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How much of being able to corner smoothly, at speed , is due to the rider's skills, and how much is due to the bike's design? What design parameters go into a bike that is known to 'corner on rails' ? Just starting to try different bikes and would like some input.

For a given 'performance', or race bike, what makes one corner with less effort than another, given the same skilled rider, wheels, tire pressure, etc.? Thinking more of tight switchbacks, more technical cornering, rather than wide open corners, that don't require as much skill. Is this an area where it's definitely not about the bike?

Thanks,
hrv
 

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Aside from all the "other stuff", the most important factor is how you approach and enter your turn. When you get that right the rest dictates itself. Watch some F1 or motorcycle racing and study how they approach the turns. Efficient bicycle cornering is basically the same.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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Most bikes will corner smoothly

Racing and Crit bikes are just more responsive and actually less stable. They allow you to make changes faster and without so much body english but the penlty is they are less smooth, less stable and the rider has to pay more attention. Being able to make changes quickly is important when you see a bicycle fly up in the air right in front of you or if some squirrel cuts across the front of you. It can keep you from joining the pileup.

A responsive bike takes more attention and you can assume a better rider to keep it running smooth. A responsive bike can make a poor rider worse. A good rider can make a responsive bike smooth.

Tires make a big difference. A good racing tire will stick like glue, a touring tire will slide out easier. The penlty with racing tires are they wear quickly and pick up more crud from the road so they can flat more often.
 
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