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Crit Cornering Questions

Old 04-26-10, 06:44 PM
  #1  
chefxian
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Crit Cornering Questions

First off I searched and could not find the answers.

Ok, my question is what are the advantages or are there any advantages while taking inside or outside line in the pack while cornering? It seems the inside is faster but more dangerous. What do you recommend as being the best way. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:54 PM
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Are you talking about sneaking through on the inside? It's generally thought of as both a jerk move and dangerous to squeeze through on the inside. It's worth considering that, while you may not be especially concerned with the danger of crashing and the plausible costs, (medical and equipment wise), often is not you who's safety and bank account will be most compromised by such a maneuver. It's much better to respect the safety margin, in my opinion.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:55 PM
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there are riders much more experienced than I. that said, i feel what i observed in two cat-5 level races (collegiate D's) could be of help

take the inside approach. in lower cats, it's not only faster, it's also safer. many riders in the lower cats simply don't know how to corner and will often over-cook the corner and cut the apex early. as such, they'll shoot out to the outside. i have seen this happen thrice in two races, two of which resulted in crashes.

this, of course, assumes that you can corner correctly on the inside and won't pose a risk to other riders. go to a parking lot with curbs and practice cornering. during an actual race, all you need to do is make sure that the guy outside of you realizes you are there and hopefully won't ride you into the curbs as most in the lower cats will let you through.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:14 PM
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Centrifugal force takes all corner crashes to the outside. Always opt for the inside of the corner.

Also, don't fool yourself into believing that the corners are dangerous and the straight lines are the safest. The worst crashes take place when the pack is moving in a straight line.

But above all else: practice practice practice. Alone and with friends.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Centrifugal force takes all corner crashes to the outside. Always opt for the inside of the corner.
This.


Hence the saying that trouble comes from the inside out.

Note however that this does not mean one should make an abrupt move to the inside f'ng up everyone else's line in the process lest one be yelled at.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:34 PM
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I often get pinched or sqeezed when I take the inside, so I usually end up sticking on the outside. Although I must admit to having been taken out, or nearly taken out, by crashes inside of me.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:37 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I can corner ok but I did pull a dick move twice in my race yesterday passing on the inside. I guess that explains why I didn't get any space from the guy next to me. Ok, I will work on the inside cornering. When do cat 5 guys stop doing dumb ****?
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Old 04-26-10, 07:38 PM
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If you're at the front of the pack, take whatever line you'd like.

Otherwise, I try to stick to the inside if possible, but it's not always.

Inside/outside is not really something I worry about too much, just make sure not to brake going into the corners and you'll save lots of energy, no matter what line you take.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:40 PM
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It depends on the corner.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chefxian View Post
Thanks for the tips. I can corner ok but I did pull a dick move twice in my race yesterday passing on the inside. I guess that explains why I didn't get any space from the guy next to me. Ok, I will work on the inside cornering. When do cat 5 guys stop doing dumb ****?
When they upgrade to 4. Then they do dumb **** in cat 4 races.

And the racers doing the dumb **** are often the ones yelling at others to "hold your line"
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Old 04-26-10, 07:44 PM
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The correct answer is you take the line of the person in front of you...

The question is really which side of the field is better

Some courses have turns in different directions, then you can't always be on the inside or outside unless it is strung out or you constantly switch back and forth.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:50 PM
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Hi,

All of the really cool bike racing books say take the inside line to reduce the risk of being taken out in a crash and in my experience that is generally true.

However, taking the inside line in a large pack may be significantly harder because you will also have to corner more slowly to stay on the inside. Outside isn't the fastest way through the corner, but you will have a faster exit speed and will therefore have to accelerate less to achieve the straightaway speed of the pack.

It's sort of a pick your poison.

As another cool bike racing book (Roadie) notes, "A single rider negotiating a corner has the freedom to select the very best line through the turn... When you have a hundred bike racers riding through a 90-degree turn, riders must adjust to one another. Consequently, the field will slow."
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Old 04-26-10, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chefxian View Post
Thanks for the tips. I can corner ok but I did pull a dick move twice in my race yesterday passing on the inside. I guess that explains why I didn't get any space from the guy next to me. Ok, I will work on the inside cornering. When do cat 5 guys stop doing dumb ****?
when you cat up to 3's while they dwell in the 4's, but then they'll still pull idiotic moves in a 3/4 field. while i'm not completely innocent, i have yet to take anyone down (one sketchy turn in 4 races thus far, but didn't make contact with anyone), knock on wood...
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Old 04-26-10, 07:59 PM
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To reiterate what everyone else has said, inside=safer. If someone tries to divebomb the corner on the inside, I'll try and block them by moving inside to block them, forcing them to slow down.

In your typical 4 corner crit, it's pretty easy to keep the inside line, but in courses with turns in different directions, it's a lot tougher to do that. Instead, you want to stay in the front 1/3 of the pack so that you can go through the corner with speed and not have to worry about people brake checking and getting bunched up.
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Old 04-26-10, 08:09 PM
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First, understand that everyone has a responsibility to be reasonably safe.

The very first rider in the corner, if clearly leading (no one "flying in formation" to the left or right, only single file behind), can take whatever line they want.

If you have anyone flying in formation, you CANNOT take any line. You must take a line that takes into account the formation flyer/s. If you cut them off, that's not good. It may be legal, but it's not good. Put yourself in the other rider's position - how would you feel if your front wheel was next to another rider's crankset, then he dove into a turn so his BB shell was over the curb, putting you a foot onto the sidewalk? Fair? Nice? You like it? Would you pull the move on your mom? Your brother? Your wife? Your son? You want to do it again, on every turn? If the answer is no, then you shouldn't do it either.

