teach me to corner, oh wise STW

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  • teach me to corner, oh wise STW
  • Liftman
    Member

    Don’t brake in the corner, do all your braking before you get there

    mikey74
    Member

    – As you go into the corner always look towards the exit and let go of the brakes.
    – It’s not essential but try cornering with your outer-most pedal down.
    – Keep low on the bike.
    – Lean the bike, not your body.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Don’t brake in the corner, do all your braking before you get there

    yep. I think I tend to be overoptimistic in terms of the speed I can manage. I saw one video that was basically suggesting that I should have my hand completely off the brakes at the point where I was cornering

    cynic-al
    Member

    Push your arse to the outside, push down on the inside grip, pump it like a snowboard.

    That’s what Chris Ball told me.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Lean the bike, not your body

    I think that is the most difficult. I’ve spent too long thinking I need the bike more upright to get more traction and that appears to be completely wrong

    dannyh
    Member

    It seems odd to say it, but I’m with you on this. I’m much more comfortable smashing through rocks etc than cornering.

    The single biggest thing I think is to look as far around the corner as possible, hopefully past the end of it. This seems to stop me cornering in a series of mini straight lines with kinks, which is what happens when your gaze gets drawn back to the front wheel.

    Setting entry speed so that you don’t have to brake mid corner is a big plus and not automatically dropping the outside foot also helps. Far better to corner with the flexibility to move rather than setting up already on the extreme of possible movement.

    Looking around the corner also points your chest where you want to go.

    On the plus side, it is not like ploughing through rock gardens where there is also most always a random element, so you can practice the same corners over and over again if you want.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Push your arse to the outside

    That’s memorable enough to stick – I like it 🙂 . tx Mr Al

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Setting entry speed so that you don’t have to brake mid corner is a big plus and not automatically dropping the outside foot also helps.

    Like it, added to the list – tx. I think I might scribble this all down and go out for a play tomorrow to see what works. I was about to automatically always drop the outside foot but that’s the second mention of not always doing it so I’ll revise

    brooess
    Member

    Braking before, not at or during
    Look through the corner – right to the exit
    Lean the bike. If there’s anything you can use as a berm, use it
    Stand on the outside pedal – really, really stand (flats help here IMO – there’s a bigger platform). Puts a lot of grip down
    Move your hips to the outer foot
    Practice, practice and practice

    mikey74
    Member

    Why shouldn’t you drop the outside foot? I was always taught to do this and it makes sense to have your inner foot higher, to prevent grounding. It also shifts your weight to the outside to counter-balance the lean of the bike.

    mikey74
    Member

    Oh, and steer with your hips. Believe me, when you do it right you feel the difference.

    maxtorque
    Member

    There are as many variations of body position during cornering as there are corners, which is a lot!

    Fundamentally (ie for a basic, “flat, unbermed corner”, make sure you turn your hips into the corner, lean the bike, outside pedal down, push your inside arm in and down/straight. Remember, how hard you car turn depends on the weight pushing down on your tyres, which, as you weigh a lot more than your bike, you can transient change massively. So learning to “pump” corners like you would pump a roller (upslope->downslope) for example, makes a huge difference to the speed you can carry around them.

    If you are braking in corners (and despite what a lot of people might say/teach sometime this is unavoidable!) then that will (mostly) be reducing the grip available for cornering, so is to be avoided as a first rule

    Concentrate on technique first, and going fast second, NOT the other way around!

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Oh, and steer with your hips

    Yep. I’m hearing that a lot and it’s something I’ve never thought about before. That’s top of my list

    Concentrate on technique first, and going fast second, NOT the other way around!

    like it 🙂 – added to the list of things to shout at myself

    Is there a best place to put your weight fore and aft? I’ve tended to try and lean on the bars a bit to ensure traction there but maybe that’s a distraction?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Darcy Turenne: “Tits and ass. Point with your tits, your ass will follow” If you turn your upper body in, everything else has to turn with it, it’s not so much that the upper body thing is important in itself but it’ll bring your hips, it’ll make your arms do something approximating the right thing.

