bends advice

not the diving kind! when i go round bends i am still very unsure on my bike as to how fast , how wide i should go or how much to lean. i know to keep the one pedal up so it doesnt scrape the floor. it actually makes me nervous especially if a car is behind me and doesnt leave any room for coming out a bit wider. also if the road is a bit gritty i am worried i will skid as i have done this before. i know with experience my confidence will improve but some tips would be greatly appreciated. thanks
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
It's mostly confidence and practice as you say. I'm not a confident cornerer myself, I always slow down, although I know my bike and tyres could probably cope with turning faster. Just do what feels comfortable.

If you know there's a car behind you, claim the lane, and move out early to prevent (well, discourage at least) them squeezing past on the bend.

For things like grit, your best defence is to always be looking well ahead, and planning your route to avoid stuff - that's a good rule for corners or straights.
 

MLC

New Member
I used to ride a motorbike and a lot of the cornering skills are transferrable

know your limit point this is where the two kerbs meet in the distance if your limit point is moving towards you back off the bends sharpening or you are in too hot. If it is moving away the bends opening up you can increase speed and if it remains constant you are just about right.
Look as far through the bend as you can generally where you look on two wheels you go, also if you keep your head up it does not look as fast thereby it seems less scary. Weight the outside pedal whilst in the corner (the one in the six o'clock position) you will really feel the tyre bite when you get it right.
You can brake in a corner but only very very lightly (or you sit the bike up brake v. hard in a short burst and then lean back in) every bit of pressure you apply to the brake you lose in grip it is a balance act best left to the pro's it is better to brake first and get all over and done with and go in slow and come out faster. Knowing you could enter it quicker next time you come across it is better than realising you should have done it slower!
Everyone says stay relaxed easy to say but not easy to do if you think you are in too hot and start to panic flap your arms like a chicken you will look odd but for some reason it relaxes the upper body.

Most mororbike crashes occur well below a speed where the corner gets interesting

Just a few point but add these and add and keep practising and your confidence will grow together as will your speed.
 

moolarb

Active Member
good advice there ^^^

if you do really overcook it and you need to kill some speed whilst cornering, are you best using the front or rear brake or a bit of both - I'm guessing that a rear wheel skid is easier to control?
 

MLC

New Member
moolarb said:
good advice there ^^^

if you do really overcook it and you need to kill some speed whilst cornering, are you best using the front or rear brake or a bit of both - I'm guessing that a rear wheel skid is easier to control?
Sit the bike up brake hand and fast with the front (when braking hard all the force is thrown forward back brake will be almost redundant) then lean bike immediately back into bend this is a quick hard short queeze of the brakes.

A good drill is to practise this and find out where your front wheel will lock and skid when braking. Try it at say 8-9 mph on a flat, dry road get up to speed and grab the front brake hard but not so hard as you think will flip you over the bars and release immediately keep progressively braking harder and releasing immediately until you get to the point where the wheel chirrups (i.e. tiny bumpy type skid) you have now found the limit apply no more braking pressure than this. Try this drill at varying speeds and hone it to the point it becomes second nature.When you do overcook a bend and you have to sit and brake hard you will realise it is a drill well worth practising.
 

Matthames

Über Member
Location
East Sussex
Learn about counter steering. You would probably hear motorcyclists harp on about it all the time. As the physics of a bicycle and a motorcycle are the same, learning about counter steering can help in corners. Unlike motorcycles the forces involved are a lot less so the inputs you put in to counter steer a bicycle would only be small nudges.

A good idea to practice counter steering is to find somewhere quiet and can go at speeds >12mph. Take one hand of the handlebar and with the remaining hand push the handlebar slightly. What you would notice happen is the bike will turn in the direction you have just pushed, ie you push with your right hand the bike will turn right, and vice versa with your left. Using this knowledge you can actually gain better control through the corners.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Some basics hobbygirl...
Left hand bend for instance, you're leaning to the left, keep your right pedal down and press it down...its not to stop the other pedal scraping, what it does is force the tyre into the road giving more grip as you corner.

The other main thing is hazards. Wet surfaces, especially manhole covers and white lines can be slippery, avoid them when cornering.
Grit or debris in the road, same thing.
Then there's the unseen hazards like diesel, especially when its been raining.
Alertness is the key. Ive had a few 'squirrely' moments, but always managed to gather it back together, i assume because of alertness and readiness (or luck).

Beware new tyres as well. My brand new Conti Gatorskins gave me two unexpected moments last night in the wet. All shiny and new...they need scuffing up a bit to get the best grip (gators are accepted as not the best wet weather tyre)
 

robz400

Well-Known Member
Location
Farnham
If you over cook it, the easiest misake to make is staring straight ahead at want you want to avoid, its called target fixation and is what gets most m/cyclists.

Turn your whole head and look right through the corner and the rest of you will follow :-)

as they say in a crash: "little boys go straight on, real men tuck the front wheel!!"
 

Chrisz

Über Member
Location
Sittingbourne
Another thing to consider on a bike is getting your weight on the outside pedal.

So, for a left hander your right hand pedal should be at the bottom of it's stroke and you should put a little extra pressure on it. This helps a helluva lot in my experience!
 
OP
hobbygirl

hobbygirl

Active Member
thankyou all for the tips. i have been on a short run to put some of your advice in into practise. i have practised the quick flick on the breaks and found this a good tip. i was breaking on the bend if i found i was going too fast so this was a good bit of advice to kill the speed before the actual bend. i tried to do the leaning you all advised and although it feels very alien at the moment ( my body wants to lean in to the bend) i think it will come with practise. anyhows i didnt fall off thats a good sign.
 

MajorMantra

Well-Known Member
Location
Edinburgh
MLC said:
Sit the bike up brake hand and fast with the front (when braking hard all the force is thrown forward back brake will be almost redundant) then lean bike immediately back into bend this is a quick hard short queeze of the brakes.
Sorry, but I think that's bad advice. Sitting up is going to put you in the wrong lane with oncoming traffic or could send you over a guardrail Frank Schleck style. If you really overcook a turn and crashing is unavoidable, laying the bike down may well be less disasterous.

There's some good food for thought here, including some stuff about braking in turns.
 

hotmetal

Senior Member
Location
Near Windsor
Interesting thread and I was surprised to hear countersteering and limit points being discussed on a cycle forum! I would agree though, as a motorcyclist and cyclist. Lots of good advice - limit point, counter steeing, slow in fast out, scrub off enough speed before the bend (which is what the limit point is all about). Remember that the rear brake will have little effect but could slide easily, thereby potentially causing a 'lowside'. The advantage is it will probably make you oversteer into the bend if you don't lose it altogether. The front brake is stronger and less likely to slide, but will make the bike sit up and as MajorMantra says, this will make you run wide (and could take you into oncoming traffic). Also, when a front wheel slips, it happens very fast.
 
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