10 pounds

  33. #33
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    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

  34. #34
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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
    thanks for starting it.....it's a great thread!!

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    Try picking on element each ride and just thinking about that, elbow, eyes, knees, bar pressure. If you do them one at a time and mix it up, they start to come together. And trying it on a trail you're already confident on. It really helps to learn stuff on corners you already nobrake.

  36. #36
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    Interesting that this is coming up. I have been studying and working on this stuff for a while.
    I bought the first Fluidride DVD about nine months back and have watched/skimmed it at least 30 times. Just got the Flowtonic DVD and have watched it about 3x.

    The cornering tech is starting to come together for me, at least some of the time. When I'm groovin' with all the elements of ripping turns correctly it does feel super right.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  37. #37
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    The more the bike feels like its washing out, yank up on the outside elbow and throw it forward. Turns the corner from scary to boring in an instant.

  38. #38
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    There are different cornering techniques for different kinds of corners. Don't make the mistake of trying to practice the same body english in all different corners.

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    Really helpful thread for a noob like me! Went on a ride last night, after looking thru the postings here and worked on applying what I learned. Like others suggested, I started out just concentrating on one element at a time, until it started to feel more natural and not so thought out.

    Was on a great fast, flowing track with tons of cornering sections so got to practice A LOT during a single ride. Bike & body positioning came first, followed by pedal positioning, then by heel angle & weight placement. Next came positioning & movement of my knees during the comer. Could really start to feel myself "pulling" the bike thru the corners much more easily. Actually, after awhile it didn't really feel strenuous at all to get the bike where I wanted it to go.

    Didn't work on the outside elbow technique, but am excited to throw that in the mix and see how much more I can improve. Only been MTB riding for about 3 months, but last night's ride was a major revelation for me on riding technique. Thnx to everyone for the great info.

  40. #40
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    How timely... I've just been recently working on cornering too, and taking a lot of tips from those two NSMB guys (the laser shooter and the laser sword pecker dude). It's gonna be a while before it becomes second nature.

  41. #41
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    thought about it on yesterdays ride.....it felt weird to think my way through, but concentrating on throwing with my inside hand as part of the counter steering felt pretty cool....makes you realize the amount of control you have, and the idea that a 30+/- lb bike is really easy to throw around.......lots to learn!!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    thought about it on yesterdays ride.....it felt weird to think my way through, but concentrating on throwing with my inside hand as part of the counter steering felt pretty cool....makes you realize the amount of control you have, and the idea that a 30+/- lb bike is really easy to throw around.......lots to learn!!
    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?!?!
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

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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?!?!


    not sure if serious....or on crazy pills....
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post


    not sure if serious....or on crazy pills....
    This is OG motocross skills. Helps on jump landings, too. Lots of front brake!
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

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  45. #45
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    From my auto racing days, I carried over the idea of the traction circle to MTB riding/racing. Your tire only has to much traction, laterally and longitudinally and combinations of the two. If you're braking in a corner, you reduce the amount of traction available to grip laterally (a.k.a. not fall on your arse!). This concept helps explain why you want to brake in a straight line before the corner, then use maximum grip laterally on corner entry and mid-corner.

    Here's a decent video for those new to the idea.

    Traction Circle - Explained - YouTube

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post


    not sure if serious....or on crazy pills....
    He's not serious.
    Bend, OR

  47. #47
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    I'll mock you francois, can you at least crash in a corner thats in NorCal next time....geez hehehe
    You're not entitled to anything until you work hard and earn it. CMQ

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrub View Post
    I'll mock you francois, can you at least crash in a corner thats in NorCal next time....geez hehehe
    That was intentional bro. It's from my upcoming dvd.... seconds before disaster.
    part 2: mtbr bend oregon slalom course - YouTube

    fc

  49. #49
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    Worked on technique today. It sure is easy to regress back to old bad habits. Thanks for getting us thinking again. Raising the elbow felt whacky but I like pointing my light stick.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    Also read/know to point your hips into the turn (from a Pinkbike vid?)...the exact opposite from skiing, which is why it took me so long to figure it out! Give it a shot...it really helps with the "finding your balance point" thing, i.e, learning how to "drift" the bike while cornering on the loose stuff. Also helpful on snow (both to learn and to apply conering skills)

    The first photo really illustrates this point.
    Took me a while for the same reason...as a ski racer turned instructor turned patroller, I always had the "counter rotation" thought in my head when I was riding...which of course left me washing out my front wheel and with lots of trail rash.

    At least the "weighting the outside pedal" muscle memory translated.

  51. #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

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

  53. #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.

  54. #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

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

  56. #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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

  63. #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!

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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.

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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.

  66. #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!

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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?
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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!

  69. #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.

  70. #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

  71. #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.

  72. #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.

  73. #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.

  74. #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!!

  75. #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.

  76. #76
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    I just watch a few of these videos and my form/technique blows. I've been working on my cornering and descending skills lately... Years of bad cornering technique have been hard to break. I am looking forward to working on some or these tips @ Skeggs tonight.

    WRT the dropper seat post. I put a dropper on my main suspension bike awhile back and it has completely changed my riding. I doubt I will build another MTB that doesn't have a dropper on it. Even on my 29er SS, I find that dropping the seat down a bit makes it much easier to throw around corners and handles less like a truck on tight switchbacks.

    Thanks all for the tips and videos.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by rho View Post
    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.
    It's really not even close. I could never ride a bike without a dropper seat post again. It's night and day for cornering, steeps, jumps...everything. I would ride a rigid/rim brake bike with dropper vs. a full suspension/disk brake bike without one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    It's really not even close. I could never ride a bike without a dropper seat post again. It's night and day for cornering, steeps, jumps...everything. I would ride a rigid/rim brake bike with dropper vs. a full suspension/disk brake bike without one.
    Plus one! If I could only make my seat and seat post disappear with a switch.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    It's really not even close. I could never ride a bike without a dropper seat post again. It's night and day for cornering, steeps, jumps...everything. I would ride a rigid/rim brake bike with dropper vs. a full suspension/disk brake bike without one.
    I agree with you but at the same time, its not good to be totally dependent on a dropper post. There are plenty of people who can rip with a high-post. For all out ripper descents there is nothing better than having the seat as far out of the way as possible. But its bad form to HAVE to have a seat dropper in all circumstances. On less steep terrain its a good idea to practice barely lowering the post. Hips back/chest down works with/without seat down so if you can still flow with the seat up you will be that much better with it down. A lot of riders I see, don't have correct form and have a bad habit of relying on the seat dropper, because the only way their bad form works is with the seat down.

    Some food for thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    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??
    I find that I begin to need a lower seat post on steeper hills. The steeper the hill, the more you have to shift your body weight back. On less steep hills, you don't have to move as far back. It's about being in *neutral* position relative to the front & back wheels. It's true that on most hills, my 4" dropper is more than adequate. But on steeper hills, (like Braille or Game trail), my seat even fully dropped is still in the way. I find I have to adjust the seat height ahead of time with my quick release. There is no harm in a seat post that is too low on a downhill, but believe me - there is harm if it is too high. IMO, just go for the lowest drop you can get, (probably 5" is enough for most of us - 7" for serious downhill or freeride) with an option to stop it 1 or 2 inches from the top for less steep, more rolling terrain and your covered.

