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Old 11-09-10, 06:43 PM   #1
roccobike
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Help with Hairpin Turns

I suck at making hairpin turns, no really. It's pathetic. I mean, I have trouble with the hairpin turns on intermediate level single track trails. Today I cought up to two other riders, ready to figure out how to pass, when we came up on a hairpin. I hit a root halfway through and had to brake to keep from falling.
So what would you recommend to improve. How do you handle hairpin turns. I gotta make improvements, it's embarrasing.
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Old 11-09-10, 06:52 PM   #2
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I suck at making hairpin turns, no really. It's pathetic. I mean, I have trouble with the hairpin turns on intermediate level single track trails. Today I cought up to two other riders, ready to figure out how to pass, when we came up on a hairpin. I hit a root halfway through and had to brake to keep from falling.
So what would you recommend to improve. How do you handle hairpin turns. I gotta make improvements, it's embarrasing.
Simply say "may I get by, please?"

Everyday trail riding is not racing. Be courteous to other trail users.

Without seeing you ride or the actual type of turn, I can not really help with your cornering technique.
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Old 11-09-10, 08:29 PM   #3
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Try taking the turn as wide as the trail will allow and keep your legs moving. Don't stop pedaling.

As far as passing, just ask.
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Old 11-09-10, 09:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I wasn't close enough to let them know I wanted to pass, so that wasn't part of the problem. I do take the widest path, but I don't keep the legs pedaling, good point. I'll try that in a lower gear next time out. Thanks
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Old 11-10-10, 09:18 AM   #5
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are you sitting down in the hairpins?
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Old 11-10-10, 03:36 PM   #6
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are you sitting down in the hairpins?
Usually, yes. Problem?
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Old 11-10-10, 04:03 PM   #7
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^^ Could be.

Do you want to just get through the hairpin as fast as you can or are you aiming for 'trialsy,' feet-up finesse? Either way, doing it from standing will give you better control/reactions.

If you're not too proud to dab a foot, the most expedient way through a hairpin is to attack the approach, brake hard straight in, plant a foot at the apex and pivot/square off on that. then pick your inside foot back up as quickly as you can and pedal out your exit. It isn't pretty but it's stable, efficient and fast.
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Old 11-10-10, 04:49 PM   #8
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Depending on the type of turn, sitting down might even be your best option. There's this one particular turn on one of my trails which is an unhill hairpin, riding over smooth, flat rocks (See picture below.) As you will see from the picture, there is a fair bit of dust. Due to this, there is very little traction offered on the rocks, yet you still need to get power down to get up the hill! If you stand up, there's simply not enough weight over the rear wheel to keep it planted. Once you lose traction and put the foot down, game over. So I've found that if I keep my bum planted on the saddle, it keeps the weight down, allowing for more traction, which in turn allows me to put a bit more power down, and get through.

So here's a pic of my buddy attacking it.

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