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Discussion Starter #1
I've been riding seriously for about 5 years now and racing for 3. I have no fitness problems or issues getting up to speed on technical trails, I can pick lines & maintain momentum. But, I still have issues with my front wheel washing out on fast corners, and I end up low-siding pretty hard on occasion.

I'm interested in some opinions. What is the most likely culprit for washing out my front wheel - too high tire pressure? (I typically run 40 lbs and I weigh 175.) Leaning too far forward? Tire choice (python UST lights)? Am I just trying to go too fast through the corners? Am I just a skirt?
 

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suck it trebeK
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I'm also interested in this. I watch other people take corners at light speed like they're on rails, yet if I try any highspeed corners my front wheel always slides out. How do they do it??
 

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dongustav said:
I've been riding seriously for about 5 years now and racing for 3. I have no fitness problems or issues getting up to speed on technical trails, I can pick lines & maintain momentum. But, I still have issues with my front wheel washing out on fast corners, and I end up low-siding pretty hard on occasion.

I'm interested in some opinions. What is the most likely culprit for washing out my front wheel - too high tire pressure? (I typically run 40 lbs and I weigh 175.) Leaning too far forward? Tire choice (python UST lights)? Am I just trying to go too fast through the corners? Am I just a skirt?
I don't know what techniques you are familiar with, but there are many things that you can do to improve cornering traction.

1) keep outside leg straight and weight bearing

2) you can shift your body to put your center of gravity directly over the wheels. It's hard to describe the details, but basically, on a right hand turn...your left leg is straight at 6 o'clock....your right knee is coming over the top tube as you shift your body over the straight leg...your arms are holding the bars slightly in from of your chest, while the left handlebar is even with the right side of your body. I'll post a picture if I can find one.

3) Keep weight over the front tire

4) You could probably drop the pressure a little if it's not too rocky.

5) You didn't mention the terrain, so I can't recommend tires. You said that the tires wash out, but is that on hardpack, or loose soil...or sand...?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
conditions

I typically wash out on anything dry... sandy, gravelly or hardpack. In the wet & tacky conditions I'm usually fine, but I just assume it's because my tires are digging in.


Blue Shorts said:
I don't know what techniques you are familiar with, but there are many things that you can do to improve cornering traction.

1) keep outside leg straight and weight bearing

2) you can shift your body to put your center of gravity directly over the wheels. It's hard to describe the details, but basically, on a right hand turn...your left leg is straight at 6 o'clock....your right knee is coming over the top tube as you shift your body over the straight leg...your arms are holding the bars slightly in from of your chest, while the left handlebar is even with the right side of your body. I'll post a picture if I can find one.

3) Keep weight over the front tire

4) You could probably drop the pressure a little if it's not too rocky.

5) You didn't mention the terrain, so I can't recommend tires. You said that the tires wash out, but is that on hardpack, or loose soil...or sand...?
 

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My nemesis over the years also!

A few motocross buds have given the same advice Blue Shorts gave;

- Weight on outside pedal at 6 o'clock,
- Inside knee up over the bar, thus forcing weight over the tires,
and
- look through the turn, not at the wheel!

I'm still working on the confidence to pick up speed in the turns, but when I do these three things, I find I rail the turn so much better. A matter of time and this'll be another learned skill in my pocket and one I'll gladly pass along to newbies... with confidence!
 

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I use Pythons and they leave much to be desired ....

I use Pythons and they leave much to be desired on corners that is.

Great fast light tire but hardly any side tread. I expect you wash out because of your tire choice, not your ability.

I find I can ride pretty off camber trails with my Kenda Klaws that would leave me hanging on and praying with the Pythons.
 

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I already rode that
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dongustav said:
I've been riding seriously for about 5 years now and racing for 3. I have no fitness problems or issues getting up to speed on technical trails, I can pick lines & maintain momentum. But, I still have issues with my front wheel washing out on fast corners, and I end up low-siding pretty hard on occasion.

I'm interested in some opinions. What is the most likely culprit for washing out my front wheel - too high tire pressure? (I typically run 40 lbs and I weigh 175.) Leaning too far forward? Tire choice (python UST lights)? Am I just trying to go too fast through the corners? Am I just a skirt?
Im about the same weight and I run my tires at about 35. I dont have problems with it washing out on me and I take turns pretty fast too, but not so fast anymore. I washed out bigtime before so now I scrub off my speed for some turns depending if I know the ground conditions for that area.

I never rode with the tire you said so cant tell. but usually the pressure thing helps solve some problems with maintaining grip. Thinking your tires are going to keep traction in sandy/gravel conditions while trying to keep your speed is crazy, your just asking to wash out. Of course that thinking is whats needed while racing :p
 

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dongustav said:
I've been riding seriously for about 5 years now and racing for 3. I have no fitness problems or issues getting up to speed on technical trails, I can pick lines & maintain momentum. But, I still have issues with my front wheel washing out on fast corners, and I end up low-siding pretty hard on occasion.

