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Old 04-30-07, 12:49 PM   #1
sbskates
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bettering my cornering, in crits,,,,,,,,

i am a cat5 racer, i have maybe 10 crits under my belt. 2 uscf events and the rest all training crits at the same place. I
had a crit this weekend fast flat glassy roads and one downhill rough bumpy lumpy corner. the field went through that corner like it was a bmx race after the 2nd lap i got squeezed to the back and fell of the pack a half lap for the remainder.
i guess i need to go find the worst beat up bump downhill corner i can find and just practice being fast and good going through that type. any pointers.
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Old 04-30-07, 12:51 PM   #2
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Weight on the outside foot seems to be a common suggestion.
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Old 04-30-07, 12:51 PM   #3
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Counter steering is the most important thing you can do to help you corner faster. Also, lean the bike more than the body if it's dry, and the body more than the bike if it's wet.
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Old 04-30-07, 12:53 PM   #4
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Bumpy corners are best approached by slightly standing on the pedals so there's less weight on the seat. Rather than a stiff outer leg with all of your weight on it like normal cornering, bend the knee a little. Also bend your elbows and relax your arms also, but keep a firm grip with the hands. When you run over the bump, your legs & arms will act as suspension and let the bike bounce around underneath you, but your upper-body will be calm and steady to maintain control.

If it's really bad bump, you can actually hop a little right before the bump so there's less weight on the bike as it hits the bump. That'll disturb the bike+rider system even less and you can ride right over bump like it wasn't even there.
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Old 04-30-07, 01:46 PM   #5
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+1 to all the above: esp countersteering and unweighting the saddle

Stay SMOOOOTH in the corner. Don't do anything sudden. That doesn't mean you don't corner hard, you just get there smoothly.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:06 PM   #6
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Brake before the corner, not during, and always stand up after the corner to get your momentum back. If you can, use all the road from the very edge to the apex and back out again.
Keep your head low, keep you center of gravity as low as possible.
Avoid over-inflated tires, this will cause bouncing on small bumps.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:11 PM   #7
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All the weight on the outside pedal. If possible, pick a line so that as you go over the worst of the bumps you are starting to pick the bike up, rather than leaning the bike over. Really loose on the bars. Look into the corner well before you actually use the bars to steer into the corner.

If you feel it start to slip, don't panic! Don't wrestle the bars, in fact, don't put any input into the bars. Don't use the brakes and just try to shift your weight to the highside without any input on the bars.

If you have to bail and go straight in the corner, get the bike up as quickly as possible and use the front brake hard, NOT the rear. Hope you don't have anybody next to you if you do this, because they will not be happy.
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Old 04-30-07, 04:23 PM   #8
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the cat 5 guys i notce are very hungry and agressive it seems like there is more agressive moves and emphasis on speed than team work and tactics, i have noticed that they seem to go all out for the first 10 mins which most cats do but they seem to be all or nothing, so as a result i have learne di need to get my cornering skill to be very mx style and agressive if i wanna hang on.
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Old 04-30-07, 04:30 PM   #9
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Not around here... The 5's (and even the 4's) are well known for hitting the brakes in corners, often making it more dangerous than just taking the turn properly.
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Old 04-30-07, 04:31 PM   #10
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If you dont already have your position optimized, you may want to do that. Properly fitting myself to my bike has done wonders to my cornering.
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Old 04-30-07, 04:55 PM   #11
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i had a cat 3 buddy who is very good tell me once that some of the guys i race against need to move up now. i figure if nothing else by the time we cat up we should be pretty good . i plan on working on my intervals to better match the crits.
i figure i need to work on an allout 12 mins like theres no tomorow that seems to be how long this agressive pace lasted then they settle down. i look forward to moving up someday becuase the races are longer yet they really make more sense. , strategy etc.
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Old 04-30-07, 06:34 PM   #12
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If by 12, you mean 15-60 or 3-8 then yes.

12 minutes is in kind of a "no mans" land between your VO2 and aerobic systems. Nothing wrong with doing 12 minute intervals per se...just that you'd probably be better served by going harder for less time, or easier for more time.
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Old 04-30-07, 06:43 PM   #13
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You actually CAN brake while cornering but if you are truly going fast it requires a delicate touch. There's very few crit courses that require much if any braking, a fact that becomes evident as you move up into the 1/2/3.

You're best cornering in the drops, it lowers your cg, loads the front wheel properly, and gives you a lot more control if things get funny. Drop the inside knee a bit. Stay loose. Frozen people don't corner well.

