CX- I can't corner, any tips?

Home Forum Bike Forum CX- I can't corner, any tips?

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • CX- I can't corner, any tips?
  • jonba

    Last few races it has struck me that I have a serious weakness tackling tight corners particularly if they are tight, off camber and or muddy. Frustrating as I think it cost me 2nd this week and 1st last. Others just seem to be able to carry much more speed through so when it comes to bits I’m good add (basically the hard bits like mud or climbs) I’m closing gaps not opening them.

    Tried various things like dropping tyre pressures as much as I dare varying line choice (cutting the apex vs staying out wide). Tyres are a classic all rounder Vittoria XG pro (tubes).

    I’m not interested in buying new gear so no tubs as that is a serious outlay.

    Any good tips or should I just go and stake out a course and practice.


    Practice, practice, practice, I think.

    There will be a combination of tyre, pressure and condition which will represent the limit for you and your equipment. Practice will reveal it, and will help you get as close to it as you can.

    I think that technique counts for a much bigger proportion than it does on a mountain bike, or maybe better explained as the window for optimum performance is much smaller on a cross bike.

    Maybe get some ‘proper muddy’ tyres and practise with them?


    Try with the inside foot unclipped too, see if that helps with weight distribution. It works for me on really tight stuff.

    And practice, lots.


    Motorbike noises surely?


    are you actually crashing in the corners, or backing off thinking you can’t make it? You may find that you are the problem, you think you can’t go as fast as you actually can?

    Basically practice, find how hard you can push it and in a race don’t push quite that hard.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    do you ever fall on these corners ? If not, shove some stormtrooper padding on and “session” some (yes, I am making “that” handsign as I say session 😉 ). You get to find your limit and hopefully walk away afterwards

    (NB, I’ve never raced any bike since childhood and I don’t ride cx)

    ((motorbike noises are a given, I’d say))


    Are you quite tall? I’m 6’1″, and I find cornering on the drops and sometimes doing a tripod really helps.


    Take the corner tight. Preferably inside the guy infront. Go out of it wide. That way, if you do lose the bike, you will prob take out the guy your trying to pass and be in the way for the guy behind you to pass … so nothing really lost eh 8)


    If you aren’t confident cornering you need to practice – its not something you can sort in race day with some advice.


    If you’re battling for 1st and 2nd, your bike handling skills must be fairly good I’d say. In my few meagre battles so far I’ve found the best way to gain ground in the slippy corners is to brake late, whilst still upright, then come right off of the brakes and take the tightest possible line around the inside. Then as soon as possible accelerate away. Basically the old classic slow in-fast out.

    The Fopster

    Session with Jedi. I had no idea I couldn’t corner until I went on a public session. I think he has been hired in the past specifically to teach racers to corner…

    Or practice with usual trial and error. Ouch.


    Jonba, where are your hands on the bars? Tops, hoods, drops? This makes a difference to how the bike handles in the corners, I find the hoods give the most control.


    Practice! Experiment with your body position/ weight distribution on the bike. Trying to avoid pushing the front tyre too much so keeping more over the rear. Oh and slow in fast out sounds good too! There is definitely a limit to how fast you can corner….smoothness and efficiency seem to be the name of the game in cx.

    PS. Dont really know what I am on about BTW!


    Innit summink like: weight onto outside foot at 6 oclock, bum off/unweighted saddle, drop/roll inside shoulder, chin up, look forward, drops works best for me, know that you are going to rail it gnarr to the core. Or fall off.


    I’ve had a mixture. I crashed a couple of times but that one was silly and everyone went down at some point as it was a risk to ride rather than run (but faster if you pulled it off). Think mostly it might be confidence/experience based. My strengths have always been climbs and energy sapping bits in road/mtb or cross so I generally just limit my losses elsewhere and wait for the next hill to attack.

    I’m 5’10” but actually am disproportionately long in the leg.

    I ride on the drops through tight stuff as a general rule.

    Think I’m going to go out and find the limits of my skills/ grip. Don’t think spending most of the year on 2.4″ tyres helps as 34mm feels very slippy after that.


    I run the same tyres ghetto tubeless (used to run with tubes) – traction is all round better. I think. May be worth a try. That said, I don’t get mtb-style confidence off-camber or in slippery stuff.

    Yellow tape didn’t work for me – burped in some roots and cornering was vile.


    You need some Svenness


    Premier Icon jamj1974

    Brilliant film!


    I cross cornering and cornering on a Mtb is so different.. and Some people are very good at finding the point which is just before decking it whilst going quickly.
    I’ve done a fair bit of cross now so here’s a few tips:
    1.Relax, try to stay chilled and not twitchy.
    2.steer with your hips (point them where you want to go)
    3.look forward around the corner.
    4.Tyres /tubs make a huge difference.
    5.Learn to pedal against the brake,so there isn’t a break in traction or application of power.
    6.If in doubt foot out,we have spd’s for the reason we can clip out and in quickly so get that inside foot down and a tri-pod.

    Hope that helps, If you need any more cross based tips let me know.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I did CityCross yesterday which was a predominantly cobbled course with some muddy grass thrown in…not your traditional CX course at all and really quite tight and technical, quite slow speed (compared to a normal CX race).

    My first race was rubbish. Since the course was so dependent on skills, fitness didn’t really come into it, there was no climb to drop people on. It all came down to trusting tyres and grip, being able to corner harder/faster/tighter than anyone else.

    My second race was totally different, by then I was better at judging the grip and traction limits. Just comes down to practice and tyre choice/pressure. A few psi either way can mean the difference between grip and spinning out. Go out and try cornering at race pace until you fall off!


    Lots of good tips here.
    Smoothness and weight distribution are important. Really weight the inside handlebar and outside foot – that’s what ‘the tripod’ forces you to do.
    So is line choice. If the inside line is the popular line, it can get chewed up so you might be faster going around the outside where there’s grip, even if it’s further.
    Finally, just be aware that there’s a big difference in grip between allrounders like XGs or Grifos and full mud tyres like a Rhino or Limus. Add to that supple carcasses and lower pressures; that’s what all the fuss with tubs is about.


    That vid is awesome! Any more like that?


    There’s a whole series of them – I believe they’re uploaded weekly.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)

The topic ‘CX- I can't corner, any tips?’ is closed to new replies.