    Yody -
    "A lot of riders I see, don't have correct form and have a bad habit of relying on the seat dropper, because the only way their bad form works is with the seat down."

    Seat post droppers should not be used as a crutch for bad form. They are supposed to assist good form, i.e. neutral position. You don't drop your post so you can sit lower, you drop your seat post so it is out of the way when you are standing in your pedals in proper neutral position. On the flip side - I do not think it is even possible to ride down a hill in correct form while the seat is up in climbing position. If the hill is not extremely steep, plenty of people will clear it just fine, but that's not the same thing as descending smoothly in good form, and certainly would not work to your advantage in a downhill race.
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    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??
    I'm just under 5'6" and run 5" reverbs on 2 bikes. I have no problem using all the travel. I could even go 150mm droppers and still have room to use all the post travel.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    /snip
    Hips back/chest down works with/without seat down so if you can still flow with the seat up you will be that much better with it down. /snip

    Some food for thought
    That.

    Only time in recent memory that I had lowered my seat was last trip down braille. Of course that process involves finding a 5mm allen wrench, loosening the seat collar and dropping it six inches. Heck, when I got to Downieville I don't recall lowering it much there.

    Of course I'm still a tallentless hack on a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    I agree with you but at the same time, its not good to be totally dependent on a dropper post. There are plenty of people who can rip with a high-post. For all out ripper descents there is nothing better than having the seat as far out of the way as possible. But its bad form to HAVE to have a seat dropper in all circumstances. On less steep terrain its a good idea to practice barely lowering the post. Hips back/chest down works with/without seat down so if you can still flow with the seat up you will be that much better with it down. A lot of riders I see, don't have correct form and have a bad habit of relying on the seat dropper, because the only way their bad form works is with the seat down.

    Some food for thought
    I would agree with this. There are plenty of people much faster than me that ride with a high post. I have the much maligned Command Post which I like because it has three positions. I tend to ride fully extended for all climbing and smooth roller coaster-ish XC. I ride at middle drop for rougher XC and some technical climbing and I ride fully dropped when I know the trail is pointed downhill for an extended period of time.

    BD (before dropper) I would use the old school method of hanging off the back seat on anything remotely steep. AD, I'm able to get away from that and sorta squat down into the middle of the suspension which gives you much more control in the steep and techy stuff. I'm not a big hucker or anything but my confidence on booters and drops is infinitely higher with the dropper post. As far as cornering, I feel it's just much easier to throw your weight around with the dropper post. It doesn't make me a bada$$ but it's definitely improved my riding overall.

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    Yah for sure, im all about the seat dropper. Was just throwing that out there for anyone reading, to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    I agree with you but at the same time, its not good to be totally dependent on a dropper post. There are plenty of people who can rip with a high-post. For all out ripper descents there is nothing better than having the seat as far out of the way as possible. But its bad form to HAVE to have a seat dropper in all circumstances. On less steep terrain its a good idea to practice barely lowering the post. Hips back/chest down works with/without seat down so if you can still flow with the seat up you will be that much better with it down. A lot of riders I see, don't have correct form and have a bad habit of relying on the seat dropper, because the only way their bad form works is with the seat down.

    Some food for thought
    There are plenty of people that can rip down a hill on a hard tail with a 100mm fork too, doesn't mean it's bad form to use full suspension. People starting today wont need to learn how to ride with a rigid seat post if they don't want to, wont make them less of a mtn biker, just means they didn't learn the old school ways. It's not bad form to lower the seat is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    I'm just under 5'6" and run 5" reverbs on 2 bikes. I have no problem using all the travel. I could even go 150mm droppers and still have room to use all the post travel.
    I guess I didn't think frame sizes would allow that much seat post while still being able to reach the pedals .... Guess you could always get a frame size smaller if you wanted to run more of a drop post........just seems if you have 7" of post being utilized from collar to seat then you're probably sitting quite a bit higher than your handlebars..........hmmm.....not a comfortable riding position for me....

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    There are plenty of people that can rip down a hill on a hard tail with a 100mm fork too, doesn't mean it's bad form to use full suspension. People starting today wont need to learn how to ride with a rigid seat post if they don't want to, wont make them less of a mtn biker, just means they didn't learn the old school ways. It's not bad form to lower the seat is it?
    You are missing my.point

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    Hmmm, read it again and still don't get it. You are saying that relying on a dropper is bad form. I'm comparing that to relying on full suspension. If lowering the seat helps with cornering and the dropper is available wouldn't the technique that you practice be using the tools that your bike has? Cornering with a bike that doesn't have a dropper is different for sure and therefore you would use different techniques correct?

    I'm not trying to troll or even argue, I just dont understand how it's "bad form" to rely on a dropper post?

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Hmmm, read it again and still don't get it. You are saying that relying on a dropper is bad form. I'm comparing that to relying on full suspension. If lowering the seat helps with cornering and the dropper is available wouldn't the technique that you practice be using the tools that your bike has? Cornering with a bike that doesn't have a dropper is different for sure and therefore you would use different techniques correct?

    I'm not trying to troll or even argue, I just dont understand how it's "bad form" to rely on a dropper post?
    Dropper post is the shiznit, we all know that. But if you cant ride a mountain bike without one, youre likely missing some fundamental skillls.

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    Man, after reading this thread, I did my normal tour de waterdog last night. I really focused on rotating my hips and trying to practice the tips mentioned here and it made a huge difference. I can't wait until this stuff becomes second nature and I don't even think about it. I can't believe how incorrectly I've been riding my bike for the last 8 years or so. Thanks for all of the tips/pointers/advice everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by maleonardphi View Post
    Man, after reading this thread, I did my normal tour de waterdog last night. I really focused on rotating my hips and trying to practice the tips mentioned here and it made a huge difference. I can't wait until this stuff becomes second nature and I don't even think about it. I can't believe how incorrectly I've been riding my bike for the last 8 years or so. Thanks for all of the tips/pointers/advice everyone!
    Planting the outside foot is finding me some great traction.

    I think we've all been getting faster with courage and trail familiarity over the years but technique can be neglected. This year, I started paying attention to my cornering and I'm seeing renewed learning and confidence.

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Planting the outside foot is finding me some great traction.

    I think we've all been getting faster with courage and trail familiarity over the years but technique can be neglected. This year, I started paying attention to my cornering and I'm seeing renewed learning and confidence.

    fc
    I was always planting my outside foot, but leaning with the bike and not keeping my weight over the tires. It made a huge difference on the loose corners at WD. Still need a lot of practice though, especially on the tight switchbacks.

  93. #93
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    I did some practicing @ Skeggs last night... trying some of these techniques, I felt a bit sketchy / awkward at first but by the end of the ride I stuck a few corners just right. When you get the bike leaned over and your weight in the right place you can carry so much more speed around corners without as much drift.

