3 Steps to Faster Corners

Feb 10, 2011 at 0:04
Feb 10, 2011
by James Wilson  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Railing corners is one of the Holy Grails of trail riding - riders who can do it flow faster and those who can't complain about their tires and head tube angle.

The truth is that cornering is just a series of movements that, when put together, help you turn faster and with more balance and confidence. However, as I've learned from guys like Gene Hamilton and Lee McCormack, it takes some thought and practice to really dial it in.

Cornering breaks down into 3 basic steps:


1) Turn with your hips. Set up for a turn with the hips by pointing your belly button the direction you want to go. This will shift your hips to the outside and shift some weight to your outside foot. The more you shift your hips the more you'll want to drop and weight your outside foot.

2) Use counter-pressure to steer into the turn. Counter pressure (which I prefer to the term counter-steering) is when you push forward with your left arm to turn left and push forward with your right elbow to turn right. This gets your bike to lean over and your front wheel to track better through the corner. The more you push with your left hand the sharper you'll turn left, the more you push with your right the more you'll turn right.

It is the complete opposite of how most riders steer into a turn and impossible to pull off unless you are in the right body position on the bike. However, this concept is very important to learn if you want to be able to corner consistently. It freaks some riders out how their bike practically turned itself once they get this concept down.

3) Look through the turn. With all of this hip shifting and counter-pressure you have to look through the corner. Going into the corner you should be looking at the middle of it, not the entrance. Once you hit the entrance you should be looking at the exit and once you hit the exit you should be looking out of the corner at the next section of trail.

All of this will add up to faster, more consistent cornering. I shot a video showing how this works and going over a drill you can use to try it out in a parking lot to see how it feels. It is tough to learn this stuff on the trail which is why you need to put in "parking lot time" to really advance to the next level.

The biggest take home lesson is this – at a certain point just riding your bike will make it harder for you to advance. Some mountain bikers who ride a lot and are considered good riders have the hardest time getting this "new" stuff down. They have logged so many turns using bad form that they had to first unlearn what they had learned, as Yoda would put it.

Practice this stuff for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a week so you can start to ingrain the new habits. Keep in it mind when you are riding the trail and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your cornering technique.

Views: 58,520    Faves: 405    Comments: 14


BTW, I posted an article on Pinkbike a few months back covering some great strength training exercises to help with your cornering. Combine that article with these drills and see the power of integrated skills and strength training for mountain biking.

-James Wilson-



James Wilson is the owner MTB Strength Training Systems, the word's only company dedicated to developing strength and conditioning programs for the unique demands of mountain biking. James owns a training facility in Grand Junction CO and is the strength coach for the Yeti World Cup Team. Visit his blog www.bikejames.com to sign up for your free mini-course 10 Steps to Instantly Improve Your Riding and bodyweight workout.
Must Read This Week









136 Comments

  • + 17
 Hm Intresting. One of my main aims this season! Great Article. Kudos Smile
  • + 2
 scandinavian flick ftw! thats my cornering technique
[Reply]
  • + 15
 I will be practising this, my left turns are fine. However, right turns are my achilles heel..I fall off to the left better also, strange..Any body have the same problem???.
  • + 12
 Pretty common to have a side you feel more comfortable on. I think it all comes down to which foot is your dominant foot that determines what way you prefer to turn.

I notice it in everything from MX to MTB to even riding my sled. It feels least obvious to me in MTB form though. The other 2 I can clearly tell I prefer to lean/turn right.
  • + 11
 that is perfectly normal, just as being right and left handed. At the same time it doesn't mean you can't practise it, you actualy should, because if you don't that will be with you through all your mountain biking regardless of level you are on. I haven't trained it myself for a long time, and I also feel that. When I learned to whip i can also do it well only to one side. Now I started workig on that and riding actualy feels better.

