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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 01-28-15, 08:17 AM   #1
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Suggestions for cornering on the road?

Any suggestions for faster and safer cornering for road (asphalt)? Although, with an increase in speed, of course, the safety factor declines. Also, would tire pressure affect cornering as well? For example, would one be able to corner faster and safer at 100psi instead of 120psi? Particularly, would the lower pressure allow the tire to flex more, and therefore stick more of its tread on the pavement?

The psychological factor is an obstacle for me as well, because few years ago, when I just started getting back into cycling after a 20-year hiatus, I fractured my left elbow into three pieces and broke my left hip, which were not from cornering; however, the fall has affected my confidence in the techniques for riding faster. Intellectually, I know the cornering techniques. 20 years ago I was even able to push the bike more to the ground, put massive pressure on the opposite pedal and keep my upper body more upright (or leaning less than the bike). I seem to have lost my edge due to age and I hope to race again, but of course this will not happen unless I get some decent bike handling skills back.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hi, for starters, your bike should lean less than your body.

I couldn't quickly find a similar head-on shot of a pro cyclist. This is the best I could find: photo

However, even if you have great technique, if you can't get over the fear factor, then cornering fast will be difficult. You can try to build confidence by practicing in a quiet industrial park on a weekend to build confidence. Find a relatively short loop and keep doing laps. Be sure to go clockwise and counterclockwise so that you practice right and left turns.

I'm sure Racer Ex will eventually contribute to this thread with more and better advice.
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Old 02-01-15, 10:35 PM   #3
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Determining the maximum tractive capacity of a pneumatic tire isn't a simple function of pressure. There is also tire compound, sidewall construction, momentary load, the style of the rider. There's a reason Formula 1 tire engineers make big bucks.

That said, too high a pressure can reduce the available contact patch and ultimate cornering forces. Too low of a pressure can cause "tire squirm" as the sidewalls flex. Its usually best to stay within the manufacturers recommended range until you have evidence that isn't the best solution. There are a number of books on performance cars that describe tire dynamics, Tune to Win by Carroll Smith is a great choice.
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