Spoked to Death
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: Salsa La Cruz w/ Alfine 8, Specialized Fuse Pro 27.5+, Surly 1x1
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Technique on trails is different, but on the road, do as the motorcycle does. You want to keep your center of gravity lined up with the bike. Leaning the bike a lot but keeping yourself level doesn't help you turn, it just helps you lean. Novice motorcycle racers do this too, because dragging a knee is 'cool', and they assume that the farther the bike is leaning, the faster it is turning. Of course, dragging a knee alone doesn't help you turn, because the forces from your body aren't contributing to stability, and hence aren't contributing to your ability to make a tighter turn. While the novice is dropping the bike to the side and holding his body up so he can drag a knee on the inside line, the expert is holding his body close to the motorcycle and passing him on the outside.
You and your bike are one machine, if you lean yourself with it, your body weight will contribute to the squishing of your contact patch, and you'll stay more stable. You'll end up leaning less for the same speed of turn, which also adds to stability.
You have to trust the traction. Its a hard lesson to learn, and you really have to train your body to stay with the bike. On my tall bike you have to leeeeaaann to turn. The angle is the same as on a regular bike, but you are so high up that you end up feeling like you are tilting way beyond safety, but if you hold the line and trust the physics, you come around the corner safe and sound.