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Old 10-08-09, 02:42 PM   #1
TimJ
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Hairpin turns

What's the secret to getting around hairpin turns as fast as possible while maintaining control?
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Old 10-08-09, 02:47 PM   #2
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What's the secret to getting around hairpin turns as fast as possible while maintaining control?
Don't hit loose sand.
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Old 10-08-09, 02:49 PM   #3
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I try not to brake coming into the turn then I unclip and use my foot to push out of the turn.
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Old 10-08-09, 04:27 PM   #4
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Depends on how it is set up

Usually the fastest way is to just widen it as much as possible to carry maximum speed, but sometimes this is not possible.

For instance, at one race we had a hairpin in sand and the sand seemed to get progressively looser on the outside of the turn, so what I did was ride as hard as I could at the turn and then I would grab the post on the inside of the turn and sling around it. A friend, who is much better than me, was coming in hot to the turn and would dismount and flick around the corner and then remount.

I would also throw in if the corner is soft, grass or sand, pedal through that sucker as you will not get kicked off if you catch a pedal.
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Old 10-08-09, 06:06 PM   #5
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There's no grabbing on to anything, the courses are always tape held up by flimsy plastic stakes. This is mostly grass and dirt so going as wide as possible is just the general way to do it if you can do it? Otherwise, however you can get around it?

I always seem to try to skirt the inside corner as close as possible- like if it's a right turn veer out left a little and turn in next to the fence as much as possible, but it doesn't work very well, I end up almost going outside the course on the left side when I come out of the turn.
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Old 10-08-09, 07:10 PM   #6
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Practice by doing figure 8s around football goalposts.

There's no real "secret".
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Old 10-08-09, 09:13 PM   #7
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There's no grabbing on to anything, the courses are always tape held up by flimsy plastic stakes. This is mostly grass and dirt so going as wide as possible is just the general way to do it if you can do it? Otherwise, however you can get around it?

I always seem to try to skirt the inside corner as close as possible- like if it's a right turn veer out left a little and turn in next to the fence as much as possible, but it doesn't work very well, I end up almost going outside the course on the left side when I come out of the turn.
widening the corner is definitely a general approach, but how much traction each part of the corner offers is dictates how you take it i.e. early apex if the inside and outside of the turn have traction or the opposite of these if the opposite holds true.

You can also do what happened to me on tuesday cx and just run up on the inside at the last second and early apex the turn slowing everyone down, but maintaining good position. I hated that it was done to me, but I cant argue its effectiveness.
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Old 10-08-09, 09:48 PM   #8
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Old 10-09-09, 07:44 AM   #9
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Yup, wide entry, wide exit. Also, some people tend to brake too late and too hard. Bleed some speed earlier and try to make it smooth all the way through.
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Old 10-09-09, 07:52 AM   #10
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set up a practice course and keep going faster and faster. Its hard to do, but until you start crashing you haven't found that speed boundary yet.
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Old 10-09-09, 11:37 AM   #11
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Yup, wide entry, wide exit. Also, some people tend to brake too late and too hard. Bleed some speed earlier and try to make it smooth all the way through.
idk you may be right but I always blast right into the turn and brake hard to get to the right speed. Reason being if you brake to early and roll softly in then you are losing time. That and if you are in a group you want to be the first one into the corner.

Another practice technique for hairpins is to, well duh practice hairpins, but do it in such a way that you keep finding the point to which you fall. And you can only find that point if you fall. So fall a lot. Condidtions have a lot to do with it of course but once you know at what point it feels like you arre going to lose control the memorize it and take every single corner in a cross race just at that point.

Cross races are won and lost in the corners.
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Old 10-09-09, 12:22 PM   #12
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put the inside foot forward (ie, right turn: right foot goes forward) so that you don't hit the front wheel with your toe. seems obvious, but this took a while to become natural for me. i'm super comfortable with my right foot forward, not so much with my left foot. ideally they'll both become equal after a while.
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Old 10-09-09, 01:01 PM   #13
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Stay seated and do not brake in the turn. Took me a number of fishtailing crashes to figure that one out.
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Old 10-10-09, 04:30 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=jonestr;9823363] A friend, who is much better than me, was coming in hot to the turn and would dismount and flick around the corner and then remount.
QUOTE]

I am not that good but I saw good results with the above method today. The turn was 180 degrees around a post with sand 2-4 inches deep everywhere. Any speed at all resulted in a washout. Every time I dismounted and rotated on my outside foot stuffed in to the sand, I gained a position.