I'm interested in some opinions. What is the most likely culprit for washing out my front wheel - too high tire pressure? (I typically run 40 lbs and I weigh 175.) Leaning too far forward? Tire choice (python UST lights)? Am I just trying to go too fast through the corners? Am I just a skirt?
Combo of things:
* 40 psi is way high for the Python and more so for the tubeless version. Works much better in the 30-32 psi range. Most Hutchinson tires are pretty sensitive to pressure changes.

* I prefer to have more weight on the front for cornering. If the front is too light I tend to go straight. I will shift forward, aim my hips around the turn, weight on the inside grip and outside pedal, lean the bike and pivot around the front wheel.

* The Python is not the best cornering tire. There are better choices depending on the conditions. With proper technique it can still work well and is very fast.

* Too fast? If you are washing out, yes, you are going too fast for the conditions, tires and techniques you are using.

* Some of the fastest riders I know wear skirts.
 

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Biggest culpert

dongustav said:
I've been riding seriously for about 5 years now and racing for 3. I have no fitness problems or issues getting up to speed on technical trails, I can pick lines & maintain momentum. But, I still have issues with my front wheel washing out on fast corners, and I end up low-siding pretty hard on occasion.

I'm interested in some opinions. What is the most likely culprit for washing out my front wheel - too high tire pressure? (I typically run 40 lbs and I weigh 175.) Leaning too far forward? Tire choice (python UST lights)? Am I just trying to go too fast through the corners? Am I just a skirt?
Is not weighing or unweighing the front end. i also run around 32-35opsi front. You might also try a more radial profiled tire up front with a more agressivetread..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll try the handling tips again although I think I have been doing this (I ride motorcycles as well & you can "push" on the inside grip to get a better lean...) I'll also drop the pressure a bit. Thanks a bunch

Also I've thought about moving to a "skort" - half-skirt half-short, for better handling....
 

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"El Whatever"
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All what they said and....

on loose gravel or off-camber turns try to get the bike as vertical as possible while you send your weight as inside the turn as possible (kind of what a motorcycle track racer would do but not as exaggerated).

Also... and very important... look ahead. Your bike will follow your eyes and your body takes it a few moments to react to what your brain is thinking, so anticipation is a must. You might find this advice like non related to washouts but it is. I just can't find the words to explain for it.
 

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bi-winning
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Rev Bubba said:
Great fast light tire but hardly any side tread
sounds right. Just by looking at the tred pattern, it does not look like a very good choice for the fron tire anyway. The other tips about keeping weight on outside leg yada yada are also good tips.
 

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Who are the brain police?
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See this months DirtRag. There's an article about suspension, bike geometry, and handeling. It goes into detail about the front end washing out on corners..etc.
 

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Counter Steering

There is a similar thread in the Riding & Training Techniques forum on the subject of cornering. The tip I got from that thread is counter steering. Check out the thread for more details on how and why it works. It is one of the best tips I have picked up from this forum. I use it all the time now and I am amazed at how much it has improved my cornering.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=30874
 

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Countersteering the key

As others have stated here, there is a lot that MTB'ers can learn from the
motorcycle folks. the countersteer, keeping the bike vertical, Looking
into corner, all of these techniques
can help MTB'ers learn how to handle their bikes in corners.

I would also put forth the idea that the people you see corner
"as though they were on rails" are really comfortable with drift.
So they are not tracking a single line but rather floating through
the corner with bike in a position such that they are able
to drift The entire bike rather than push and then washout.
 

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Domestic Fowl
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Have to go with Bubba and Shiggy here. The pythons, IMHO, leave much to be desired in the cornering department. A lot of people like them as a race tire because they're light and they roll fast. I've tried them and I HATE them for the type of riding I do. I ride Panaracer Fire XC Pros, which is a compromise in rolling resistance, but they rail the corners.

As Shiggy said, 1) don't expect a lot out of this tire for cornering and 2)the pressure you're running is too high, especially for the UST version of that tire.
 

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I was having the same problem with my new bike a few months ago. I had 2.3 Tioga yellow kirin tires front & back, and while these were fairly grippy tires, when I really pushed it, the front would wash out every time. I finally put a 2.5 IRC Trial Bear on the front, and just like that, no more washing out. I am convinced that the trick is finding the tire combo that matches cornering traction front & back. I also think that it's rarely best to have the same tire on both ends. My wife was having the same problem with washing out with 2.1 Moto raptors, now she's doing much better with a 2.2 Enduro Pro in the front, and 2.1 moto raptor in back.

-dooner
 

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Blue Shorts said:
1) keep outside leg straight and weight bearing......your left leg is straight at 6 o'clock....
Uh, If you ride anything but the most buff trail, I would not recommend ever coasting with a pedal in the 6 o clock position. Rock and root tend to come out of nowhere to bite. I basically do the same thing here (lean the bike, not the body) but keep the pedals level.
 

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suck it trebeK
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Do any of you use rear-wheel skids to help you turn? I find that locking up the rear brake to skid around a turn helps rotate the bike faster. But that doesn't work for alot of situations, you have to have a smoother surface to do it.

edit: ahhh, ok, I read that other thread about the countersteering. While I understand and can do countersteering if I lock up the rear wheel, I don't see how it can work without skidding around the rear. Guess I gotta try harder...
 
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