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Old 04-10-07, 09:21 PM   #1
BlackTie
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Cornering technique

This is my first season racing, and on my first race, I noticed that many riders (Cat5) slow down to almost a halt on the corners (due to lack of confidence/cornering skill?). Knowing that slowing down too much on corners is NOT the best thing to do in a crit, would it be wise avoid this by taking the corner wide enough to maintain my speed?
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Old 04-10-07, 09:24 PM   #2
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Not that I actually know, but my 'strategy' is outside front.
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Old 04-10-07, 09:32 PM   #3
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Theoretically, going outside, if someone crashes on the corner from the inside, you and anyone outside of them will likely get taken out. Whereas if you're inside, you can take people out instead

Seriously though, bad cornering technique is just part of 5s I think. Being out in front is the best way to deal with it, but of course that's easier said than done.

Or you could always yell at them. It doesn't actually help, but it might make you feel better.
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Old 04-10-07, 09:45 PM   #4
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Being out in front is the best way to deal with it, but of course that's easier said than done.
Indeed. So if you want to really practice your cornering skills, you'll need to master getting up to the front and staying up there. Isn't bike racing cool
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Old 04-10-07, 10:03 PM   #5
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okay. Since I'm going to have to deal with bad cornering by 5s, let say, worst case scenario, I'm in the middle of the pack... to avoid slowing down, should I stay outside?
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Old 04-10-07, 10:08 PM   #6
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Indeed. So if you want to really practice your cornering skills, you'll need to master getting up to the front and staying up there. Isn't bike racing cool
Either that, or stay in the middle of the pack and get used to having guys on both sides of you, bumping shoulders, leaning on each other or getting your bars tangled up when someone strays from their line.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BlackTie
okay. Since I'm going to have to deal with bad cornering by 5s, let say, worst case scenario, I'm in the middle of the pack... to avoid slowing down, should I stay outside?
It depends on a lot of factors, but it can be good to be on the outside if everyone else is diving for the same line and they are slowing down a lot. You would need to stay on the outside, go straight a little longer and take a different, wider line around the corner.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:25 PM   #8
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the inside line is the safest, but also the most claustrophobic.

if you're caught in the middle of the pack and the pack slows down, guess what?

In my mind, if the corner is anything special (bottom of a descent, significantly more than 90 degrees, or twisty section of road), I think it's less work to just go out front, push some air, and corner intelligently, then to get stuck in the pack and deal with the accelerations.

the added bonus is that if you corner well, you can use this as a launching platform to attack, or in my case, use your gap to rest as the rest of the group catches up to you.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:35 PM   #9
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If you're not in the front, you can't safely avoid slowing down. What you can do, however, is downshift 2 or 3 cogs, and be properly geared for the exit. This will allow you to make up 3-5 places immediately after the corner without killing your legs.

In a race, any time you touch your brakes, you should probably downshift so you can respond more easily to the acceleration that's sure to follow.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:42 PM   #10
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I love the inside.
I never pass people on the way INTO the turn, but I pass a TON of people on the way OUT of the turn.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:20 PM   #11
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unless all the turns are in the same direction, you often times can't "choose" which lane ur gonna take around a corner. wherever u are in the pack when the turn approaches is the side ur stuck with.

