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Cornering technique with Fabien

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Fabien-Barels-videos--how-to-cornering.html

Cool video on PB.

Question: I once overheard a Highland camp instructor (not sure who it was) say that instead of keeping your body vertical and leaning the bike over, you should lean your entire bike and body into the turn (ie, lean with your head). I tried this out and it felt like it worked very well for me. Fabien suggests the opposite, that you keep your head and chest vertical and lean the bike way over, keeping all your pressure on the outside pedal. The problem is, when he emulates the "rider lean" style, he keeps the bike vertical when doing so, which is obviously a bad idea.

So...which is the better technique (or is there one)? Which do you use? I don't know if it's just because Highland has no flat corners (all berms all the time) that the rider lean worked, or if I just suck and it encourages me to drop bad form, and that's what made me feel more in control.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,621
390
It certainly depends on the corner... sometimes you lean the bike and stay up and over the pedals (usually flat/off camber), other times you lean everything.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
The secret is perfect balance over the pedals. As turns become fast and berms become steep, you are leaning eveything, but you are still balanced over your feet. At high speeds you might be sideways because of centrifugal force.
 

'size

Turbo Monkey
May 30, 2007
1,918
249
AZ
i don't recall if this was discussed here but these vids are taken from a dvd fabien did a while back for a uk based magazine. i have the full dvd ripped so if anyone wants the whole thing PM me and i'll send you a link. it is in SD, not HD however and ~315 mb
 

rockofullr

confused
Jun 11, 2009
7,356
913
East Bay, Cali
It certainly depends on the corner... sometimes you lean the bike and stay up and over the pedals (usually flat/off camber), other times you lean everything.
Yes.

In a corner where you need more traction (off camber, flat, or loose) leaning the bike allows you to apply more force and engage the large shoulder nobs on the tire thus increasing traction.

In a bermed corner where traction is not a concern leaning with the bike helps counter the centrifugal forces buildyourown is talking about.
 

yetihenry

Monkey
Aug 9, 2009
241
1
Whistler, BC
If you're leaning your whole body in, your will keep your feet level and have a strong, supportive berm.

If you're dropping a foot, then do what he says as there isn't a berm to support your corner.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,815
997
I'm surprised he doesn't mention squaring off the corner with a big skid, I find that's the best technique.
 

baca262

Monkey
Aug 16, 2011
392
0
in my case leaning with the bike means i go down with it if i loose traction on flat corners, if i lean only the bike i can usually let it go and land on my feet.

too bad he doesn't mention the weight distribution and drifts, ever since i found the sweetspot where rear end lets go before the front i've been having much more fun on my bike.
 

richgardiner

Monkey
Aug 19, 2008
219
17
surely it also depends on the build of the rider? shorter guys tend to lean both bike and body whereas taller guys have that room to lean the bike over beneath them
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,074
2,585
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Same here, and I believe it offers several additional benefits -

* Speed is heavy, so I do not like carrying it around
* It bombs out berms and corners, which lets fast people with Avy carts and CCDBs actually feel good about their significant cash outlay
* Let's face it, drifting is for wood
* It makes you feel like a bad ass before you slam on the rear brake
* Helps develop gate start muscles, as you're basically accelerating from a dead stop in a tall gear
* Can produce poofy dust clouds in dry conditions
* You please fans who are constantly reminding you to pedal

Etc...The more I think about it, perhaps I should make my own cornering video.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
8
Over your shoulder whispering
Same here, and I believe it offers several additional benefits -

* Speed is heavy, so I do not like carrying it around
* It bombs out berms and corners, which lets fast people with Avy carts and CCDBs actually feel good about their significant cash outlay
* Let's face it, drifting is for wood
* It makes you feel like a bad ass before you slam on the rear brake
* Helps develop gate start muscles, as you're basically accelerating from a dead stop in a tall gear
* Can produce poofy dust clouds in dry conditions
* You please fans who are constantly reminding you to pedal

Etc...The more I think about it, perhaps I should make my own cornering video.
You left off the part where it gives spectators a longer window of time to shower you with beer. Duh!
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,445
392
Fenton, MI
Meh, the whole leaning thing is over rated. I find the "coming in way hot, braking hard in the corner, and exiting said corner at walking speed in the wrong gear" works best for me.
Same here, and I believe it offers several additional benefits -

* Speed is heavy, so I do not like carrying it around
* It bombs out berms and corners, which lets fast people with Avy carts and CCDBs actually feel good about their significant cash outlay
* Let's face it, drifting is for wood
* It makes you feel like a bad ass before you slam on the rear brake
* Helps develop gate start muscles, as you're basically accelerating from a dead stop in a tall gear
* Can produce poofy dust clouds in dry conditions
* You please fans who are constantly reminding you to pedal

Etc...The more I think about it, perhaps I should make my own cornering video.
You are correct on all accounts, have you been taking video of my race runs and critiquing my style?

I have found that leaning the bike and or my body and or not the bike and or is all well and good and stuff, but the thing that most recently has helped me more than anything is trusting my tires, attacking the corner and pointing where I want to go with my cock and balls.

I still suck at cornering well, but this has certainly helped.
 

William42

fork ways
Jul 31, 2007
3,730
362
As long as we're being honest here, anybody besides me ever feel that corners are frankly unsafe, and to be avoided, and that when you come across a corner, you should simply come to a stop, get off your bike, and physically pick it up and turn it a different direction?
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,498
1,276
01776
another good strategy is to just skid as hard as possible in a staight line, blow through the corner, then stop and turn around.
 

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
As long as we're being honest here, anybody besides me ever feel that corners are frankly unsafe, and to be avoided, and that when you come across a corner, you should simply come to a stop, get off your bike, and physically pick it up and turn it a different direction?
Agree'd! Adopted as official policy. I am also installing extra brakes to prevent speeds greater than 8mph.

These are both apparently necessary steps to keep me out of the hospital.
 

SuboptimusPrime

Turbo Monkey
Aug 18, 2005
1,429
1,134
NorCack
^^^ Along those lines, I find if I just zip tie both brake levers most of the way toward the bar, I have no issues with unwanted speed. It's a great work out on uphills too!