The parking lot is actualy a very good training place. Try a track stand for instance: Do it in several combinations. with front wheel to the left as well as to the right, then with right foot forward, then left foot forward. Go for XC riding and force yourself to change the leading foot. It will suck for first few times but in time you will discover new level of "freedom" of movement on your bike.

What James is suggesting in his programs is to focus more on the weak side in whatever training you are doing.
  • + 37
 Thanks for the input guys,They say the day you stop learning is the day after you die. Sounds morbid, but its true...
  • + 5
 WAKI, leading with the other foot, I like that. I wasn't sure how I'd any extra practice my weak side because there are only so many right hand corners in a trail. I'm going to practice switch foot a lot now! Even the thought of riding like that feels uncomfortable lol.
  • + 15
 ugh...my brain hurts and i wanna ride real bad
  • + 5
 ALL my scars from mtb are down my left side! along with a dislocated left shoulder. my right hand side is untouched lol
  • + 3
 it's just like learning to ride switch on a snowboard! super uncomfortable at first, then natural, and then all of a sudden so many more things are possible! =]
  • + 1
 to go left push harder with my left arm? im sorry what? Surely if i PUSH my left arm i will go right?
  • + 1
 ^^ ianjohnbressat, read charlesr's comment waaay beloew about training wheels/stabilisers and my comment just above it. Hopefully in combination they will explain how countersteering sets up a carve.
  • + 1
 IF your cornering in berms you lean with the bike right?
  • + 1
 he says no, but burms let you get away with the 'bad cronering technique' i must say it is fun getting low but if you watch steve peat and co they do exactly what this guy is talking about.
  • + 1
 @ianjohnbressat i just went outside (its raining Frown ) and tried it out. it works. if you lean the bike over, straighten inside arm, keep weight central, it feels awesome. hang on, im sure thats what james wilson said...
  • + 1
 thanks for that
  • + 1
 For burms just go flat out and push into the centre of the burm and pull up on the exit, can get away with barly turning your bars.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 I dont know how many times i'd kill my nuts with that seat post.
  • + 2
 I'm also sporting one of these and it only happened once during the past season... he he
  • + 4
 its a 'commando post' does what it says on the tin i guess gets in quick and gets out quick with a seat attached
  • + 2
 Adjustable seat posts are fly. some are rather fast and kinda freak me out.. like the gravity dropper. (ca-pow!)
However, you'll get used to it and love it on your all mountain bike..

you'll either make sure you're out of the way, or you can put one leg against it to slow its rate of travel..

My Trail bike is a Nomad and I can't imagine not having an adjustable post anymore.. if you earn your turns by climbing, and like to bomb down with your seat out of the way, Pony up the dough, you'll be happy you did.
  • + 3
 dont get me wrong, i think they're sweet, but that one was moving a little fast
  • + 2
 it's a 'command' post
  • + 1
 oooh! its a command post from where they plot and send out strikes! boom!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 i've sort of discovered this over the past month, but seeing it written out clearly helps. thanks! great article.
  • + 2
 yeh sometimes i start doing stuff cos it looks cool/feels right/the pros do it and then you get told youre doing the right thing - noice one bruvaa
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Hello
The main problem with this concept is the idea of shifting your weight over the contact patch line between both tyres. This I believe is false under many circumstances. Initially the idea may seem correct however it is only applicable at LOW speeds.

During cornering the bike and rider (combined masses) create an overall mass which in turn has its own dynamic centre (centre mass/centre of gravity). This has two effects; 1. it creates a vertical force acting downwards (mass x gravity) 2. it creates a horizontal force (centrifugal/centripetal, ((mass x velocity^2)/corner radius). The result is a force acting diagonally through the tyre contact patch.