    I figured my runs would be slower overall as I was concentrating more on technique vs speed. However, when I checked my times on Strava I managed a couple PRs on Blue Blossom / Giant Salamander and overall I was as fast or faster on most sections. I think the hero dirt helped too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Dropper post is the shiznit, we all know that. But if you cant ride a mountain bike without one, youre likely missing some fundamental skillls.
    Gotcha...and thanks man, informative stuff all around...........

    Now for tomorrow mornings ride, I will overthink my turning, more than likely pedal strike a rock, forget that I even have a dropper and have to step off the bike

    Love this [email protected]$!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Dropper post is the shiznit, we all know that. But if you cant ride a mountain bike without one, youre likely missing some fundamental skillls.
    What fundamental skills exactly are we missing out on? Being able to work a quick release, or use an alan wrench? I did not see any of the experts pictured and videoed in this thread demonstrating proper cornering with their seats up in climbing position.
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    I was tesponding to a poster who said they would never ride a bike without one. So my point was that they are awesome but with good fundamental techniques they are not always necessary to have. Reading comprehension my friend

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    So, real world applications this morning.........I found the bellybutton pointing the most helpfull (hips tend to lead and make the body follow, I love it) while I noticed I tend to lean too far back giving myself less front end control which explains why sometimes I'll end up the the front wheel off of the trail as I come out of sharper turns.....I'll attribute this to the dropper and me standing behind the seat a little too much........sure is a balance that I hope one day will just be second nature!! Till now, it's those fun and fast corners that make me want more!!

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    Awesome observations. Thats was exactly what I was talking about with the seat dropper deal. Being so accustomed to lowering seat and dropping back instead of pushing hips back and chest down/elbows out weighting the front

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Awesome observations. Thats was exactly what I was talking about with the seat dropper deal. Being so accustomed to lowering seat and dropping back instead of pushing hips back and chest down/elbows out weighting the front
    Like i've said to my wife many times "You were right, I was wrong" .........

    Thanks Dear ..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Awesome observations. Thats was exactly what I was talking about with the seat dropper deal. Being so accustomed to lowering seat and dropping back instead of pushing hips back and chest down/elbows out weighting the front
    Hips back? So is the nose of your saddle jabbing you in the tail bone or are you above the saddle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    ........just seems if you have 7" of post being utilized from collar to seat then you're probably sitting quite a bit higher than your handlebars..........hmmm.....not a comfortable riding position for me....
    Here is a picture of my bike with seatpost fully extended, almost 9" from top of seat colar to seat rails. I have about 10mm of spacers below my stem. My knees are way over the bar on the upper pedal stroke. The bars feel much lower than the seat when riding with the seat fully extended. First few rides the low stem/bar height felt off, but after getting used to it I really like it. I fell it puts me in a more aggressive position and natrually makes me ride more aggressivly, weight forward and over bars. Front tire traction greatly improvered and I can push hard around corners without fear of a front tire washout. Low bars will force you to use better form, because bad form with low bars is a recipe for going over the bars!. Its an easy experiment, try lowering your stem and if you don't like it just put it back where it was.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Awesome observations. Thats was exactly what I was talking about with the seat dropper deal. Being so accustomed to lowering seat and dropping back instead of pushing hips back and chest down/elbows out weighting the front
    Ahh, so that's what you meant. I couldn't agree with you more on part of your point - like almost everyone else I was originally told (wrongly) to just move the butt back as far as possible and hang off the back edge of the seat such that the elbows are hyper extended, which means the front wheel is not weighted enough, which is totally sketchy. After taking a few skills clinics, the common theme of all of them was to *always* be in neutral position - weight centered over bottom bracket, chest low, elbows up, eyes forward - you do get back a little to maintain a neutral position on DH's, but this doesn't require you to move back so far you have straight elbows, except maybe on super-steeps. Having chest down and looking forward certainly has made my dh's a lot less sketchy and more enjoyable. (Having front of the board weighted is also recommended in snowboarding - except in deep powder). I can't picture however why you would think that being able to move your seat down on demand would prevent someone from doing this skill properly. I think the greater impediment to people descending improperly is not having anyone explain to them the benefits of doing it this way, or not having practiced it. I am glad you finally brought it up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Hips back? So is the nose of your saddle jabbing you in the tail bone or are you above the saddle?
    Imagine keeping your belly button centered over bottom bracket and adjust position for terrain. Back low and level with hips back keeping a low center of gravity.

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    A great video was just posted today about hip movement while turning:

    How-to: Hip Flexion - Video - Pinkbike

    Anybody else totally better at turning on way than the other? I really suck at right turns but can rail all types of left turns no problem.

    Also notice these guys are wearing knee pads when doing this! Pick up a set if you're really going to be focusing on leaning into corners. Troy Lee 5400's are great if you want to put in some mileage without being restricted and still be protected. You will wash out a few times finding that sweet spot, but it wont hurt!

    edit: on second watch, they aren't looking through the turn in a lot of the shots! They're looking down at their front tire, this is a no no.
    YouTube | #1 Rule for California mtb: If you're having fun, it's illegal.

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    So awesome! Don't need to look for hero dirt to practice. Even those crappy, loose fire roads are good for learning techniques.

    fc

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    Dont forget, while you guys are out there practicing, remember that this whole leaning the bike and keeping body upright js only one technique and is only.applicable to certain corners such as sweepers and off cambers. Tight corners and s turns and berms require similar but different inputs.

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    Yes, good point.

    I find that tight series of s turns confuse me more as I get more dialed over the past few years learning new methods like those disucssed in these threads. Specifically, I can't smoothly/quickly switch my stance quickly enough to put the outside pedals down in a series of tight linked s turns. Any thoughts on how to roost linked tight turns? Level pedals and pumping the turns to keep pressure timed to the apexes seems to work pretty good but curious about optimal techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Dont forget, while you guys are out there practicing, remember that this whole leaning the bike and keeping body upright js only one technique and is only.applicable to certain corners such as sweepers and off cambers. Tight corners and s turns and berms require similar but different inputs.

  108. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    So awesome! Don't need to look for hero dirt to practice. Even those crappy, loose fire roads are good for learning techniques.

    fc
    +1... I actually think wide trails may be better for initial practice as it give you more room to make errors. I almost hit a tree the other day on a tight section of Blue Blossom... I have ridden that section dozens of times, but that day I was paying too much attention to my technique and not the trees. LOL

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, good point.

    I find that tight series of s turns confuse me more as I get more dialed over the past few years learning new methods like those disucssed in these threads. Specifically, I can't smoothly/quickly switch my stance quickly enough to put the outside pedals down in a series of tight linked s turns. Any thoughts on how to roost linked tight turns? Level pedals and pumping the turns to keep pressure timed to the apexes seems to work pretty good but curious about optimal techniques.
    Pump even harder, you have the idea

  110. #110
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    Maybe these guys need a little cornering practice...

