Cornering

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Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:42 pm

I was looking through Ernie Smith's photos from the race on Sunday at Eastern Creek Raceway.

This is typical of the bunches going round the long descending right hand sweeper:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 25_thm.htm

I'm amazed at how high a percentage of riders are not in the drops but on the hoods with hands wrapped around brakes on the widest race circuit in the country. It's the same in many pictures.

How do people expect to go round corners properly like that?

Hands on the drops peeps - it is far safer and faster way to ride when racing around corners. If you can't ride in the drops, then your bike is not set up properly.

People heads are tilted over too (along the line of the bike's tilt), which does not help maintain good cornering technique. Head should not be tilted but eyes kept in a horizontal plane. Bit like this guy on the front:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 39_thm.htm

or perhaps this good looking gent:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 01_thm.htm
:D

Are you cornering like that?
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by BNA » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:23 pm

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Re: Cornering

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:23 pm

The top photo looks like they are cruising...the single file one does not...?.
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Re: Cornering

Postby foo on patrol » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:25 am

I'm with TLL on this one! If you're just cruising on the hoods but if travelling at speed then down on the drops. :)

I do agree however with the head positioning, just like riding a motorbike and watching motorbike racing on TV with the on board camera shots. 8)
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Re: Cornering

Postby mianos » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:15 am

Looks like a cruising E grade crowd in the first shot.
The SUVelo guy looks cool all over, but I'm probably biased.
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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:51 am

mianos wrote:Looks like a cruising E grade crowd in the first shot.

That is B grade racing. They are not cruising in that shot.

Have a look at all the other shots. Lots and lots of examples as I said, even in the A grade. I had guys in A grade using their brakes for that corner with nobody in front of them!

If you are cruising in a race, then you're in the wrong grade. If you are A grade and cruising, then good luck to you!

mianos wrote:The SUVelo guy looks cool all over, but I'm probably biased.

Well this guy looks like he could use a bit of help :)
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 05_thm.htm
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Re: Cornering

Postby scotto » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:04 am

this guys cornering on the hoods too !!!!!
the previous and following pics show the right way ! :P :P :P :P


http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 17_thm.htm
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Re: Cornering

Postby Nobody » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:01 pm

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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:45 pm

scotto wrote:this guys cornering on the hoods too !!!!!
the previous and following pics show the right way ! :P :P :P :P


http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 17_thm.htm

Yes, and for the observant ones amongst you, if you check the look on my face, and the state of my rear tyre, you might realise why I wasn't going fast around the corner.

And is why my rear wheel was changed as per this photo a bit later in the race:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 22_thm.htm

which is me off on another solo in front of the A grade bunch.
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Re: Cornering

Postby scotto » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:15 pm

stop spoiling me being a smart arse !!

i just thought you were putting on a cadel evans type smile :cry:

:wink:
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Re: Cornering

Postby DanielS » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:31 pm

This is something I'm amazed at as well. Many riders will spend an entire crit on the hoods, even sprinting on the hoods! I just feel like I have no stability up there, the drops are far better.
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Re: Cornering

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:54 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:This is typical of the bunches going round the long descending right hand sweeper:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 25_thm.htm

Chris Green looks correct. Hard to tell from a single photo, but he appears to have come out wide so he can maintain momentum, where those up front are using their bodies as parachutes

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I'm amazed at how high a percentage of riders are not in the drops but on the hoods with hands wrapped around brakes on the widest race circuit in the country. It's the same in many pictures.

Ridiculous isn't it

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Hands on the drops peeps - it is far safer and faster way to ride when racing around corners. If you can't ride in the drops, then your bike is not set up properly.

Absolutely, hands in drops. I suspect with many the issue is their body - flexibility, lack of core or upper body strength.

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:People heads are tilted over too (along the line of the bike's tilt), which does not help maintain good cornering technique. Head should not be tilted but eyes kept in a horizontal plane. Bit like this guy on the front:
http://www.erniesmithphoto.com.au/815A% ... 39_thm.htm

Can you explain the head position a bit more

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Are you cornering like that?

Valid question, apart from the obvious of using the drops, how do you know about the rest. Photos will help I guess
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Re: Cornering

Postby waynohh » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:50 am

mikesbytes wrote:I suspect with many the issue is their body - flexibility, lack of core or upper body strength.


I suspect LBS have just pushed huge quantities of TCR's, etc instead of Defy's, etc to every newbie out there and now people can get them cheaper.
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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:55 am

mikesbytes wrote:Can you explain the head position a bit more


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Re: Cornering

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:19 am

Nice technical pointer Alex!

