Experienced Countersteering Please

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Big Pete 1
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Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Big Pete 1 » Tue May 23, 2017 8:46 am

Please only respond to this thread if you really DO and KNOW HOW TO countersteer, and you DO IT ALL THE TIME. I do not need further confusion by different answers.

I have read many articles about countersteering, and to be honest I am still not the wiser.
I fear sharp corners at speed and tend to take the corners too wide.
I know about cutting corners, about inside knee out, and putting body weight on outside pedal. But countersteering I am not sure about.
In Wikipedia it says, "to initiate a turn toward a given direction by momentarily steering counter to the desired direction ("steer left to turn right")". So this is before the turn, but I do this momentary swing out (when I am alone) to cut a corner. But in a bunch of riders, is this not hazardous?
I want to know what to do with the handlebars WHILE negotiating a turn. In other words, I have started the turn, I sense I will be going wider than hoped, but I don't want to, so what do I do with the handlebars to correct/maintain desired curvature?

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MichaelB
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby MichaelB » Tue May 23, 2017 8:58 am

The amount you counter steer is TINY. It is used to initiate a turn, and is not a large movement. It basically gets the bike to lean, then you steer into the turn.

It's actually all due to a property of gyroscopes called precession. Can't vouch for this video, but it should help.
[url]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5bKzBZ7XuM[/url]

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redsonic
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby redsonic » Tue May 23, 2017 9:17 am

You are already countersteering: it is the only way to turn a two wheeler whilst going anything above walking speed. The movement, as MichaelB explained, is tiny and initiates the tip in to the corner. When you are maintaining a line, no countersteering is necessary, but to tighten your line, you will need to countersteer again. Most people are unaware they are pushing counter to the turn; it is one of the reasons kids who learnt to ride a trike have to relearn steering on a bike.

My knowledge comes from motorbikes, where quite a dramatic, deliberate push can be utilised. "A Twist of the Wrist" by Keith Code (vol 1, or 2, I can't remember) covers it really well.

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Big Pete 1
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Big Pete 1 » Tue May 23, 2017 9:29 am

MichaelB wrote:The amount you counter steer is TINY. It is used to initiate a turn, and is not a large movement. It basically gets the bike to lean, then you steer into the turn....

Michael, thanks for response and video, but I am still not getting it.
So what you are saying is that countersteering is only used for getting the bike to lean. Then steering into the turn is not countersteering but normal steering.

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Big Pete 1
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Big Pete 1 » Tue May 23, 2017 9:33 am

redsonic wrote:...When you are maintaining a line, no countersteering is necessary, but to tighten your line, you will need to countersteer again. Most people are unaware they are pushing counter to the turn;...

Thank you redsonic. So what you are saying is that if I am already negotiating a left hand turn, and wish to tighten it to follow my planned line, I push a tiny bit against the left side of the handlebar?

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby RonK » Tue May 23, 2017 12:06 pm

redsonic wrote:You are already countersteering: it is the only way to turn a two wheeler whilst going anything above walking speed. The movement, as MichaelB explained, is tiny and initiates the tip in to the corner. When you are maintaining a line, no countersteering is necessary, but to tighten your line, you will need to countersteer again. Most people are unaware they are pushing counter to the turn; it is one of the reasons kids who learnt to ride a trike have to relearn steering on a bike.

My knowledge comes from motorbikes, where quite a dramatic, deliberate push can be utilised. "A Twist of the Wrist" by Keith Code (vol 1, or 2, I can't remember) covers it really well.

It is best explained in Volume 2. Scanned copies have been posted on the internet and are easy to find and download. Much is also relevant to bicycles so it's well worth a read.

Unless you are riding at walking pace when the bike remains upright during turns, all bicycle steering movements amount to countersteering

A left turn is initated by countersteering to the right. This does not result in a "momentary swing out". It makes the bike lean to the left. It's by this, not by shifting the rider's body weight that the bike is leaned.

Once the required lean angle is reached to acheive the desired turn radius, tiny steering inputs will vary between countersteering either right or left to maintain the correct lean angle.