    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuruAtma View Post
    Maybe these guys need a little cornering practice...

    Roadies?
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

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    I've been practicing the techniques in this thread. The pull your inside grip off and dip the outside heel tips really make cornering a completely different experience. Corner speeds and comfort go through the roof. Really good stuff.

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    I just did the dirt crit race in Howarth Park, and the cornering tips helped a lot. I didn't come in last!
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

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    Today pointing my belly button in started feeling better. Old loose scary corners a feeling casual now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Roadies?
    Whistler?

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumblingcrustacean View Post
    Whistler?
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

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    Oh lord, 3 hours on the Motorcycle and I'm all screwed up now..........
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Oh lord, 3 hours on the Motorcycle and I'm all screwed up now..........
    Hell just switching bicycles is hard enough. At least I got all my handlebars the same width now. Wooden plugs for extra width.

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Hell just switching bicycles is hard enough. At least I got all my handlebars the same width now. Wooden plugs for extra width.
    yeah, it's a big switch, although the bicycle gives me more confidence on the motrocycle......

    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

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    Sick! I quit that when I found myself airborn in the middle of a 4 way stop.
    Still drooling!

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Today pointing my belly button in started feeling better. Old loose scary corners a feeling casual now.
    I was Alum Rock park today for the first time as I tackled a steep, loose, dry descent. Confidence was high!

    A big part of it too is as you understand what's going on with the traction, you're able to ride with more commitment and more traction.

    fc

  122. #122
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    It's hard to shake off street bike cornering techniques to mountain bikes. I haven't ridden sport bikes in years but I still think about cornering on my mtb with Mick Doohan on my head. I think repetition does help out a lot. At Northstar this Friday, I had some pretty fast runs down Livewire moving the bike under me instead of my body leaning into the turns. Elbows out and twisting your torso helps out a lot.

  123. #123
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    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic-602522_10150962315832475_883249620_n.jpeg  


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    I was riding a familiar trail this weekend. It is a off camber downhill. Just riding down it is not at all technical, but by weight the outside pedal and leaning on the inside grip I could hear my xr4's clawing at the ground. There is something about that counter steer that brings a whole new level of traction. It irritating to be riding all this time and just discover it. I thought I was doing it right. Ha.
    Great thread.

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  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    YouTube | #1 Rule for California mtb: If you're having fun, it's illegal.

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBMX View Post
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    That is really the next step. Take a class or get a coach. Feel free to recommend good skills/cornering classes.

    fc

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    It's sad how there are thousands of riders who aren't interested in improving. These cornering tips are so easy to get down and add so much to the riding experience. I just turned 50 and want to get a little better every ride. Not because I race but to have more fun. Carrying more speed and holding momentum make riding a breeze.

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    Felt it!

    Thanks, good stuff! Tried it yesterday. Easy to do and smooth. Felt like my usual method with exaggerated inside grip push, lean in, torso turn, outside elbow lift. Old dogs CAN learn!

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBMX View Post
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    They just had one this past Sunday @ Tamarancho. I'm not sure who instructed though. I'm due for another class, but really want my injuries to heal up before I go in to get the full benefit of it....otherwise it's like watching videos on the internet.

  130. #130
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    I want to go around some corners fast. I think I'll hit up ye old demo this weekend or next!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bayareamtnbiker View Post
    Thanks, good stuff! Tried it yesterday. Easy to do and smooth. Felt like my usual method with exaggerated inside grip push, lean in, torso turn, outside elbow lift. Old dogs CAN learn!
    This is the key. Look for it and feel it. Open your mind and you will learn. For a decade, I've been getting faster by taking more risks and getting more familiar with the trail. But that's not really learning better technique. If you seek and find the cornering traction, you will be safer and faster.

    fc
    Last edited by fc; 07-23-2012 at 09:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    ...Or watch them ride by at least. As nice and friendly as those thre guys are, they would probably, actually wait for you, so you could see them ride, that is if there wasn't a fistfull of dollars on the line. And as sketchy as that race was, the term "pro" is fitting for each of them as fast as their times were.
    I learn something every time watching either of those guys ride or race.

    props.

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    Went out this evening and put some of this to practice,...what a difference. Had an absolute blast, this is one of many reasons why I love Mountain Biking.

  134. #134
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    Tried out some more aggressive cornering techniques today at CCCX #8. I think I am just a tad faster through the loose off-camber turns now… but not too much faster.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  135. #135
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    What is the difference between pushing on the inside grip vs pulling on the outside grip?
    Also, is not either of these just putting an unnecessary torque on the handlebar?
    If riding in a straight line (for example only) you can see that pushing on one grip and pulling on the other doesn't really accomplish anything.

  136. #136
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    If you stand on your outside pedal and lean the bike over between your legs you have to torque the bars to keep the bike layed over. Try it in a straight line on the street. It's much harder for me to lift the outside bar than try to pull the inside bar grip off. When I get the bike all set up in the corner I tense my core muscles and lift the outside bar. I got some great practice on the Truckee Super D last week. There must be fifty sweet berms on that DH! They're all made by motos so the flow is insane.

  137. #137
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    Jay Hoots and Shandro said they will show me the way. I will report back

    fc

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    I swear cornering is like golf for me..........I get a few great shots then bogey for a while.......hehe, too much thinking still..........it's working though, I just gotta get it to become second nature
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    I swear cornering is like golf for me..........I get a few great shots then bogey for a while.......hehe, too much thinking still..........it's working though, I just gotta get it to become second nature
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    This thread transformed my riding lately. I'd love to find a coach to make an investment in.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    I'm in! Every ride every corner. I pulled off most of the right techniques in a clutch situation the other day.

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    I have done a bunch of clinics already, and it's good to get feedback from a pro, but you have to practice and apply what you learn or you lose it. Gene Hamilton recommends to focus on at least one skill on each ride, and it's really, really good advice. My first sport was snowboarding back in the 90's, and on ski hills there are always all kinds of lessons available. I'm surprised it's not more popular for mountain biking. I think it would be hella fun to organize a trip up to Whistler and do a co-ed Dirt Series up there!

    In lieu of that, having skills threads up on mtbr is also a great refresher and reminder to continually improve.
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  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    braaaaap noises help
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    This reminds me of a South Park episode.
    garth marenghi's darkplace - bike chase scene - YouTube

    The entire show is brilliant. Fantastic humor. All six episodes can be found on this channel:
    xbobandrose's channel - YouTube
    To ride this trail is completely free.
    Just show me a triangle..... make it three!

  144. #144
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    Hmmm, there needs to be a NorCal Cornering Clinic Meetup, ride, and after ride beer tasting.......
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Jay Hoots and Shandro said they will show me the way. I will report back

    fc
    Been waiting for some Shore ride reports, where are they? Whatya working or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Hmmm, there needs to be a NorCal Cornering Clinic Meetup, ride, and after ride beer tasting.......
    My vote is the Truckee super D. Perfect for laying down corners.

  147. #147
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    We need some coaching/camp recommendations. Coaching reviews!!

