Results 1 to 37 of 37
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024

    Technique Help: I suck sweeping turns

    Hi guys, I'm not the worst biker but I struggled at times on narrow single track with some mild sweeping turns that have minimal berms. It seems dumb but I find myself just kind of drifting to the outside a bit too far and have washed out a couple of times as I got to the edge of the loamy stuff. I'm not talking about 90 degree turns but just like a 30-45 degree sweep in the trail at speed. My buddy I ride with doesn't get real aggressive with it dropping the outside foot or throwing the bike over (these aren't tight/big turns) and does just fine (he's a veteran rider on 29er and fast). Any training/technique or practice tips?

  2. #2
    Nat
    Nat is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    13,012
    First off, what bike and tires are you using?

  3. #3
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    It starts with the eyes! Look into the turn too much and you get stuffed. Lead with your head and look to your exit and down the track. Where are you headed?....down the track.

    Bike and tires will matter. Suspension settings can matter. You might have your weight a little too far back ( drop your chest closer to the bars). When it washes are you losing the front or rear or both?
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    2.5/2.4 DFH/DHR tires. RM Instinct 29er 150mm/140mm XL. I'm not sliding off the trail, just seemingly having poor technique here (on all bikes). I currently think its just about where my weight is and probably a lot to do with my eyes like you said. I'll put that to work. Its easy to find myself staring down at a feature like an idiot. At times I do catch myself getting nervous and getting off the back of the bike a bit. At that point I do feel like I lose a lot of control of the bike regarding directional change. Thanks for the help. Any ideas on how I can practice this stuff? I'm guessing cones in the grass and start working on turns?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    12,231

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WHALENARD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,167
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I struggled at times on narrow single track with some mild sweeping turns that have minimal berms. I find myself just kind of drifting to the outside a bit too far and have washed out a couple of times as I got to the edge of the loamy stuff. I'm not talking about 90 degree turns but just like a 30-45 degree sweep in the trail at speed. My buddy I ride with doesn't get real aggressive with it dropping the outside foot or throwing the bike over

    Given what you said and tires you're running I'd wager you simply aren't leaning the bike over enough to engage the sideknobs. You could either run tires with transitional knobs to get rid of that no mans land zone or be more mindful of your lean angles. Running a tire with transitional knobs won't bite as hard when you are riding aggressively however. For flatter sweeping turns I'll turn later in the apex of the turn allowing me to lean over more and engage the sideknobs. I'll also try to keep my weight more upright and over the tires vs leaning my whole body over like in a tighter burmed turn. Also make sure your body position is giving plenty of weight to the front tire. YRMV
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  7. #7
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    2.5/2.4 DFH/DHR tires. RM Instinct 29er 150mm/140mm XL. I'm not sliding off the trail, just seemingly having poor technique here (on all bikes). I currently think its just about where my weight is and probably a lot to do with my eyes like you said. I'll put that to work. Its easy to find myself staring down at a feature like an idiot. At times I do catch myself getting nervous and getting off the back of the bike a bit. At that point I do feel like I lose a lot of control of the bike regarding directional change. Thanks for the help. Any ideas on how I can practice this stuff? I'm guessing cones in the grass and start working on turns?
    Is there a pump track anywhere near you. It's a great place to figure out how to weigh the front or rear of the bike in an optimal way. I think you're way better working it out on the trails than trying to do drills in the grass.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    Is there a pump track anywhere near you. It's a great place to figure out how to weigh the front or rear of the bike in an optimal way. I think you're way better working it out on the trails than trying to do drills in the grass.
    Roger that. Yeah we have a few pump tracks tho a Velosolutions one was just put in there. I'm hoping to get a Dirt jumper to rip around there but maybe just showing up with my MTB would be beneficial. It's a pretty ridiculous track tho. Thanks guys

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    802
    I would really practice looking ahead every time you ride. Force yourself to look beyond what is immediately in front of you...look as far into the turn as you can. This allows you to see what is coming earlier resulting in smoother inputs and reduces last second jerky adjustments (braking, weight shifts, steering, etc).

