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  1. #1
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    TdF question - NOT a spoiler

    I have noticed that while coasting in descent some riders push one of their knees outward. It seems to me this would slow them down. Is that why they do it? If not, what purpose does this move serve?

  2. #2
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    It helps with keeping their center of gravity lower and towards the center of the arc. These guys are going very fast on those descents and they often feel the need to move their mass into the turn to maintain the line and traction (to some extent).

  3. #3
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the prompt reply.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    More extreme example, same phenomenon:


  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    And you often see them discarding things on the final 5 km's of the ride like water bottles and cycling caps.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    More extreme example, same phenomenon:

    Yes! Exactly what I was writing about (except less extreme).

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    It's how I was taught to descend on a bike. Knee on the turning side pointed out. Helps with keeping the center of gravity low and allows you to slide the body a bit over the frame to center the weight. Helps to keep the tires from sliding out from under you.

    SB

  8. #8
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
    It's how I was taught to descend on a bike. Knee on the turning side pointed out. Helps with keeping the center of gravity low and allows you to slide the body a bit over the frame to center the weight. Helps to keep the tires from sliding out from under you.

    SB
    BTW, I was taught to corner with knee pointed out, but *in* toward the direction I'm turning. I grew up riding motorcycles, and took lots of corners like the pic I pasted above.

    Not sure you would call that pointed "in" or "out"?

    However, a couple of years ago I read on the Internets (where everything is true) that this is no longer considered to be the right way to take a corner.

    To wit: "Some riders believe that sticking the knee out or leaning the body away from the bike, improves cornering. Sticking out a knee is the same thing that riders without cleats do when they stick out a foot in dirt track motorcycle fashion. It is a useless but reassuring gesture that, on uneven roads, even degrades control. Any body weight that is not centered over the bicycle (leaning the bike or sticking out a knee) puts a side load on the bicycle, and side loads cause steering motions if the road is not smooth. Getting weight off the saddle is also made more difficult by such maneuvers. "

    http://www.bicyclesource.com/descending_and_cornering

    Whatever. I still stick a knee out; however, my attorney no longer permits me to recommend it.


    (edited: I hope I am not confusing sticking a knee *out* with sticking a knee *in* toward the center of the curve in my explanation.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 07-17-10 at 07:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
    It's how I was taught to descend on a bike. Knee on the turning side pointed out. Helps with keeping the center of gravity low and allows you to slide the body a bit over the frame to center the weight. Helps to keep the tires from sliding out from under you.

    SB
    Though I trust your experience, to me (one with no experience with fast descents nor a physics scholar) it looks like it would have the opposite affect; as if one would topple over!

  10. #10
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post

    However, a couple of years ago I read on the Internets (where everything is true) that this is no longer considered to be the right way to take a corner.
    Yeah, there's this certain know it all on the Internet (his claim to fame is a wheel building book...) that says there's no need to stick your knee out (or into a turn, if you want). I say do whatever you want, whatever makes you comfortable.

    One thing that *is* intriguing though is counter-steering in a turn; if you feel like a turn is getting away from you, just push a little on the inside hook of the h-bar, on the side you're turning into. It's kinda weird at first, but the premise is that pressure exerted on the inside hook (i.e. pointing the wheel away from the turn) leads to the bike leaning over more in the opposite direction, and carving a deeper, sharper turn. A handy skill to have in case you ever find yourself overcooking a turn.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
    One thing that *is* intriguing though is counter-steering in a turn; if you feel like a turn is getting away from you, just push a little on the inside hook of the h-bar, on the side you're turning into. It's kinda weird at first, but the premise is that pressure exerted on the inside hook (i.e. pointing the wheel away from the turn) leads to the bike leaning over more in the opposite direction, and carving a deeper, sharper turn. A handy skill to have in case you ever find yourself overcooking a turn.
    Yep. I learned this long ago on motorcycles where it was a more important technique because of the higher speed and greater mass being turned.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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