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So I raced in 3 crits this weekend and I felt strong my fitness level was good in comparison to others. I could easily maintain the group's pace and even won a prime. However, my overall results sucked because I would loose 5 positions at each corner. I don't feel confident in corners and scub too much speed when entering them. My teamates who raced with me said I corner well, but I'm looking for any tips on techniques or drills that can get me thru a crowded corner a little faster.
 

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Deliciously Ironic
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No brakes

Two parts mental, one part technical.
I don't believe your teammates - you don't corner well - if you did, you wouldn't be losing ground.

Some of my explanations below are hard to describe in print...

If you have to scrub speed, you're not taking the correct line into the apex. Think 'wide to wide', you're shooting the corner from the righthand curb entering the turn, then sprinting out of the turn from the righthand curb exiting the turn.

Anticipate the turn not by watching the the guy right in front of you, but three or four guys ahead of you.

Don't just sit on the saddle like a sack of potatoes and lean. If turning left, inside pedal UP, and plant your weight of your right foot into the right pedal. Countersteer by pulling up on the left hand, stiffening out/downward with the right hand on the bars.


good link:
http://www.kissena.info/davescorner/4.html









Skidoo said:
So I raced in 3 crits this weekend and I felt strong my fitness level was good in comparison to others. I could easily maintain the group's pace and even won a prime. However, my overall results sucked because I would loose 5 positions at each corner. I don't feel confident in corners and scub too much speed when entering them. My teamates who raced with me said I corner well, but I'm looking for any tips on techniques or drills that can get me thru a crowded corner a little faster.
 

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Rollo Tommassi said:
Two parts mental, one part technical.
I don't believe your teammates - you don't corner well - if you did, you wouldn't be losing ground.


Anticipate the turn not by watching the the guy right in front of you, but three or four guys ahead of you.

Don't just sit on the saddle like a sack of potatoes and lean. If turning left, inside pedal UP, and plant your weight of your right foot into the right pedal. Countersteer by pulling up on the left hand, stiffening out/downward with the right hand on the bars.
I don't think you can finish a race if you need to learn to put the inside pedal up.

More likely he needs to work on not letting a gap open up. It feels safer to let the wheel in front of you get ahead a little, because turning in a pack is scary. Problem is, you then accellerate a little after the wheel in front of you, a gap opens, and someone fills that gap. Trick is- stick that wheel. Pedal through that corner. Don't worry- if your pedal smacks the pavement, you won't go down. Breath deep, suck it up, ride through. If you're getting out of the saddle after every corner, you are scrubbing too much speed. Get out of the saddle 120 time in a crit, and you won't finish well, period.
 

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Rollo Tommassi said:
Two parts mental, one part technical.
I don't believe your teammates - you don't corner well - if you did, you wouldn't be losing ground.

Some of my explanations below are hard to describe in print...

If you have to scrub speed, you're not taking the correct line into the apex. Think 'wide to wide', you're shooting the corner from the righthand curb entering the turn, then sprinting out of the turn from the righthand curb exiting the turn.

Anticipate the turn not by watching the the guy right in front of you, but three or four guys ahead of you.

Don't just sit on the saddle like a sack of potatoes and lean. If turning left, inside pedal UP, and plant your weight of your right foot into the right pedal. Countersteer by pulling up on the left hand, stiffening out/downward with the right hand on the bars.


good link:
http://www.kissena.info/davescorner/4.html
except that you push down on the inside bar, not pull up (for a left turn, push down on the left side).

from the article you linked to:

In countersteering you incline the bike relatively more than the body. You initiate countersteering by pressing down with the inside hand.
 

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This is a little more...

chipped teeth said:
I don't think you can finish a race if you need to learn to put the inside pedal up.

More likely he needs to work on not letting a gap open up. It feels safer to let the wheel in front of you get ahead a little, because turning in a pack is scary. Problem is, you then accellerate a little after the wheel in front of you, a gap opens, and someone fills that gap. Trick is- stick that wheel. Pedal through that corner. Don't worry- if your pedal smacks the pavement, you won't go down. Breath deep, suck it up, ride through. If you're getting out of the saddle after every corner, you are scrubbing too much speed. Get out of the saddle 120 time in a crit, and you won't finish well, period.
This is a little more than letting a gap open, since he said he was losing 5 positions coming out of every corner, this is not knowing how to corner at speed.

The one piece of advice I can give you is to practice cornering. That's it. You can "talk" about it all you want, but you won't be able to actually do it unless you do it. Know what I mean?? When our for training rides, get a few of your teammates and or friends together, and go ride around a tight cornered course after getting your training ride in. Practice riding through corners fast, and in a pack, or near other riders. You'll get it, you just need practice my friend.
 

