Cornering question

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cat Dailey, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    I went to a women's cycling clinic this weekend where we spent some time
    doing cornering drills. Cornering has always been a weakness of mine and no
    one has ever really "taught" me how to corner. I noticed that in initiating
    the turn, I push down on my inside hand, which seems to tip the bike into
    the turn. When I asked the coach about this, he stated that pushing down on
    the inside hand was "old school" turning and that he recommended pulling up
    on the outside hand (outside leg is down and weighted in both styles). I
    tried his way, which felt really awkward and sort of naturally gravitated
    back to my "old school way". With the other pointers that he taught us, my
    cornering improved dramatically and I felt really confident in the turns.
    Later, another woman asked him about countersteering, which he said was what
    I was doing by pushing down on my inside hand and that he could teach her
    about it later. So what is the right way to weight the bars, or not? And
    is there a consensus on a new, improved way to corner?

    Cat
     
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  2. Jiyang Chen

    Jiyang Chen Guest

    "Cat Dailey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I went to a women's cycling clinic this weekend where we spent some

    time
    > doing cornering drills. Cornering has always been a weakness of mine

    and no
    > one has ever really "taught" me how to corner. I noticed that in

    initiating
    > the turn, I push down on my inside hand, which seems to tip the bike

    into
    > the turn. When I asked the coach about this, he stated that pushing

    down on
    > the inside hand was "old school" turning and that he recommended

    pulling up
    > on the outside hand (outside leg is down and weighted in both styles).

    I
    > tried his way, which felt really awkward and sort of naturally

    gravitated
    > back to my "old school way". With the other pointers that he taught

    us, my
    > cornering improved dramatically and I felt really confident in the

    turns.
    > Later, another woman asked him about countersteering, which he said

    was what
    > I was doing by pushing down on my inside hand and that he could teach

    her
    > about it later. So what is the right way to weight the bars, or not?

    And
    > is there a consensus on a new, improved way to corner?
    >
    > Cat
    >
    >

    The hip plays a big role in cornering and control (that's why the
    saddles without the long part are dangerous). The more you tilt the
    more you turn.

    Countersteering looks pretty dangerous, (esp on 23mm tires), unless you
    know how to control your skid.
     
  3. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "Jiyang Chen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Cat Dailey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I went to a women's cycling clinic this weekend where we spent some

    > time
    > > doing cornering drills. Cornering has always been a weakness of mine

    > and no
    > > one has ever really "taught" me how to corner. I noticed that in

    > initiating
    > > the turn, I push down on my inside hand, which seems to tip the bike

    > into
    > > the turn. When I asked the coach about this, he stated that pushing

    > down on
    > > the inside hand was "old school" turning and that he recommended

    > pulling up
    > > on the outside hand (outside leg is down and weighted in both styles).

    > I
    > > tried his way, which felt really awkward and sort of naturally

    > gravitated
    > > back to my "old school way". With the other pointers that he taught

    > us, my
    > > cornering improved dramatically and I felt really confident in the

    > turns.
    > > Later, another woman asked him about countersteering, which he said

    > was what
    > > I was doing by pushing down on my inside hand and that he could teach

    > her
    > > about it later. So what is the right way to weight the bars, or not?

    > And
    > > is there a consensus on a new, improved way to corner?
    > >
    > > Cat
    > >
    > >

    > The hip plays a big role in cornering and control (that's why the
    > saddles without the long part are dangerous). The more you tilt the
    > more you turn.
    >
    > Countersteering looks pretty dangerous, (esp on 23mm tires), unless you
    > know how to control your skid.
    >


    Yes, the hip does play a big role and the coach taught us some good tips for
    that. Your comment about skidding, though, confuses me. Why would you
    skid, or why would countersteering cause one to skid??

    Cat
     
  4. TritonRider

    TritonRider Guest

    >From: John Forrest Tomlinson [email protected]

    >I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    >dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    >
    >JT


    My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle racing
    books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar and
    he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    Bill C
     
  5. On 26 Sep 2004 15:25:47 EDT, "Jiyang Chen" <[email protected]> wrote:


    >Countersteering looks pretty dangerous,
    > (esp on 23mm tires), unless you
    >know how to control your skid.


