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A question about turning in crit racing

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A question about turning in crit racing

Old 04-26-09, 05:47 PM
  #1  
davids0507
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A question about turning in crit racing

My teammate rode in a crit today and mentioned that some dude had been yelling at him that he was being sketchy. The guy doing the yelling told him that he was swerving to the outside before turning, but my roommate replied that this was counter-steering. I think this is not what counter-steering is (he was physically swerving to the right before he turned left), but ignoring that argument, I was wondering how safe this is in a pack situation. Two situations:
1. Say you're leading the crit -- does the guy behind you have the right to expect that you'll turn to the left on a left-hand turn, or can you do pretty much whatever you like to set up your line through the turn?
2. Say you're towards the middle of the pack. I know you're supposed to follow the line of the guy in front of you through the turn (and obviously you don't have a choice with guys to either side of you), but if there's nobody to your outside, is it ok to swerve out a bit to make a better line for yourself?

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Old 04-26-09, 05:54 PM
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im no expert, but seems fine if you're in the front. you gotta get the best line right? as long as it's smooth.

in the middle, follow wheels.
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Old 04-26-09, 06:08 PM
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There is a huge difference between 'counter-steering' and 'swinging-wide'. Sounds like your roommate does not know the difference.
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Old 04-26-09, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by davids0507 View Post
My teammate rode in a crit today and mentioned that some dude had been yelling at him that he was being sketchy. The guy doing the yelling told him that he was swerving to the outside before turning, but my roommate replied that this was counter-steering. I think this is not what counter-steering is (he was physically swerving to the right before he turned left), but ignoring that argument, I was wondering how safe this is in a pack situation.
You're right, that's not counter steering. This is.

Originally Posted by davids0507 View Post
Two situations:
1. Say you're leading the crit -- does the guy behind you have the right to expect that you'll turn to the left on a left-hand turn, or can you do pretty much whatever you like to set up your line through the turn?
From the front, as long as you're smooth, you can do whatever you want. Changing to a wider line just before a turn is cartoon-style racing, not efficient. If you do it smoothly, as silly as it is, everyone else can STFU.

Originally Posted by davids0507 View Post
2. Say you're towards the middle of the pack. I know you're supposed to follow the line of the guy in front of you through the turn (and obviously you don't have a choice with guys to either side of you), but if there's nobody to your outside, is it ok to swerve out a bit to make a better line for yourself?
You don't need a better line unless you're passing, so if you swerve out to move up, fine. If you're just coming back to the same wheel, it's safer and more efficient to just follow the wheel. The exception would be when there's a big accordion effect, in which case, it may make sense to back off before the turn so you can carry more speed through it, ending up in a close draft out of the turn, without all the acceleration (but this is still taking pretty much the same line. Also, in the middle of the pack, things are slower, so there's less need for a different line in general.
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Old 04-26-09, 06:27 PM
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What WR said. Emphasis on the word SMOOTH
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Old 04-26-09, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
You're right, that's not counter steering. This is.



From the front, as long as you're smooth, you can do whatever you want. Changing to a wider line just before a turn is cartoon-style racing, not efficient. If you do it smoothly, as silly as it is, everyone else can STFU.



You don't need a better line unless you're passing, so if you swerve out to move up, fine. If you're just coming back to the same wheel, it's safer and more efficient to just follow the wheel. The exception would be when there's a big accordion effect, in which case, it may make sense to back off before the turn so you can carry more speed through it, ending up in a close draft out of the turn, without all the acceleration (but this is still taking pretty much the same line. Also, in the middle of the pack, things are slower, so there's less need for a different line in general.
Huh? You're saying that going wide in order to get the best line on the corner is stupid? I don't follow you.
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Old 04-26-09, 06:43 PM
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Flatballer: i think his point is that if you're coming back behind the wheel you're behind at the begining of the corner, what purpose is there in swinging wide? you dont gain position, and you lose the draft during the corner.

might be wrong though...
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Old 04-26-09, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by johnybutts View Post
Flatballer: i think his point is that if you're coming back behind the wheel you're behind at the begining of the corner, what purpose is there in swinging wide? you dont gain position, and you lose the draft during the corner.

might be wrong though...
Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

From the front...
^^^
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Old 04-26-09, 06:52 PM
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and im an idiot... moving on...
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Old 04-26-09, 06:57 PM
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Your teammate needs to follow one of the most basic rules of bike racing: Hold your line.

Bob
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Old 04-26-09, 08:06 PM
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1. Say you are leading a crit--

i dont think you'll have to worry about that for a while.
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Old 04-26-09, 08:08 PM
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If someone is yelling at him then odds are he's doing something out of the norm or something considered to be bad form. If more people yell at him then that's a clue to stop doing what he's doing.

