trouble cornering/turning

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trouble cornering/turning

Postby ftssjk » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:15 pm

I'm relatively new to road bikes and clipless pedals.
ive done probably 250kms all up.
Im finding it quite hard to corner/turn.

I always worry at which point my pedal/shoe will hit the tyre,
as well as falling over with my clipless pedals in.

any suggestions?
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by BNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:19 pm

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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby sogood » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:19 pm

Most of the time you don't need to pedal on a turn. So extend your outer leg and lean your bike into the corner. You don't need to significantly turn the steering wheel unless it's really slow speed, hence no toe strike risks.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:19 pm

ftssjk wrote:I always worry at which point my pedal/shoe will hit the tyre

Only on very short frames doesn't this normally occur and only a low speeds as at higher speeds the front wheel barely turns. If this is a problem the don't pedal during small radius turns.

The bigger worry on higher speed cornering is the pedal hitting the ground which is why on tight high speed corners you can't pedal and need to raise the inside pedal.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:27 pm

Yes, toe-overlap only becomes a problem with very slow speed maneuvering turns, or track-standing at the lights. Can be annoying but not a huge risk. Plenty of peole ride bikes with some toe-overlap. When riding faster (>15kmh) your steering hardly moves when you are cornering.

For general riding at any sort of speed you should take the approach of 'outside pedal down and all your weight on it'. This will prevent the risk of pedal-strike on the inside pedal, and give you a much better weight-placement and control for cornering. With your outside leg straight your thigh lies against your saddle and helps to stabilize and lean the bike to give a controlled turn. All your weight on the outside pedal presses the saddle against your thigh, and helps to push your tyres down into the road rather than sideways along it.
Last edited by il padrone on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby nescius » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:30 pm

ftssjk wrote:I always worry at which point my pedal/shoe will hit the tyre,
as well as falling over with my clipless pedals in.

any suggestions?


Get used to clipping in and out, go somewhere like a quiet carpark and spend an hour or so starting and stopping. This is particularly useful if you are going to be commuting, there are not many more embarrassing things that not being able to get your shoe clipped in when you set off from the lights! If you are finding it difficult to unclip you may need to adjust the tension on the pedals, usually it just needs an allen key and on Shimano pedals there should be +/- arrows (+ for tighter, - to loosen).
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:39 pm

nescius wrote: This is particularly useful if you are going to be commuting, there are not many more embarrassing things that not being able to get your shoe clipped in when you set off from the lights!

Bungling the take-off clip-in is nothing to be too embarrassed about. Lots of beginners (and some experienced riders) struggle with this. But it's the stopping and track-standing that can be really embarrassing - called a clip-stack :mrgreen:

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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:09 pm

As nescius said, practice, practice, practice :D IME, the best thing is slow figure 8s and multi radius turns on your local footy oval, less pain if things go awry.

human909 wrote:Only on very short frames doesn't this normally occur and only a low speeds as at higher speeds the front wheel barely turns. If this is a problem the don't pedal during small radius turns.

+1 to this, it also helps to teach yourself to "ratchet" if you think you won't have enough momentum. Pedal in half turns and backpedal to reset the driving foot.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby ftssjk » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:13 am

thanks for the suggestion guys.

i mostly have trouble turning when going slow.

here's a photo of the place where ive had the most difficulty.
its the bridge on the cooks river.
ive seen cyclists just ride around the corners so i thought id give it a try.
i did okay but was a bit tricky.

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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby Dan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:15 am

Someone really good at going through corners told me its all about shifting your weight laterally.

Momentum helps, too. If you can see the exit to your turn, try pedalling through the apex of the corner (once you're more proficient) - I find that helps to pull me through the turn, much like accelerating through a corner in a car.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby AndrewBurns » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:27 am

Yeah I ride around those most of the time but it's quite tricky and my toes overlap my front wheel quite a lot. Trick is to steer when your feet are clear of the wheel I guess :P It's hard to explain but I use a combination of force on the pedals, brakes and steering input to get around the sharp corners without falling off but it always feels like I'm on a knife-edge. If I see another rider dismounted on the bridge I often use that as a reason to not feel bad about jumping off myself :wink:
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby bychosis » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:09 am

I you a worried about toe overlap, test it out. Gear up, saddle up, grab a pole. Then move feet and bars to see if the is an issue. The beauty of clip less pedals is that your feet won't move from that position. If they don't hit during your testing they won't hit while riding, or they will only hit in the one position.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby geoffs » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:36 am

I ride over that bridge regularly and usually on our tandem. A word of warning - be very careful when the bridge is wet as the planks get very slippery.
I can just make it around the hairpin on the tandem without panniers. With panniers i have to walk it around the bend.
Another pointer that may help. Only use your front brake when you are riding in a straight line and use it to slow up sufficiently to make it around the corner. Do not use your front brake once you have started to turn. You may use your rear brake in a corner but be careful how hard you apply it as to much will cause a skid.
Remember front brake in a corner causes understeer (which means you will tend to go straight ahead) and the rear brake causes oversteer ( will cause rear of bike to swing wide and tightens path around corner).

Practice makes perfect so ride over the bridge 10 times in a row for a few sessions.
It's easy to ride quick - there's a lot of skill in keeping control when riding slow which takes practice.
Everyone clip-stacks :-)
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:39 am

bychosis wrote:I you a worried about toe overlap, test it out. Gear up, saddle up, grab a pole. Then move feet and bars to see if the is an issue. The beauty of clip less pedals is that your feet won't move from that position. If they don't hit during your testing they won't hit while riding, or they will only hit in the one position.

If you do have overlap, ratchet.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby Summernight » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:29 am

There is nothing wrong or embarrassing, IMO, about unclipping a foot (the foot you usually unclip when stopped, that is) just before the tight turn and using your foot as a balance if necessary to get you around the tight corner. It's not as if you're going at a huge speed anyway and if you end up not needing to put your foot down then you'll easily clip back in as you haven't taken your foot off the pedal.

If you want to do the tight, slow corner without clipping out, fine, but nothing wrong with unclipping one until you have the complete confidence with the clip-in pedals to do this extra tight turn without problems.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:12 am

Sounds like you should attend a cycling skills course.
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Re: trouble cornering/turning

Postby trailgumby » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:21 am

With tight low speed cornering, we were taught at the AMBC skills course to ratchet the cranks with the inside pedal forwards while dragging the rear brake slightly to stabilise. Recommended gear ratio to be in was around the 32/20 mark.

Try it, it works really well, and completely avoids the toe overlap issue.

As an added brain bender, when switching from right to left and vice versa around the witches hat slow-speed slalom course, we had to do the half-turn of the cranks in *reverse* :lol:
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