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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the past few times i have been out on a trail. one issue that has started showing up in my style ... is how i turn ... 99% of my turning is done with me twisting the bars to point the wheel where i want to go ...

i am trying now to lean a bit more while turning, but that does not always work out to well ...

any tips on improving how i turn? ... or is it another of those 'just practice and it will come to ya' things? ... hah
 

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I have learned from the past couple times I have been out (using common sense aka my foot hitting logs) that when you turn, lets say to the left, using body english helps (think of pool). But keep your inside foot up and your outside food down.

Positioning your feet properly should help with your leaning and turning. That way you don't lean too much and into the pedal..;)
 

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99% of turning is all about turning the bars, short of pivoting on one wheel it's impossible to turn without doing so. If you're staying balanced on the bike while turning, it means you're already leaning the right amount in the right direction.

I know I'm still a noob but I tend to think that if you can ride smoothly through the turn and stay balanced, you did the turn properly. You normally shouldn't have too think too much about it as you'll be able to feel where you need to lean to keep the bike stable. Just don't force it. Trust me, if you weren't falling before you started thinking about these things and now you are, you were doing it right the first time.

Remember that you don't necessarily have to lean into every turn. It depends on the type of turn and the amount of speed you're carrying into it (or trying to carry out of it), etc. You'll definitely want to lean into fast carvers but don't necessarily want to lean into a slow narrow switchback and so forth. A lean is really only a means to counteract g-forces generated in the turn, so less speed = less lean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i don't fall either way ... it just seems that i am jerking the bar around a lot in some turns .. and almost always overshoot them when coming in ...

it may just be that my overall speed is going higher ... and what was easier now seems more sketchy in the corners ...
 

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Try the following:

1) Steer by leaning. Either use your body to lean the bike or simply steer briefly and slightly into the other direction than where you want to go.

2) Lean the bike more than your body. This puts the tires onto the side knobies and your weight pushes them into the ground.

3) Weigh the outside pedal. Your full weight should be on the outside pedal. This again helps to improve the grip of the tires. You can give your body a cue by pointing your inside knee a little bit into the turn. Should you start to slide you take the inside foot off the pedal. Easy to be done as theer is no weight on it, right?!

4) Look where you want to go. Exit of the curve or even the trail after. Look ahead and the perceived speed goes down. You always scan the trail ahead. The brains take the information in and will use the information as you get to the feature.

edit:

5) Take turns from the outside in. Start at the outside lane and then tighten the turn. Has many advantages.

and finally: www.leelikesbikes.com - he got an outstanding book on skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmmm ok thanks ... been trying that already some with the pedal ... but i guess i need to get out of the seat more while turning...

and thanks for the link, got a lot of stuff to read through and will see about finding that book.
 

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Seated? Hey, if you really want to rail a corner you stand. Best practice with a low seat. Move it up when you have the move dialed. Later you can do it seated - to an extend.

Some call it the attack position. Arms are slightly bend. Ellbows are out. Chin is over the bars. Body is low, knees are bend. When you go into the curve you go lower, then you pump into the curve (by slightly straightening). Are you skiing/boarding? Same principle as when you carve. (Just remember to lean the bike further than your body for most applications).

Take a look at the book. This is a good investment.
 

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Also if your going straight on sometimes its caused by braking which stands the bike up, try and get the braking done before the turn.
Standing in the attack position as said above works well low in high out great fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i will start trying it standing ... right now 99% of my riding is done while seated ... even climbing hills ... will have to lower seat for sure ... since i have short legs hah .. near impossible to hit the bottom stroke with my cranks less i am on the seat.
 

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"near impossible to hit the bottom stroke with my cranks less i am on the seat."

I've never heard of this problem. When you stand, you normally stand over the top tube, which actually gives you more clearance, which would allow you to take advantage of the full pedal stroke (or rather, there's nothing that should hinder your pedal stroke). If you're tippy-toeing over your seat, you're not going to pedal very well.

I wonder if your seat is too high, also. The general rule of thumb for proper seat height is: when seated, your knee should be slightly bent when your foot is flat on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MrMook said:
"near impossible to hit the bottom stroke with my cranks less i am on the seat."

I've never heard of this problem. When you stand, you normally stand over the top tube, which actually gives you more clearance, which would allow you to take advantage of the full pedal stroke (or rather, there's nothing that should hinder your pedal stroke). If you're tippy-toeing over your seat, you're not going to pedal very well.