Is it someone you want to take out? That's a different story.

When you take a line in a turn, imagine a highway with lanes. Everyone has a lane, about 2 feet wide. If you break into someone's lane, you're in the wrong. If you blast in on the inside and force someone to radically alter their line to stay upright, you're in the wrong.

If you go take a lane that's empty and no one has to alter their line (whether they do anyway or not is not your problem), then you're okay.

For inside/outside choices, you have to use judgment.

Inside: good default, good in wet weather.
Outside: faster, sometimes better in fast crits or in stable corners.

Disadvantages:
Inside: slower. Requires more jump. May get really boxed in if the outside comes in really hard inside.
Outside: crashes slide outside. longer distance. Less chance for saving a dicey situation.

Wild card factor: Wind. If it's windy, you may find it good to be outside just because it's more sheltered.

Notes: every time I've crashed in a wet race, to my recollection, I've gotten taken out from the inside by a kamikaze rider pulling a dumb ass move. I've been sitting in the first 3-10 riders almost every time. It's happened to me in my best (dry) P123 races too. Every single time I was "on the inside", i.e. the most inside line that a rider could take without crashing.

I've also made it around spectacular last lap crashes in the rain by riding to the outside. I remember the last one vividly - I was sitting maybe 15th, just before a right turn into a 200 meter uphill sprint. Rain. Invisible dip on the inside, takes out lots of unsuspecting racers at the limit. We came into the turn full steam. I was already too far back so I stayed left/outside, and went really wide into the turn, maybe 20 feet to the left of the field. The 4th or 5th rider slid and fell, taking out the next 10-15 racers. They all slid outside. I was like a surfer in a pipeline, guys were nailing the curb just behind me as I scurried around the corner. I placed but outside the money.

cdr
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Old 04-26-10, 08:13 PM
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I like the outside lines. I find I almost never have to trim my brakes. On inside lines, I find myself slowing considerably to avoid being chopped. Granted, the last race I did had 86 starters and the one before 106. However, in the rare occasion I'm sitting near the front of the race I'll take inside line all day long.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:12 AM
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In my (Cats 5 & 4) experience, it makes more difference how close you are to the front of the pack. At or near the front and you don't have to slow down for the corner.

Also, on many courses, the turns can be very easy at the VERY back of the pack as well, since you can soft pedal for a long time before the corner and let a little gap open between you and the pack, and then coast or pedal through the corner and your back at the tail of the pack. Since you go in with more speed, you don't have to jump at the exit.

If you're in the 2nd half of the group, but not at the very back, you're forced to slow and surge a lot some times.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:27 AM
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as usual, when asking crit question, I defer to crd.

what he said, +1.

Another + for the outside line is that you should be able to pedal through the corner a bit easier (less lean = less clipping of pedals).

Also, if I'm planning on attacking, I like the outside as I tend to carry more speed and have a better "sneak attack" position as I always feel a bit less conspicuous on the outside.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:31 AM
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Physics. Not just a good idea - it's the LAW.

- Inside. I naturally float there. Guys overcooking go to the outside. Tons of wrecks from riders getting pinched.

On the inside you have to keep an eye on the outsiders pinching in if it's a slow corner. Also have to watch for riders trying to sneak by.

FWIW - the faster crits where I have done well I have taken a 2nd to outside line.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:58 AM
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The inside is usually 'safer' but you'll be jumping out of most every corner. Fine if the course is long and rectangular, but if it's a tight course and has more than four corners, you'll be SOL rather quickly IMO.

It does feel good when you get in the sweet spot behind someone and take the perfect lines through the turns.
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Old 04-27-10, 09:14 AM
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This thread reminds me of a crit I did in New Jersey last year. There was a rainstorm the previous night, and at the starting line, the official said, "There's some sand and grime on the inside of turn 1. Don't take a tight inside line there. There's plenty of road to corner safely there - please keep your head on." He was right - the roads were huge.

On the first lap, everybody heads toward turn 1, on a slight winding downhill. I see one guy sprint up the inside, and as the pack takes Turn 1, he hits the sand, plummets, and immediately takes out three other riders.
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Old 04-27-10, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
This thread reminds me of a crit I did in New Jersey last year. There was a rainstorm the previous night, and at the starting line, the official said, "There's some sand and grime on the inside of turn 1. Don't take a tight inside line there. There's plenty of road to corner safely there - please keep your head on." He was right - the roads were huge.

On the first lap, everybody heads toward turn 1, on a slight winding downhill. I see one guy sprint up the inside, and as the pack takes Turn 1, he hits the sand, plummets, and immediately takes out three other riders.
Watermelon?
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Old 04-27-10, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by hurley.girl View Post
Watermelon?
Lol. You got it.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Lol. You got it.
The Women's 4s got the same warning, but they had actually done a nice job cleaning out the sand between your race and mine. We just had the usual problems on the second real turn.
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Old 04-28-10, 11:27 AM
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Something else to consider, it never hurts to let the guy in front of you know if you are coming up on his inside or outside. I've had lots of people next to me just say, outside, to let me know they were there, so I didn't unknowingly block their line.

Also, my worst crash was on a straightaway in a road race. Guy rubbed wheels and took a bunch of us out.
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