From this we can see that the smaller the corner radius the lower the speed (which is clear to anyone). The issue is that at higher speeds you must take into consideration the combined inertial effects of both wheels and its effect on gyroscopics. At higher speeds the bike will always want to pick itself up as a change in the direction of the front wheel to corner creates a torque. It is this torque which picks up the bike, and it is this which you must counter in order to maintain maximum speed in a corner. This torque is created with a combination of you counter-steering and leaning over towards the inside of the corner. If you don't lean and shift your weight away from the tyre contact patch then there will not be enough torque created to counter the bike. Hence you highside and spend the next 5 minutes picking bits of hillside out of your helmets' mouthpiece Razz
  • + 1
 so its knowing when to lean and by what measure
  • + 3
 cheers for using physics to (badly) explain what we already knew
  • + 0
 What you say is true but you gotta be going *hell* fast for that to be applicable.
  • + 1
 Having road raced motorcycles for several years, you have some solid points here... and I think the most important aspect in using this technique to developing the wisdom to know when it is best applied. The concept is simple, given the momentum of the mass, when the front wheel turns, mass wants to continue in a straight line, always. Couple this with the profile of a tire... taking a tire off its center point with momentum and it will begin to fall over. The effect is best felt on a perfectly round tire profile... What can affect this technique are: speed of traveling mass... you don't turn a motorcycle at 5 mph using this technique, and again tire profile. If your tires are very squared off, the sensation will be sluggish until you pass beyond the squared off point and then the bike will fall into the turn very quickly. This is why you see various front wheel tire profile on motorcycle tires... from progressive radius profiles, to very distinct planes depending on the riders style and preference.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Dude this isn't working what the hell??? I did everything they said, set up the cones ,drink two cases of beer and still crashing into every turn. I crashed right into this whole family of gypsies, anyone have some tips on drunk cornering????
  • + 6
 first rule of beer bike- replace all cones with gypsies
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I learned this technique by accident at Ravenshoe in Ontario - ten million sketchy turns and each one has a tree right where your inside hand wants to go. You can't lean your body in, otherwise you bang your head, and you have to push your inside hand down to get around the tree. So now I just pretend I'm trying to get past a tree, and around I go.
  • + 1
 Wonderful point - I come from an area where most of the singletrack is in tight (plantation) pine forest and if you lean like these treeless Coloradians do you will hit a tree.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Well, reading through this thread my mind keeps shouting "There can be no rule book" this is good advice certainly but we all behave/react differently, every bike will respond differently to what we throw at it, if i gave a shred of brain power to physics in a corner i would be biting lumps of bark off the nearest tree, what’s kept me exiting a corner the right way up and still with the bike(berm or any other) has been the entry, get that right and you battle is half won. Simply speaking on approach look for the apex, correct your speed and get the right gear for exit, set yourself up – hold your breath – shut your eyes and say the lord’s prayer, if all went well you will be pointing at the exit attached to the bike and not a spectator if that’s the case rise up over the bars and stamp on the outer pedal HARD.
On a more adult note what im trying to add is not to apply to much process and technique you may get lost in your own thoughts. Feel your way through each corner and PRACTICE, you will find your own way which is right for you and the bike, bare in mind all this advice as it’s from experienced riders but don’t over think it you will feel it when it goes right and you will know when it’s fast….
  • + 2
 Well put. And you must be able to say the lord's prayer really fast.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 also pushing down with your arm is used almost inherently/ If you slow down the process and break down the movements. However I find it much more efficient pulling with the opposite arm in conjunction, i find it less tiring and more balanced. so pushing the inside arm and pulling the outside. another thing I have noticed, rather than pointing my belly button at the corner I do a circular motion with my hips firstly I push towards the outside of the corner and then swing my hips into the apex. I find this forces the bike round to corner keeping the tyres on the edge of their grip. Kind of as if you were using a hula hoop but only half a rotation. This also loads the suspension up and helps give that pop that I mentioned above. The lat thing I have noticed is that tyre pressure plays a big parts as well. Not directly linked to added grip for softer tyres but more to deformation of the tyre during the corner. I have found that with maxxis tyres they deform quite a bit under load and you can squeeze a little more grip out of them and keep a bigger contact patch through higher speed flat corners as oppose to some kenda tyres I have been running recently which have thicker sidewalls and don't deform as much when at the same psi. There fore the contact patch gets smaller when cornering aggressively and hence I have less grip and am unable to corner at the same speed.
Just a few observations from my riding that seem to work for me.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sorry but I disagree a lot of this:

