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Tips For Safer Cycling | How To Corner With Confidence

Tips For Safer Cycling | How To Corner With Confidence

– If you’re new to cycling, or even if you’ve been cycling for quite a long time, you’ll be forgiven for getting
a bit nervous about corners. – [Emma] Yep, I mean, when
you look at a road bike, it doesn’t exactly look
terribly stable, does it? – No: 25-millimeter tyres;
a frame light enough to get blown away in a stiff breeze; and narrow, twitchy handlebars. – Yep, but with these five simple tips, you’ll soon be cornering not just safely, but with speed and style. (upbeat rock music) It sounds so simple, and yet can be strangely difficult in practise, particularly on sharper corners
where you might not be able to see where the road
straightens up again. – [Matt] Yeah, that’s
right, in corners like that you’ll find yourself turning
your head quite a bit, which can be quite disconcerting, and certainly a sensation
that doesn’t come naturally. But persist, because it is important. – [Emma] The alternative
could well be the reason that you’ve finding
corners make you nervous. It’s called target fixation, and it goes something like this. – [Matt] Enter corner; feeling nervous. Look at tree, signpost,
wall; feel more nervous. Find yourself getting drawn towards the tree, signpost, wall; panic! – [Emma] For some reason,
we are drawn towards objects we are looking at, and that most definitely applies when cornering. So, resist the temptation
wherever possible, and instead look towards
where you want to go. (upbeat dance music) – Another urge we’d like
you to resist is braking. Not entirely of course, because that would be a recipe for disaster; more backing off, especially when you’re actually in the corner itself. – Yeah, the problem with
hitting the brakes in the corner is that your tyres are already
under a lot of lateral load, so if you add deceleration into the mix it actually increases the
chance of skidding out, which is what we definitely want to avoid. – [Matt] If that’s the wrong thing to do then what’s the right thing to do? Well, brake before the turn,
slow down ahead of time, then release the brakes
as you enter the curve. – The tighter the corner
the slower you should go. And you’ll have a good idea of how tight the corner is
(bike wheels whizzing) because you’ll be looking ahead. But ultimately it’s about what
you feel comfortable with, so start off slow and build up the speed as you gain confidence and
you’ve practised your cornering. (slow dubstep music) – We’re looking where we’re going, we’ve started to slow down, and
the next thing we need to do before we actually start turning is to make sure that that leg that’s on the outside of the corner is in the six o’clock position and that you push your weight through it. So if you go around a left-hand bend, it’s the right leg, and vice-versa. – This has two effects. Firstly as you lean into the corner, it keeps the inside pedal
well clear of the ground, and it also helps to keep
your weight over the tyres. Both these factors only matter
when you’re going quickly, but the principles are really important and they will also help you
to increase your confidence. (moderate dubstep music) Let’s talk a little bit more
about leaning your bike. Lean is the fundamental way in which you get a bike around a corner. Your centre of balance has to
be further over to the inside than the contact point of
your tyres with the road. Otherwise, you would just topple over. Now we do sympathise if that lean makes you feel a bit nervous. This is exactly the time
when you really need to trust your tyres. All I can says is they’re
probably grippier than you think, and you can build up
confidence in your tyres by practising cornering. You do always need to be aware of the road conditions, though, because wet roads or gravel
or sand or even drain covers will reduce your grip. So look ahead to where you’re going, and adjust your speed and your lean according to the amount
of grip you’ve got. (moderate dubstep music) – Finally, relax. You’ll descend far more safely
and better if you relax. Now if you tense up,
you risk making mistakes like grabbing the brakes too harshly or getting distracted at
things on the side of the road, like trees, signs, or rocks for example. – But we’ll admit that this can be incredibly frustrating advice
because if you’re nervous, no matter how much someone
tells you to relax, you can’t do it. So, how do you relax? – [Matt] Practise. Not just going around corners
when you’re out riding, you’ll be doing that anyway we imagine, but actually practise putting
these skills into practise. It could be on a suburban circuit, it could be on a twisty descent
that you’re familiar with, or it could be in an empty car park; it doesn’t really matter. – What does matter is that you
get used to the sensations of looking where you’re going, braking early, weighting your outside
pedal, and leaning the bike. The more you do these things consciously, the quicker you’ll be able
to do them subconsciously. I hope this helps if you’re a
little bit nervous on turns. This is though very much
cornering simplified. There’s a lot more that
we could take about, for example the line you
should take, but on open roads, just stick with those
five tips to start with. – Yeah, or, if you want to
take things up a notch or two, how about checking out this video that we made a couple of years ago called “Cornering Perfected.” – Don’t forget to give us a thumbs up.

100 comments on “Tips For Safer Cycling | How To Corner With Confidence

  1. Target Fixation…..can cause some people problems in turns, but can also cause you to crash into people already on the ground in front of you. A good way of quickly changing your line in a turn is by counter-steering………..

  2. Great video guys, from the Philippines, I just want to share my experience in cornering.. I was a motorbike rider and learned a lot handling corners,, the reason I found it easy to do it when I got into cycling.

