Whether you’re a professional cyclist or just learning to ride – you need to know how to handle corners. A mere corner is still an obstacle that could inevitably slow you down. It’s an essential skill to be able to tackle them safely without having to lose any speed.
Corners make cycling much more exciting and interesting, but to master them you should know how to maintain the speed and keep the tires on the ground.
Here are few ways to handle corners on your bike:
Apexing at a bend is all about flattening out the curve. The flatter the curve is, the quicker you can go through it safely. You also won’t lose any speed or struggle to deploy the brakes in case you panic.
Most think using this technique isn’t a practical way to corner a bike. But, we can’t escape the fact that apexing is a universally recognised and an effective way to corner a bike without losing speed.
It’s not always practical to use this method as it depends on the type of corner you get. But if your route permits it, do it!
Take advantage of your body weight when cornering
Sure the handlebars are there to make turns, but that’s not the right way to handle corners.
If you want to corner without losing any speed, you need to lean. You should reposition your center of gravity so that your bike remains balanced when cornering.
If you’re cornering with higher speeds, you’ll have to lean further to get your center of gravity lower. It’s the only way if you want to maintain your grip and balance.
Adjust your speed before a corner
It’s essential you adjust your speed before cornering. Push your brakes while you’re still riding in an upright position and heading in a straight line – just before the bend.
But, this works best when you can see what lies ahead of you, and we all know this kind of ideal-world scenario and other assumptions rarely exist.
The reality is that most of us cannot see enough of the curve and can’t predict what lies ahead in the bend. This is the reason you need to adjust the speed when making a turn. Nonetheless, you still can handle corner safely.
First, be relaxed when cornering, even though it’s difficult to overcome the body’s natural instincts. Second, don’t deploy the front brakes, otherwise, you risk sliding out. Lock the rear wheel, it will send your bike into a speedway style or a broadside skid.
The takeaway is to apply brakes smoothly and lightly. Keep in mind; you’re not trying to stop. You only need to reduce the speed slightly to get your bike back onto the line you want.
Look around when cornering
Always look around when cornering. To handle corners perfectly and safely; first, scan the road quickly and assess what things may lie ahead in the bend.
The next thing will take place naturally — your body, as well as your bike, will be subsequently pulled towards the point your eyes are previously focused on.
An important tip to handle corners
It’s good to stop pedalling once you lean the bike to pass through the bend. Keep the inside pedal up, so that it doesn’t touch the ground.
Apply pressure to the outer pedal – this will help you retain your balance as you lean into the corner.
Here are some top tips to handle corners:
- Look well ahead when approaching a corner as this will give you adequate time to make a proper assessment of what lies ahead in the upcoming bend.
- Don’t hard brake while cornering, unless you want to see yourself thrown out on the tarmac.
- Be focused when exiting the corner.
- Avoid hanging off of the bike when cornering. You’re riding a bike, not Moto GP bikes. Keep your body weight closer to your bike and be in control with maximum grip.
- Stay relaxed even though it’s easier said than done.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks.
Hope this helps! Have fun and corner safely! 🙂