Video: Improve your Cornering Technique with Brendan Fairclough

Jun 6, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesBikes seem to have taken off in this lockdown and it's so cool to see. Maybe one of the best things to come from this tough time. Just wanted to give you guys a few little tips on what I feel is the most fun thing to do on a mountain bike, hit corners. Here are a few easy tricks and tips too hit a berm and a rut safer and faster. No jumping off rooftops or building dirt jumps in this video just a few easy things to take away and try yourself at home. Good luck guys and let me know if it's helped you go faster on your bike. Brendan Fairclough



52 Comments

  • 36 1
 He's so humble, he knows there is a third guy you can put on that list of great cornering dudes, but that would be bragging Smile
  • 23 0
 Ive had a coach at a clinic and a few people also say "elbows out, like a pushup!"

That's not the right way to do a pushup haha. People who do functional sports training are coached to do pushups/bench press with their shoulders at about 45 degrees, although the "bad" pushup he demo'd also has some uses. For a bp, its "torque the bar like youre trying to bend it" to get your shoulders seated and your elbows in a bit. Elbows-out pushups and bp put a huge strain on the rotator cuff and don't produce as much power as a slight elbows-in approach.

in fact, if you slow mo the video you'll see that when Brendan actually absorbs impacts with his upper body, usually his elbows are at around 45 degrees, and rarely anywhere close to 90, so he instinctively puts himself in a nice, strong position.

My 2 cents. Wish I could do anything on a bike half as well as him haha.
  • 16 0
 I would put Connor Fearon up there to as a master berm blaster! And who can forget mr biggest calfs and winning margin ever Chris Kovarik! Hmm many Aussies that are crazy good at cornering!
  • 25 1
 Bryn Atkinson also has insane cornering skills.
  • 2 1
 Bryn A isn't bad either
  • 2 0
 @bressti: was gonna say! Bryn is #1!
  • 1 0
 Fucking Bryn though
  • 6 0
 Stay on the front of the bike. Don’t get left behind.
Lean it over. More than you think you need to.
Turn the bars. More than you think you need to.
Use the length of your arms and legs. Reach for the apex, pull in then extend out.
You see him doing all these things, but not really talking them up.
And yeah... he’s humble, but the best in the business at going one way, then going the other way.
  • 1 0
 Good tips. I've only recently started to actually turn the bars enough, was mostly trying to lean the bike in the past and it wasn't quite working.

Interested in the "reach for the apex..." any videos you'd recommend watching for more of a breakdown?
  • 4 0
 @EckNZ:
Thanks Buddy. I think about biking a lot. It comes from thinking about snowboards even more.
Brendan uses a really full range of motion in his arms and legs in this video.
Watch how as he enters the corner, his arms extend towards the point where the sharpest part of his turn will be. He’s trying to anticipate contact with the apex, letting him control the pressure in that moment better. You can see that what he does with his arms is filled by his legs. As he goes through the dirt throwing part, he pulls his hips towards the bars, making the rear light as he pushes the back wheel in. Being on the front and light on the back is what really allows the back to step out.
What makes this tough is the desire most have as a default to do the opposite of what he’s doing. While turning the bars and leaning more can feel pretty natural and ok, moving to the front of the bike when most would want to slide back (the same mental block as riding steeps) has riders feeling like if they do that, they’ll fly out the front door. People will also intentionally slide back because they thing the weight back therE is what steps the bike out, when it’s the forward position with the sharp push of the legs that does it.
  • 3 0
 @EckNZ: MTB lines have some common parts with motor racing lines but not entirely. In motor racing you can use the grip all the way trough the corner but on a MTB you have very high amount of grip for a short period of time when you push the bike into the corner. Before and after that the level of grip is much lower. So the tricky part is to be able to change directions fast when you generate grip with your whole body. Very important is not to brake while cornering as this gets the bike to go straight up.