  3. I went down my first mountain descent yesterday. It was in the dark and I could barely see, to the point where I was using a lit up car in front of me to navigate (I had "be seen" lights, not "to see" ones). I reached 77km/h (my previous max was 55kmh sprinting down downhill straights in daylight) and when I got home I realised that I hadn't looked close enough when I got a puncture and there was a huge gash in the sidewall of my front tyre.

    I'm not the smartest person around, so thank you for all the videos, they're making me ride safer little by little.

  4. On two-lane public roads with blind corners, you take your life in your hands riding your bike.
    Around where I live, drivers (especially large, full-size trucks and SUV's) will routinely cross (or ride) the centerline when they come round the corner (like it's F1).
    A 15 lb., barely visible bike vs. 8,000 lbs. of Steel Inferiority Complex = You Dead (or paralyzed from the neck down).

  5. didn't thought that this is possible but your videos are getting even cooler and more professional. Well done you guys introduced me into cycling.

  6. #ASKGCN Emma seems to be moving her body weight more to the outside of the bike, where should you get your center of gravity? Are you taking your bottom off the saddle and to the outside of the bike as you go around the corner i.e. when turning left you bottom is on the right side of the bike to move you center of gravity closer to where the wheels are in contact with the ground?

  7. If Emma still needs a new nickname, I suggest "Biberli". (One of her favourite 'on the bike' foods: Sweet but not too sweet, and full of energy)

  8. This is all very well but many of the roads near me are steep so how do I slow down quickly, avoid what’s coming in the offer direction without skidding or crashing?

  9. Using a method I learned from the Institute of Advanced Motorists

    (IPSGA for short)

    Works for me 🙂

  10. I love the splitscreen bits you guys do! taking a pop up green screen when you go filming would make it easier on the editors/a cleaner end pic!

  11. good vid. Have some big sportives with ''epic'' descents coming up like Buttertubs etc so, wanting to go as fast as I can as I have switched from 28mm to 25mm recently and they feel really, really narrow

  12. Why does Emma lean her bike more than her body in the bends, which is the opposite of what we see motorbike racers do?

  13. When you learn to ride a motorbike you're taught to look at your vanishing point (while being peripherally aware of what is around you), this is something I always apply when descending/cornering too.

  14. i crashed 5 days ago in corner , becuse weather was rainy , my michline power compation tires did not any think for me and i crashed and i lose my di2 drailier in crash with 71km speed :(((((

  15. What do you do to avoid sliding on gravel or sand that's got on the road surface? All those videos you make are made on perfectly clean roads, which is never the case in the real world.

  16. Glad to hear the part on braking before the corner to set entry speed and not while in the middle of the corner (tire load, traction, etc.). One thing I'd add from my time riding motorcycles is that you may find yourself in an situation where you have to break hard in the middle of a turn (i.e. emergency breaking). If this happens you want to stand the bike up as fast/much as possible while you're clamping down hard on the brakes (for the same reasons you mention in the video). The more upright and straight you are, the less likely you are to lay the bike down and you can stop in a shorter distance.

  17. What I learned from Motorcycle class " look ahead and push the handle bar in the direction you want to go" If you want to go right push the right side of handlebar …. 🙂

  18. What about putting the knee of your inside leg to the inside of the turn to create drag and assist with balance? Even if this doesn't actually help in cornering, it creates an appealing aesthetic.

  19. If there is something on the pavement you need to avoid (such as a rock, pothole, or perhaps a crashed rider) make use of the fact that you tend to go where you are looking. Move your gaze away from the thing itself and instead focus on the spot on whichever side of it you want to go. That's where your tires will track. Have used this trick for years, works on both bicycles and motorcycles.

  20. Target fixation is is part of our hunting instinct, it's how you hunt your dinner. So it is very hard to fight your instinct.

  21. something about emmas body position is very wrong she seems to be leaning the bike into the corner and trying to keep her body upright which is wrong she should be using her body to lean the bike into the corner rather than trying to keep herself upright

  22. Recently slipped on sand. Wasn't going fast, wasn't cornering sharply and I was very well aware what could happen and I still got swept off the road as if someone had thrown my wheels up in the air. Won't be sleeping on my left side for a week or two.

  23. Follow your 👀to the vanishing point. Faster the vanishing point, wider the corner. Slower, shaper corner.
    Relax shoulders, seat pelvis and breath and follow the 👀.

  24. They never mention ruddering, sure putting the leg out shifts your weight a little bit, but the main reason is that it creates drag on that side which works like a rudder and assists with the turn/

  25. Well this was your third cornering video and it seems to me that you put the emphasis on the points I made in the comments.(I'm sure it had nothing to do with me). So don't lean on your outside pedal for more pressure, but lean into the corner at the same angle of the bike?

  26. Scraped my whole right leg in a cornering accident
    This is the reason I am watching this😂😂😂

  27. Re relaxation, a great quote from Mark Allen (6x Ironman world champ for those who don’t know) is to “give yourself one breath”. What he means is any frustration or tension you’re feeling, give yourself one breath to ‘force’ it away. I’ve been using that since hearing it, in tough sessions etc, and it’s surprisingly effective! Maybe one to try to relax too.