    For a group ride, we will need some volunteer coaches who know what they're talking about.

    For IPA coaching, I'm your man.

    fc

  148. #148
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    Matt Cain is a mtb'er?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic-matt.cain.mtb.jpg  


  149. #149
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    On off camber turns wouldn't the tire contact area be greater if you leaned your body into the turn more than your bike and thus have greater traction?

  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael1 View Post
    On off camber turns wouldn't the tire contact area be greater if you leaned your body into the turn more than your bike and thus have greater traction?
    Edit... Misread your post. Have had coffee now. Disregard post. :-)
    Last edited by ask; 08-16-2012 at 09:35 AM.
    "...That said, we exhausted the comedy material in this thread, so we're done here." -KMax

  151. #151
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    Good thread!
    As an motocross/enduro rider we always emphasize weighting outside peg and elbow high (which not only opens chest but also allows more control when the front end moves up/down on terrain) but the difference is that the m/c pegs don't move. I'm having to learn to 'drop' that outside pedal in a turn whereas I've been positioning my pedals at even height til now. Good stuff on those vids!

  152. #152
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    Here is a very good photo of Heather Irminger training with the great Lee McCormack.



    A lot of things can be gleaned from this photo.

    1) You can be a top level pro but still have great opportunity to improve your handling

    2) It is only when you're willing to be open to learning and allow someone to break down your technique that you can actually learn.

    3) You can practice on the street.

    4) Weight on the outside leg

    5) Torso and navel turned towards the corner

    6) Elbows out

    7) Eyes way out front.

  153. #153
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    oh, i made a silly video this morning of some of the things I'm working on at off camber turns of freakmont older.



    gear:
    29er Schwalbe tires
    dropper post
    flat pedals

    technique:
    elbows out
    look ahead
    torso rotate
    outside leg down with weight on it
    heel down.

    rinse,repeat

  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    oh, i made a silly video this morning of my inane techniques.

    perfect form .......... no splash, I give it a 7.89
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  155. #155
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    Francois' vid reminds me of this move in 0:43 -

    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  156. #156
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    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video.

    Second, you took the outside/inside line. You can see right when you turn-in, your front tire nearly loses traction as you dive across the trail to the apex. Sometimes its easier to just take the turn midtrack, and hug the inside line and let the bike two wheel drift a lil bit on the exit (as long as you have that outside leg/foot planted) rather than risk the do or die of darting all the way across on the entry.

    Third, sticking your foot out made you look nervous,and at that speed/lean angle did not look necessary. You were carrying some good speed but I'm sure you could of pulled that off with the foot on the pedal.

    Hope that doesn't sound too preachy. I know its easy to armchair quarterback but fwiw some food for thought.

  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video.

    Second, you took the outside/inside line. You can see right when you turn-in, your front tire nearly loses traction as you dive across the trail to the apex. Sometimes its easier to just take the turn midtrack, and hug the inside line and let the bike two wheel drift a lil bit on the exit (as long as you have that outside leg/foot planted) rather than risk the do or die of darting all the way across on the entry.

    Third, sticking your foot out made you look nervous,and at that speed/lean angle did not look necessary. You were carrying some good speed but I'm sure you could of pulled that off with the foot on the pedal.

    Hope that doesn't sound too preachy. I know its easy to armchair quarterback but fwiw some food for thought.
    Awesome!!!

    Yes, I'm just discovering that when I run flats, I should be in the middle of the shoe more when descending. It feels much better, specially when jumping.

    Line selection.... definitely.

    Sticking the foot out. Yes again, I want to keep that on and corner better with the foot on the pedals.

    I'll keep working on it.

    fc

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    Sweet, sounds like you're on the right track. I usually save foot out for the super sketched out/ guaranteed a nasty drift, and/or super tight loose turns. Or if the trail is narrow and off camber and is crumbling away. When in doubt, better to leave it on the pedal and use the right technique to get through it, but have it ready to kick out for emergency maneuvers. In the vid it looked like you were ready for a nasty drift but when it didnt' happen you were kinda just tripod'd and not drifting and it killed your exit. All just my opinion of course

    Nice way to keep the thread goin

    PS the entry to that corner looks tricky, as its fast and then drops down and away.

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    oh, i made a silly video this morning of some of the things I'm working on at off camber turns of freakmont older.



    gear:
    29er Schwalbe tires
    dropper post
    flat pedals

    technique:
    elbows out
    look ahead
    torso rotate
    outside leg down with weight on it
    heel down.
    Looks good, here is what I'm seeing:
    What I'm seeing is you sitting in the saddle...stand up some to get all of your weight on that outside pedal. And weight the inside hand...I think you should be able to wave to the camera as you zip by (don't, but it's that much weight, the outside hand is more of a guide)

    Torso rotation should be at the hips...as a previous vid mentioned, "point yer pecker". What I have found is that you can almost feel the back tire want to step out, before it lets go using this technique. You seem to be rotating at your shoulders...just pay attention to your position (hard to when cornering)

    As others have said, keep that foot up unless it's real loose...that dirt looks like a dream sliding surface...get that front wheel drifting!

    Also, lean the bike, not your body...This does 2 things:
    1) faster reaction times because your arms are forced to be bent
    2) your mass forces the tires down into the dirt, not out at an angle.

    I have found that slalom turns down a mild-grade gravel road really help the learning process...within 5 minutes, I was to a point where I was scaring myself, because of how fast I could turn and remain in control...I was slowing myself down, but my tires held. The weighted inside hand allows you to instantly counter any front wheel wanderings that may occur.

    Lookin' good!

  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video. some food for thought.


    Shoe, Pedal and Foot Placement Tips for Flat Pedals - YouTube

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    Good video, Luc! That just confirms what I've ended up doing when I switched from clips to flats. BTW, "Ether" has been my go-to coffee blend since you made the recommendation. Lol!

    @Francis: It may seem odd in the beginning but you'll get used to flats. As some people have pointed out (and what the video suggests), you may want to move your foot a tad bit forward. It may even rub the front wheel if you're riding a steeper bike, but you will get used to it. The other thing I found was switching to flats definitely improved my overall bike technique, especially when I go airborne. Just be patient and you'll get the hang of it. Now I switch between flats or clips depending on the type of riding I do. Looking good, pare!

    PS: Five-Tens... don't even dork around with any other shoe brand.

  162. #162
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    Damn guys. I want to go there again and session that thing. Lots of nuggets here!
    Last edited by fc; 09-11-2012 at 08:20 AM.

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    Notice how in the photo of Heather how bent her outside leg is? That's getting her center of gravity way low. Francis it looks like your seat is hanging you up. See how Heathers seat isn't between her legs it's on the other side of her body.
    I'm still having fun trying to improve and got a riding partner interested in the techniques.
    Thanks.

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    Good video, Luc! That just confirms what I've ended up doing when I switched from clips to flats
    you are welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    BTW, "Ether" has been my go-to coffee blend since you made the recommendation. Lol!
    had two cups of it this morning before my ride

    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    PS: Five-Tens... don't even dork around with any other shoe brand.