To exit the turn and return the bike to vertical it's necessary to countersteer to the left. (It's at this point the dreaded front wheel tuck can occur).

On a lightweight bicycle these steering inputs are barely perceptable (particularly mid-turn) compared to a moto. However by understanding what is happening you can steer in a much more positive way.
Last edited by RonK on Tue May 23, 2017 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Big Pete 1
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Big Pete 1 » Tue May 23, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks Ronk for explanation. I will try that the next time I go riding.

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby RonK » Tue May 23, 2017 12:41 pm

Big Pete 1 wrote:Thanks Ronk for explanation. I will try that the next time I go riding.

Find a quiet place such as an empty car park and try this exercise. Lay out a figure 8 course and ride around it. Do not consciously lean the bike - steer only through the handlebars using positive countersteering inputs.

Remember that the required inputs are very small or you will likely end up on the deck.
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MichaelB
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby MichaelB » Tue May 23, 2017 12:44 pm

Big Pete 1 wrote:
MichaelB wrote:The amount you counter steer is TINY. It is used to initiate a turn, and is not a large movement. It basically gets the bike to lean, then you steer into the turn....

Michael, thanks for response and video, but I am still not getting it.
So what you are saying is that countersteering is only used for getting the bike to lean. Then steering into the turn is not countersteering but normal steering.


Pretty much. To make the turn tighter, you counter steer more, and to straighten up, you do the opposite.

It's weird and counter intuitive to think about.

I find the best way to understand it is in a clear carpark, ride in a straight line. Gently, and VERY gently push one end of the handlebar forward and notice what happens. Also notice that when you push one way and the bike leans, try and notice what the next movement is.

It's all small movements. Very small.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Derny Driver » Tue May 23, 2017 3:14 pm

We used to call them a 'Scando' or scandinavian flick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEy6-CgYVgE
Ari Vatanen was the master of the pendulum turn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nJSMGWFASI

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby RobertL » Tue May 23, 2017 3:36 pm

Derny Driver wrote:We used to call them a 'Scando' or scandinavian flick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEy6-CgYVgE
Ari Vatanen was the master of the pendulum turn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nJSMGWFASI


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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Thoglette » Tue May 23, 2017 10:08 pm

Derny Driver wrote:We used to call them a 'Scando' or scandinavian flick.

While fun, they are all about creating rotational inertia around the vertical axis.

Which has almost nothing to do with countersteering in bikes, motorised or otherwise, which is all about procession (probably) causing changes in rotational inertia around the longitudinal horizontal axis of the bike.

As outlined above, read Keith Code or practice it. It just works.

The main thing is to realise that it works so that when you really, really need to tighten up in a corner you consciously do the right thing. And not the wrong thing.
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Duck! » Tue May 23, 2017 10:52 pm

You are constantly countersteering just to keep the bike upright.

A bike is an inherently unstable object, continually wanting to fall one way or the other. Without perceiving it, the rider is continually steering the bike in the direction of each tiny fall in order to keep the bike under them.

Countersteering to initiate a turn is the act - very tiny, but definite, as pointed out by others above - of steering the bike out from under you to cause it to lean. so if you're turning left you steer the bike out to your right, and you will tip to the left. Then balance the lean to take the corner. To exit the corner and straighten up, steer to the left to bring the bike back underneath you and return to an upright angle.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby piledhigher » Tue May 23, 2017 11:18 pm

I had a bike with a 'brinelled' head set, amazing how a bike like this which has an enhanced need t go straight will remind you of the need to countersteer, very weird feeling to break the steering out of it's rut the wrong way to get it to turn as expected.

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Mulger bill » Wed May 24, 2017 9:34 pm

Duck! wrote:You are constantly countersteering just to keep the bike upright.

A bike is an inherently unstable object, continually wanting to fall one way or the other. Without perceiving it, the rider is continually steering the bike in the direction of each tiny fall in order to keep the bike under them.