    It takes getting used to because you're focusing on what's up ahead and sort of using peripheral vision to see what's directly in front of you're tire. Kind of direct opposite to what you may be used to. You can practice this driving a twisty back road with a car or motorcycle too. Different tires/setup may help but focusing on smoother inputs will probably have a bigger impact.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Based on my own cornering work, I'm going to bet it's almost entirely body weight distribution. On newer bikes, I've noticed that on these kinds of corners, it can initially feel a bit uncomfortable putting your weight forward enough to balance your fore-aft weight distribution. It's definitely also important to pay attention to your lateral weight distribution as well as your rotation. I'm going to say that looking THROUGH the turn at where you want to end up is only the start. Rotating your whole body through the turn is probably just as important. So don't focus on the eyes. Point your torso and hips where you want to go. Use your whole body ("butt to the berm" is a phrase that gets used sometimes to drive this point home). Your eyes will follow along

    A pump track is a good suggestion for a number of reasons. First, because it's a great way to get really repetitive corners and drill on cornering, but also because you can certainly use a pumping technique through a corner to really press the tire harder into the dirt when you need max traction. That level of pressure control sounds a little bit more advanced than what OP is after, but it's certainly along the progression of cornering better/faster. A fairly short and sessionable flow trail is another place to look for. Or, simply enough, just a section of singletrack with a lot of corners packed in a short space.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    Again thanks, I'm soaking up stuff to try.

    QUESTION: I've seen a bunch of videos that talk about dropping the outside foot but when I was watching a bunch of Sam Hill turns...he doesn't actually do that a lot aside from when he is SHREDDING/Destroying a skidded turn and gets his foot down (which I don't think mortals are supposed to be doing). He just seems to swing his hips out a bit, lean the bike a bit but keep his pedals flat. Is that good for the rest of us? I struggle to move my outside foot down sometimes when linking turns etc. It'd be nice to not just have to worry about it.

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Again thanks, I'm soaking up stuff to try.

    QUESTION: I've seen a bunch of videos that talk about dropping the outside foot but when I was watching a bunch of Sam Hill turns...he doesn't actually do that a lot aside from when he is SHREDDING/Destroying a skidded turn and gets his foot down (which I don't think mortals are supposed to be doing). He just seems to swing his hips out a bit, lean the bike a bit but keep his pedals flat. Is that good for the rest of us? I struggle to move my outside foot down sometimes when linking turns etc. It'd be nice to not just have to worry about it.
    It all occurs on a spectrum. Your "base" should be with cranks level to the ground. From there, you can drop the outside pedal a little or a lot as you need to, but it's not the most critical part of turning. You're right that it's a bit much to always put your outside foot down, especially when you're linking turns and changing the lean of the bike as well as the rotation of your body. Clocking the pedals around to always drop the outside foot gets kinda silly at that point. That's one spot where level cranks simplifies things. But when you are hitting a hard turn at speed, dropping the outside pedal can really help with pressure control to maintain traction.

    I won't say "always" level cranks or "always" drop the outside pedal. Either is useful and important to learn (as well as all the positions in between), but start with the level crank position, and work from there.

    It can be useful to also think of pedal position as keeping your cranks level with the ground. When you're 100% vertical and upright, that position looks like 3 and 9 o'clock from the side. Start leaning the bike over and things change. Your inside pedal starts getting closer to the ground. To maintain ground clearance, especially in aggressive lean angles, you'll want to drop the outside pedal (and therefore raise the inside pedal). As you look at the spectrum of possibilities, it starts to look more like you're keeping the cranks level with the ground, and not with the bike's direction of travel.

  13. #13
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    On a side note, Sam Hill had the most famous washout crash in the history of the sport.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    On a side note, Sam Hill had the most famous washout crash in the history of the sport.
    Indeed, dropped his outside pedal and got a leg out right? Now that was truly Mach Chicken tho!!

  15. #15
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    As I remember it, he dropped the pedal and got his foot out, but then got back on trying to save it. It was World Championships Val Di Sole 2008.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    652
    Im not very good at turns but have been getting better, last year I was terrible at them. I recently discovered something which has helped me turn a lot better, and that was to "dive" into the corner rather than smoothly lean over. The diving motion forces my weight to the center and puts a lot of weight on the tires when I need it. I would go down an easier trail and dive into every "corner" for practice, it helped me develop better muscle memory for weighting the bike and gets rid of that fear of washing out. Sometimes it helps to take things to the extreme to turn the normal stuff into easy stuff.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    Just got a quick flow ride in with tons of turns and berms. Tried to put a lot of the recommendations here into practice. Totally different this time. PR'd my downs and felt by FAR more comfortable in the turns then ever before by a wide margin. I prob braked some of the extra speed too but that'll change.