    I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.

    JT

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  6. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "TritonRider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > >From: John Forrest Tomlinson [email protected]

    >
    > >I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > >dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    > >
    > >JT

    >
    > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle

    racing
    > books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar

    and
    > he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > Bill C


    Now, that's a good idea! Except that the coach said that a few things are
    quite different from motorcycle cornering (one being that he wants you to
    pull the inside knee into the top tube where a motorcyclists tries to "put
    the puck down") and I don't want to confuse the two...

    Cat
     
  7. Howard Kveck

    Howard Kveck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 26 Sep 2004 15:25:47 EDT, "Jiyang Chen" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    > >Countersteering looks pretty dangerous,
    > > (esp on 23mm tires), unless you
    > >know how to control your skid.

    >
    > I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    >
    > JT


    That's an understatement (sorry, JC).

    I think that if you actually have to think about countersteering, you're
    in trouble. It's a pretty subtle thing, to me - it just seems to be how I
    naturally start a turn. Shifting weight in the saddle seems to always come
    after the turn is initiated for me, but, again, that's a subtle thing (in
    general).

    --
    tanx,
    Howard

    A billion + 2 followups...

    remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
     
  8. Howard Kveck

    Howard Kveck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:

    > >From: John Forrest Tomlinson [email protected]

    >
    > >I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > >dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    > >
    > >JT

    >
    > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle
    > racing
    > books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar and
    > he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > Bill C



    I need to look into it, but I thought Keith Code was one of the
    "countersteering isn't how a motorcycle turns" guys. A few years ago, there
    was a huge debate about it in Road Racing World magazine and his name came
    up a lot. I don't recall for sure which way he leaned (so to speak).

    --
    tanx,
    Howard

    A billion + 2 followups...

    remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
     
  9. Howard Kveck

    Howard Kveck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Cat Dailey" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "TritonRider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > >From: John Forrest Tomlinson [email protected]

    > >
    > > >I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > > >dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    > > >
    > > >JT

    > >
    > > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle

    > racing
    > > books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar

    > and
    > > he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > > Bill C

    >
    > Now, that's a good idea! Except that the coach said that a few things are
    > quite different from motorcycle cornering (one being that he wants you to
    > pull the inside knee into the top tube where a motorcyclists tries to "put
    > the puck down") and I don't want to confuse the two...
    >
    > Cat


    Interesting - I always noticed that I tended to sort of point my inside
    knee a little towards the inside of a turn (it's a lifelong habit), and a
    few years ago, I read an article with Maurizio Fondriest where he stated
    that pointing your knee somewhat in the direction of the turn seemed to
    help you get around the turn.

    --
    tanx,
    Howard

    A billion + 2 followups...

    remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
     
  10. TritonRider

    TritonRider Guest

    >From: Howard Kveck [email protected]

    > I need to look into it, but I thought Keith Code was one of the
    >"countersteering isn't how a motorcycle turns" guys. A few years ago, there
    >was a huge debate about it in Road Racing World magazine and his name came
    >up a lot. I don't recall for sure which way he leaned (so to speak).
    >
    >--
    > tanx,
    > Howard


    You made me go look.
    http://www.vf750fd.com/blurbs/countercode.html

    "The best result was one of my instructors. He got into a full hangoff position
    and was able to persuade the bike, by jerking on it, to start on a wide, wide
    arc in the paddock at Laguna Seca, a piece of asphalt that is about 500 X 800
    feet. Like turning an oil tanker ship, start at noon and be on the turning arc
    at around 1:00 PM. It wasn't very smooth and it wasn't very effective."

