Corner Faster

Riding bermed or supported turns is different than riding flat or off camber turns. In a banked or supported turn, both the rider and the bike will lean up to the angle of the berm. When the rider starts to come through the turn faster, the body will stop leaning once perpendicular to the berm and the bike will continue to lean - which will put the seat closer to the inside thigh.

On a flat unsupported turn or in an off camber turn, the bike will be leaned but not the rider. This is because we want to create pressure directly into the ground beneath our wheels. If I were to lean both the bike and the rider in a flat or off-camber turn, a slide would happen very quickly. In order to corner well on flat or off-camber turns, the bike should lean toward the inside thigh as I make pressure with my outside foot. It can also be helpful to think of lifting the outside hip slightly to help create the healthy bike/body separation we want in a flat turn.

Often turns have some kind of combination of supported and flatter areas. Many bermed turns end with flat ground. In this instance, I want to be able to combine the above techniques. I want to lean both the bike and the rider in the banked part of the turn. Once the banking decreases and the ground becomes flat again, I want to be sure to raise my outside hip so as to stop leaning the rider so much, and let the bike continue to lean.

To get better at cornering in short order, practice a series of bermed turns - then a series of flat turns with each of the above techniques. Once you have those working well, find place on the trail where these skills can be combined. Once you have mastery of both techniques and are starting to blend them well, your cornering will never be the same!