The hips twist is fine but it needs to be entire torso, and only once the bike is angulated else it's useless. The whole point of the twist is to position your centre-of-mass over the contact point of the tyre, the surface area of which wants to be maximised (which is around 45 degrees lean)
Weighting the outside foot: think of how a lever works and what'll happen to your nice leant over bike with a pedal down... it'll stand up again countering what you're trying to achieve.
Looking through the turn is correct but only complementary to twisting the torso. Anyone can crane their neck through a corner but will have no effect on their cornering without properly manoeuvring the torso.

As for pressuring the inside arm... I'd like everyone to please grab their bikes and lean them over to a cornering angle then apply force through the inside (lower) grip only. My money's on the front-tyre skidding sideways. Now do exactly the same thing on the outside (upper) grip and watch that sucker dig in and grip to hell. Outside hand kids. What you should do is, keeping your elbow up and out, use the outside hand push the bike over to the desired angle so it's touching the inside of your leg, then twist those hips, then look through your corner, then rail the shit out of it.

To the haters: yes, I'm a practicing DH coach.
  • + 0
 Wow thanks for the tips professor handlebars. I just set my 59 inch bars to a 33 degree angle on my top secret DH track. HUUHUU HHAAHAA Now I'm a beast in the corners. From one coach to another you shouldn't be dropping soo much insider info like this. Next thing you know some guy in a suit will come and win nationals.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For those that can't fathom counter-steering, think back to when you had stabilisers (or what a kid riding a bike with them on). Kids wants to turn left, so thinks "turn bars to left". The first thing that happens is that the bike flops over on to the RIGHT stabiliser. When the stabiliser touches down, it turns into a tricycle and goes around the left corner. If the stabiliser hadn't been there, kid would have been lying on their right hand side on the floor. This is why as soon as you remove stabilisers from a kids bike, they immediately fall off (or if they are fast, in this example, they will put their right foot down to stop themselves falling and look very confused). This is why you should stat your kids on balance bikes rather than stabilisers so that they learn counter steering from day one.

Note that bicycles are light enough to use bodyweight to help steer them, thus being able to ride no-handed, but if you try riding a big motorbike (600cc upwards) no-handed, there is nothing you can do to steer them and in fact the ONLY way to get them to tip into a corner is to counter-steer. Lots of vids on youtube for this, some better than others though.

To try it at home, ride along no handed in a wide area, and very gently pull one of the bars towards you with a single fingertip and see what happens. Once you believe, then try it on your DH bike at speed.

Now, on DH bikes, the gyroscopic forces of the wheels come into play, making conscious countersteering even more important to switch direction quickly. Most riders believe they are pushing the bike down into the corner, but what they are actually doing is pushing the inside bar in the opposite direction (you can't push a bike down because there's nothing for you to push back against above you - all you can do is make it fall to one side by countersteering).
  • - 2
 The only people I know using steering dampers are weak wristed suspect riders looking to technology to bail them out. Do some long hours training on the bike and you won't have to rely on articles and dampners etc.
  • + 1
 charlesr, that stabiliser example is perfect in describing how countersteering initiates a turn. and why balance bikes are better than stabilisers
  • + 1
 Shishka, when he says "stabilizers" i think he means training wheels...
  • + 1
 this is exactly why gliders rule the roost
  • + 1
 The training wheels analogy is perfect, and is why my 2 year old is learning on a kick bike instead of training wheels
[Reply]
  • + 2
 James' reasoning of WHY countersteering leans the bike over (2.59 - 3.06) is incorrect. Turning the bars on a stationary bike means nothing. Let me explain...