    Another way to do the same thing is the Lasercock. I got this from Andy Barlow but I think he pinched it from a student. “Imagine you’re shooting laser beams from your cock, so you’ve got to point it where you want to hit.”

    Whether you prefer Darcy’s t&a or Andy’s cock, it’s basically the same thing and it does work. Not automatically the best approach but so, so simple.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    there is no way I’m forgetting that now

    dannyh
    Member

    Why shouldn’t you drop the outside foot? I was always taught to do this and it makes sense to have your inner foot higher, to prevent grounding. It also shifts your weight to the outside to counter-balance the lean of the bike.

    A lot of the time it is the best way to corner. I just said not to automatically do it before you even start to turn. It will happen on its own a lot of the time if you need it to anyway, especially if you turn you shoulders and use your hips.

    Fast, open and rough corners are best attempted with pedals more level to start with as it gives you the best available range of movement should a bump try to throw you out of the corner.

    It depends on what you need. If you are right on the limits of traction then outside foot down is best.

    cossyrush
    Member

    Lasercock, that is sheer brilliance.
    I’m going to try that tomorrow, will report back but I’ll be expecting at least 20% additional corner speed.
    Cheers Northwind.

    hypnotoad
    Member

    For berms, enter high, exit low, I think…

    smg13
    Member

    Visit Jedi at UK Bike Skills job done
    1 day and he’ll transform not only cornering but confidence

    Tits and ass I like that! My only advice is try not to over complicate it in your head. I used to think about every step of the corner as it approached.. Now I just kill speed to what I think I can get around at, then throw it in and around. I think you learn over time how fast you can take corners rather than “just knowing”.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    To liven up the bimble around my usual haunts I thought it might be worth seeing if I can learn to corner better rather than just making the same mistakes time after time. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos including a rather fine on from Fabian Barely but I thought it was time to consult the source of all knowledge

    So, what tricks and tips have you learned that have really stuck and made a difference? What is it that you shout at yourself when you start to screw up in corners?

    FWIW when it starts to get fast I tend not to make it all the way round a corner without heavy braking and often feel like the tires aren’t really gripping but I may just be a wuss.

    Advise me oh wise stw

    Premier Icon darrenspink
    Subscriber

    One of zee masters..

    [video]http://youtu.be/gF5K9V2w6W8[/video]

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    yep. I watched a few but that was definitely one of the best, the corner at 0:30 looks beautiful. I see that bloomin autocorrect changed my original ‘Fabien Barel’ to ‘Fabian Barely’ – no matter how many times I tried to change it back :(. I’ve got to leave it on though as I can’t spell definately otherwise

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Never overtake Kevin Dangerous going into a blind corner.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    the blind corner bit is’t really needed for that rule

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    Core strength – hips and anti-rotational exercises mean that you can put your weight on one leg and hold the right position (love that laser cock phrase!)

    If you can hold your core steady on the bike and turn your chest to follow your eyes – push the bar down to corner so it’s bar pushing with one arm and pedal pushing with the opposite leg then you have stability

    If it’s a sharp corner you’ll need to pump it to flick round fast – so you’ve now got stability over the bikes cog and you can change direction quickly

    Now just practise

    GEDA
    Member

    Braking cornering does not always make you lose grip, skidding makes you lose grip as does going too fast. The thing is that what ever you do you want the most grip possible and this depends on the conditions, corner and terrain. Berms are totally different to flat corners. Your weight needs to be be appropriate to that. So it can be forced into the wall of the berm or into the edges of the tyres on more flat or off camber stuff. Sometimes I find that a bit of controlled breaking around a corner also can give you a bit more grip as it can help you weight the bike into the ground.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Braking cornering does not always make you lose grip

    On groomed trails, you will probably get away with it.