    "We now call this bike "The NO BS Bike". There are no doubts in anyone's mind
    after they ride it that they have been countersteering all along. No doubts.
    You can hear riders, who believed in the body-steering method, laughing in
    their helmets at 100 yards away once they get those solid mounted bars in their
    hands and try to body-steer the bike. They just shake their heads. No BS.
    Dangerous Misconceptions"

    Bill C
     
  11. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "Howard Kveck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "Cat Dailey" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > "TritonRider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > > >From: John Forrest Tomlinson [email protected]
    > > >
    > > > >I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > > > >dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    > > > >
    > > > >JT
    > > >
    > > > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > > > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code

    motorcycle
    > > racing
    > > > books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are

    similar
    > > and
    > > > he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > > > Bill C

    > >
    > > Now, that's a good idea! Except that the coach said that a few things

    are
    > > quite different from motorcycle cornering (one being that he wants you

    to
    > > pull the inside knee into the top tube where a motorcyclists tries to

    "put
    > > the puck down") and I don't want to confuse the two...
    > >
    > > Cat

    >
    > Interesting - I always noticed that I tended to sort of point my inside
    > knee a little towards the inside of a turn (it's a lifelong habit), and a
    > few years ago, I read an article with Maurizio Fondriest where he stated
    > that pointing your knee somewhat in the direction of the turn seemed to
    > help you get around the turn.


    I thought so, too, but when the coach had us slide our butts all the way
    back and then bring the inside leg in, it seemed to help put my hips in the
    right place relative to the turn (and I am not sure I could even tell you
    where that is). He also had us corner in the drops only, which also helped
    considerably. I just happened to notice that when I did all of these things
    (and weighted the outside leg), that I initiated the turn by pushing down on
    my inside hand and sort of tipping the bike over. I didn't "think" to do
    it; it just happens that way for me. I was surprised to learn that it was
    an "old school" technique and that coach referred to it as countersteering.
    I want to know if it is better to try a "newer method?" by pulling up on the
    outside hand (sort of pulling against the outside leg which is weighted
    down?) which is what I *think* he was recommending.

    Cat
     
  12. On 26 Sep 2004 20:15:57 GMT, [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:


    > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle racing
    >books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar and
    >he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > Bill C


    He came out with a cycling-specific book called _A Gear Higher_. It's
    great.

    JT


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  13. On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:19:08 -0400, "Cat Dailey"
    <[email protected]> wrote:


    >I thought so, too, but when the coach had us slide our butts all the way
    >back and then bring the inside leg in, it seemed to help put my hips in the
    >right place relative to the turn (and I am not sure I could even tell you
    >where that is). He also had us corner in the drops only, which also helped
    >considerably. I just happened to notice that when I did all of these things
    >(and weighted the outside leg), that I initiated the turn by pushing down on
    >my inside hand and sort of tipping the bike over. I didn't "think" to do
    >it; it just happens that way for me. I was surprised to learn that it was
    >an "old school" technique and that coach referred to it as countersteering.
    >I want to know if it is better to try a "newer method?" by pulling up on the
    >outside hand (sort of pulling against the outside leg which is weighted
    >down?) which is what I *think* he was recommending.


    There's a drill I suggest which helps provide some understanding of
    the how the body controls the bike in cornering -- it's to go through
    a slalom course with different points of contact on the bike.

    First do it pedalling normalling, in the saddle.

    Then try it out of the saddle.

    Next try it no handed pedalling in the saddle.

    Next try it in the sitting on the saddle, with the hands on the bars,
    but clipped out (you will have to pedal before hitting the slalom to
    get some speed).

    For me, the latter is by far the scariest.

    We also do it one time steering the bike and keeping it very upright,
    and then pushing the bike down countersteering.

    I doubt this directly answer's Cat's questions, but I think it is
    useful for getting a sense of how the bike is controlled.