Generally hold your line - no swings from side to side or even swaying. When entering the turn in close proximity to other riders - in general - hold your distance between your bike and the edge of the road as a constant throughout the corner. Don't pinch it off or swing wide unless you know you have a pretty clean line (no riders close enough to bang wheels).

When everything is working right it's awesome. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into corners where I'm thinking...."oh poop...we're not all going to fit through this one." only to have us all go through flawlessly. It's a thing of beauty.
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Old 04-26-09, 08:33 PM
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Predictable is as important as smooth. Nothing sudden.

Is your friend pulling a boat behind him? If so, then he should swing wide to make the turn. Otherwise, a smooth arc can start from your current line. No big swerve needed to get it going.
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Old 04-26-09, 08:46 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Huh? You're saying that going wide in order to get the best line on the corner is stupid? I don't follow you.
You want go wide into the corner in that you don't want to be up against the curb or anything, but WR's point is that you don't stay inside, then pop wide then cut across the corner... you already be wide so that you don't have to pop out. No zig.. zag.
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Old 04-26-09, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
You want go wide into the corner in that you don't want to be up against the curb or anything, but WR's point is that you don't stay inside, then pop wide then cut across the corner... you already be wide so that you don't have to pop out. No zig.. zag.
^^^ this
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Old 04-26-09, 10:22 PM
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Here is an example in a P/1/2/3 crit setting up for a turn. Note the centerline. Also it should be said that this course was really a "D" shape so the riders in the background are arcing around the curve coming into the last 90 degree corner.

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Old 04-27-09, 07:29 AM
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your friend doesnt understand what he thinks he understands
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Old 04-27-09, 10:45 AM
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Was this in Dallas? Because I think I was the dude doing the yelling.

Even if you think you're all alone at the front, you might not be... people like to come up fast outside and inside before a corner. Be predictable and smooth and as WR said, countersteering is not going to change your line so that someone will yell at you.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Here is an example in a P/1/2/3 crit setting up for a turn. Note the centerline. Also it should be said that this course was really a "D" shape so the riders in the background are arcing around the curve coming into the last 90 degree corner.
It would be humorous to see the same perspective pic from the Cat 4s and 5s from that same day...with the lower cats starting that same turn almost on the inside curb

You know...if people would just learn to set up wide for the turns in the first place, then there wouldn't be any need for folks to "zig or zag" at all...that's my biggest pet peeve about racing the lower cats vs. masters

BTW...I've yet to have ANYBODY explain to me what "hold your line" really means...well, besides "Hey Buddy, don't go where I don't want you to go!", that is
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Old 04-27-09, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
Was this in Dallas? Because I think I was the dude doing the yelling.

Even if you think you're all alone at the front, you might not be... people like to come up fast outside and inside before a corner. Be predictable and smooth and as WR said, countersteering is not going to change your line so that someone will yell at you.
Those people are idiots and deserve to have the door slammed on them...
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Old 04-27-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
Those people are idiots and deserve to have the door slammed on them...
agreed, though we can debate it anyway. nevertheless it happens and a rider should beware.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:03 AM
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No it wasn't you creakyknees.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sleazy View Post
1. Say you are leading a crit--

i dont think you'll have to worry about that for a while.
Riding on the front in the middle of a crit is different from winning. You know that right?



Anyway, I think I know exactly what David is talking about here. Without going into damning details about a teammate, let's say this crit was a cornering disaster. 6 turn "L" crit over .7 miles. The field always wanted to set up WAAAAAY too tight. I don't disagree w/ WR about the cartoon stuff, but in this case, if you carried your 27-28mph onto the correct side of the centerline (which made you look like you were swinging wide) and coasted or even pedaled through the corner, it was pretty easy to pick up a spot or two, or at the very least avoid the accordian (i.e. smooth pedaling next a guy who was hammering all out to get back up to speed). Most guys were using their brakes at least a little on the turns, and this was in large part due to the terrible lines the pack was taking.

From my experience of riding with this specific pack in SB, followed by the 4s race (Island view crit -- umd was there) the 4s were MUCH better. You can probably take that at face value.

Last edited by kudude; 04-27-09 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:33 AM
  #24  
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countersteering must happen for the bike to turn. what doesn't happen is a visible cartoon steering. you don't need to try to countersteer.... you already do it automagically. just freaking trust your tires
and lean into that turn hard and don't jam a pedal

you wanna be an expert on cornering a road bike ? go get a sport motorcycle, and attend club weekends at a racetrack and do laps with a motorcycle, and learn. you hop on a bike you will understand you can really rail a bicycle and lean it pretty hard and maintain grip
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Old 04-27-09, 11:55 AM
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Kudude, the pic was from mothballs but it's the same course.
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