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bike science: more than 1 way to turn a bike?

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bike science: more than 1 way to turn a bike?

Old 05-19-21, 07:18 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by JeffOYB View Post
My impression is that a bike can be either steered or leaned to turn.

That you can keep a bike more upright and turn it by moving the bars. Or that you can move the bars less and lean it over more to turn it.

Who is a bike science expert here?

I understand countersteering. I also see that wiki says "countersteering has not yet been fully described in scientific literature."

It seems like some geometry is more conducive to leaning a bike. ...Fork flop is a front end function. Some bikes have a slack head angle and thus a lot of fork flop and yet don't turn the bike quickly: like a chopper. The front wheel lays over more than it redirects the bike. Other bikes have steep head angle and small bar movements change bike direction a lot.

I feel like I can take slippery corners faster than many riders, especially in cyclocross, because I have more steer in my ratio of lean/steer. The bike might as a result slide in a corner but it doesn't fall down. (This happens in rain, mud, snow.)

In fast flat crit corners I feel like I can go thru them faster because I keep pedaling through the corner, again because of my steer proportion. ...In an UPHILL corner most know how to corner AND keep the power on, but some do get confused because they aren't used to powering and cornering at the same time.
Hi, Jeff! Where did you look in Wikipedia, and found that statement about the science of countersteering? Iíd like to know what they think is missing.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:29 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
After taking a motorcycle training course to get a motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license and buying my first motorcycle at age 50, I learned from from the instructor to push on the right side of the bars to turn right. If you quit pushing the bike will quit leaning and go straight. Counter steering force must be maintained to keep turning. It's not just something you do to initiate a turn. The problem with drop bar road bikes is that pushing to rotate the bars from the drops is awkward. For most, it's pushing down that translates to a small rotation of the bars. With a straight bar bike, counter steering works more like a motorcycle. A common cause of motorcycle accidents is failing to push hard enough in a right turn. The rider panics and quits pushing, with the bike going into the on coming lane. Slowing down also tightens the turn.
A fault I find with the MSF course is that they don't teach about counter-steering.
After passing the MSF course and getting my CO motorcycle endorsement, I bought a bike.

The first time I descended Boulder Canyon, I missed a curve. i.e. I ran off the left side of a righthand curve into the gravel, but thankfully there was enough space to brake to a stop w/o hitting anything or dropping the bike. Shaken, I went hope and began an online search for everything about turning motorcycles. I learned a lot!
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Old 05-19-21, 07:33 AM
  #28  
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Here are a couple videos demonstrating counter steering.

In the first, he engages cruise control at 20mph in a large parking lot, and just pushes one end of the bars at a time, Jump to 1:40 where it begins:

In the second, the video is shot by a bystander and played in slow motion, so you can see the movement of the front wheel. This is at 8mph:
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Old 05-19-21, 07:46 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
After taking a motorcycle training course to get a motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license and buying my first motorcycle at age 50, I learned from from the instructor to push on the right side of the bars to turn right. If you quit pushing the bike will quit leaning and go straight. Counter steering force must be maintained to keep turning. It's not just something you do to initiate a turn. The problem with drop bar road bikes is that pushing to rotate the bars from the drops is awkward. For most, it's pushing down that translates to a small rotation of the bars. With a straight bar bike, counter steering works more like a motorcycle. A common cause of motorcycle accidents is failing to push hard enough in a right turn. The rider panics and quits pushing, with the bike going into the on coming lane. Slowing down also tightens the turn.
Thatís not countersteering! Itís weighting the inside end of the handlebar. Try thus: walk alongside your motorcycle in a parking lot or on a bike driveway, keeping the cycle upright and rolling straight. Lean it over to initiate a turn to the left while turning the bars to the right, and report back.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:50 AM
  #30  
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Counter steering was taught in the League of American Bicyclists road course. To initiate a turn you briefly push the bars the opposite direction you wish to go. This sets the bike lean up for the direction you want to turn. The quicker and harder you do this the quicker the turn. They taught us how to do this to avoid road obstacles.

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
After taking a motorcycle training course to get a motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license and buying my first motorcycle at age 50, I learned from from the instructor to push on the right side of the bars to turn right. If you quit pushing the bike will quit leaning and go straight. Counter steering force must be maintained to keep turning. It's not just something you do to initiate a turn. The problem with drop bar road bikes is that pushing to rotate the bars from the drops is awkward. For most, it's pushing down that translates to a small rotation of the bars. With a straight bar bike, counter steering works more like a motorcycle. A common cause of motorcycle accidents is failing to push hard enough in a right turn. The rider panics and quits pushing, with the bike going into the on coming lane. Slowing down also tightens the turn.
Counter steering is for initiating a turn and cannot be maintained. If you push the bar forward and hold it there you will soon be going down.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:53 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Counter steering is for initiating a turn and cannot be maintained. If you push the bar forward and hold it there you will soon be going down.
I do 5000 miles a year on a motorcycle in the mountain twisties here in CO.
You are wrong.
See post #28, first video.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Thatís not countersteering!
Yes, yes it is.

