Cornering Technique for Cyclists




About: Join me on Facebook: St Allen Expert Gale Bernhardt provides helpful tips on cornering technique for cyclists.

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    3 Discussions

    Phil B

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I have read about quickly deflecting the handlebars in the opposite direction of the intended turn to cause the bike to react opposite to the handlebar deflection and enable a more rapid turn in the intended direction. I have not tried it and am not sure I understand it. I had hoped you might also demonstrate that.

    2 replies
    klee27xPhil B

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Phil B: What you're describing is sometimes called countersteering. The best place to see this is at high speeds, especially while going downhill, and turning into a corner WITHOUT slowing down. Or you could do a turn similar to this video, but start out at a slower speed and accelerate into the turn. No brakes. To observe this in a safer manner: draw a chalk line in a circle of about 25-30 feet in diameter. Then ride you bicycle around the circle while maintaining as constant a rate of pedaling as you can. Try to keep your front wheel exactly on the line. You'll quickly figure out that when your wheel starts straying from the line, a quick twitch AWAY from the line is necessary to get back on track. The way to understand it: A bicycle is in dynamic stability. The front wheel automatically turns the direction the bike leans. Notice what that means. The front wheel follows the lean, not the other way around! Once the bicycle is leaning, the front wheel automatically wants to turn to the point where it is in balance, once again. This is achieved through the trail, which is the angle by which the front wheel is attached to the bike. So a bicycle which is in motion pretty much keeps itself upright and going relatively straight. To turn harder, you simply keep the front wheel from correcting all the way. The bike drops deeper into a lean. Then you allow the front wheel to catch up and continue on in balance. This is all automatic reflex. But to initiate a sharp turn at speed without slowing down, it may be necessary to give a little twitch in the opposite direction to get things started. Once you learn this, you'll really be able to test the limits of your traction while going downhill. Be careful.