    One thing that REALLY clicked for me was described in this video (and a few of you certainly spoke to it). He talks about moving your hips to the outside a bit (not squatting into it either) for the turn. The key thing that really stuck was to "cheat" my hips to that side BEFORE I got into the turn. He mentioned that often if he doesn't, that he'll spend the rest of the turn playing catchup rather than railing the turn. That is exactly what I was doing, always trying to catchup in the middle of the turn and just feeling not in great control. Its worth a watch and is simple enough. Was great! Thanks everyone. Now I need to just get some reps in. Diving into the turns sounds cool too...want to try that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr0eZnkDzto&t=3s

  18. #18
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    Im not very good at turns but have been getting better, last year I was terrible at them. I recently discovered something which has helped me turn a lot better, and that was to "dive" into the corner rather than smoothly lean over. The diving motion forces my weight to the center and puts a lot of weight on the tires when I need it. I would go down an easier trail and dive into every "corner" for practice, it helped me develop better muscle memory for weighting the bike and gets rid of that fear of washing out. Sometimes it helps to take things to the extreme to turn the normal stuff into easy stuff.
    Diving into the turns, pumping the turns...I think we're talking about the same concept.

    And yes, you have to start all of these things before you actually enter the turn. They all have a setup time.

    It's also worth noting that whenever I am working on faster cornering and doing faster downhill runs, my fastest times are NOT when I'm actually trying to be fast. No, I am fastest when I focus on being smoooooth. Especially when connecting corners or linking straights to corners. It's a substantial difference, too. I wind up being a little slower in the straights, but I keep more speed through the turns when I am smoother and focused on technique instead of speed.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    I think they may be different. Diving is kind of throwing your weight into a lean more aggressively than normal iirc. Different than pumping through a turn. But I suck at this tho so maybe I'm off

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    949
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    One thing that REALLY clicked for me was described in this video (and a few of you certainly spoke to it). He talks about moving your hips to the outside a bit (not squatting into it either) for the turn. The key thing that really stuck was to "cheat" my hips to that side BEFORE I got into the turn. He mentioned that often if he doesn't, that he'll spend the rest of the turn playing catchup rather than railing the turn. That is exactly what I was doing, always trying to catchup in the middle of the turn and just feeling not in great control.
    I'll have to try this out. I will say I find it best to not drop your foot and lean the bike prematurely if you have any hope of snapping the turn. Sticking the hip out early on sweeping turns sounds worth a try though.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    448
    I'm thinking you may have your weight a little to far back. Especially as people get nervous it seems like they tend to lean back away from impending danger. Not only does this stick the rear tire to the ground and take traction away from the front it also changes the geometry of the bike as the rear suspension compresses and the fork extends. Depending on your bike that change in geometry can cause the bike to try and stand up throughout the corner causing you to drift wide unless you consciously fight it back down.

    Practice staying in a good attack position. Legs should be fairly straight with a low torso over the bars just like you see pro downhiller's riding in. Think about really driving the front tire into the dirt and as other said make sure your looking through the exit. As much emphasis as some people put on pedal position it isn't all that important as long as inside pedal isn't down.

    Practicing in the grass would be good but grass can be a little funny with traction. It can hold great until the roots start pulling up causing a tire to wash out even if you did everything right. Best bet for practice is put on some body armor and find a good corner with no trees around the outside. Hitting a bush is a lot less painful. Increase speed in small increments.

  22. #22
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I think they may be different. Diving is kind of throwing your weight into a lean more aggressively than normal iirc. Different than pumping through a turn. But I suck at this tho so maybe I'm off
    No, it's the same thing

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,024
    Saw this vid with Jill Kitner walking through some cornering stuff with slight berms (very similar to what I struggle with). They inadvertently critique some mortals cruising by which was helpful. Jills point (the non-pros didn't do this) was to open up the inside knee and kind of point your helps to where your eyes are going. This allows the bike to be leaned over properly and basically swings your hips outside a bit too. All one in the same but helpful basics for tricky stuff at speed. All of this has been what I've been missing.

    Quick follow-up question: Do you guys do some permutation of this hip lean/open knee etc on big tall berms too? I did that yesterday and it felt good and I had better control. But maybe you better riders forgo all that and just lean body and bike over real far?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAie1OGd65g

  24. #24
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Saw this vid with Jill Kitner walking through some cornering stuff with slight berms (very similar to what I struggle with). They inadvertently critique some mortals cruising by which was helpful. Jills point (the non-pros didn't do this) was to open up the inside knee and kind of point your helps to where your eyes are going. This allows the bike to be leaned over properly and basically swings your hips outside a bit too. All one in the same but helpful basics for tricky stuff at speed. All of this has been what I've been missing.