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what magnolialover said

magnolialover said:
When our for training rides, get a few of your teammates and or friends together, and go ride around a tight cornered course after getting your training ride in. Practice riding through corners fast, and in a pack, or near other riders. You'll get it, you just need practice my friend.
I was just about to say pretty much the same thing. Do you do many training rides with your team? Maybe some drills are in order with your team... if you can get a pack of 6 or more people to practice with, try doing laps around a residential block or a coned rectangular course in a parking lot or something while riding three abreast (close together, i.e. elbows touching) while trying to maintain speed and position thru the corners. After every couple of laps, you and your teammates can rotate positions (outside riders go to the middle, middle riders go to the inside, etc.) so that everybody gets a feel for being on the inside vs. outside, etc. That sort of "workout" can make you more comfortable with cornering in tight formation. Aim for precision: think Blue Angels.

Other than that, just practice cornering solo as fast as you can...outside pedal is fully weighted (bum is off the seat), crouch your upper body thru the turn a little bit, look where you want to go, etc. Basic stuff. But don't get TOO caught up in the mechanics, theres a lot to be said for doing what feels right.
 

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Skidoo said:
So I raced in 3 crits this weekend and I felt strong my fitness level was good in comparison to others. I could easily maintain the group's pace and even won a prime. However, my overall results sucked because I would loose 5 positions at each corner. I don't feel confident in corners and scub too much speed when entering them. My teamates who raced with me said I corner well, but I'm looking for any tips on techniques or drills that can get me thru a crowded corner a little faster.
get the book 'road racing tactics for cyclists' and read up.
 

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If you have to coast through the turn because of how sharp it is, before you put your inside pedal up and push down on your outside foot, pedal a few more revolutions. Find your comfort level for digging into the corner without a pedal strike. Be the last guy to stop pedalling and the first to start. If you are near the front and have the choice of a line, pitch your bike over early and pedal through the apex of the turn and pitch it over one more time coming out of the turn. Don't worry about crowding the wheel in front of you, the pack will slinky and the gap will take care of itself. Hold your line and don't let anyone slide out or in. You should be able to pedal straight out and hurt everyone behind you. Crits are about hurting your friends.
 

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bigbill said:
If you have to coast through the turn because of how sharp it is, before you put your inside pedal up and push down on your outside foot, pedal a few more revolutions. Find your comfort level for digging into the corner without a pedal strike. Be the last guy to stop pedalling and the first to start. If you are near the front and have the choice of a line, pitch your bike over early and pedal through the apex of the turn and pitch it over one more time coming out of the turn. Don't worry about crowding the wheel in front of you, the pack will slinky and the gap will take care of itself. Hold your line and don't let anyone slide out or in. You should be able to pedal straight out and hurt everyone behind you. Crits are about hurting your friends.
or learn how to pedal through the corners and really hurt your friends
"road racing tactics for cyclists" by thomas prehn
 

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bill said:
except that you push down on the inside bar, not pull up (for a left turn, push down on the left side).

from the article you linked to:

In countersteering you incline the bike relatively more than the body. You initiate countersteering by pressing down with the inside hand.

i agree with bill.

push the inside hand down and pressure on the outside foot in the down position (if you are too fast to pedal throught it)
lean the bike more then you lean your body. This is how the pros do it and for good reason. It keeps your weight over the tires.

I like to shift into a tougher gear at the turn so i can pedal with light pressure to maintain speed an minimize exposure of my inside pedal.

Its all practice. I'm just now getting comfortable in the turns. I was losing the wheel ahead of me too often. It doesn't help that the greener racers are a bit sketchy at holding their line.

and a big one...

DO NOT BRAKE IN THE TURN
it forces you upright and makes the turn more dificult. Brake before hand. You're better off going into the turn too hot for comfort then to brake in the middle of it. You'll end up hugging a straw bale if you are lucky.
 

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biknben said:
Read this too: http://www.coachcarl.com/training_articles/cornering.htm

It's all in the technique, confidence, and execution.
Thanks for the link. That helps clarify some physical issues for me. I think that the mental component is also a weakness for me, since I always have the 'what if' thought in the back of my mind. Crits are not my favorite type of event since I am a climber instead of a sprinter, so if I can nail my technique and get in the right frame of mind I can do better in crits which will make me a stronger all-around rider.
 

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bas said:
or learn how to pedal through the corners and really hurt your friends
"road racing tactics for cyclists" by thomas prehn
I went to the Walden School in Florida in 1993 and they taught the method for pedaling through turns by pushing your bike away and shifting your weight to the inside. We practiced this everyday for a week. I haven't been able to use that method in most crits. Where the method works is taking corners in the rain and the 180 around a cone at a TT. Keeping the bike upright in the rain means that you can pedal through and keep your traction. If the bike slides, it still stays upright. This method will only work for you if you practice. Most of the time cornering in a crit means falling into line and not really thinking about it too much.
 
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