    JT

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  14. On 26 Sep 2004 21:15:59 GMT, [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:

    > You made me go look.
    >http://www.vf750fd.com/blurbs/countercode.html
    >
    >"The best result was one of my instructors. He got into a full hangoff position
    >and was able to persuade the bike, by jerking on it, to start on a wide, wide
    >arc in the paddock at Laguna Seca, a piece of asphalt that is about 500 X 800
    >feet. Like turning an oil tanker ship, start at noon and be on the turning arc
    >at around 1:00 PM. It wasn't very smooth and it wasn't very effective."
    >
    >"We now call this bike "The NO BS Bike". There are no doubts in anyone's mind
    >after they ride it that they have been countersteering all along. No doubts.
    >You can hear riders, who believed in the body-steering method, laughing in
    >their helmets at 100 yards away once they get those solid mounted bars in their
    >hands and try to body-steer the bike. They just shake their heads. No BS.
    >Dangerous Misconceptions"


    I feel weird writing much about cornering because I suck (relative to
    some of my peers) but one way I show this is to set up a small loop or
    course for riders to go around, perhaps with cones about 50 or 100
    feet apart. I have then ride around a few laps slowly with the bike
    upright and steering, then a few with a lot of leaning and
    countersteering. Then a few "normal" which is just a little counter
    steering.

    We gradually raise the speed and mix up the various techniques, and it
    soon become clear that trying to go around w/o countersteering won't
    work well at all.

    JT

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    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
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  15. trg

    trg Guest

    Countersteering is completely intuitive. Try this, ride with only the left
    hand on the bar and try to turn right just by pushing out with the left
    side. Doesn't work. Now see where you go when you pull with the left hand.

    You even countersteer when turning no handed, by shifting weight to begin
    the turn countersteering.


    "Howard Kveck" <[email protected]> a √©crit dans le message de
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > On 26 Sep 2004 15:25:47 EDT, "Jiyang Chen" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > >Countersteering looks pretty dangerous,
    > > > (esp on 23mm tires), unless you
    > > >know how to control your skid.

    > >
    > > I don't think someone who says countersteering "looks pretty
    > > dangerous" should be giving technical advice in a bike racing group.
    > >
    > > JT

    >
    > That's an understatement (sorry, JC).
    >
    > I think that if you actually have to think about countersteering,

    you're
    > in trouble. It's a pretty subtle thing, to me - it just seems to be how I
    > naturally start a turn. Shifting weight in the saddle seems to always come
    > after the turn is initiated for me, but, again, that's a subtle thing (in
    > general).
    >
    > --
    > tanx,
    > Howard
    >
    > A billion + 2 followups...
    >
    > remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
     
  16. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Cat Dailey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > I thought so, too, but when the coach had us slide our butts all the way
    > back and then bring the inside leg in, it seemed to help put my hips in

    the
    > right place relative to the turn (and I am not sure I could even tell you
    > where that is). He also had us corner in the drops only, which also

    helped
    > considerably. I just happened to notice that when I did all of these

    things
    > (and weighted the outside leg), that I initiated the turn by pushing down

    on
    > my inside hand and sort of tipping the bike over. I didn't "think" to do
    > it; it just happens that way for me. I was surprised to learn that it was
    > an "old school" technique and that coach referred to it as

    countersteering.
    > I want to know if it is better to try a "newer method?" by pulling up on

    the
    > outside hand (sort of pulling against the outside leg which is weighted
    > down?) which is what I *think* he was recommending.


    Cat, there is no "real" technique for getting around corners that's superior
    to all the others. The actual exercise of cornering a lot will eventually
    give you confidence in your abilities and just about any way you do it will
    work. As far as I've been able to determine the only drop-dead technique
    that you must learn is to always weight the outside pedal. And that is only
    important to keep you from weighting the inside one, dragging a pedal and
    going down in a very unfortunate point in a race.

    As for inside vs. outside hand - it doesn't make a lick of difference. In
    some sorts of corners with some sorts of positions of the bike you will
    automatically do it one way or the other. Whichever way feels the most
    correct to you at that time.

    It requires so very little effort to corner a bike that, unlike a
    motorcycle, the mechanics of cornering aren't readily understandable to most
    people and so clinics are a good idea to at least get you thinking about
    what you're doing.
     
  17. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 26 Sep 2004 20:15:57 GMT, [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:
    >
    >
    > > My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    > > Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle

    racing
    > >books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar

    and
    > >he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    > > Bill C

    >
    > He came out with a cycling-specific book called _A Gear Higher_. It's
    > great.
    >
    > JT


    Now, that I'll have to get!

