Video: Jesse Melamed's Top Tips for Mastering Tight Corners

Mar 20, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesA fun little move to make tight corners easier and more fun. Let me know if you learned anything from this video! Jesse Melamed



111 Comments

  • 12 1
 I remember seeing a EWS analizing video a few years back on a paricularly gnarly steep tight corner in La Thuille I think it was.
About half of the riders lifted their real wheel pivoting around the corner and half just rode it.
The interesting thing was -the two fastest oft the day Mr Rude and Mr Hill did not lift the rear wheel just "riding" around the corner.
  • 17 0
 Sam's the best in the world at analyzing that doing it the hard way isn't worth the fraction of a second it saves vs the risk. Take the easier and smoother lines is how you win the day
  • 12 153
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Mar 20, 2021 at 16:29) (Below Threshold)
 Switchbacks suck and the trail builders building them are idiots. Best way to deal with them is bring a shovel along and make a steeper knarly shortcut on the inside and cover the old line with logs and debris.
  • 40 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Tell That to the sucky medieval „Trail builders“ who created those ancient awful switchback trails in austria, switzerland and italy. How dare they build these „sucky“ unflowy pedestrian mountain pathways

But username checks out, enjoy your bikeparks
  • 5 57
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Mar 20, 2021 at 20:44) (Below Threshold)
 @wildedge586: it's never too late to improve a trail.
  • 37 0
 In my video I did say that this is generally not the fastest way to ride a corner, unless you're Flo Nicolai. It's just a fun, and different way to approach tight corners.
  • 4 92
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Mar 20, 2021 at 21:09) (Below Threshold)
 @JesseMelamed: If your on a 60 pound double crown e bike it's not fun. You coulda brought a shovel and made an edit on how to improve trails instead. I can barely get my back wheel off the ground, let alone pivot it around like some trials jibber jabber.
  • 100 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Actually this move is absolutely necessary for double crown forks, because they can't turn as tight as a single crown. It takes a little extra skill but I have been able to learn this on my e-bike as well.

I am all for trails with good flow, but I am against changing a trail because it is too difficult for you. I like a challenge and this trail is a good example of one where I would be looking forward to the challenge of trying to nail each and every switchback in one go.
  • 21 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Well, if there wasn't any solid evidence of a donkE who's willing to sanitize trails cause they suck... there is now.
  • 15 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: @DoubleCrownAddict: As Jesse (more subtly) pointed out - had you thought about improving your riding instead of complaining about a skill you cannot yet do/a trail you cannot ride properly?

As a coach, I recently wanted to teach the kids I teach how to endo turn, but I couldn't do it well yet. So I practised. Every day I did a few on the road, then started bringing it to the trail, and I'm no god at it yet but I'm not bad now. The kids have enjoyed learning the skill and so have I. Sure, it might be harder on an e-bike but if you don't try you sure as shit won't be able to do it.
  • 24 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: so just because you’re not skilled enough to ride it you’re telling someone who is skilled enough to change the trail?

You’re the type of e moped rider that makes people complain about ebikes. Maybe get fit and stop whining.
  • 13 1
 Its your world and were all just livn in it @DoubleCrownAddict:
  • 4 51
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Mar 21, 2021 at 6:17) (Below Threshold)
 @Eatsdirt: Not sanitizing, improving. I stand by my original point that tight switchbacks absolutely suck and any mountain bike trail builder building them is an idiot who should never be allowed to design another trail.

Crap corners like this just aren't fun, especially on today's long slack bikes. The sport is evolving, trails need to evolve also. It's not hard to make a shortcut and it makes the trail way more fun. Riding a steep inside line also takes skill, just not trials skills, which I have zero interest in learning. Cause it's not fun for me, but each to their own.
  • 15 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Of course a sanitizer sees sanitizing as an “improvement”. The problem isn’t the trail, it’s your skill set, your 60lb dual crown ebike, or both.
  • 36 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict:

In a rush I accidentally upvoted you. Apologies to all.
  • 4 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: haha double crown ebike, ride a real bike intended for the way trails are built and you'll find the fun.
  • 17 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: repairing erosion from shuttlecocks like yourself isn’t great fun either. Please Improve your skills, get a more appropriate bike and recognize that many of our trails are historical pathways that do not need updating because you bought a new bike.
  • 7 0
 @Doublecrownaddict is clearly just trolling don’t give him a platform! @JesseMelamed
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict:

Are you the kind of E biker thst leave their seat down to climb up hills, making harder for themselves?
  • 2 0
 @enduroNZ: @DoubleCrownAddict is either trolling or is the definition of a self entitled donkey with low skill who wants trails "improved" just for them rather improve themselves.
The same idiot has probably never picked up a shovel yet complains about trail builders
  • 5 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: we are finally getting a good picture of you. You admit to riding a 60 pound ebike (not surprised there). You think that tight turns (which are found in trails all over the world) are too hard for you. You think that because you lack the skill to navigate these turns on your boat-anchor of a bike that they should be removed to make you feel better about yourself.

