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Old 05-09-09, 04:56 PM   #1
cupcrazy4
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hairpin turns

I tried the search function and didn't get much.

Basically I'm just wondering if anybody has any tips on how to handle hairpin turns. I've got my second race of the season tomorrow morning and cornering already gives me a bit of trouble at high speeds (this is my first year of racing). The course is a super short and flat criterium and my only goal is to not crash/finish the race.

Any tips on how to handle the hairpin?

*edit: the reason I'm asking is because there's one hairpin turn on the course for tomorrow's race
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Old 05-09-09, 05:00 PM   #2
jfmckenna
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A crit with a hairpin turn? Usually hairpin turns are on mountain sides so that is odd. Just take it easy when in the pack and if off the front do your own pace because the pack will not gain on a small group there . In fact the real battle over something like that will be a lead out to the turn.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:05 PM   #3
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Just follow everyone else. If you're not comfortable, don't worry about it, just keep the bike under control. If you're really uncomfortable, then it's time to go off the front so you don't have to corner with other people

Inside pedal up, lean into the turn, hands in the drops for more control, and don't go into it in too high a gear because odds are you'll spint a little coming out of it.
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Old 05-10-09, 11:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
A crit with a hairpin turn? Usually hairpin turns are on mountain sides so that is odd. Just take it easy when in the pack and if off the front do your own pace because the pack will not gain on a small group there . In fact the real battle over something like that will be a lead out to the turn.
Anything with an out-and-back 180 degree corner...

Less common on crits but I've seen em.

More common for circuits and road race courses.
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Old 05-10-09, 01:51 PM   #5
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So how'd it go?
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Old 05-10-09, 02:00 PM   #6
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Keep your line as always.
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Old 05-10-09, 03:50 PM   #7
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After the fact, but...

Hairpins in crits. If you're struggling to be at the front, be at the back. Start coasting really early, like 50-100 meters from the corner. Experiment with exactly where to coast. Coast a bit early, like 1 pedal stroke, and see how you simply coast for one pedal stroke. You still have to brake to make it through the turn without rear-ending others. Now coast 2 revs before. 3. 4. 5.

If I'm worried about coasting too much, I'll try and fill an open "lane" in the field, but usually, at some point, I have to brake.

I've coasted too long too - if the field is bunched up for several laps, it'll let me coast for a long time, perhaps 10 seconds, because everyone has to slow to 15 mph to make the turn. But then on a lap where it's really strung out, everyone goes through single/double file at, say, 18-20 mph, and suddenly I find myself 30 feet behind everyone exiting the turn.

When it's strung out, coast less.

At the end of fast straights I've coasted for probably 4 to maybe 8 seconds (at 90 rpm, that would be 6-12 revs worth of time), gone into the turn at proper speed, and smoothly reintegrated into the back of the field as I come out of the turn.

You can do this for all crits. On one slight downhill stretch (1% grade or so - Turn 3 at Sommerville) I coasted for 100-120 meters virtually every lap, going into a normal left turn.

I didn't realize it but all the coasting was keeping me in the race. When I started moving up (strategically, never really seeing wind), I immediately redlined - I moved up maybe 70-80 spots into about 20-25th position in the field and just exploded, dropping out of the race.

cdr
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Old 05-11-09, 07:31 AM   #8
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thanks for all the tips guys.
Turns out I didn't really have to worry too much about the turn because I was dropped after the first lap... That one time I did do it with the pack, I hung near the back, but I think I was braking too hard every time I did it. For the first few laps I would sprint on the straightaway to catch up to the pack at the two big turns on either end of the course then somehow the pack would zoom off and I would chase again. That lasted for a few laps, and then I couldn't catch up to them anymore so I did the last 45 minutes of the crit pretty much solo.
At least I didn't finish last!
Next race for me is next week, but it's a road race, so I won't have to worry as much about cornering, but the huge 2 km hilltop finish that we have to climb 5 times scares me equally as much.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:55 AM   #9
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oh and here's some pictures taken by my mom from yesterday's race
I'm in the blue + white + black
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