    If you brake in a corner, youll right the bike. And if all your weight is pushing on the outside edge of the tyre, then youve just reduced your grip.

    Slowing down in a corner means youll need to pedal through the exit, which reduces your overall speed by a huge amount, plus it tires you more.

    No braking in corners. Go in slower, much slower than you think you want to go. If you feel a need to brake in the corner, youve gone in too fast.

    Concentrate on the right technique, not speed. Flow equals speed, speed on its own without good technique is slow.

    Ideally, find someone who is a good rider and ask to follow them through some tight corners. Get them to slow to your speed, and follow and watch them.

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    Sort it out before you get there.
    Look up.
    Point your belly-button where you want to go.
    Ride the bike.

    Look where you want to go, and you’ll tend to go that way. If you look at the big rock/tree etc, you’ll hit it.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Look up

    I’d forgotten that one, thanks

    If you brake in a corner, you’ll right the bike

    That actually explains quite a lot of what is happening

    It’s a busy day today but I think I’m still going to make space to get out and try this stuff.

    is excited 🙂

    deanfbm
    Member

    For those on about braking in the corner, Google “friction circle”.

    My 2p worth from everyday observations, the op may not be exhibiting this trait, an awful lot of people do have that “dirty wet nappy” stance, ie not really that used to standing in a strong position in terms of strength and confidence, then proceeds to hit a corner with loads of brake on, looking at the front wheel and over compensating with dropping the pedal.

    My best suggestion for anyone in that position is just to spend the atleast the next month making a stand up strong position their default rather than slumped in the saddle. Cones out in the road, or weaving between the breaks in the white lines is a good option too.

    Go slower into the corners than you are, it will be unsettling your position, the braking and panicing and stopping you looking far enough ahead, by far enough ahead i mean the next corner or a good 10-15 metres ahead.

    On the lasercock theme, I was told ‘imagine your belly button has a laser’, then point it where you want to go, stay upright and lean the bike. Helps if you have tyres with edges for that.

    DanW
    Member

    In addition to controlling speed and pointing with the hips I also try to be conscious of extending the inside arm in the corner and (depending on the corner) extend to pump out, after the corner. There’s not too much to think about but when you hit the sweetspot of timing it all right you wonder why all corners don’t feel that easy (or at least I do!) 😀

    Goldigger
    Member

    Don’t forget that if your not on a 650b your corners are going to suffer anyway 😆

    Bike set up obviously helps a great deal in corners, if suspension setup is not right that will hinder grip..
    Frame flex will also have an effect on grip to, while your shifting around on the bike.
    For me I’m looking for a more burlier bike compared to my anthem, its a great bike but when pushed hard I don’t have the faith in it.

    For me its finding the confidence in the tyres I’m using. Strangely I was on racing Ralph’s last Saturday at north downs.
    Friday night wet the trails..I had more confidence in grip compared to using MK2’s or nobby NICs.

    maxtorque
    Member

    The great thing about cornering is that you can never stop learning and improving! Once you have the basic physical position and actions nailed, and they have become instinctive and robust, then you can move on to the real “jedi” stuff, that is “corner optimisation”!

    By that i mean, mentally assessing corners, individually and as a series to determine the fastest overall line through them. Corners are not individuals, they generally lead into either another corner or a straight or other feature. That means you shouldn’t assess them as individuals.

    4 basic types of corner exist:

    1) no limiting apex (often a bermed one)(a “corner” that isn’t really a corner, because you are not travelling fast enough to be limited by the turning radius) For this, straight is best, pick the shortest distance through it.

    2) Mid apex: Start wide, apex narrow in middle, end out wide. The “classic” racing corner, Actually very rare

    3) Late apex: Generally a corner that tightens, often long, and has the min speed point at practically the exit. For this type of corner, “braking in a corner” is necessary to get a good average speed!