Countersteering to initiate a turn is the act - very tiny, but definite, as pointed out by others above - of steering the bike out from under you to cause it to lean. so if you're turning left you steer the bike out to your right, and you will tip to the left. Then balance the lean to take the corner. To exit the corner and straighten up, steer to the left to bring the bike back underneath you and return to an upright angle.

Well said. Evidence to be found if you can find visible wheel tracks from a single bike. You'll note the rear wheel tracks fairly straight and the front wheel in a constantly recurving path as it attempts to centre the mass over the contact point.
Useless additional information; from those tracks you can ascertain direction of passage and make a rough estimate of speed.
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bowie
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby bowie » Mon May 29, 2017 9:01 am

That explanation just above is the best yet. But I confess It wasn't until I was on a motorbike that I "got it".

So;

a) get a motorbike
b) don't worry about it, you are already doing it and you are a magician ;)
b is for bicycle :D

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kb
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby kb » Mon May 29, 2017 4:46 pm

And as an indication of how small the input can be, you can steer reasonably well no hands :-)
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Duck! » Mon May 29, 2017 8:01 pm

It's also as subtle as shifting your weight on the bike. As you begin to take the corner, you shift your weight to the inside. This weight shift puts a bit more pressure on the inside bar, which gives it enough of a push to tip the bike out from under you, as described previously. Then to exit the corner, shift your weight back up, that will place a bit of pressure on the outside bar and push the bike back under you.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby RonK » Mon May 29, 2017 9:01 pm

Duck! wrote:It's also as subtle as shifting your weight on the bike. As you begin to take the corner, you shift your weight to the inside. This weight shift puts a bit more pressure on the inside bar, which gives it enough of a push to tip the bike out from under you, as described previously. Then to exit the corner, shift your weight back up, that will place a bit of pressure on the outside bar and push the bike back under you.

Yes, this is what is actually happening when riders *think* they are steering by leaning.

Standing on the outside pedal increases the effect.
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby CycloTron » Tue May 30, 2017 3:26 pm

Just read through this thread and whilst interesting, I fear that with all my newfound knowledge and my tendency to overthink, I might just crash my bike the next time I head out and need to turn a corner... :lol:

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby MichaelB » Wed May 31, 2017 9:45 am

CycloTron wrote:Just read through this thread and whilst interesting, I fear that with all my newfound knowledge and my tendency to overthink, I might just crash my bike the next time I head out and need to turn a corner... :lol:


Don't think, just keep doing what you already are.

It's amazing how many people think that counter steering is something they have to do. If you are already riding, you already do it !!

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Big Pete 1
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby Big Pete 1 » Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 pm

Thanks fellow riders for all your input. I now have a few experiments to do, about countersteering, when I ride next. I am currently in recovery from working to hard and long on a recent ride.

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby twowheels » Wed May 31, 2017 9:59 pm

what I first thought you meant when I read your post title
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0

(after reading your post I knew what you meant, rode a motorbike years ago)

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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby chriso_29er » Wed May 31, 2017 10:33 pm

MichaelB wrote:
CycloTron wrote:Just read through this thread and whilst interesting, I fear that with all my newfound knowledge and my tendency to overthink, I might just crash my bike the next time I head out and need to turn a corner... :lol:


Don't think, just keep doing what you already are.

It's amazing how many people think that counter steering is something they have to do. If you are already riding, you already do it !!


While I agree with you, the act of counter steering I assume the op is refering to is to aggressively counter steer in order to quickly tip/setup the bike into a fast cornering position. Something you absolutely 'have' to do over and above normal cornering and should be practiced and built up to. Otherwise you could end up on the pavement just as I did as a teenager :oops: .

PS
Aggressive is a strong word, but used to explain there are very different levels of countersteering possible on a bike.
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MichaelB
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Re: Experienced Countersteering Please

Postby MichaelB » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:00 am

chriso_29er wrote: ...to aggressively counter steer in order to quickly tip/setup the bike into a fast cornering position. ....


would lead quickly to aggressively meeting the tarmac with your body.

Countersteering requires VERY little/subtle movement. VERY little

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