  28. When you say "looking where you're going" do you mean look at the road as you're turning or look at the end of the curve?

  29. With respect, the presenter who can’t clip in and can’t bunny hop without falling off, and the presenter who admits they hate descending and shows poor technique in this very video with the inside leg awkwardly held inward weren’t the best choices for this video.

  30. On the confidence front, thinking of percentages has always helped me. I never go into a corner at 100% (or at least what I THINK is 100%). Especially a blind corner, where if a problem (sand, an oncoming vehicle, etc) lurks, it is so often right on the fastest line, forcing me to adjust my line. Thinking I'm at say 90% helps me to relax: I've got 10% in the bag in case I need it. If I can see around the corner and the pavement is smooth, clean, and dry, I might push it above 90%, but NEVER to 100%.

    Also worth keeping in mind that crashing on a descent during a training ride is totally counterproductive. Might press descents a bit harder during a race, but keep in mind that time gaps generally develop on climbs rather than descents. Generally in a race you want to descend reasonably tidily without taking big risks – though there are exceptions.

  31. Watch cornering videos from motorcycles, either road ones or trail ones, bicycle cornering videos aren't up to it

  32. I think this is good :, explains usual cornering and the trail braking, there's also a detailed series on the usual cornering : I just remember slow, look, press roll. Brake before entering, look at the exit( where the road leads to) , press your handlebars, and roll the Bike

  33. It's missing the bullshittery of Top Gear it used to have but I guess the people that wanted it to be serious have what they want now

  34. I have a bad habit of fixating on the ground in the apex of the corner, I know I need to keep my head up and look through the corner to go faster but I always have a concern about debris, holes etc in the corner. How do I keep my head up looking where I want to go while still satisfying my need to know the surface is clear?

    Also, my biggest problem descending is straight steep roads where there are no corners to break for and the speed just keeps building. I start getting nervous and stiffen up which gives me the feeling of losing control of the bike. Any pointers for how to stay relaxed and and under control while still maintaining a proper speed?

  35. Great video! You highlight a couple of techniques we use in car racing (I vintage race an Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite) – "High eyes" (look where you want to go) and get you're braking done in a straight line so as not to exceed your tires adhesion limit when cornering (the friction circle and all that). Keep up the good work! Terry Davis, Nebraska, USA

  36. Around where I live, few of the road surfaces are anywhere near as immaculate looking as those featured in this demo. In all my 25 years of road and mountain biking experience, I still get nervous and fixated by potholes, ruts, uneven tarmac, loose gravel and sand on the road. Never mind just looking where I want to go, I have to approach most corners practically having to do a full risk assessment!

  37. Looking where you want to go is all very well but what about when the road surface is bad, like 75% of all the roads here in the UK. I find myself looking for cracks, potholes, gravel, drains or other things to avoid. How does that affect cornering as the thought of looking at the exit / where you want to go makes me think I'll miss these obstacles and ultimately have an accident?

  38. ex motorcyclist here. Whilst braking take up your surroundings, scan the surface of the tarmac and pick your line, release your brakes and commit to the chosen line. look to the end of the corner @ shoulderhight, too many people keep glaring to the tarmac (even when looking ahaid). not confident enough? Let a thrustworthy friend/pilot take point in descends

  39. The videos are getting better at converging physical truth with perceptual reality, however there is still always some inference that one is somehow free to alter where the weight is "over the tire" for a given turn radius, which isn't true. Placing the outer foot down simply uses your leg instead of rump to suspend your weight, giving you more control and better suspension. The suspension helps maintain traction on bumps and possibly gives you a larger lever arm to bend the bike around the steering axis to produce countersteer inputs. It does not though change the position of the C.G. of the system and "put more weight over the wheels". The position of the C.G. is completely dictated by the speed and radius of the turn. Specifically the ratio of C.G lateral position to vertical is equal to v^2/r/g.

    The fact that the force transfers through the outside foot does not mean the weight is more over the outside or that there is any less lateral force on the tire. It's not, and there is not. That's the entire concept of C.G.

  40. You can judge if you are going too fast on a sharp bend by looking at where the left and right hand verges meet. If that point seems to be getting closer you should feather off some speed. If it looks like it's receding then press on.

  41. All great tips. IMO, there's one more critical component, which is doing a late apex, as late as possible before going over the line (or center of the road), especially if it's a road you aren't familiar with. If the corner happens to be a decreasing radius, the late apex will really help you stay on the road. When I descend, I keep telling myself, "look, sweet, relax, late" (look where you want to go, stay in the sweet spot, relax!, late apex).

  42. #torqueback Why the bike should be leaned into the turn and not made straight with the rider leaning instead, just like the motorcyclist do (i.e.

  43. I've always leaned my bike, but I wonder is countersteering important to a bicycle the same way it is to a motorcycle? I've always leaned but a moto you need to countersteer to corner hard.
    Same thing here or does it not matter on a bicycle?

  44. Wider tires also help. I regularly ride a mtn bike on pavement and the lean angle I can get in is insane

  45. 2.27 is some really wrong cornering with the hips showing away …. Comming from a MTB background i can tell you that your hips help massivly in cornering when they point towards the inside

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