But, give those Waratah riders a break. Their cervical spondylosis probably restricted their head tilt or they'll get a VBI (Vertebrobasilar insufficiency) and black out in mid-corner. It'll cause some serious problems for the bunch. :wink:

At least most of them have their outer leg extended.
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Re: Cornering

Postby open roader » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:10 pm

Boy do I appreciate (surviving) a few years of club racing with road motorcycles, just about every cornering technique I learnt there applies to getting a pushie around a corner swiftly and safely.
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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:38 pm

open roader wrote:Boy do I appreciate (surviving) a few years of club racing with road motorcycles, just about every cornering technique I learnt there applies to getting a pushie around a corner swiftly and safely.

Well I nearly posted a pic of motorcyclists as they definitely learn this technique (I did when I used to ride motorbikes) and as you say it really is directly transferable to cycling, it helps to show it with people on bikes though.

It's really important to keep the eyes in horizontal plane, as our senses work best that way. Like a gun turret on a modern tank.
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Re: Cornering

Postby open roader » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:45 pm

Excellent illustrations here, a picture tells a thousand words.
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Re: Cornering

Postby aeroslave » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:06 pm

Thanks for the tip Alex.
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Re: Cornering

Postby eeksll » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:30 pm

noob question obviously, why is cornering on the drops the way to go?
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Re: Cornering

Postby open roader » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:32 pm

eeksll wrote:noob question obviously, why is cornering on the drops the way to go?


I reckon you have a lower centre of gravity, thus you remain more stable through the corner when the bike is leaned over and your bodyweight is not evenly centred over the frame as when you are riding in a straight line and can more easily achive a managable balance.

You also get better leverage down in the drops, requiring less input to make fine corrections when adjusting your line as you corner.
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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:56 pm

eeksll wrote:noob question obviously, why is cornering on the drops the way to go?

You have more control over your bicycle in the drops*, and it is safer with hands well wrapped around the bars. In tight situations, you'll want all the fine motor control at your disposal.

same applies to descending - hand on drops is significantly better and safer.


* If you don't, then your bike set up is wrong.
That applies to brake levers that are hard to reach from the drops - if so, then they are set up wrong or you have the wrong handlebars or wrong type of brakes for your hands.
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Re: Cornering

Postby eeksll » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:18 pm

thanks. What is the reason that there is better control from the drops? I find the opposite. I am practicing riding in the drops much more now (see below) but I still find cornering much better for me on the hoods especially if I don't need to brake for the corner.


I had a thread a while ago asking for tips on descending in the drops for the reasons you stated
- feels like my hands are going to slip off over the hoods
- less hand fatigue while braking and more powerful braking
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Re: Cornering

Postby open roader » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:47 pm

When cornering you want to eliminate being 'top heavy' as much as possible - by lowering your centre of gravity. Cornering on the drops allows you to lower your body a little more than a crouched position holding the hoods, the difference can be small on some set ups but lower is better for stability.

Gripping the drops also maximises your leverage on the bars. You need leverage in order to counter steer the front wheel through the corner. When you take a corner at speed (decending), the front wheel can be used to slightly 'counter steer' i.e. be levered via the handlebars just a slight amount of pressure in the opposite direction to which you wish to turn.

This has the effect of pulling the bike into a tighter line around the inside of the corner and can be used to hit the apex of the corner before using momentum to roll away from the apex and turn out of the corner. So if you are rolling fast through a left direction corner you can counter steer a tad to the right to make the bike tighten it's line into the corner. Gripping the drops gives you maximum leverage thus least amount of effort required to trim your line through the corner. Holding the drops allows for maximum dexterity so you don't have to make jerky, forceful adjustments via the hoods which are more likely to upset the line of the bike and mess up the line you wish to take through the corner.

Another damn good reason for cornering at speed on the drops is the fact that you want both brake levers covered easily and fast in case you have to make a minor speed correction or an emergency stop God forbid..........
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Re: Cornering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:58 pm

eeksll wrote:thanks. What is the reason that there is better control from the drops? I find the opposite.

Lower center of gravity, better leverage and fine motor control.

If your control in the drops is not so good, then it sounds to me like the drops are too low or far away for you or possibly too wide. I think some have their hood height/reach near where the drops should be, possibly for reasons of vanity as they want their bike to look like a Pro's bike with a large drop in height from saddle to bars, even though that might be completely inappropriate for them at this stage of their riding and/or morphology.

Shape of the drops has a large impact on body position when you move from hoods to drops. Some handlebars shapes (e.g. round v "anatomic") are not suitable for some.

Like I said - it's a bike set up thing.
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Re: Cornering

Postby eeksll » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:32 pm

Although bike fit may be an issue, I doubt that is the case for me, as I have had a bike fit and my handlebars are at most 1 inch lower than my seat (so no pro position for me).

oh well, Ill just keep trying.
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