    Cat
     
  18. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 26 Sep 2004 21:15:59 GMT, [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:
    >
    > > You made me go look.
    > >http://www.vf750fd.com/blurbs/countercode.html
    > >
    > >"The best result was one of my instructors. He got into a full hangoff

    position
    > >and was able to persuade the bike, by jerking on it, to start on a wide,

    wide
    > >arc in the paddock at Laguna Seca, a piece of asphalt that is about 500 X

    800
    > >feet. Like turning an oil tanker ship, start at noon and be on the

    turning arc
    > >at around 1:00 PM. It wasn't very smooth and it wasn't very effective."
    > >
    > >"We now call this bike "The NO BS Bike". There are no doubts in anyone's

    mind
    > >after they ride it that they have been countersteering all along. No

    doubts.
    > >You can hear riders, who believed in the body-steering method, laughing

    in
    > >their helmets at 100 yards away once they get those solid mounted bars in

    their
    > >hands and try to body-steer the bike. They just shake their heads. No BS.
    > >Dangerous Misconceptions"

    >
    > I feel weird writing much about cornering because I suck (relative to
    > some of my peers) but one way I show this is to set up a small loop or
    > course for riders to go around, perhaps with cones about 50 or 100
    > feet apart. I have then ride around a few laps slowly with the bike
    > upright and steering, then a few with a lot of leaning and
    > countersteering. Then a few "normal" which is just a little counter
    > steering.
    >
    > We gradually raise the speed and mix up the various techniques, and it
    > soon become clear that trying to go around w/o countersteering won't
    > work well at all.
    >
    > JT
    >


    That sounds worthwhile, because this coach never really addressed what
    should be going on in the front of the bike, other than that your hands
    should be in the drops, eyes looking through the turn, and scanning for
    traffic. I made the comment about pressing with the inside hand after
    noticing I was doing it.

    cat
     
  19. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "trg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Countersteering is completely intuitive. Try this, ride with only the left
    > hand on the bar and try to turn right just by pushing out with the left
    > side. Doesn't work. Now see where you go when you pull with the left hand.
    >
    > You even countersteer when turning no handed, by shifting weight to begin
    > the turn countersteering.
    >


    Does it matter if you pull with the left or push with the right?

    Cat
     
  20. Cat Dailey wrote:
    > "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>On 26 Sep 2004 20:15:57 GMT, [email protected] (TritonRider) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>My newsreader is screwed yet again so I'll jump in here.
    >>>Cat I'd be willing to bet that Ed has some of the Keith Code motorcycle

    >>

    > racing
    >
    >>>books around. If not they are worth picking up as the physics are similar

    >>

    > and
    >
    >>>he spends a lot of time on cornering, setting up fast lines, etc...
    >>>Bill C

    >>
    >>He came out with a cycling-specific book called _A Gear Higher_. It's
    >>great.
    >>
    >>JT

    >
    >
    > Now, that I'll have to get!


    "A Gear Higher" is an excellent book about cornering.
    Interestingly, the authors spend very little time talking
    about body position, pulling on the bars, or any of the
    other things that many people seem to dwell upon - mostly
    because they are of minor importance anyway. What the
    authors do spend a lot of time on are reading the corner,
    judging the conditions, entrance and exit speeds, and
    finding the right line - these are the important things.

    Here's a quick article by Mark McCormack on the Women's
    Cyclist web site about cornering:

    http://www.womencyclists.com/article_specific.php?articleID=42

    McCormack too talks little about body position or
    countersteering, but mainly concentrates on reading the road
    conditions and finding the right line.

    When I teach cornering at our club's racing clinic, the
    three things I stress the most are getting comfortable with
    being leaned far from vertical (you can't corner well if you
    aren't comfortable in a lean), visualizing the line you want
    to follow, and looking ahead and through the turn (instead
    of just looking at the road directly in front of you).

    One of the best exercises in working on cornering is to
    follow directly behind someone who is a good cornerer. When
    you follow a good cornerer, matching their speed and keeping
    your wheels right in the track of their wheels, it is
    amazing how fast and smooth a corner can be.

    Mark McMaster
    [email protected]
     
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