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I've been riding now for 3 years, and one area that is frustrating me is my descending and cornering. I tend to be too heavy and too early on the brakes. I think it's partly down to doubts in my mind, but I'm sure technically I could improve a he'll of a lot. So I was wondering if anyone had any tips or suggestions? Cheers

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SideBurn [890 posts] 5 years ago
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This is a technique that someone needs to show you, there are lots of videos on YouTube about this technique it is called using the 'limit point'. Nothing to do with grip, it is using the limit of your vision to assess the severity of a bend and brake and accelerate correctly. The videos are all car/motorbike orientated but can be adapted for cycling! Practice will make perfect. Most importantly remember that when you lean into a right hand bend your head will lean into oncoming traffic! So stay well to the left of the central white line. Alternatively do what Magnus Backstedt recommends and just don't use the brakes!
Let me know how you get on! and mind the gravel, pot holes, white lines....

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 5 years ago
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I get people around my area asking me this all the time because i'm always getting stopped coming back into my village by the police and speed trap thing, the limit just off the bottom of the hill is 30mph and i've been caught going 52mph and keep getting warned about it

As i tell them, if i try and use my brakes on that kind of surface i'll go off, so i have to slow down on the flat

But i tell everyone, just go downhill as you feel comfortable, dont go trying to learn styles and try it how professionals do because all your doing if you try that is putting yourself at risk

If you watch a video online of someone going downhill and then go and try it, the slightest wobble could see you on your arse sliding downhill or even worse, under a vehicle, so as long as your comfy, try what you want, but dont push the limits to far

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stuke [335 posts] 5 years ago
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Practice on descent that you know well that way there will be no suprises. Its all about looking ahead and road positioning, for instance a right hander, start on the left hand side of the lane and aim for the apex of the bend, you should hit the apex at around the centre of the road then let the bike drift back to the left. as you are taking the corner have your right hand pedal at around 12 0'clock and your weight shifted slightly to the right, this should keep the bike on its intended line. If you do start to drift off your line a shift in body weight is the easiest way to correct it. cover your brakes but only use them on the straight section before or between bends to control your entry speed. Use both brakes lightly to scrub speed if you need to. The 'limit point or 'vanishing point' as mentioned above is a good general rule no matter what transport you're using, basically if the apex is moving towards you you're travelling to fast, moving away you can go faster, at a constant - right speed, it sounds odd but try it and you'll soon be able to read corners. Above all practice, learn your tyres limits and yours, keep everything smooth. Confidence is the key and keep your arms relaxed.

a video of me descending the Gospel Pass, used the brakes a handful of times for the tighter bends but mostly down to good positioning and looking ahead
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVo6qz0R-bE

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vorsprung [279 posts] 5 years ago
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Yeah, just don't take corners fast

Tearing new £100 coat after 2 weeks-- downhill cornering

First time in an ambulance-- downhill cornering

Getting knocked out and road rash two weeks before French cycling trip -- downhill cornering

Broken collar bone, 3 months off the road-- downhill cornering

Don't be frustrated, be safe

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handlebarcam [568 posts] 5 years ago
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Gianni Bugno is said to have cured his fear of descending by listening to Mozart as musical therapy. Not sure how much credit you can really give to that for his subsequent Giro win, not least because his performance in the rather more crucial uphill sections are said by other people to have had a quite different origin...

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oldgit [24 posts] 5 years ago
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It comes to you, there isn't any correct text book way.

Try if you can riding with some good roadmen, not just fit strong blokes and you'll find yourself cornering and descending like a pro?.
TBH nows a great time to push it bit, it's dry and fast and your bike should behave as best it can under these conditions.
But for now just relax and try nice lines at your normal speed, you'll get it.

Think Finesse, finesse the bike and your body.

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oldgit [24 posts] 5 years ago
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Flippin double post