Let's say you are riding down a straight road with a straight line running down the middle of it and you are riding directly on the line. You want to turn left.

Push with the left hand/pull with the right (whatever). You'll notice that when the bars turn to the right that the front tire will steer to the right for a moment - as would be expected. Now, the contact patch of the tires is over on the right hand side of the line, but your centre of gravity is still above the line. This means the bike is leaning to the left and you are all set up to carve to the left.

And so you carve to the left. It is very simple.

And it can't be achieved on a stationary bike. If James' bike had a head angle of 90 degrees and no fork offset, his bike would NOT flop over when it was stationary, but it WOULD still countersteer at speed. Turning the bars on a stationary bike and seeing the bike flop over is just a result of the function of caster/head angle/fork offset/contact patch.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 its a good tutorial but theres one thing i disagree with it may just be personal prefernce but i have also noticed lots of other DH's doing it. i find having a higher seat can help with cornering as by having the seat between ur thighs u r able to move the back end of the bike around more through a corner and definatly on the way out, this is most prominant whilst flat cornering.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you read "twist of the wrist II" it explains the counter steering and weighting outside pegs in great details for racing a motorcycle, I've found that the principals make me alot smoother MTB rider when taking the same ideas from my motorcycle to my MTB bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thanks, I know about countersteering and keeping the bike upright from riding road motorbikes, but I tried the "point your belly button the way you want to turn" idea around a flat corner I know really well (on a DH bike!) and I swear I went round it twice as fast without the usual sketchiness!!! I'm not going to get into the argument, all I know is this simple tip definitely made me go faster...Smile
  • + 2
 Have to agree with "ragged" here ! I've always been a bit nervous going around loose turns and learned about the Counter-steering method a few years ago ... but it just didn't work for me at all. I tried it today with the belly button method and immediately felt 100% better !!! Cool tip !! It was that missing bit of the puzzle that I needed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 From years of riding motorcycles and reading/taking classes on how to ride better: 1) countersteering only works above a threshold speed which is different for every bike. You can see in the video he is not doing it because when you're countersteering the wheel literally turns the wrong way but the back of the bike swings out. Countersteering, leaning your body into the turn, and leaning the bike all have the same effect of turning. Look at pictures of supermoto racing for an example. It has to do with the physics of gyroscopes. 2) You lean the bike on dirtbikes because you want the rear wheel to lose traction and slide a little, and you very definitely have your foot down in the dirt as a stabilizer. For road racing they exaggerate their body lean, and keep the bike upright as possible because when the bike is vertical the tires have more traction than when they are leaned over. Supermoto is great to watch because they use both road and dirt techniques in the same race. Road riders also slide their knee with special pads that has the same stabilizing effect (supermoto uses both foot and knee pads).

I am kinda new to mountain biking but I would think that for flat turns that are not too sharp you want to lean your body more than the bike, and turn your hips. For sharp turns where you want to slide lean the bike more and weight the front tire more to reduce traction on the rear and have your foot ready to slide. But I am not an expert-- I just find it funny that no one can decide how to turn a bike.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 yeah, thanks for the tips!! always appreciated, keep on rocking j wilson!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 a few things I have noticed through actual riding. (i practice flat corners quite a bit as i love them) when on a flat corner it depends on the speed as to whether or not you can lean past the contact point (it takes practice to know how far) for example if on a techy DH track you aren't going to build up a huge amount of speed for a flat corner so leaning a little with the bike can put more force through the bike and you can snap out of the corner faster. This is obviously not relevant for fast flat corners as you will get the tyres to the edge of their grip with out leaning with the bike. A good way of feeling this in reality is by changing tyres, try a flat corner with hi roller 60a compound and then try the same corner at the same speed with a ho roller ST, you can lean with the bike and carry more speed due to more grip similar to hitting the corner slower.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If you really want to learn the counter steering principle, go get your motorcycle drivers license. It helpt me alot in taking better corners on the mountainbike, from xc to freeride.
  • + 1
 Me too. You go to the limits with counter steering, but in bikes it works just at high speed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If your riding style is dialled into the method presented here that's fine. But, the resulting force has to be countered somewhere. Namely down through your outside leg instead of through the steering head axis, energy best spent pushing your bike back up the hill.

