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Old 01-09-05, 02:59 AM   #1
DHMudRunner
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Downhill and Corners... Not Good

This is for all of those that can't make corners... I know some trails that can take forever to walk up but take like three minutes to come back down. My problem is that I can't figure out how to take the corners at the best speed and actually keep control of the bike. Some corners are cambered and others are off camber (angled away from the turn). Since my Iron Horse is in the shop I am riding my Mongoose DXR AL with full suspension and 1.75 tires compared to my 2.10 on the IH Hardtail. Just as a side note... Sharp turns are not fun on small tires. I usually ride with imprezaman since he is a better rider and knows the trails more than I do. He is usually ahead of me but I can still keep up until we hit the turns. I almost lost it on the last one and I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. Any Help?
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Old 01-09-05, 04:01 AM   #2
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Don't think you can hit all the corners at full speed. Use your brakes, depending on the corner you will use different techniques. for a burmed corner lean into it as hard as you can. Even flat corners, not off camber, you can still lean a hell of a lot.

At my local track there are two corners that form an S, this section is flat, the first one is also right off a jump. To do these fast I, lean in the air and land alreaqdy leaning, I then try to get all wieght of the bike, so pump, and just drift into the second on, no brakes, while leaning as hard as I can.

For off camber corners the trick is finding the correct lean angle, too much and your tires try to cut through the dirt and slide down the corner, not enough and you will need to slow down considerably to make it.

There are some corners which will involve you needing to slide the rear wheel around them, these are usually off camber. Another example of a corner like this was at a race I was at a while ago. It was a dusty slow downhill S bend. To make this you had to pedal as hard as you could out of the corner before this to make speed. Then lock your rear end up and lean into the corner and try to keep your weight equal. Whip the back around, try to get another stroke in and slide around the second corner the same way.
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Old 01-09-05, 05:48 AM   #3
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Just a couple of points and as you say a narrow tyre ain't that great for cornering, unless it is muddy where the narrow tyre WILL bite down through the mud to firm ground.

Weight distribution-- A couple of years ago I put on a shorter stem for XC comfort. This gave the front wheel less grip, as less weight is on the front wheel. Cured by tranferring weight a little forward by coming out of the saddle and leaning forward. Does not help though if the corner is drastically downhill where you want your rearend over the back of the saddle.
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Old 01-09-05, 07:25 AM   #4
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I've always been a little skittish on the turns since I dumped my first mountain bike hardcore about 2 years ago.

However, while on campus I could really quickly flick the bike on concrete, but off-road was a different story.

What I did was go to a nice, flat, softpacked dirt area on campus and I just did figure 8's trying to lean over as far as possible to get used to turning. You'll be surprised at how far you can lean a bike, and how you can recover from a slight loss of traction. When I sit down in the saddle, I tend to lose the front end a bit but I correct it. When I stand up, i have yet to lose the front end, but the back end slides around a little bit. Just practice those turns in a "safe" area and you should be fine.

Just remember to brake before the turns. Usually, I tell myself that if I have traction to brake during a turn, I have traction to turn harder instead.
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Old 01-09-05, 09:27 AM   #5
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Countersteering will help you. Most know the benefits of this technique on-road, but it's a sweet tool to use off-road also. Also, as stated, brake before the turn, not through the turn. If you screw up, and carry too much speed through a turn, and absolutely have to brake, try feathering just the back brake.

Good luck - practice (and a few crashes!) makes perfect!
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Old 01-09-05, 02:36 PM   #6
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Since I'm riding a FS bike, would making the rear suspension a little tighter make cornering easier? Or would that just have an after effect on the rest of the trail? (More bounce > less traction?) I guess I'm looking for a good balance between the riding style and control of a ht and the drop abilities of a fs.
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Old 01-09-05, 03:09 PM   #7
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Depends on several factors. Personally with an fsr and proper braking technique you actually gain traction in corners at high speeds. If for example you brake through the corners you suspension (as most do) lock up and chatter. Some squat (lock in a position of the suspension being compressed and some jack (suspension expanded) Single pivots are notorious for this which is why most riders can't use them effectively (the pros don't really use their brakes so the nasty side affect doesn't occur)

