Cornering Technique

I listened to the podcast on cornering technique and I’ve been practicing. I still had 2 questions.

  1. I am pushing my foot and leg into the outside pedal. sometimes when I corner hard my rear end lifts from the seat and I feel like I can move the bike a little easier…when I push lighter I am still on the saddle.

Should I always lift my rear out of the saddle?

  1. I’m still not 100% sure on what I should be doing with my arms. (I listened to the podcast 10 times and the arm instructions are just not registering in my brain).


I would not worry too much about what you arms are doing at this point. A lot of people will talk about counter steering, etc…information overload as you are still working on the basics.

Just focus on keeping them relaxed so they can absorb bumbs and whatever else is in the road. Stiff arms lead to overreactions from road stimuli.

The biggest thing to work on when cornering is looking where you want to go…keep your eyes up and through the turn. Once you learn how to do that, everything else becomes easier and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can carve a very stable turn almost immediately.


When cornering at speed I am usually hovering over the seat although moved slightly back (I can feel its edges on the inside of my thigh) while at the same time I am trying to put all my weight on the outside pedal while lifting the inside handlebar drop. I do not think about lifting the inside pedal just as I do not think of weighting the outside handlebar drop. So in review my focus is on weighting the outside pedal and lifting the inside handlebar drop.

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^^^ this. @genefish all the arm instructions just don’t register with me. What I do is put the outside pedal down, look thru the turn, and let my body figure out the rest. Although I had a lot of experience carving high-speed turns on alpine skis, so maybe 30+ years of skiing muscle memory helped out with cycling.

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All of the above plus it helps to visualize that the road is super wide in your mind. Helps avoid the puckering if you turn in too soon or come in a bit faster than expected.

Additionally, I think breaking a turn into 2 parts, and focusing on the two points separately heps.

1st, as you turn in, laser focus on the apex of the turn, steering into it. You’ll notice at a point you just intuitively ‘know’ you’ll get to the point.

Then, after you ‘know’ you’re headed at the apex, shift focus to a spot up the road/trail where you want to exit at.

Drop your upper body and head lower than a normal riding position to L ower centre of gravity.

Keep your shoulders parallel to the bars.

Weight/Pressure in outside pedal.

For high speed or excessive leaning:
Point inside knee into the corner. Slightly off the saddle, i.e. pressure is off the saddle. Body, pelvis and head should be behind (outside of) the straight line that extends through the axle, headset and beyond (see example/red line).

  • A = centre of gravity (intersection of B & C)
  • B = gravity force
  • C = centrifugal force

I’d agree with the approach generally outlined above! For arms, I’d say I’m most comfortable in a turn when they’re deeply bent, comfortably relaxed (but not noodly), and weighting the bars however the corner requires. I don’t really have a set of rules for which part of the bar I weight or push — it’s usually instinctive and dependent on the type of corner/surface/which bike I’m riding.

Next step for me is to get to work on grass cornering for CX!