Repeat after me: Turning a two-wheeled cycle using the handlebars requires counter steering. There is literally no other way to do it.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:58 AM
  #33  
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Maybe the LAB training was wrong, or maybe motorcycles are different, but I don't think so.

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I do 5000 miles a year on a motorcycle in the mountain twisties here in CO.
You are wrong.
See post #28, first video.
So to turn right you push the bars left (that's counter steering) and hold it there? Video please.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:03 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
See post #28, first video.
Ok, so I went back and checked the motorcycle video. When he says "see I PUSH left", he is pulling back not pushing forward.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Yes, yes it is.

Repeat after me: Turning a two-wheeled cycle using the handlebars requires counter steering. There is literally no other way to do it.
Countersteering can be used to shift the weight to the side of the intended turn, but for a left turn STEERING right of center (once already turning) will NOT result in a left turn. Weighting, weight shifting and leaning on a handlebar are NOT countersteering. But please, turn right to go left. It works for UPS. What else can brown do for you, besides stain your shorts?
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Old 05-19-21, 08:04 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Counter steering is for initiating a turn and cannot be maintained. If you push the bar forward and hold it there you will soon be going down.
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I do 5000 miles a year on a motorcycle in the mountain twisties here in CO.
You are wrong.
AlmostTrick is correct. Your bike will not turn left while the front wheel is pointing right (counter steered).

On a motorcycle in a turn, you need to continue pushing "counter" on the bars to counteract the trail forces trying to center the bars. But once in the turn, there is absolutely no counter steering (unless you intentionally counter steer to shorten the turn radius).
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Old 05-19-21, 08:06 AM
  #37  
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People are confusing counterWEIGHT with counterSTEER. This is sad. I grieve for the children of the future.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Your bike will not turn left while the front wheel is pointing right (counter steered).

On a motorcycle in a turn, you need to continue pushing "counter" on the bars to counteract the trail forces trying to center the bars. But once in the turn, there is absolutely no counter steering.
Ok, this makes sense, and is likely where some of the confusion is coming from. Well said!
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Old 05-19-21, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
for a left turn STEERING right of center (once already turning) will NOT result in a left turn.
If you are already in a left turn and you counter steer, you won't turn left?

I don't follow that at all.

If you are in a left turn and you counter steer to the right, the bike will lean farther to the left, you will compensate for the lean by turning the bars left, and the radius of the turn will decrease.

Rule: Counter steering in the middle of a turn tightens the turn radius.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Here are a couple videos demonstrating counter steering.

In the first, he engages cruise control at 20mph in a large parking lot, and just pushes one end of the bars at a time, Jump to 1:40 where it begins:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzk8oyNO708

In the second, the video is shot by a bystander and played in slow motion, so you can see the movement of the front wheel. This is at 8mph:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjA2RsLZknI

Not once in the first video did the bikeís handlebar turn RIGHT when he was making LEFT turns. Pushing on the left bar, once turning, prevents the turn from tightening up and works to establish a balance of energy between speed, angular momentum, acceleration and center of mass and gravity. Itís still not countersteering. Sorry.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:12 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post

On a motorcycle in a turn, you need to continue pushing "counter" on the bars to counteract the trail forces trying to center the bars. But once in the turn, there is absolutely no counter steering.
I think this is a point of confusion here.
I use the term counter to include the opposite pressure while maintaining the turn, but yes, the wheel only briefly points in the opposite direction on the initiation.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:16 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
If you are already in a left turn and you counter steer, you won't turn left?

I don't follow that at all.

If you are in a left turn and you counter steer to the right, the bike will lean farther to the left, you will compensate for the lean by turning the bars left, and the radius of the turn will decrease.

Rule: Counter steering in the middle of a turn tightens the turn radius.
Read what I wrote again. Turning RIGHT OF CENTER in a LEFT TURN (actual example of countersteering) will not tighten your turn. Handlebars and front wheel will always be turned in the direction of the turn, just like in the first video in post #28.

Steel might be real, but countersteering to turn is not.

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Old 05-19-21, 08:23 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Not once in the first video did the bike’s handlebar turn RIGHT when he was making LEFT turns.
Incorrect. The bars turn right at the initiation of the left turn. To repeat, there is literally no way to use the handlebars to initiate a left turn without counter steering.

Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Pushing on the left bar, once turning, prevents the turn from tightening up.
Also incorrect. Pushing on the LEFT bar, once in the LEFT turn, resists the trail forces of the front wheel from straightening the bike and ending the turn. It prevents the turn from loosening up.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Turning RIGHT OF CENTER in a LEFT TURN (actual example of countersteering) will not tighten your turn.
Still incorrect, no matter how many times you write it.

Counter steering is the only way you can use your handlebars to:
  • initiate a turn
  • change the radius of a turn
When in the middle of a turn, most people never use counter steering to change the radius of a turn, but it is a valuable skill. I've used it many times to avoid debris or potholes that I see at the last moment, or an oncoming vehicle that's crossed the center line.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
People are confusing counterWEIGHT with counterSTEER.
Others completely misunderstand the simple physics of counter steering.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:38 AM
  #46  
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After thinking about it, I use the Jeannie method from "I Dream Of Jeannie." I don't have to blink my eyes like Jeannie, either. I think it, and it happens.
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Old 05-19-21, 08:45 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Hi, Jeff! Where did you look in Wikipedia, and found that statement about the science of countersteering? Iíd like to know what they think is missing.
(replying to myself)

Iíve just been reading the Wiki article called ďCounter-steering.Ē There are a lot of other articles which come up in the list of articles, and I donít know if they are consistent. The one I found shows two kinds of counter-steering. The first one is ďby momentarily steering counter to the desired direction ("steer left to turn right").Ē

The second one (somewhat down-page) in called ďcounter steering by leaning,Ē which would have to be what we do when we no-hand.

In both cases after starting the turn, there is the trade off between keeping the upper body in-plane with the bike frame, leaning the upper body into the turn more than the bike frame (better pedal clearance), and leaning the upper body away from the turn (less pedal clearance and the tires are running closer to the sidewalls).

This Wiki article clarified that for both kinds of counter-steer, the counter-steer is for initiating a turn. The bicycle must transition from the steady state of vertical, stable motion in a straight line to a (simplified) steady state of leaning, stable motion in a constantly curved path. I call this ďsimplifiedĒ because a curved path can have varying radius. I think the two modes of counter-steering can force the bike to transition from the leaned mode back into the vertical mode.

I havenít read the whole Wiki page, but I donít see where that author says something suggesting the science is incomplete. What I see is that the steered and leaned transitions between two steady state types of path are explained, and the distinctions between steady motion and transitions are made pretty clearly. We werenít taken into the math, but it seems to me one can create math models for everything that was discussed. With my ancient history in college physics, nothing looks wrong or omitted to me, at least assuming smooth roads, rigid frames and wheels, and of course the ubiquitous ideal sphere from physics textbooks.


Question: where is that sphere when Iím pedaling?

Ken
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Old 05-19-21, 08:50 AM
  #48  
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I think perhaps the confusion is in the term counter "steering".

What you are doing is maintaining your balance in a lean by pushing against the inside bar.

Example: You are turning left, leaning left,
You push against the left bar with your left hand to maintain your balance and keep your body up.
If you pull left with your left hand to maintain balance, you would decrease the radius of the turn, your body would not be able to balance and you would fall into the turn or you would counter too quickly and flop the other way.
If you pull right with the right hand to maintain balance you lay the bike down more on its left side (pulling yourself across the top of the bike).
If you push right with the right hand you again decrease the radius of the turn while shifting weight over the bike and laying it down, eventually losing traction on the sidewalls.

Pushing against the left bar allows you to balance and maintain traction through the bike into the tires/road.

When people bail in a turn they usually are going too fast and get afraid of the steep lean and try to right themselves mid turn by pulling the right side of the bar. That increases the radius but shifts their body weight to the outside and they can't maintain the turn so they wander into the oncoming lane. The option then is really to decrease speed while maintaining the turn which is difficult if task loaded and usually one learns to decrease before the turn and then power up through it.

It may be called counter steering but its really counter weighting.

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Old 05-19-21, 09:01 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
A fault I find with the MSF course is that they don't teach about counter-steering.
After passing the MSF course and getting my CO motorcycle endorsement, I bought a bike.

The first time I descended Boulder Canyon, I missed a curve. i.e. I ran off the left side of a righthand curve into the gravel, but thankfully there was enough space to brake to a stop w/o hitting anything or dropping the bike. Shaken, I went hope and began an online search for everything about turning motorcycles. I learned a lot!
Hmm I took both the Basic and Advanced MSF courses years ago, in the early 90's, and the instructors talked about countersteering at length. It was a skill we had to demonstrate repeatedly to pass the course.. much more so in the Advanced course--- but even in the Basic course as evasive maneuvering. Have they eliminated this from the POI?
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Old 05-19-21, 09:10 AM
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This train is right on schedule.
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