I knew I am not good at actually doing corners but only after I started sessions around cones I realized how much I suck. Good news though is confidence is building up after each session - I used brakes before every cone and now only at 2 from 10 : - )
  • 1 0
 @pr3dator: cheers, I guess I'll just have to put the hard yards in with some drills and try to not drag my brakes around corners.
  • 1 0
 @RobbyRideGuide: great stuff, cheers
  • 6 0
 Well...You MUST be the third one on those turns. You are the one of the very few that shakes the dirt of the entire berm when attacking it (I know by standing next to some of them at Mont Ste-Anne since 2008 each year...). In my opinion, your results doesn't match your talent. You are a top 3 rider in my heart for sure.

Thanks for the lesson.
  • 3 0
 That was beautiful man :::tears up::: Bravo, bravo
  • 6 0
 "How to hit a berm, hopefully safer, but more importantly, hopefully way faster..." Brendan's got his priorities straight
  • 8 1
 Raddest dude ever!
  • 1 0
 He is.
  • 6 0
 Definitely better than trying to smash his house apart with a bike Wink
  • 6 0
 I would like to see more tips from Brendan.
  • 5 0
 Love these skills videos. Keep them coming!
  • 30 29
 I hate to arm chair quarterback him but... he’s got a few things wrong!
#1 you should always be looking straight down at your front tire at ALL times. Otherwise, how do you know where your front tire is pointed!
#2 whenever turning (especially at high speeds and with the bike leaned over) you should ALWAYS have your inside pedal down! This is a safety precaution because if your front wheel looses traction, your inside foot is closer to the ground and you’ll be able to save it and not crash!
  • 33 2
 Have i seen you on Friday Fails ????
  • 2 3
 This reminds me of that Jordan you-reach-i-teach video with 11 million views. www.youtube.com/watch?v=v371h_VytjI

Brendan: You reach, I teach..
[slays berm]
Brendan: Look around you!
[points to his signature parts line, race finishes, and Rampage footage]
Brendan: You called me out of quarantine for this $hit???

Sit down.
  • 8 1
 I like to keep my inside pedal down as well. This allows you to clip many pedals and risk crashing more often.
  • 23 1
 #3 let your ibis do the job
  • 3 0
 #4 profit
  • 11 0
 Four people need their sarcasm detector adjusted.....
  • 1 1
 @Augustus-G: nothing with /s
  • 3 0
 Lol! Good one!
  • 5 0
 You forgot correct pedal choice - you must use toe strap pedals for maximum grip.
  • 3 0
 @Augustus-G: I counted way more. 22 people that don't have a sarcasm detector. Lol.
  • 3 0
 @Clarkeh: cut me some slack, I’m still learning Smile
  • 1 2
 @tacklingdummy: sarcasm is a low form of humor. Do better. A real joke isn't saying something negative/wrong and expecting others to grasp that your not negative/wrong. Say what you mean and if you mean to be funny, say something funny.
  • 2 0
 @iggzilla: Sarcasm is a high form of humor and an art. You have to be intelligent to pull sarcasm off and pick it up. The people I know who are sarcastic are the most intelligent people I know. Wink

@Augustus-G Looks like 42 people and counting. Smile
  • 1 0
 Great tips, although I'd like to hear him address braking before and sometimes the rear during the turn. In other slow mo vids you can see the rear wheel braking despite most of the tips stating brake before the turn... thanks Brendog!
  • 1 0
 His cornering technique improved a lot from the "how to cuttie" video he did with pinkbike a while ago, that one had bad advice in it as he described it similar to a flick instead of a g out.
  • 2 0
 How do you get the "pop" mid-berm? This is usually where my tires give out on me and I lay it over.
  • 1 0
 fyi called a shralp or roost
  • 2 0
 That's what squats are for
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: cuttie is fast direction change and you typically use it when there really isn´t much of a berm.
  • 2 0
 unweight, weight, unweight, lean forward a little...unweight at the end for quick direction change, or straight, esp if you get loose!
  • 1 0
 @rcrdrvr: kinda like pumping on the apex of the turns?
  • 2 0
 Excellent...foot position difference was new for me...thank you!
  • 2 0
 Good ol' Uncle Brandog. He's real regular.
  • 2 0
 I hit everything recklessly - and fall off...
  • 1 0
 Great video, keep them coming ????????
P.s thought the humbled video was superb
  • 1 0
 Thanks Brendog! That was excellent, gonna try it tomorrow.
  • 1 0
 Cheers
  • 1 0
 Great tips, Brandog ????

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