Mountain Bike Cornering – UPDATED 2021 – Learn How To Corner
Basic mountain bike skills define our ability to do well on the trails. To increase your mountain bike skills requires a lot of practice and often or not, periods of failure. If you look back to when you first started mountain biking, you would have already seen a great deal of improvement. But that doesn’t mean we should stop there. Even the most talented mountain bikers need to refine their skills and continuously practice.
The first skill to learn is staying safe on the trails. This means riding more efficiently and gaining balance on the bike, which in turn helps you to crash less and potentially ride faster.
Basic mountain bike skills
Focusing on looking far up the trail as possible is an essential part of basic mountain biking skills. Doing so helps your vision and allows you to scan the path correctly. Thus enabling you to anticipate changes in the track and obstacles you come across. Practicing each week will not only allow you to become faster but also more confident.
While balance is a crucial factor in basic mountain biking skills, your pedal stroke is just as important. An efficient pedal stroke helps you to save energy, sprint more powerful and climber smoother.
Adding in some one-legged drills into your mountain bike training can help you refine your pedaling technique and also develop strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Mountain biking balance
Understanding how your bike moves and how to balance your weight correctly will allow you to maneuver through trail obstacles with ease. Balance is essential in learning more advanced mountain bike skills later on. Adding in some basic fun drills can help you develop balance and also helps you to understand how the bike reacts. When you next stop on the trail for your friends, instead of putting your foot down, practice your track stand. Keep pressure on the pedals and use the brakes sparingly to adjust your balance. The brakes also help to control the movement of the bike and help re-center your balance.
Mountain bike cornering
Majority of crashes on a mountain bike happen while turning. Practicing your cornering season round can help you enter and exit corners with not only more speed but help you to exit faster as well. If you are looking at ways to get faster, carrying momentum through corners is one of the best ways to save time during a cross country race.
During a corner, tires have maximum grip when they are rotating. Focus on preventing your back wheel from locking up and make sure your braking applied before you hit the corner. Doing so will help the tires to keep rolling and your momentum through the corner.
Just like cars, the lower your center of gravity is, the safer and quicker you make it around that corner. Focus on bending your arms and knees, and push your chest towards the bike. Doing so will help your stability and allow you to have better control over the bike.
Once you have learned to shift your weight and exit the corners faster, you should be looking at ways to gain more speed. When entering a corner, it’s often forgotten to focus on gear choice. Make sure you change down to an easier gear when entering a corner. The gear you choose should reflect your exit speed, allowing you to get on top of the gear out of a corner.
The last phase of cornering for basic mountain biking skills is to learn to shift your weight on the pedals. Once you have mastered your speed in and out of the corner, it’s time to shift your weight to the outside of the pedals. Doing so helps your tires hold the ground better but also provides more grip. The result is a better connection to the ground and also prevents the opposite pedal from hitting any obstacles.
The best cornering involves fast exit speed rather than entry speed, so remember this next time you take that rutted corner.