Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a coppy of Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack's new book, which I really like. In it they mention something all you guys probably already know about. Has to do with turning in corners. If I understand this right, there are several ways to go about turning (asside from just turning your wheel). I'm not talking about sliding or drifting techniques, yet.

To get more traction going around a turn (lets say a turn to the left), I could put my right pedal down, shift my weight onto it, move my shoulders over toward that pedal, and kind of lay the bike over to the left. This is the technique I'm asking about here. I know there are times when you might want to be in line with the bike (e.g., going around a burm), and there are lots times when you might want to keep your pedals level...or stay seated.

I've been out practicing the turn I've described, and I find that there is a "spot" where I can put lots of weight onto the down pedal, lay the bike over, shift my weight toward the down pedal, the the bike almost goes into a self-steering mode -- kine of like I could almost let go of the handle bars and it would keep tracking the turn.

Do you guys have any thoughts about this? For instance: Is this the best place to be? Is this a kind of turning "sweet-spot"? Is it a bad place to be? Is it good for certain things, but not so good for other things? Would it be better to shift my weight more forward onto the front wheel, or more rearward onto the back wheel? Any thoughts at all here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
I have a good one for practicing that type of turn. I have a slalom course painted in our side parking lot next to the shop. It consists of 10 turns that are spaced out 15' each and run 3' off the center line. So basically for every 15' you go forward you have to turn 6' to make the next cone. I run it 10 turns out and 10 turns back for about a 20 sec. run. The fastest way to run a course like that is to lean the bike hard, but keep your body centered over the bike.

It seems like I run about 75% of my weight on the outside pedal and about 25% on the inside grip. This really locks the bike into the turn and the ground. The other thing to practice at the same time is getting your center of gravity as low as you can. I imagine I'm trying the cheat the wind and duck my whole body as low as I can with my center of mass slightly behind the seat. Another good tip is that just before your front wheel passes a cone (I use crushed soda cans) your eyes are looking at the next can and not your wheel.

The point of having a evenly spaced course like this is to ingrain the body position into your subconscious. If you practice enough on the course you will automatically be in the right body position when you are racing.

Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's pretty cool, Scott. So let me ask you...if you are behind the seat on these turns, you will not be hitting that spot I spoke of where you feel like you can almost steer your handle bars with your finger tips. And most of your weight would be over your rear wheel, wouldn't it? So, is this the place to be?

Maybe part of my question concerns traction. Seems like you would want to have as much weight transferred to both tires to get the most overall traction. If you weight the rear tire, you are unweighting the front -- and it may wash out. Am I wrong here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
mstaples said:
That's pretty cool, Scott. So let me ask you...if you are behind the seat on these turns, you will not be hitting that spot I spoke of where you feel like you can almost steer your handle bars with your finger tips. And most of your weight would be over your rear wheel, wouldn't it? So, is this the place to be?

Maybe part of my question concerns traction. Seems like you would want to have as much weight transferred to both tires to get the most overall traction. If you weight the rear tire, you are unweighting the front -- and it may wash out. Am I wrong here?
When you are using this style of turn correctly, your seat is tucked under your inside knee. That allows you to lean the bike without leaning your body into the turn. With the saddle just behind your knee, your hips are well behind the saddle. To keep your center of mass over the BB you need to lower your chest. Imagine you are drafting behind another rider and need to be really low to cheat the wind. You will be surprised how much more stable your bike feels in the turns.

Most turns are broken up into 3 sections. Entrance, Apex, and Exit. At the entrance it is usually beneficial to have some extra weight on the front wheel to initiate the turn. At the apex have try to have my body weight in the middle of the bike and on the exit I definitely bias the rear wheel to push me out of the corner. The size of turns I use to practice make this front to back movement one continous motion.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top