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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was out today riding one of the local DH courses (Tamarack Idaho). Lots of sweeping berms, rollers and jumps. Nothing real technical, but since I am new to DH it can all be technical to me. Just wanted some advice on railing turns with berms. How to approach, body position, braking prior to turn. Also, the berms I was on today were pretty soft and I often found myself plowing the front wheel though them rather then rolling them.

Any advice would be great.
 

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Old No. 7
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Here are the two things I read on this site and have helped me a lot.
1. Look past the turn, to where you are going, not at your front wheel.
2. Break before the turn, not during the turn.
I personally like to lean back and into the turn, I don't know if this is the best position or not, just the most comfertable for me. Also, common since, I always have my inside foot up and my outside foot down on the pedels, I kinda hold them at a 45' angle from flat, if that makes since.
 

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what fred said are two main great ideas.....dont brake in the corner just before. that will help. cornering just takes skill and feeling in my opinion. just practice and you will get an idea of how to go fast.
 

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Loves His Sunday
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keep your inside pedal up in the top of the stroke and your outside down so you don't clip a pedal on the inside as you lean in. of course i ride a sunday so I am extremely concious of this
 

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Beer Swilling Clyde
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mxrider489 said:
keep your inside pedal up in the top of the stroke and your outside down so you don't clip a pedal on the inside as you lean in. of course i ride a sunday so I am extremely concious of this
The best tip I got when I was new to railing berms was DO NOT USE THE FRONT BRAKE! if you don't feel comfortable with your speed through the turn you can slow yourself down but if you grab the front it's like slamming the brakes on ice you go forward when your wheel is turned in the direction you actually want to go... let your fronts tire spin free and modulate you speed with the rear
 

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i agree with fred. i have gotten a lot of advice on how to take berms better, but for me i just like to lean back and towards the direction the berm is going. maybe that isnt the way that your supposed to, but it really helps me.
 

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-Enter the turn wide. I see alot of rookies try to take the initial part of the corner tight, and what happens is they blow out the backside of the turn. For berms, come in high on the berm lean into the turn and trust the berm.

-keep your outside pedal down, and the majority of weight on it. this will bite the tires into the dirt.

-brake before the turn. if you're just modulating speed stick with the rear. if you're going super fast and really need to slow down for the turn, use the front too. but stay off the front in the turn whatever you do.. or you'll find yourself washing through it real fast.

if you feel your front start washing out in the turn, your weight is probably too far back. other things you can do to help this are to ride the rear brake a little when you feel it slipping, this will pinch the front wheel down and make it bite harder. but dont give it too much, you're going to be fishtailing something crazy.

and like they said before look where you're going, not at the turn. As long as you point where you want to go with your pecker, you'll be fine.
 

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When i ride berms and any turns i keep my pedals flat. I dont remember where but i heard thats the "correct" way to do it like matt hunter or something. i used to keep the outside pedal down but that pulls you up out of the turn. if the berm/trail is done right you won't be railing it so hard that your inside pedal will hit because if it does the berm should be higher so you can lean deeper to compensate for the speed of the trail.it does take a little practice to get used to though.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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lean the bike not yourself as much....this keeps more weight on the outside pedal...allowing more qrip......I too find myself leaning back, but you want your weight forward so you have grip on the front tire
 

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vardiel said:
When i ride berms and any turns i keep my pedals flat. I dont remember where but i heard thats the "correct" way to do it. it does take a little practice to get used to though.
I learned that tip about a month ago. I'm still getting used to it, but feet flat or dropping the outside foot as little as possible is already making me faster. with feet flat you stay balanced and you're already set up for the next section. use your body position and bike lean to carve through the berm. if you're outside pedal is always down, someday it's going to hit a rock or rut, and throw you off completely for the next section of trail. if you're racing through fast switchbacks, or a rock garden and you hit your outside pedal, you just lost.

and don't get frustrated if it takes a lot of practice. turning is probably the single hardest thing to be great at. it definitely gives you a new appreciation watching the pros ripping through berms.
 

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Motion activated
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When you think about it, your front tire is using all of it's grip just trying to change direction, but your rear tire isn't doing anything much so it can be used for controlling your speed. When I feel I'm a little hot coming in and my front wheel is starting to float, I'll drag the rear just a pinch, and/or lean forward more.

I'd also add that the more weight you can put over the front tire, the better. The lower your center of gravity is, the better.

Fast in, slow out is slow. Slow in fast out is faster, but fast in, fast out is best. Aim for a good exit, then work on the rest

Get in the right gear before the corner, so you can accelerate out.

I could be wrong on this one, but I think extending up/pumping (adding more weight to the bike) and turning in a little more just after the apex as you stand to sprint out is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great feedback. I appreciate it. Worked on it today taking into account what was said above. I found that it is not only the right technique but also, like with all riding, an attitude to commit and trust the berm. If I do that, and think about the next turn or section, and look down the course as if I was already done with the corner I was in, it went way smoother and faster. Still need a lot of work but I will get it with time. Thanks.
 
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