The single biggest mistake that causes problems is people looking where they DON'T want to go. If you stare at the pothole you're 85% certain of hitting it. Look where you WANT to go. Not the curb, crash, or gutter.

And go practice. If you're cornering well you'll flow through with little or no change in lean angle, or steering. Cornering is a sequence of events...set up properly (weight/pedals/hand position), transition into the lean, corner, transition out.

Watch some Giro DVD's of Savoldelli. Perfect form and cornering lines.
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Old 04-30-07, 07:55 PM   #14
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ever ridden a motorcycle? Scrub speed before but trust your bike and your line and be ready for someone else not to be as smooth as you. Weight constant, be centered and of course don't grab your brakes in the corner since this will not only disrupt everyone but it will inherently make you upright and destroy your line and possibly some other gnarly impact. If you do squeeze the brakes don't panic. As your comfort level increases so will your speed.

If that all fails then just try to be predictable. that's the biggest thing they taught us racing motorcycles and it has carried over well.

Good luck.

Edit:+1 to Vino Don't look down, at the pothole or at the hot girl on the corner. read your line as it changes all the way through.
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Old 04-30-07, 08:41 PM   #15
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All the above posts give excellent advice. In addition to learning the techniques explained above, it gave me comfort when I realized that you can put ALOT of pressure on those little tires. You can bounce them around and lean over on them much more than you might think. You will probably lose your nerve in a corner long before you lose traction on a dry road...so just be mentally tough and trusting of your equipment and you will probably avoid alot of trouble. You get yourself in a heap of trouble when you lose your nerve and grab a break or start to question your line in a turn. Just commit and go with it.

One other thing I am not sure I heard others mention: Look through the turn...as far toward where you are going as possible. Staring at the road directly in front of your tire will do no good.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:52 PM   #16
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countersteer as snuff says. also try to keep your weight more toward the vertical. if you watch critters who also are also good at MTB- you'll see this in action. there's more downward force on the tires so they are less prone to slippage. if you lean into more toward the horizontal, you have less downward force- more likely to slip.
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Old 05-04-07, 10:35 PM   #17
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keep your weight more toward the vertical
what does that mean?
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Old 05-05-07, 04:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
If you dont already have your position optimized, you may want to do that. Properly fitting myself to my bike has done wonders to my cornering.

Can I have an "amen"??

Also, when looking over a course, you need to try several lines in the turns at speed. In lower cats, one of the biggest reasons why guys get on the binders in turns is they feel they will go over. And the reason for that is they are being forced to take a line where they are uncomfortable due to the presence of other racers (versus riding on your own in a warmup)...so try the inside, the middle, and the far outside at speed so you are familiar with the "feel" before you get into it at speed.
If you know what it feels like, you won't panic in a race.

...and cause a wreck.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:50 PM   #19
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Hrm... tough to explain without photos. Photo When your body is more upright than toward the horizontal, there's more weight over the contact points of the tires. When you're more toward the horizontal, i.e. leaning a lot, there's greater force pushing out instead of down- more likelihood of sliding out over rough or wet pavement. If you look at this kid, if you draw a line straight down the line of the bike, you notice he's a little bit more vertical than that line of the bike. The only complaint about his form is that his inside knee is bowed out, I'd prefer that knee be pressed in against the top tube.
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Old 05-06-07, 09:29 PM   #20
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keeping your weight over the contact patches? that is pretty much essential.
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Old 05-07-07, 03:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obra3
snip...
The only complaint about his form is that his inside knee is bowed out, I'd prefer that knee be pressed in against the top tube.
Can you expand on this a little? Vinokurtov has also mentioned to keep the inside knee in. I though if you opened you knee you naturally turned in that direction.
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Old 05-07-07, 04:08 PM   #22
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"To really fly through turns on the road, countersteer by pushing down sharply on the handlebar on the opposite side of the direction you want to turn about two wheel lengths before the turn. For example, push down on the right side of the bar if you want to turn left. This move makes your bike snap back into the turn, giving you a quick entry into the turn and a sharper lean than you'd get by just sticking your knee out the old-school way. Also, by keeping your inside knee in and pushing it against the top tube, you control your line. The more pressure, the sharper the turn and lean." - Cadel Evans
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Old 05-07-07, 04:13 PM   #23
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Here's another great primer on cornering.

http://www.racelistings.com/rzone/ar....asp?recid=320
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Old 05-07-07, 04:33 PM   #24
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Thank you!
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Old 05-07-07, 05:05 PM   #25
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np. good luck, have fun and keep the rubber side down.
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