  165. #165
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    skiing comparisons?

    Not sure what I'm reaching for here, but I'll put it out as a general question.

    How does carving on skis translate to mountain biking cornering for people? And how can I work to translate what I know from skiing to cornering on a mountain bike?

    Here's where I'm coming from as this thought occurred today:

    I'm an expert tele skiier, can carve hard, comfortable in variable terrain, understand how edges work, etc. Spent a couple winters in a mountain town in my misspent youth getting a solid base, and learned through many days on the hill and in the bc, so earned this level of skill, although it's atrophying.

    I'm doing much more mountain biking now, and realizing how far I am in my cornering skills and comfort in mountain biking from where I am as a skier.

    Now, I'm no slouch on the downhills, but I have to admit that I haven't taken the step to where I have the same, how to put it, *kinesthetic understanding* of how to make the side knobbies carve on a hardpacked trail as I do with skis strapped on. I trust my ski edges to carve as hard as I can lean them over. I don't yet *trust* the knobbies in the same way, although I'm starting to experience the delightful buzz of the tires and accompanying adrenaline when I can line up the tips in this thread and from my clinic.

    Aside from blasting away and taking a few diggers to find the edge, are there any other thoguhts about how I can translate skiing experience more directly to mountain biking?

    Thanks for bearing with a vague question!

  166. #166
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    Not to detract here and with all due respect FC, (That is indeed a good tool to use as far as impacting on a rider to learn to move the body into a better position and lighten up on the downside of the bars.) I see one seriously glaring fault in the image of Heather. In her subconscious move to "lighten the inside" (downward) bar-end she's putting her fingers in harms way. Dislocated fingers happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Here is a very good photo of Heather Irminger training with the great Lee McCormack.



    A lot of things can be gleaned from this photo.
    Last edited by Obi; 09-20-2012 at 12:23 AM.

  167. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Not sure what I'm reaching for here, but I'll put it out as a general question.

    How does carving on skis translate to mountain biking cornering for people? And how can I work to translate what I know from skiing to cornering on a mountain bike?

    Here's where I'm coming from as this thought occurred today:

    I'm an expert tele skiier, can carve hard, comfortable in variable terrain, understand how edges work, etc. Spent a couple winters in a mountain town in my misspent youth getting a solid base, and learned through many days on the hill and in the bc, so earned this level of skill, although it's atrophying.

    I'm doing much more mountain biking now, and realizing how far I am in my cornering skills and comfort in mountain biking from where I am as a skier.


    Now, I'm no slouch on the downhills, but I have to admit that I haven't taken the step to where I have the same, how to put it, *kinesthetic understanding* of how to make the side knobbies carve on a hardpacked trail as I do with skis strapped on. I trust my ski edges to carve as hard as I can lean them over. I don't yet *trust* the knobbies in the same way, although I'm starting to experience the delightful buzz of the tires and accompanying adrenaline when I can line up the tips in this thread and from my clinic.

    Aside from blasting away and taking a few diggers to find the edge, are there any other thoguhts about how I can translate skiing experience more directly to mountain biking?

    Thanks for bearing with a vague question!
    In short, yes and no...with a lot of both.

    I ski raced for 4 years, and one technique that was "drilled" into us was body angle. While turning on alpine gear, proper form keeps your knees, hips, and shoulders "stacked" on top of each other, and pointing downhill (for slalom and some GS). When you turn your hips into a ski turn, you don't have as much pressure being transferred to the ski edge. I'm sure you have felt like your skis are turning "late"...this is what causes that phenomenon (sometimes).

    With mountain biking, the angle of applied force is different. By rotating your hips into the turn on a bike, you create a pivot point that your bike "rotates" around. When you start using this technique, you can feel the back tire let go and pivot around your body. While skiing is similar in that your body is the pivot point, you have to keep your body pointed down the hill. Not so with mountain biking.
    EDIT: mountain biking is not always downhill. Of course leaning downhill helps in those circumstances. Pointing your hips into the turn will help your legs steer the bike through the turn...

    The similar techniques are: looking where you want to go with your eyes, and keeping a vertical upper-body position, while you angle your bike and legs (or skis and legs).

    The difference, again, is your hip position...keep them still on skis, turn them on the bike.

    With the trust issue...it takes loosing control. Again, when skiing, I learned that I had to ski even more aggressively on the ice to make my edges hold. But the type of ski makes a big difference. The same goes for bike tires. Some let go unpredictably, others can slide with as much control as if they were still hooked up. I would suggest you learn where the "release point" is for your tires, and that usually takes falling a few times (or coming pretty darn close!). Just like with skiing, falling helps you learn what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

  168. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    In short, yes and no...with a lot of both.

    I ski raced for 4 years, and one technique that was "drilled" into us was body angle. While turning on alpine gear, proper form keeps your knees, hips, and shoulders "stacked" on top of each other, and pointing downhill (for slalom and some GS). When you turn your hips into a ski turn, you don't have as much pressure being transferred to the ski edge. I'm sure you have felt like your skis are turning "late"...this is what causes that phenomenon (sometimes).

    With mountain biking, the angle of applied force is different. By rotating your hips into the turn on a bike, you create a pivot point that your bike "rotates" around. When you start using this technique, you can feel the back tire let go and pivot around your body. While skiing is similar in that your body is the pivot point, you have to keep your body pointed down the hill. Not so with mountain biking.
    EDIT: mountain biking is not always downhill. Of course leaning downhill helps in those circumstances. Pointing your hips into the turn will help your legs steer the bike through the turn...

    The similar techniques are: looking where you want to go with your eyes, and keeping a vertical upper-body position, while you angle your bike and legs (or skis and legs).

    The difference, again, is your hip position...keep them still on skis, turn them on the bike.

    With the trust issue...it takes loosing control. Again, when skiing, I learned that I had to ski even more aggressively on the ice to make my edges hold. But the type of ski makes a big difference. The same goes for bike tires. Some let go unpredictably, others can slide with as much control as if they were still hooked up. I would suggest you learn where the "release point" is for your tires, and that usually takes falling a few times (or coming pretty darn close!). Just like with skiing, falling helps you learn what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.
    Yes, this all rings true. I think a key difference is the hip orientation. Counter-rotating in skiing to keep belly button pointed down hill vs pointing the pecker on a bike.

    Whether I sack up to get out there and crash is another story. I love a good two wheel drift, but only when it's small and manageable. Can't yet order those up on demand...

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, this all rings true. I think a key difference is the hip orientation. Counter-rotating in skiing to keep belly button pointed down hill vs pointing the pecker on a bike.

    Whether I sack up to get out there and crash is another story. I love a good two wheel drift, but only when it's small and manageable. Can't yet order those up on demand...