Putting your leg or elbow out or whatever is simply a placebo as its does not have a large roll to play in altering your centre of mass. One of the main things is the angle of your arm as this will give you more control over countering the torque at the bars and a good presence over the front of the bike.

All im saying is, don't be scared of the lean, its natural! see for yourself (this ain't me but its a f**ckin good lean)
www.pinkbike.com/photo/6136465

Enjoy the ridin'!!
  • + 1
 But that is a lean into a berm, as pointed out about berms and bad cornering.
The berm is steep enough that he is not leaning at all compared to the berm.
The video in this article is about general trail cornering, not man made bermed cornering.

Great off camber example on snow of everything he has said
mos.bikeradar.com/images/mbukwallpaper/snow_1600x1200_b.jpg
  • + 3
 Fair betsie, I perhaps could of found a bermless example. The snow riding situation changes things alot as he's sliding down the hill and it can be seen that he doesn't have full traction. The reactionary forces at the contact patch are reduced due to any sliding meaning that the physics kinda goes out of the window especially as he is not on a flat surface. When your sliding like that the tyre will be constantly in between slipping and gripping so everything changes. Riding the way this video suggests will not improve the traction at the contact patch it will only create a bending moment around the hub and the contact patch. Wheels are laced in tension in the upright position for a reason.
  • + 2
 I wouldn't say berms are bad cornering, they just allow for a lean that you can't do without a berm. Watch any pro in a berm and they use the berm to their advantage and throw their weight more to the inside than can be done on flat, loose, or off camber turns. Of course this depends on speed, surface, radius of the turn, size of the berm, and what comes after the berm. Thank god for berms and being able to throw yourself into them, but a good rider should be able to use different turning techniques for different situations.
  • + 1
 Counter balancing is one of the most important techniques for high speed flat, and off camber cornering, it's not a myth. I taught motocross with a top ten CMRC for years and you'd be lost without it. Don't say the physics goes out the window either, I am a physicist (well just about). The contact patch and friction co-efficient will remain constant, however static friction wont be such a factor vs. kinetic friction coming into play so physics really doesn't go out the window. To get these "reaction forces" back you must counter-balance to increase orthogonal surface pressure thus increasing friction (traction). Theres your basic physics on it.
  • + 3
 My comment on the reactionary forces are regarding a comparison between the cornering around the cones and the sliding on the snow where the forces are not equal between the two.
The reactionary forces I have spoken about refer to the resolution of forces (Pythagoras) which act in line between CofG and contact patch. The reactionary torque is due to any gyroscopic moments induced by turning the bars or leaning the bike. It effects the torque at the steering wheel. You can obtain equilibrium in the corner by appliying a counter torque to the bars or countersteering. I am not disagreeing on that. you cannot ride a bike a high speed without doing it, anybody who disagrees just hasn't realised they are doing it yet.
  • + 4
 All you guys are right. More berm equals more lean, less equals less. It's all a simple matter of vector physics and static friction. Oh, and gyroscopic precession, and centrifugal force, and how much of a hurry you're in.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Jump for show, corner for dough!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 OMG everybody is a somebody now a days... If you dont agree with what this lesson is saying your wrong. It happens naturally if you corner the way your supposed to corner once experienced enough to actullay need to use this technique. For all of yall that would like to corner faster, this is exactly how to do it. All them dumbass comments that contradicts anything in this lesson should be totally ignored.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Counter steering is fun but there are many ways to corner. I think it is best to practice multiple styles.