You are exactly how I pictured you.
  • 1 0
 I bet @jessemelamed didn't think this would be the most upvoted thread on the video (which was really cool and encouraging). The upside is that it's good to see so many people standing up for riding trails as they are instead of dumbing them down Smile
  • 3 0
 @rodponton: I did not. But these are conversations that need to happen so it has to happen somewhere!
  • 1 4
 @rodponton: Making a steep knarly inside line isn't dumbing a trail down, it makes it easy more fun than doing a ridiculous dead stop trials move that has nothing to do with the sport of modern mountain biking.

Switchbacks were only designed for hikers, so that frail old grandpa hiker won't slip on the steep terrain. Any downhill mountain bike trail that has them should be rerouted and properly fixed, ASAP!

@jessemelamed: Do the sport a big favor and make up for this trials article atrocity by doing a video on how to fix bad trail designs with horrible switchbacks. Thanks in advance!
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: You say “making a steep inside line isn’t dumbing a trail down.” Then you go on to say that making this inside line makes the trail easier.... sooo that is the definition of dumbing it down. Thankfully the biking world doesn’t have to bow to your definition of what modern mountain biking is, as you clumsily bumble your way down a trail on your lame 60 pound dual crown ebike. Sorry you lack the skills to navigate tight tech, some people on practical bikes enjoy that stuff.

Also, “gnarly” isn’t spelled with a “k”.
  • 1 3
 @TypicalCanadian:

knarly
/ (ˈnɑːlɪ) /
adjective
informal same as gnarly (def. 3)
www.dictionary.com/browse/knarly

Canadians are typically smarter than you are.
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: now you’re trying to dumb down words (by using the informal [incorrect] version of the actual word) in addition to biking trails... well enjoy getting “knarly” on easy trails on your 60-pound-boat-anchor-electric-bike.
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: wait... did you try to make the case that including the word "knarly" in one's lexicon is a sign of intelligence?
While also making a sweeping generalization about the people of an entire country in an effort to tell @TypicalCanadian that he's dumb?
Sweet lord baby Jesus as a mischievous badger...
  • 4 0
 Thanks Jesse. I haven’t spent a million hours of practice on endos, but when I do try, I find I always have trouble getting the whole bike to rotate. It’s like the bike just kinda jackknifes a bit and I’m left facing the same direction on the trail as when I started. Any tips on getting that to happen more like it’s supposed to?
  • 4 1
 Try relaxing more, and also kind of hop into the endo.
  • 11 1
 Yes, you need to initiate the movement before you apply the front brake.
  • 14 1
 Jesse said - try to turn your whole body. Breaking it down more - turn your bars where you want the bike to go - push your hips where you want the bike to go Start small then gradually do more to the point you may overdo and over rotate. You'll probably be off vertical axis and tip over so not the worse idea to try on grass. Once you've got the balance point then you can tweak the subtlety of your movements. Also most have a strong and a weak side so practise both ways and either foot forwards.
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: Depends on the approach, speed and pitch. Some turns are actually uphill around a stump or in rolling terrain. Therefore, braking gently first than using body language and suspension force to do an endo turn.

Speed, in which is the overall determining factor what method should be executed.