    Thanks for the thoughts.
    Best practice surface I have come across: flat, packed gravel or dirt road. Speed and turn angle is easily controlled. Just pull slalom turns at 15-20 mph, and apply the techniques that have been bounced around here: hips turned, pressure the inside hand, and keep knees and elbows bent. You will either quickly learn your tires' limits, or will find that your tires will hold at speeds faster than you are comfortable at. Either way, you can quickly gain information about your equipment w/o going "balls to the wall" and railing some gnarly single-track corner at 30 mph and either chickening out and locking up or eating dirt.

    Happy Riding!

  170. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    The guy in the red shirt passed my on a practice run. He disappeared after one turn. Three turns later he was on the side cheering me on like he had been waiting for a minute or two. It was nice of him to cheer on the old slow guy stopping in all the turns.

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    Your question is far from vague. For those who have not skied or boarded at all it might be difficult to relate to though they can likely visualize skiing. Are you reaching for any of these parallels??
    Keep the head level to the horizon.
    Keep the eyes looking near, far, near, far, near,farnearfarnear, find horizon, near, far...
    Breathe. Use more breath, deeper slower while carving on bike or boards. Exhale at the apex/peak of the most energized moments of the turn.
    Keep the hands low and in front. Outside hand advances.
    Quiet, supple upper body. Awake abs, very active psosas muscle...
    As evenly as possible distribute edge gripping forces via the angulation of the pelvis/femur, knee, ankle, foot. "Lean" the lower extremities a lot.
    Focus weight on the big toe mound and around the ball of the foot/feet.
    Be like a cat, or other graceful animal of your choice.

    Visualize you are carving on skis. Soak up the terrain. Happy cornering and carving and controlled drifting!

  172. #172
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    Things are progressing. I now know enough to say that this guy knows what he's doing.

    Ashes to Dust with Emanuel Pombo | Mountain Bike Review



    Emanuel broke his back in 2010 at the World Cup race in Val di Sol. His local trail on an island in Portugal burned down last year. This video is how nature and the body can heal and recover from adversity.

    fc

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    Nice riding by Emanuel, but if you want to see really amazing skills check out this Kovarik video - Video: Chris Kovarik - Summer of Summit - The Dirt Chronicles - Pinkbike

  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Nice riding by Emanuel, but if you want to see really amazing skills check out this Kovarik video - Video: Chris Kovarik - Summer of Summit - The Dirt Chronicles - Pinkbike
    Niiiiice. And here's how to handle the wet. Hans Dampf tires!

    Shaperideshoot’s Gaëtan Rey and Vincent Tupin | Mountain Bike Review

    fc

  175. #175
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Niiiiice. And here's how to handle the wet. Hans Dampf tires!

    Shaperideshoot’s Gaëtan Rey and Vincent Tupin | Mountain Bike Review

    fc
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?

  176. #176
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    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?
    Yes, like at 1:18. I've only ever been able to do something approximating that by accident
    It reminds me of how I will often set myself up for a hard turn when skiing, winding up energy to snap around the other way. Curious to hear thoughts on this.

  178. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, like at 1:18. I've only ever been able to do something approximating that by accident
    It reminds me of how I will often set myself up for a hard turn when skiing, winding up energy to snap around the other way. Curious to hear thoughts on this.
    Perhaps this is fine in places like Northstar or Whistler, or in lands which are mountain bike friendly, or trails which are not prone to erosion. But in my local riding area, he skid marks left on the trail do not help our image. Especially when they are left all over hiking-only trails showcasing illegal use. If people are gonna break the rules, they need to at least be stealth about it. (As a side note: I might have the name shredchic, but I don't condone the literal shredding of trails. It's just a moniker from my snowboarding days.)

    ...just want to add - certainly not a rant directed at anyone here. I just came across obvious skid marks on some hiking-only trails this morning (I was on foot, btw).
    Last edited by shredchic; 11-16-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)
    Surface conditions also affect how well the above technique works.
    For example, a loose surface material, such as gravel or bark, will allow the bike to drift with minimal rider input...just center your weight, and get ready to use your inside hand to push the bar into a counter-steer when the tires let go. Quite fun, once you get the hang of it.

    With the skiing question...sort of. When linking fast carving turns (on skis or bike), such as in a slalom course, throwing (as in leaning..lurching forwards on a bike at 20+ mph halfway through a slick turn usually ends poorly) your weight into the next turn speeds up the transition from edge to edge (skis or tires). The difference is: skiing=hips forward or out; bike=hips turned into the turn.

    And living in a mtb-friendly area helps...especially if people do trail maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.
    That's all fine if you built the trail and maintain it. You are sliding around on your own trail. Aren't you. Coming into the corner at the right speed and a little 2 wheel drift with no brakes is a win for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    That's all fine if you built the trail and maintain it. You are sliding around on your own trail. Aren't you. Coming into the corner at the right speed and a little 2 wheel drift with no brakes is a win for me.
    Actually I usually do it on illegal trails and mostly to try and roost mud on hikers...and babies.

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    Yeeeeaaaa Boyyyyy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Perhaps this is fine in places like Northstar or Whistler, or in lands which are mountain bike friendly, or trails which are not prone to erosion.
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)
    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    Surface conditions also affect how well the above technique works.
    For example, a loose surface material, such as gravel or bark, will allow the bike to drift with minimal rider input...just center your weight, and get ready to use your inside hand to push the bar into a counter-steer when the tires let go. Quite fun, once you get the hang of it.

    With the skiing question...sort of. When linking fast carving turns (on skis or bike), such as in a slalom course, throwing (as in leaning..lurching forwards on a bike at 20+ mph halfway through a slick turn usually ends poorly) your weight into the next turn speeds up the transition from edge to edge (skis or tires). The difference is: skiing=hips forward or out; bike=hips turned into the turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.
    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).

  185. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.

    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).
    I'd say that the rear wheel stepping out and the right hand counter steering occur at the same time...unless you are purposefully locking the back, sliding into a turn, then counter steering, though usually your back tire will hook up before you get to counter-steer much.

    I'd say find a flat gravel road, and practice linking turn over the gravel strip that runs down the middle. That way you get a chance to slide around a bit, but if you over do it, your tires will catch you in the tire wash (the packed part where cars drive). And a bit of blood is part of the sport...I'll never forget the time I came in hot into a hard 90 degree, off-camber, freshly paved corner at 25 mph and my bike let go...road rash, cut lip, chipped tooth, and sprained thumb (it got caught in between the brake lever and the handlebar...not sure how).

  186. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.







    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).
    You love the looks? If you just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    Last edited by Yody; 08-02-2014 at 08:27 AM.

  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Actually I usually do it on illegal trails and mostly to try and roost mud on hikers...and babies.
    I bet your tires are made from Baby Seal skin too..........
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  188. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.
    For cornering, since we live in the Bay Area, I would suggest working on your pump track skills and earn traction in a corner where there is none. It is a beautiful thing and you will ride much faster without breaking traction.

    For looking good, the key thing to learn is going sideways in mid-air or steering in mid-air. Aside from looking awesome, it actually has a very good purpose. It releases and directs flight energy where needed. And it prepares the bike and body for any incidents on take-off, mid-air or landing. Most of us xc rider jump stiff and are dead sails in the air. If something goes wrong on take-off, we are dead meat since we have no skill to make adjustments.