Here is some counter steering.

lp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb5316256/p4pb5316256.jpg
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its good to see this on video. I've read the section on counter steering in Lee's book several times, but just didn't get it until I saw it on video. Started practicing the drill today. Cool.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 That's my best effort at explaining this, so all I can suggest is that if you aren't convinced, just try the drill above.

Also, final point. Good article but this bit is slightly misleading: "It is the complete opposite of how most riders steer into a turn and impossible to pull off unless you are in the right body position on the bike." - in reality ALL riders do this on ALL corners but without realising it (think back to the stabilisers bit again). It has nothing to do with body position on the bike. It is only to do with your pressure on the bars.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hmmm... well i think that its faster to give ur brakes a quick tap just before the turn and throwing ur back end through it. basically skidding with no brakes...but my friend likes this technique and it works for sure
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think some folks are missing the point. Countersteering pretty much happens on its own for the most part if you're practicing good technique. The idea is to go into the corner initiating lean my pushing down on the bar.
  • + 2
 I agree the negative posts are missing the points. The technique is valid. At high speeds with good corner support the movements are just more subtle. Check out www.pinkbike.com/video/120425 and you can see him rip through corners with this method.
  • + 1
 Agreed , I recently posted a moto vid where you can clearly see countersteering in action. Notice how my head stays relatively static compared to the bike?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMUZCj-AQAI
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you take a motorcycle course they will teach you the same technique. I remember my dad explaining it to me when I was 16. Good stuff. Works great with practice. Takes some courage to apply it on a steep dirt trail though.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't know what he says but when I am turning my bike it leans to the direction of the corner.He is doing the same thing when he saws us in action.The theoritical part is wrong.
  • + 2
 Actually, if you'd ever ridden a motorcycle you'd know that his theory is not wrong. Counter-steering works. If you turn your handlebars into a corner while carrying too much speed you're done for.
  • + 1
 I think what he was trying to say was to push down on the bars - basically just tip your bike into the corner?
  • + 1
 I agree that counter-steering helps in turning with low speed and when you corner on non off-camber corners like descending or rising U-turns..In other cases I thing you have to lean inside and not outside.
  • + 1
 like he says its counter pressure. it would be interesting to actually measure the bar angle thru a turn. i think you'll see the the bars do actually angle into the corner not away, but only to a certain point. beyond this point its the lean that does all the turning (brings the front tire's contact patch further from the centre line) and the counter pressure not so much "counter steering" (a term likely taken from 4 wheel off-roading where it actually is opposite steering) that induces more lean over.
  • + 1
 WasabiJim - great point about measuring the bar angle through a turn. That is exactly why rally drivers have a big white marker on top of the steering wheel - they can see where the wheels are pointing while they are drifting (i.e. not going in the direction the wheels are pointing).
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ha! and i taught that i was doing corners wrong by not leaning so much to the inside. this is a great tip! nice thing to know, now that i was just about to go for a ride Smile )
[Reply]
  • + 1
 An easy way to put it, is to do a lazy table on the ground and exaggerate counter steering when carry speed through corners. Gotta love carving. Great blog and video.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Now I would love to put my dirty eyes on Gene Hamiltons drills on proper looking ahead and trail scanning, along with some story how to hit corner apex right.
  • + 1
 I'd love to see those as well. Gene has that stuff down to a science and taught me a ton about riding. His Better Ride camps are highly recommended, they'll help you understand these things way better than I can with a video!
  • + 1
 great advice on switching the leading foot waki- hoping to hit a betteride camp in March! I know it'll be the best upgrade i'll ever do for me and my bike!
  • + 1
 As I wrote to Gene once: I do not need any convincing to sign up for his clinics even if it costed double: what I need is lots of money and esteem to convince my wife, to fly over Atlantic to get a MTB clinic Smile