There are a lot of factors with cornering but with proper technique, well setup suspension (and braking to work with that suspension) you will have better traction, not worse.
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Old 01-09-05, 06:48 PM   #8
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Also, try to keep your head upright, and if possible your torso. The reason I say torso is because this will keep the head upright. This will give you better vision and proportions. The human eye sees best when it is upright, that is wqhy you see cricket players and baseballers with their head upright. A way of doing this is while leaning keep the outside knee so that it is touching the frame.
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Old 01-10-05, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Depends on several factors. Personally with an fsr and proper braking technique you actually gain traction in corners at high speeds. If for example you brake through the corners you suspension (as most do) lock up and chatter. Some squat (lock in a position of the suspension being compressed and some jack (suspension expanded) Single pivots are notorious for this which is why most riders can't use them effectively (the pros don't really use their brakes so the nasty side affect doesn't occur)

There are a lot of factors with cornering but with proper technique, well setup suspension (and braking to work with that suspension) you will have better traction, not worse.
Huh? First, what are the several factors? Second, you only talk about lock-up, chatter and the notorious nature of single pivot. Finally, what do you know about pro riders?

The laws of physics and my Tokyo Joe's team mates would make quick work of that nonsense. Take it from a once well paid, retired pro rider, you are wrong. Braking or acceleration will compromise traction. Brake before and accelerate after a turn ...pure and simple.

Jeesh, are you try to get that kid hurt?

DHMudRunner,

Here's what my team mates and I do:

Practice on one turn on the course to get the feel of what G's your rig will handle on the radius of that turn. Approach at a speed you know will make the corner ...no brakes please. Feel the bite of the tire and practice that counter steer. Ask if you don't know what that is, most recreational off road riders don't and that's okay. You either do or soon will and then you'll rule the course.

Walk/ride it back up the course and do it again with a little more speed on the same turn. Repeat with a little more mo' each time. Increase you speed and your confidence will grow each time as you get more and more familiar with that turn. Lean that bike into the turn like you've never leaned it before as the speed increases and put that outside pedal straight down with all your weight. Your tires will hold more than you know. Practrice the same way on a turn that goes the other way.

First this then play with your fore/aft position on the bike to squeeze just a little more speed into and through the turn. The trick here is to balance your weight between both tires. Not too far back, not too far forward.

Be safe.

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Old 01-10-05, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac
Countersteering will help you. Most know the benefits of this technique on-road, but it's a sweet tool to use off-road also. Also, as stated, brake before the turn, not through the turn. If you screw up, and carry too much speed through a turn, and absolutely have to brake, try feathering just the back brake.
This is on the money.
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Old 01-10-05, 05:54 PM   #11
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Do single pivot not lockup the suspension under braking (depending on pivot location they either squat or jack)? That is what I have always been told. Fsr limits this to some degree. Both of these things have been explained to me fairly often, unless you have something different? When the suspension locks up the rear your bike will go through the rough stuff chattering (feels like a ht) IMO the chatter would limit your ability to maintain traction over an fsr which, as far as I know, maintains better traction when braking due to the rear end locking up. Active suspension vs non-active suspension under braking.

I don't disagree with the second statement at all. I was simply stating I think with a well setup suspension bike and proper braking techniques (braking before and after a turn) traction would be increased not made worse (as was stated above)

The response you quoted was not in response to the original question but in respose to a question about how suspension affects turning. If I am still wrong feel free to fill me, this is just how I have had it explained to
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Old 01-10-05, 06:25 PM   #12
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No, you said that braking will improve traction in corners and I said it won't.

Yes, FSR is superior under braking and acceleration. As a side note FSR is really a type of Horst Linkage design. FSR is a term coined by Specialized. But it won't improve traction over not braking.