    Quick follow-up question: Do you guys do some permutation of this hip lean/open knee etc on big tall berms too? I did that yesterday and it felt good and I had better control. But maybe you better riders forgo all that and just lean body and bike over real far?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAie1OGd65g
    This is what I was saying above. What you do with your inside leg will vary, but you'll have to do something with your leg if you rotate your hips to point them where you want to go. It's important to note that you're not swinging your hips to the outside. You are ROTATING your body.

  25. #25
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    No, it's the same thing
    Pumping the bike is a combo of two actions. The first is the diving in or loading the bike, however you describe it, you'll be adding energy to the bike. On the exit you'll be able to get some of it back in the form of speed. Kids swinging on a playground is the classic picture of how pumping works....add energy to the swing by leaning back into it, effectively loading it and get some back on the other side. Add more energy and you go higher. Now just take the arced path of the swing and imagine it on it's side on the ground and now it's a trail. You'll still add energy as you enter, loading the tires ( and suspension ) and push the bike down into the turn. As you exit the turn you'll unload the bike and let it push you forward. It's a pretty simple picture of what's happening, but it's a starting point.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  26. #26
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
    Reputation: DIRTJUNKIE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    32,539

    Technique Help: I suck sweeping turns

    Broom.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  27. #27
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,179
    I'm sorry, I didn't read all of that, but I will add that if you are trying to practice good cornering, exaggerate it until it feels awkward. At that point, you are probably doing it correctly.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    949
    One thing that helps keep you in the proper position: Instead of trying to lean the bike by pushing the inside grip down or twisting the bars, push the bars horizontally to the inside of the turn. You can even think about pushing the bars and hips in opposite directions. This keeps your chest low and your weight off your hands and on the outside foot.

  29. #29
    Bikesexual
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,920
    ....
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3,024
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Hi guys, I'm not the worst biker but I struggled at times on narrow single track with some mild sweeping turns that have minimal berms. It seems dumb but I find myself just kind of drifting to the outside a bit too far and have washed out a couple of times as I got to the edge of the loamy stuff. I'm not talking about 90 degree turns but just like a 30-45 degree sweep in the trail at speed. My buddy I ride with doesn't get real aggressive with it dropping the outside foot or throwing the bike over (these aren't tight/big turns) and does just fine (he's a veteran rider on 29er and fast). Any training/technique or practice tips?
    got pic of said turn? are you taking the inside/outside line? try taking the middle line all the way thru, leaning the bike over so side knobs can dig in, esp if the turn is pretty flat

    pics would help big time tho

  31. #31
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    I'd also add that throwing your foot out ( at speed ) is a great technique for getting hurt. If you low side, you mostly want to take it on the hips.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  32. #32
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    If you low side, you mostly want to take it on the hips.
    Been there, done that. Right on a rock.

  33. #33
    the discerning hooligan
    Reputation: MOJO K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Been there, done that. Right on a rock.
    There's no great way to go down.


    Rainy day there?
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  34. #34
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,646
    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    There's no great way to go down.


    Rainy day there?
    Nope. Sunny and hot. USFS started shutting things down today.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    352
    Hmm. Are you standing or sitting when you corner? This might seem like a dumb question but the majority of people I see on the trails are sitting. That in itself will prevent you for weighting the bike properly when cornering.

    If you stand while cornering, then keep it simple to start. Don't study intricate techniques yet. Just try to put weight on the outside pedals first and try to weight the front end. Just practice these two things for a while. Once these become muscle memory, incorporate more intricate techniques.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ALimon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    810
    Weight the outside pedal, donít be afraid to lean it over... look ahead where you want to go.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: armii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    714
    One of the things I think about when I find my self sloppy in turns, is to push down on the inside grip. Usually with the outside pedal down, and most of my weight there.

Similar Threads

  1. Sometimes sweeping is better than leading.
    By Tricker Joe in forum Riding Passion and Stories
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-31-2015, 02:24 PM
  2. Technique ?: Washing out in high speed turns
    By skankingbiker in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 08-19-2014, 12:30 PM
  3. Technique for fast U-Turns on flowy singletrack?
    By SWriverstone in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 08-25-2012, 07:48 PM
  4. Sweeping the Jemez 50 miler trail run.
    By Rotmilky in forum New Mexico
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-17-2008, 04:42 PM
  5. With the 29er CrAZe sweeping AZ...
    By Noelg in forum Arizona
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-12-2006, 09:52 AM

Members who have read this thread: 123

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.