BTW fullbug with all the stuff I wrote above I am mostly parroting James, Lee or Gene and filtering it through my nerditous mind. I recommend that trio to anyone instead of component wieght charts. Since I "discovered" them I didn't had actualy too much opportunities to practice because of the Swedish winter. I just sit on gym twice a week trying my best to follow James program. Right now actualy sick so not doing even that.
  • + 1
 its good reinforced techniques to me so it's all good. it's like martial arts to me. focus/technique/repeat = trail ninja!
  • + 1
 mah we have our own: Concentration, Control, Confidence, Commitment
[Reply]
  • + 1
 james you do a good job of maintaining a neutral spine while you ride the bike! way to stretch those post hip capsules! good movement quality!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Common sense then really.But a nice refresher,i'll try and put some of it into practice on the way to the shop in a minute.:P
Gringo.Beer
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pumptracks with tight berms are a good way to improve cornering You do use some of the things he talked about there, just its alot more fun than in a car park!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just tried this out, works awesome! I'm going to apply this to all my trail riding now, although i still love getting low on berms, nothing like it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 putting your outer elbow higher up will help put more pressure on the fron tire. cheers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nice lesson. very detailed explain. please do more lessons on such techniques like manualing and stuff!, thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 haha cool.. thats how ive always cornered and i hated it cause it feels un-stylish..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been riding for over 10 years, but this is actually some really useful advice! so, thank you.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Mr James Wilson is my savior when it comes to being a better and faster rider...thank you
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can someone help explain the counter-pressure tip - how do you push with your left arm and yet turn left, I can't fathom it!
  • + 1
 ah ok never mind I think I get it..
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I couldn't handle this guy's voice
[Reply]
  • + 1
 counter steering.....looking thru a turn.....sounds like my old track days with the CBR600 ....sigh......
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Really helpful article. Never thought about counter steering before but tried it just now and what a difference!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nice tips. more of 'em please!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Will I be a cornering god if I get this right?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 BETTER RIDE GENE!!!!!! WOOOOOO
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dont where a helmet or anything!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dont where a helmet or anything!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i have to know what bars those are and how wide. gotta buy some
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great tips , Thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 THANK YOU PAYMON.......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sweet, im all over this.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/5464527

Don't lean with the bike, I guess Steve has got it all wrong then.
  • + 2
 missed point is missed
  • + 1
 I guess plasticpylo didn't look at the steve peat shot properly too...

even though he is on a steep berm....his inside arm is straight, his body is (slightly) to the outside, and his hips pointed round the corner....hang on...thats exactly what James said in the article....no?
  • + 1
 Ha Ha, think what you will. It's all amatter of opinion. Keep Riding!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 this could not be more wrong, you should never lean the bike without your body, never should have one arm fully straight, this guy is an idiot.
  • + 2
 Never say Never !!
  • + 2
 Movements are exagerated for the sake of demonstration. For me, 6 years of Gravity Camp and instruction from WC racers proves his technique correct.
  • + 0
 gravity camp must be a great money pit then, a whole life of motocross has taught me different
[Reply]
  • - 3
 thanks pinkbike ill be sure to get my pen and paper out, I hate shit like this why dont you go out and learn how to take a freaking corner on your own,
  • + 0
 LOL thats the truth. i guess this vid could help out beginners or people with OCD, but most of us just blast corners fine. I think they are trying to legitimize our sport to a wide audience by breaking down every aspect of riding.
  • + 3
 yeah, motor learning is always better than theoretical learning for things like this but sometimes a tip or key point that you hadn't thought of on your own can pop out at you (you don't need to go through a james-wilson checklist in your head or anything). No need to be a douche about a good article.
  • + 1
 shishka-then your not counter steering enough when you go in out of shape and way too hot into a corner & a pile of gypsies! see....revisiting technique with alcohol can help too! plenty of my beer bike fails have shown me the light..
[Reply]
  • - 1
 go ride a dirtbike if you want to learn how to corner
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv14 0.043378
Mobile Version of Website