Thanks for not yelling at me.
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Old 01-10-05, 06:46 PM   #13
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Sorry it was a badly written post. I know what I meant ...seriously....braking won't improve traction in corners, anyone should know that, I was simply saying during braking, fsr/horst will perform better than single pivot or a ht in regards to traction. Sometimes my wording doesn't reflect the meaning

Yeah I know that, but everyone knows what fsr is but most don't get it when I refer to horst

I tend to be a calm guy, no worries. Did you dh race?
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Old 01-10-05, 07:06 PM   #14
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Tire pressure, this is very important.You have to play with it to find the one for your style and conditions.Hey Mael, single pivots do jack but it's like most things you adjust your riding to it.
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Old 01-10-05, 07:15 PM   #15
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Definately. I would never knock a rider for riding a sp. Heck does anyone in the top 5 wc ride a multpivot bike? Once you get a feel for it (and don't use the brakes as much as other riders) you won't experience the side affects.

Oh and it was cedric I was referring to up above. Following (or really trying to) down a couple of whistler trails really showed a) how little a good pro uses his brakes and B) how perfect their timing is so they don't loose any speed when braking.
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Old 01-10-05, 07:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telenick
Huh? First, what are the several factors? Second, you only talk about lock-up, chatter and the notorious nature of single pivot. Finally, what do you know about pro riders?

The laws of physics and my Tokyo Joe's team mates would make quick work of that nonsense. Take it from a once well paid, retired pro rider, you are wrong. Braking or acceleration will compromise traction. Brake before and accelerate after a turn ...pure and simple.

Jeesh, are you try to get that kid hurt?
TN, braking and acceleration won't always compromise traction, depending on the terrain. Tapping the rear brakes to get a controlled loss of traction in my opinion can actually help with turning to an extent... And this taken from automotive road racing (which I admit is different from biking) you can actually start accelerating at the apex of the turn to get more speed on the exit. I do know what counter steering is if that is what you were asking. I can get a good drift turn on a road course but I haven't found the balance of traction and slide on dirt/rock and mud trails.
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Old 01-10-05, 08:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Definately. I would never knock a rider for riding a sp. Heck does anyone in the top 5 wc ride a multpivot bike? Once you get a feel for it (and don't use the brakes as much as other riders) you won't experience the side affects.

Oh and it was cedric I was referring to up above. Following (or really trying to) down a couple of whistler trails really showed a) how little a good pro uses his brakes and B) how perfect their timing is so they don't loose any speed when braking.
I have found I break in differant places than I did befor sp. "Oh, I was following Cedric",you suck man! Just to get you back we're still havin' 70f days I rode all weekend.
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Old 01-10-05, 08:16 PM   #18
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Well it doesn't really count. He was riding wit some guys and I saw him...I came up to the gate, he took off and I 'tried' to follow. I have done this to a few pros just to 'seee what its like'...I suck, it really is stupid how fast they go. Cedric and Wade were my two favorite ever to watch. Cedric is sooooooooooooooooooooo stupid smooth and fast it makes me wanna puke. He is KING!

Yeah well...its -10f here with a windchill colder...AND no snow...pure big freaking ice cube...ha..how do you like them apples
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Old 01-11-05, 09:48 AM   #19
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Did you dh race?
No. I'm a XC guy, but I have played with friend's DH rigs. Did your hear that Big Bear is now closed to downhilling? Apparently it was because of the guy who got scewered on that rebar course marker.
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Old 01-11-05, 11:59 AM   #20
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Yeah cali is getting screwed. I know a lot of guys there (off of ridemonkey) and a few are getting rid of their dh bikes completely. Bigbear will still be excepting xc bikes though
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Old 01-11-05, 12:56 PM   #21
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Well it doesn't really count. He was riding wit some guys and I saw him...I came up to the gate, he took off and I 'tried' to follow. I have done this to a few pros just to 'seee what its like'...I suck, it really is stupid how fast they go. Cedric and Wade were my two favorite ever to watch. Cedric is sooooooooooooooooooooo stupid smooth and fast it makes me wanna puke. He is KING!

Yeah well...its -10f here with a windchill colder...AND no snow...pure big freaking ice cube...ha..how do you like them apples
Them's cold flippin' apples
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