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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
 

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MCF said:
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
Leaning forward helps, but Pythons aren't exactly a great loose conditions front tire. There are lots that will work better. 40psi sounds a bit high for the front too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What tire would you recommend...

Thinking about a 2.25 RR with Stans in the front and leave the Hutchinson Python 2.0 in the back...haven't had any trouble climbing...just in corners.
 

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I'd say 40# in the front for a 210# rider is acceptable...

MCF said:
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
I find I'd need at least a moderate amount of weight shifting on a bike with that setup. Lower the Talus up front a bit. That might help. A longer and/or lower stem will help you stick tight corners. Less air in the front tire helps. Maybe you could get away with less than #40 but 210 is heavey and if you hit the rocks look out for pinch flats. On a bike like that I'd run (or did run) about 35# but I'm only b/t 170-180.

Make sure you are weighting your pedals correctly. And the biggest advance in cornering came for me when I started to look around and past the corner. It's a tough mental exercise when the terrain is rough but it pulls me through the corners with speed like nothing else. When I'm looking to where I want to go everything else just seems to come into play.

Hope some of that helps,

Mike
 

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Miker J said:
I. It's a tough mental exercise when the terrain is rough but it pulls me through the corners with speed like nothing else. When I'm looking to where I want to go everything else just seems to come into play.

Mike
thats exactly how i take my corners too. try it and you'll see that for some reason it works.
 

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MCF said:
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
I have a few suggestions:

1. try to get your mind around the counter steer concept, basically that
you turn the bars *slightly* left in order to go right. if you have
ever ridden a moto, you know what I mean..the action is very slight

the basic concept in motos is to keep the business end of the
tire in contact with ground....if you watch the street moto guys lean
their bikes, they are trying to shift weight while keeping the bike
as upright as possible...same concept but to a MUCH lesser degree

2..try to apply a little front brake to shift weight to front, makes tires bite a bit more

the faster you are going, the more all of this will apply...

FWIW...
 

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MCF said:
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
I'm in the same weight range (195), same fork (05 TALAS), and running Stan's tubeless kit. I've generally been moving towards a fatter front tire, regardless of the rear tire size. I also run quite a bit less air pressure than you (usually 32lbs in the front, about 38lbs in the rear) which does seem to help me in cornering.

Technique does count for sure, but the your technique usually is harder to change than your tire. You feel comfortable riding a certain way and changing that may or may not help you get faster in the corners. I went to a 2.25 (measure out to really be a 2.1) Schwalbe Big Jim up front and found it to be worlds better in the corners.

The high-volume tires also seem to be the ticket to being able to run a reasonable air pressure without smacking rims and pinch flatting (although pinch flatting isn't really a concern to me with Stans). I ride all over on the Front Range of CO and certainly deal with some rocky trails, but even at 32/38lbs of air I don't smack my rims up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help...

I am thinking about going to a 2.25 Racing Ralph in the front and running it about 35lbs...maybe that will help...I will also focus on looking ahead around the corners.....I do have a bad habit when I get tired to look right in front of me....
 

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Sounds alot like a tire choice problem to me...but

I did like the others suggestion about a fatter front tire or knobbier one. Lower front pressure helps too.

For dh racing I found a lower handle bar rise and stem (get the front as low as it can go) will help reduce understeer and pushing through loose corners. If my xc bike loses the front grip first I would consider a longer stem and lower handlebar set up as well.

I used to use a lowriser on my xc rig and loved it, but the straight bar I use now is better for tight stuff and uphill. I have lost some dh handling, but picking smooth lines makes up for what I lost. Less fun with the straight bar however.

Dont forget to bend your elbows and feel centered over the bike bb when you corner. If you have your bike set up right, you wont need to move your weight around that much. If you are cornering with your weight centred and you are still washing your front tire, I would go to the longer stem, lower bar height.
 

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TimE said:
I have a few suggestions:

-snip-
2..try to apply a little front brake to shift weight to front, makes tires bite a bit more

the faster you are going, the more all of this will apply...

FWIW...
How about rear brake? less chance of losing front traction if modulation isn't perfect.
 

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MCF said:
How important is it to shift your weight to the front of the bike when taking corners at speed in dry but loose dirt? I find that my front end is having a tendancy to slip out on me sometimes. I have an XL Blur with a Fox Talas running at about 4.4" travel, Hutchinson Python Airlites with Stan's running about 40lbs of air (I weigh 210 lbs). I was thinking about changing to a different tire to increase cornering traction, but maybe it is the way I am taking the corners....
I'm running the same tires w/ stans on my '02 FS s-works. I haven't had any issues with this until last night while riding a very fast but loose trail. The pythons do not have the deep cuts/channels that say, WTB's have, so you will have some sliding to deal with. Also applying a little rear brake will help keep the rear loose and the front in the direction you want to go.. The lower tire pressure in the front will also give you a bigger contact patch, and therefore more traction at the sacrafice of rolling resistance.

I can't recall how many times I've read that rebound adjustment is the cause for the front tire to slide out however. Check your fork manual for what they recommend. I can't recall if you want more or less rebound, but that is where I plan on starting before I do anything to my tires. I love these pythons so far. Ran them in Moab, Sedona, South Mountain Phoenix, and all over NorCal in the past month since I bought them with no problems at all. They shed mud like it wasn't even there!
 

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Yea, you need to get forward...

...I'm running the exact same tire setup, except with Eclipse instead of Stan's. The Python doesn't have a tremendous amount of sidewall bite, but I live with them because of their weight and rolling resistance. When entering the corner, try leaning out over the bar a little to load the front end, this will help that tire bite a little bit better. Also, try focusing on the exit of the turn throughout. I was having a terrible time cornering a couple of years ago until I got this tip. It is amazing how much smoother and how much more speed you can carry through the corners when you do this.

As far as the Racing Ralph goes, I tried that setup as well, with the RR front and Python rear. The Ralph that I bought had a slightly warped casing and, in turn, caused a bit of a wobble so I only used it for a couple of races. While I felt that it had a little better sidewall bite, it wasn't earth-shattering enough to live with that little wobble. I ended up going back to the Airlights front and rear.
 
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