If your roasting an approach to a switchback and lunge body weight frwd first than grabbing brake; well you get the picture.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: that's not really what I would call an endo turn but good point.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: As JM said, whatever you want to call it
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: Sorry missed where he mentioned uphill corners.
  • 5 0
 Biggest thing that helped me was looking back over my shoulder. I would focus on my front wheel during the endo instead of allowing my body to follow the movement of my head. It’s like the age old 2 wheel theory- wherever your eyes are your body will follow
  • 1 0
 work the hips
  • 4 0
 Send your whole body first in the direction you want to go and the bike will follow. Try not to push the bike round with your legs.
  • 12 0
 There's been a few good responses to your question, but to add my own: focus on what I said on the second corner in this video. It really helps to 'pre-load' your body, so as you turn your bars, let's say to the left to match the video, you can push your weight forward and turn it to the left as you are turning your handlebars. It's one swift motion and that's what all the practice is for! Parking lot practice first, and then the trail.
It isn't easy, but once you've figured out the movement you'll be able to apply it to any corner.
  • 1 0
 @Jordansemailaddress try it in a parking lot on flat ground, you'll get the hang of it pretty fast. You'll also get a feel for how much "force" you'll need for different angles
  • 2 0
 This move really needs a lot of practice and commitment. And expect to go over the bars a few times when you're learning this skill. Ryan Leech has a very good lesson on his website on how to do endo turns. It requires learning how to do,stoppie and nose wheelie before you can perform an endo turn.
  • 6 0
 Top Tip, be Jesse
  • 6 0
 Check!
  • 1 0
 Great vid Jesse! ????I’ve been able to do this on a couple trails here in Oregon. One I had never been down and got kinda surprised and remembered seeing the endo corner in some race footade, it worked. Next time I took a bit to analyze it some more. Seemed that the key was keeping the shoulders and torso a bit inside the bike and the turn to keep the swing out slowed some and not high side it, and letting off the front brake earlier in the swing to hit the sweet spot.
  • 1 0
 Sounds about right!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the video and tips. Do anyone know how that would compare to a scandi flick-type rear wheel shift before the switchback? Basically come in as wide as possible, but just before the switchback shift the rear wheel on the other side of the trail close to the inside bend of the turn. In some cases, I've noticed it helps smoothly ride around as the front wheel can cut from outside to inside, and the rear wheels follows nicely. Does that make sense?
  • 4 0
 Great tips Jesse - thanks for posting.
  • 2 0
 Glad you enjoyed it!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 4 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 2 0
 Now I want to revert to moto setup, having first learned to stoppie on motorcycles.
  • 1 1
 Flag icon checks out.
  • 3 0
 That was well explained Jesse
  • 4 0
 Thanks Lee!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 3 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 3 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 3 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 3 0
 @pedaler: Thanks Jesse!
  • 4 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 3 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 3 0
 Is "Nice one Jesse!" and "Thanks Jesse!" a new PB inside joke?
  • 3 0
 I don't know! I just followed suit to what I saw haha.
  • 2 0
 I didn’t I stated something Smile Smile Smile
  • 2 0
 Sorry, I didn’t think I’d started something Smile Wink

Damned Siri Smile
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: Thanks Jesse!!
  • 1 0
 @sylvainvanier: haha I don't know who or what started it. But it's there now.
  • 1 0
 What about going high into these corners and cutting into the apex? It seems there is tons of space, no? Show us some Full enduro highlines :-)????????
  • 1 0
 ???????? = Rock’n’Roll Emoji
  • 2 0
 On the second corner maybe, but not on the first. I mentioned it, but it was hard to see, just how tight the entrance to that corner was. It wasn't possible to gain entry to it any wider.
  • 1 0
 What's the deal with what looks like a discarded RF chamois on the outside of the switchback around 7:15? Bio accident and someone abandoned them on the trail?
  • 1 0
 Great video as always. You articulate extremely well. Some slow-motion clips would make it even better to see your movement patterns.
  • 2 0
 Good stuff! I wonder how many times I’ll OTB trying this now.
  • 2 0
 Maybe the first couple of times haha, but then you'll learn and you'll a master!
  • 3 0
 Learn you will
  • 4 4
 I like the skidded turns! I love breaking the bike loose. If I can go full skid and get front and back skidding that's even better, but harder to control.
  • 1 0
 It's a pretty fun feeling!
  • 3 1
 Easier with smaller wheels. My 26er loves to corner
  • 1 0
 I bet!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for showing all three ways around switchbacks. Without all three the video would have been without enough context.
  • 1 0
 Of course! There needs to be a reason for it in the first place.
  • 1 0
 Can you do more of these please?! It would be good to have a whole series on cornering, especially from a pro who races.
  • 1 0
 There will be more!
  • 2 0
 I wish I could do Jesse's curl......I'll see myself out
  • 1 0
 I like these videos and JM does a good job breaking it down for us. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 That's good to hear! Thanks!
  • 7 6
 Buy a smaller (shorter) bike Razz
  • 5 0
 Tight switchbacks are the one area where long bikes don't shine.
  • 10 6
 @tacklingdummy:
With decent technique long bikes get around tight turns just fine.
  • 5 0
 Good thing I was born short.
  • 2 0
 My kind of XC trail
  • 1 0
 Me too!
  • 2 0
 Nice one Jesse!
  • 2 0
 Thanks Jesse!
  • 1 0
 Just watched this with my son and we both enjoyed it - thank you!
  • 1 0
 That's awesome! Say hi to him from me!
  • 2 0
 Back on the Slayer?
  • 1 0
 I like to go back and forth! Both fun bikes.
  • 1 3
 Ok I don't want to be a spoilsport, I just have two questions to ask: 1. Who builds bike trails with corners like that and why? 2. If it's a pedestrian path, why is he riding it?
  • 2 0
 Sorry if there was any confusion, this is a bike trail! And sometimes the slope is steep so these switchbacks are necessary, but it is an old trail.
  • 1 0
 Question! Do you switch the position of your feet to do it the other way?
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