    4) Early apex: Generally a “short” corner that leads onto a long straight or fast section. Get the corner done early, get the bike turned, straight and pin it out. A corner where your exit speed is everything, and apex speed nothing

    Note that two kinds of “apexes” exist, physical ones that come about due to the geometery of the corner, and velocity ones, that come about due to the dynamics of the bike/rider. These may not be in the same physical location, as using “pumping” a rider can transient suppress or enhance their effective mass on the bike.

    When you watch the really, really fast guys, the top riders, what you see is that they have such good basic skills and such instinctive physical actions, they are mentally stringing together each and every corner they can see, long before they get there! (Looking up and forwards is very important here!!).

    The fastest way from A to C is such that you have the highest average speed possible, yet that says nothing about your instantaneous speed at any given point B inbetween. The geometry of a particular corner (often type 4 ones!) may in effect cause you to practically stop, but if that gives you a higher average speed down the next straight, then “sacrificing” speed over a short 2m section, for that over a 100m section is clearly worth it. Yet, at the time, you feel “damm, i practically stopped on that dam corner” and that typically makes you try too hard into the next one!

    Like i said, in a previous post, there a lot of different corners in the world, so get out an practice them 😉

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    The only time I have ever made progress in cornering was when I practiced on a pretend corner

    I found a gently slopping bit of open ground. Nothing to hit not a bad surface to fall on. I then made a corner with a few markers. Can’t remember what I used, pine cones?

    I then rolled in to the corner slightly faster each time trying lots of the stuff mentioned above. I think I was on flat pedals. My plan was to keep trying faster and faster until the tyres gave up and slipped. They never did I ran out of courage first, even though it would have been easy to dab the inside foot and step off the bike. Any way I was amazed at how much more grip I had than I had previously thought and this helped

    saxabar
    Member

    Interesting ride today. Was thinking much more about cornering and while I’ve got the whole lean bike not body, shoulder dip and look where you want to go, the real ‘dynamic’ point is in the hips. It isn’t just pointing the hips but literally turning the bike and rider by the hips. Nice, smooth and more speed. Perfect conditions probably flattering, but it feels good. 😀

    thekettle
    Member

    In addition to all the excellent stuff already said, making the process of dropping your outside foot a dynamic movement can significantly increase traction at the apex – a similar technique to telemark ski turns. There’s a good video on it here, available for about a fiver on itunes.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Quick thanks to everyone for their suggestions and a report back. I only managed to squeeze an hour of play in today but it was well worth the effort.

    What I can say is that now I know what to look for I was already turning my hips into the turn but only to initiate it. I was then letting the bike come under me and the bike was then getting upright again, possibly due to the braking as well. Sticking my arse out helped me keep the weight on the outside foot and the looking to the exit helped keep it there.

    Being a bit of a muppet I also went out with the idea of trying to do a corner faster and faster but I just tired myself out until the wise words from here (maxtorque) came wafting back and I focused instead on being smooth rather than fast. Way more fun, much more successful and the hands can stay clear of the brakes

    So in the end it works but I’ve got a ways to go yet. Best thing though is that I now have a couple of options to recover a corner before I have to grab the brakes – nice.

    In summary the two things that made the biggest difference were arse out/weight over outside foot and looking towards the exit. Both produce pretty much the same effect

    thanks all. prepare for questions on tire pressure next week….

    peabrain
    Member

    Another one taking notes here…

    brooess
    Member

    Brian Lopes is your friend

    Read it the night before. Go and practice what he suggests. Then re-read it when you get home and review how you did against his recommendations.
    Repeat until you’re a cornering God

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    It’s switchbacks that elude me. I’ve seen Jedi and Ed Oxley and I still can’t do them 😥

    IanMunro
    Member

    The technique that works for me is do your braking as you enter the corner. By the apex you should have the brakes on as hard as possible.
    You should come to a halt just past the far side of the trail. If there’s undergrowth use this to help with the braking. Once at a complete standstill, put your feet on the ground, shuffle the bike round to point in the right direction (a laser pointer sellotaped to your cock may help), then accelerate off aiming for the next apex.

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