Cornering at speed is one of cycling’s great joys. But what is this rider doing wrong?
Few sensations match the thrill and exhilaration of smoothly carving around a turn on your road bike. And doing it at speed is even better. Use these tips to rip around corners faster — and safer.
Proper set up is key to cornering success. As you approach an on-coming turn, gauge how much speed you’ll be able to carry. This will depend on factors such as how tight the corner is, how wide the road is, and how grippy (or slippery) the surface is.
Always be looking down the road, scanning for potential hazards (potholes, gravel) as well as for indicators that will tell you more about the turn (street signs, guard rails). Knowing how sharp a corner is tells you how fast you can go through it. If a road surface is wet, broken or covered in loose gravel, you’ll have less grip. That means you need to back off your speed.
Get your weight low, with hands on the drops and elbows bent. Stay relaxed and keep your arms loose. This helps lower your center of gravity, allowing you to turn tighter at a given speed. Riding on the drops also brings your weight forward, which increases front wheel grip.
Drop Outside Foot:
Also make sure to drop your outside pedal to the 6 o’clock position and push your body weight through it. Lean the bike into the corner while keeping your body slightly more upright.
Avoid braking while moving through a corner. Instead scrub the necessary amount of speed before you begin the turn. Braking while turning can cause your wheels to wash out because your tires are already under a lot of pressure to maintain traction. Excessive braking while cornering is among the primary cause of crashes.
Before the corner, shift into the gear that you’ll want when you start pedaling again. The 53×11 can be tough to get spinning again after a tight turn, so you’ll probably want to shift into an easier gear just before the turn, especially if you are on a flat road.