Last edited by stea1thviper; 04-10-07 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 04-10-07, 11:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackTie
would it be wise avoid this by taking the corner wide enough to maintain my speed?
it would seem that maintaining speed by being on the outside is a good thing. But in fact usually isn't often an advantage.
Outside lines where the field is more than 3 riders goin into turns means you have to work harder, rider faster, cover more ground than the inside rider. So you're working harder to basicaly stay in the same position.
Best is get in the front 25% of the field, or better.
If you're inside and have a slow cornering rider in front of you, allow a small distance to open between him and you just before corner entry. I'm talkin less than a bike length, but enough so that you can more easily pull around him to the inside. That very small gap is enough to allow you to power up early and start to move up along the inside. A poor cornering rider will usually ride a poor line that fades to the outside, causing much of the 'slowing' to riders on his outside. You'll likely have plenty of room to move up on the inside. But once you do, be prepared to work to hold the new position.
Don't look a the rider's back, look into the turn to the line where you want to go, f you do, that'll be where the bike goes. Power up smoothly; the 'draft' you get off the rider in front will aid you in pulling around him.
Most riders have problems cornering cause they have little confidence in their handling skills or where their attention is placed.
If your position is predetermined for a corner, make the best of what you have, otherwise be assertive with a plan and you'll be ahead of the rest of the herd. If it doesn;t work or you blow up, at least you'll have learned something about your plan and about yourself. Which is the 1st step in making something work the next time around.
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Old 04-11-07, 12:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
it would seem that maintaining speed by being on the outside is a good thing. But in fact usually isn't often an advantage.
Outside lines where the field is more than 3 riders goin into turns means you have to work harder, rider faster, cover more ground than the inside rider. So you're working harder to basicaly stay in the same position.
Best is get in the front 25% of the field, or better.
If you're inside and have a slow cornering rider in front of you, allow a small distance to open between him and you just before corner entry. I'm talkin less than a bike length, but enough so that you can more easily pull around him to the inside. That very small gap is enough to allow you to power up early and start to move up along the inside. A poor cornering rider will usually ride a poor line that fades to the outside, causing much of the 'slowing' to riders on his outside. You'll likely have plenty of room to move up on the inside. But once you do, be prepared to work to hold the new position.
Don't look a the rider's back, look into the turn to the line where you want to go, f you do, that'll be where the bike goes. Power up smoothly; the 'draft' you get off the rider in front will aid you in pulling around him.
Most riders have problems cornering cause they have little confidence in their handling skills or where their attention is placed.
If your position is predetermined for a corner, make the best of what you have, otherwise be assertive with a plan and you'll be ahead of the rest of the herd. If it doesn;t work or you blow up, at least you'll have learned something about your plan and about yourself. Which is the 1st step in making something work the next time around.
That was really helpful. Thanks. I didn't think of the poor rider fading to the outside during the corner.
The reason taking the outside crossed my mind was because since I'm going to be stuck in Cat5 for now, I'm going to have to find a way to stop slowing down in the corner. Everyone is saying....stay up front, and I guess that's what I'll aim for next race
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Old 04-11-07, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezen
it would seem that maintaining speed by being on the outside is a good thing. But in fact usually isn't often an advantage.
Outside lines where the field is more than 3 riders goin into turns means you have to work harder, rider faster, cover more ground than the inside rider. So you're working harder to basicaly stay in the same position.
+1

Whenever Iím on the outside through a corner, I always need to sprint a little out of the saddle to catch back up with the inside guys.
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Old 04-11-07, 11:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackTie
This is my first season racing, and on my first race, I noticed that many riders (Cat5) slow down to almost a halt on the corners (due to lack of confidence/cornering skill?). Knowing that slowing down too much on corners is NOT the best thing to do in a crit, would it be wise avoid this by taking the corner wide enough to maintain my speed?

When its bunched up, like at the beginning of the race with a huge field, then if you are on the inside, you can almost come to a stop. Is this what you are talking about? In that case then the outermost line is definitely the place to be because that is the fastest line, but watch out and make sure you don't get pushed off the road.

If people are hitting the brakes and almost coming to a stop when the pack is strung out (which I haven't heard of even 5s doing) then just go around them on the outside, but be sure to show them a wheel near the apex so they don't try to run you off the outside of the corner on the exit.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:46 PM   #16
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What I'm reading here isnt a cornering issue, it's a positioning issue. Learn to get to the front 5 to 10 positions early and learn how to stay there, then this issue resolves itself.
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Old 04-11-07, 03:27 PM   #17
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I dont know which is better, but I usually position myself in the pack to be out of the gusty winds here.
That means sometimes I am on the inside of the corner and sometimes the outside, depending which section of the track I am on.
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