How to corner with confidence

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Chris Gibbs shares his tips on how to corner with confidence and have more fun on the trails

How to corner with style

The Romans weren’t known for their trail building – maybe if they were, then we would all be riding in straight lines! Since the empire didn’t take their road building expertise onto the trails, this week’s skills focus is on how to corner.

This essential skill allows you to navigate trails with confidence, as well as saving energy and staying safer. Most importantly, good technique in corners also means you can carry more speed and have more fun.

Whether it’s long, flowing corners in the Yukon in Canada, tight switchbacks in the South of Spain, or loose, sketchy corners in Ecuador and Nepal, the basic technique is the same.

“Good technique in corners means you can carry more speed and have more fun.”

Follow Chris’ steps to mastering your corners, and avoid the common mistakes we’ve all made!

9 points for mastering cornering technique

  1. Be in the attack position when aproaching the corner
  2. Get your braking done early so that you enter the corner at the correct speed
  3. Use the ‘big look’ – i.e. look where you are aiming for…the bike will always follow where you look
  4. Enter the corner wide, aim for the apex and exit the corner wide – a smooth arc allows riders to carry momentum through the turn
  5. Keep weight centered over the middle of the bike
  6. Point your hips through the turn
  7. Apply pressure to the inside of the bars to lean the bike into the corner
  8. Apply downward pressure on the outside pedal for extra grip
  9. On exiting the turn straighten the bike, return to the attack position and allow weight to shift to being even across both pedals

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Entering the corner too fast
  • Braking heavily in the corner
  • Not looking and turning your head through the corner
  • Steering too much rather than leaning the bike
  • Not keeping your head up

Advanced technique

Once you’re super confident in turns of different styles and in different conditions, start trying to be further forward and take more command of the front wheel. This produces much more grip from the front tyre and can be particularly useful in wet, slippery and steep terrain.

Life would be boring without all its twists and turns, so get out there and embrace those corners!

How to corner - the finished article

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