On my last lap I decided to ride it and it almost cost me a position. It was at least 2 seconds slower.
Thanks for the advice!!!!
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Old 10-10-09, 06:28 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Sawtooth;9834766]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonestr View Post
A friend, who is much better than me, was coming in hot to the turn and would dismount and flick around the corner and then remount.
QUOTE]

I am not that good but I saw good results with the above method today. The turn was 180 degrees around a post with sand 2-4 inches deep everywhere. Any speed at all resulted in a washout. Every time I dismounted and rotated on my outside foot stuffed in to the sand, I gained a position.

On my last lap I decided to ride it and it almost cost me a position. It was at least 2 seconds slower.
Thanks for the advice!!!!
Glad it worked

In my race today I used this to great effect as there lots of loose corners that were faster to run than ride.

I am going to work on a drive side mount and dismount so I can flick both ways
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Old 10-10-09, 08:56 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=jonestr;9835289]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
I am going to work on a drive side mount and dismount so I can flick both ways
Good idea...for some reason that seems tough to do. I am not sure I have ever dismounted a bike on the drive side.
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Old 10-10-09, 09:55 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Sawtooth;9835974]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonestr View Post

Good idea...for some reason that seems tough to do. I am not sure I have ever dismounted a bike on the drive side.
totally comfortable on the dismount, but the remount is another story

gotta keep making that toolkit bigger
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Old 10-10-09, 10:23 PM   #18
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I nailed my nads on a remount today. I said "ouch!"
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Old 10-10-09, 10:57 PM   #19
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I nailed my nads on a remount today. I said "ouch!"

do you usually aim for inner thigh or do you go straight on? Aiming for the inner thigh keeps nad busting to a minimum
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Old 10-10-09, 11:13 PM   #20
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idk you may be right but I always blast right into the turn and brake hard to get to the right speed. Reason being if you brake to early and roll softly in then you are losing time. That and if you are in a group you want to be the first one into the corner.

Another practice technique for hairpins is to, well duh practice hairpins, but do it in such a way that you keep finding the point to which you fall. And you can only find that point if you fall. So fall a lot. Condidtions have a lot to do with it of course but once you know at what point it feels like you arre going to lose control the memorize it and take every single corner in a cross race just at that point.

Cross races are won and lost in the corners.
One piece of advice that I would add is to make sure to downshift, before entering the turn, so that you can get back up to speed quickly. Make a mental note, during warmup, which gear to use. I agree with the above post...gotta come in hot in the turn so that you don't lose too much momentum. However, the condition of corner will make a big difference on how you attack it
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Old 10-11-09, 07:19 AM   #21
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I nailed my nads on a remount today. I said "ouch!"
And yet you survived with your plumbing intact. An important lesson learned.

Back to tight turns: if it's around a tree or heavy post, grab it.
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Old 10-11-09, 04:20 PM   #22
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do you usually aim for inner thigh or do you go straight on? Aiming for the inner thigh keeps nad busting to a minimum
I aim for my nuts. The "ouch!" was ironic.
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Old 10-11-09, 05:18 PM   #23
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there's something to be said about the restricting properties of cycling shorts/bibs. Do not attempt a cx mount without them on; you will sit on your balls.
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Old 10-11-09, 05:21 PM   #24
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there's something to be said about the restricting properties of cycling shorts/bibs. Do not attempt a cx mount without them on; you will sit on your balls.
My best mount today landed me right on the family jewels - but not as cringe-worthy as the guy in the B race who missed the saddle and hit the top tube.
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Old 10-11-09, 06:38 PM   #25
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its much worse when you miss the saddle and land on the back wheel!
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