I wonder if your seat is too high, also. The general rule of thumb for proper seat height is: when seated, your knee should be slightly bent when your foot is flat on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke.
eh hard to explain as i am still figuring stuff out ... i have a 26.5 inseem ... the seat is adjusted to where when i am at the top stroke my knee isn't up high enough so that it locks up and i h ave trouble pusing down ... when i am at the bottom stroke my leg is almost straight, my knee has a slight bend to it ... i can touch the ground with my toes .. but thats about it ...

the seat is scooted back as far as it can go, but is still about 1/3 over the BB so when i stand up on the pedals but one side is at the bottom of the stroke i am almost on the seat less i lock my leg straight up and down ...

if i lean forward much, the front fork compresses to much (yay for a LBS that said the oem fork would be 'just fine' for someone who weighs 240ish)

(they are 170mm cranks for what matters, been trying to find a set of 165mm ones) ...

i know a lot of my 'issues' are from a bike that is not fitted and adjusted properly for me, i am in the process of resolving that by building a different one that will work for me ... but till then i am learning

here is a quick crappy pic, to show the bike setup currently ... seat can't go any higher, but can't go much lower and me still be able to pedal (note, this is with me pedaling while seated, see above post for reason why)

 

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spec4life???..smh...
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Kaba Klaus said:
3) Weigh the outside pedal. Your full weight should be on the outside pedal. This again helps to improve the grip of the tires. You can give your body a cue by pointing your inside knee a little bit into the turn. Should you start to slide you take the inside foot off the pedal. Easy to be done as theer is no weight on it, right?!
well i read this yeaterday kaba and went riding this morning and put the technique to use...and wow it worked like crazy helped keep control of the bike and gain speed

Only problem was that it started rainning halfway through and that was about the time i was feeling pretty confident in my new abilities and well i ended up on my side in the mud...

but overall a great tip
 

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Im very new to mtbin too, but what I have learned already in cornering due to a very rough track I was on where the corners were very tight/sharp, is that I was trying to slow down for the corners, meaning i was on the back brake way too much, well not to much just not at the right time, as i was coming into the corners I had my rear brake on, which was keeping my wheel tight into the bend intsead of swooping around behind me if u follow? ? ?

Later I just left it go, which took a bit of nerve but it was a lot easier, the bike just flowed around the burm .... if i have explained that s***, say and i will try again
 

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spec4life said:
well i read this yeaterday kaba and went riding this morning and put the technique to use...and wow it worked like crazy helped keep control of the bike and gain speed

Only problem was that it started rainning halfway through and that was about the time i was feeling pretty confident in my new abilities and well i ended up on my side in the mud...

but overall a great tip
Congratulations for going to the limit. Not everybody dares to do that!

Try to lean your bike more than your body. I know this is counter intuitive as riding the road actually teaches to stay in line with your 2 wheeled vehicle. But on dirt leaning the bike more and standing on the outside pedal helps to push the side knobbies into the ground. - Also, in case you do slide you have a better chance to avoid a crash by putting the inside foot to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i just got back from riding 2 trails... bent my seat rails on the first one and picked up a junk seat to put on there before going to the second one ...

i tried the pedal weight thing, and it does make a difference, i still can't stand up off the seat much .. but shifting around it while i corners seemed to make a difference ...

now if i can keep my hand off the brake before i get to some of the corners i may can get an even better hang of it.
 

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Sounds like you have more serious issues than turning? How long have you been riding a bike? If you can comfortably touch the ground with your feet while seated, you should have no problems with seat clearance when standing on the pedals.

If the bike really is that ill-fitted for you, no amount of technique is going to make you a better rider. Get a bike that fits and you should get the feel for the right way to do things pretty quickly, especially once you get to the point where standing on the pedals feels just as, if not more, natural as sitting (it's critical that you learn this if you're going to be attempting any kind of aggressive riding). Note that you should get used to standing on your pedals in a power position (cranks horizontal to the ground) since that's how you'll set up for most obstacles/turns and with the pedals vertical, since you may need to coast that way through especially tight and slow turns.

Stuff like putting your weight on the outside pedal, etc. should be fairly automatic since you have to do it just to stay upright. The important thing is to GET USED TO RIDING STANDING UP!
 
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