    Look at Pombo's video really closely and you'll see he all the tools.

    Also, this is very, very informative.

  189. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    I bet your tires are made from Baby Seal skin too..........

    And filled with unicorn blood to prevent punctures.

    But in all seriousness, the video above is well done, and brings up a few concepts that some of you can pull from skiing (people keep trying to tie these two sports together).

    With jumping, skiing and mtb are very similar. When going for altitude on a bike, you want to spring off the lip of the jump. This is accomplished by loading the bike's suspension and your body. On skis, we load up our take-off by flexing our knees and hips, then extending our bodies as we leave the kicker.

    At higher speeds, when there is a chance of "over jumping", or if we want to resume ground contact sooner (at high or low speeds), allowing the bike to rise up into your body will keep your overall center of mass closer to the ground, shortening your flight distance. This is similar to allowing your skis and knees to rise up over a jump, but forcing your torso to remain at the same level, effectively flattening your flight arc.

    Here's an example for the skiers (0:35 for example) Visa Ski Cross Finals - YouTube

    Same concept...lead with the hands.

    I think jumping causes problems because so many of us started by hopping off of curbs, which are great ramps, but with flat landing zones. This encourages landing on both wheels (or even the back, to reduce the impact), and discourages landing on the front wheel first, which is the proper way to land a purpose-built jump.

    An exercise I found helpful is to ride down a sidewalk like you are going to hop off the little ramps after a driveway, but instead of jumping, let the bike roll over the ramp. This helps get you used to the feeling of keeping your body centered over the bike in an active, instead of locked, position (in order to keep the front tire from flying up in the air, you need some forward weight, which you obtain by leading with your hands). Once you get used to this sensation, a larger jump is just a larger version of the same motion.
    Last edited by CSC; 11-19-2012 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    You love the looks? Thats a pretty ghey thing to say. If you suck at cornering and just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    Plus one. Any decent rider will think. Idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    You love the looks? Thats a pretty ghey thing to say. If you suck at cornering and just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.
    I know man. Some dudes are so aggro before their first beer.

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.
    Of course it looks fun. Dropping your pants in public is fun but it's not something we generally strive to learn.

    That reminds me. I need to drop pants in public more.
    Point is sliding is unacceptable.

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    Nothing has taught me more about bike handling than BMX. Especially flatland (ground tricks).

    Balance, center of gravity, how to turn with handlebar input, etc. We have a move in flatland BMX called "turbine" which is spinning in place, and that is all handlebar input, leaning, and everything you guys are describing.

    Something as simple and basic trials riding, like rock walks, and then moving up to 360˙ bunny hops, all requires timing, handlebar and weight input, etc. even being able to track stand, lift the front wheel and pedal-drop off a ledge is SUPER handy to have. How many of us can complete a true pedal drop without landing face first? Start on curbs and work your way up.

    I would recommend to any and all to go out and spend some time riding trials at a local highschool with a platform stage, even with the bike you normally ride (especially what you normally ride). A BMX or dirt jump is awesome to have - I wish more adults wouldn't shy away from riding BMX, a 20" on a pump track pays gigantic dividends.

    My climbing may suck, but one thing I got going for myself is bike handling. I'm glad I learned that at a very early age. I was riding pump tracks, pools, half-pipes, trials, and flatland at the age of 13. It has really influenced my bike handling today. Point me up a fire road - well, those who have ridden with me know what that is like (), but give me any technical terrain that requires balance, bar input, track standing, wheel position, jumps, drops, bunnyhops, wall rides, etc. and I will ride the hell out of it with a grin.

    Sometimes, I'll go to a local school with planter boxes, stages, etc. in their quad on a weekend, and just practice pedal drops, climbing stairs sideways by side hopping, pedal-ups, rolling drops, 180˙ rollbacks, rock-walks, etc. so come that technical rocky section, I can navigate without hike-a-bike due to rocky conditions.

  195. #195
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    if you want to be better at swimming, you swim...
    if you want to get better at bowling, you bowl..
    if you want to get better at skating, you skate...

    Nothing has taught me more about cornering than to ride my mountain bike on fast dirt trail with a lot of different corners. Flat, bermed, rutted, loose, rocky, hardpack, etc.. and tell yourself "Cornering is FUN". There is no better feeling than punching a corner and slingshotting out of it with more exit speed than entry speed

    - Ride them often
    - Ride them faster and faster
    - Concentrate on your braking (or lack of), body position, entry, apex, exit, etc.
    - Ride the same corners using different lines. Don't always take the Vecro line
    - Look where you want to go, which is the exit of the corner
    - Bend your knees and elbows. Weight centered but you need to ride aggressively (eg chin over stem) if you want to corner with confidence.
    - Ride, Ride, Ride...and ride some more.

    Also pay attention to your suspension setup, tire choice and pressure. You might have a good cornering technique but if your bike isn't setup right or if you run too much air in your tires, it will hinder traction. Remember that tries don't have traction if you brake in corners - learn to trust your tires and do your braking before entering the corner.

    I don't consider a trail "fun" unless there are a good amount of fast corners that flow.

  196. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Of course it looks fun. Dropping your pants in public is fun but it's not something we generally strive to learn.

    That reminds me. I need to drop pants in public more.
    Point is sliding is unacceptable.
    You like dropping your pants in public?

    Point is dragging a locked rear wheel around a trail is...easy...

    Drifting is fun (though tricky...takes some practice).

    Find a gravel or bark-chip path with some turns, and get used to letting both wheels let go...without using any brake in-put.

    I learned much of what I know about cornering while messing around on snow-packed streets in the winter time. The snow is surprisingly consistent, i.e, hit a turn at 15 mph, and you will slide in a similar way every time. The reduced friction also takes away the assumed need to use braking force to begin a drift...just come into a turn in a balanced, active position (butt off of seat, knees and arms bent according to the above vids, and weight centered), lean a bit, and hang on.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...though it teaches balance.

    Also, the above works with tires with some knobs on the edge...I'd take it easy on bmx/cx/road tires.

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    [QUOTE=CSC;9891402]You like dropping your pants in public? :skep
    Never laughed harder in my life than running half drunk down the street with a party of guys and girls.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...
    Works for me.

    ice019 by Huck Pitueee, on Flickr


    ice015 by Huck Pitueee, on Flickr

  198. #198
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    [QUOTE=Huck Pitueee;9892142]
    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    You like dropping your pants in public? :skep
    Never laughed harder in my life than running half drunk down the street with a party of guys and girls.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...
    Works for me.
    Cheater...you got studs on those tires

  199. #199
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    [QUOTE=CSC;9892261]
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post

    Cheater...you got studs on those tires
    Home made studded tires rock. They get more fun when the studs get duller so you can corner with the rear wheel lit. I'd love to see people race on ice hockey rinks! It could be a whole new fringe sport.

  200. #200
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    this is one of the better threads on any bike site!! Awesome collection of info and advice! I wish I could pos rep all of you!!
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

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