Help Needed, Cornering & Turning Tips

anyone know the best podcast or videos for cornering tips. Also, any drills that you think will help me out

I did my 1st road race this weekend and the corners killed me. Thanks in advance


Watch MotoGP. Learn how to trail brake, hang off the bike slightly in the corners, counter-steer consciously, aim for high exit speed.

After 12 years on a motorbike, high speed cornering on a road bike is a joke in comparison.


Race more!

Get your braking done before you enter the turn.
Start pedaling before the gap (i.e. anticipate) opens up coming out of the turn.
Keep the rubber side down!

You can actually make up spots and/or save a lot of energy when going thru turns properly. Also, the further back you are in the group, the more rubber-banding/yo-yo’ing there will be going into and out of the turns. As a result, the accelerations will also be harder. Thus, position yourself further towards the front.


I would also suggest to watch some mtb cornering videos, they cover basics very well, where to apply pressure, body positioning, line taking, etc. Same principles apply to road, but perhaps, in more subtle way.

Cornering in the peloton is more than just bike handling, a lot of it is surrounding awareness and anticipation thingy…


I really don’t see much crossover in terms of technique.

Hands on motorbike experience may give you a good feel for what the bike is doing and how to position yourself accordingly but the body position of a moto gp rider isn’t anything like that of a cyclist.

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  1. Brake before the corner, not during

  2. Put your outside foot to 6 o’clock and push down HARD

  3. Get your body low - the lower the centre of gravity, the better

  4. Pull down on the bars with your inside hand

  5. Look where you want to go, not where you’re currently pointed - keep your eyes on the vanishing point if possible, or a few bikes ahead of you in a race.

Those tips get me round most bends…


What is it about the corners that you struggle with? Is it confidence or technique or both?

Practice is the obvious answer but there are plenty of little tips that may help, depending on what you’re struggling with.

  1. Look round to the apex and then exit of the corner. Don’t stare at that patch of tarmac right in front of your wheel, or the rider in fronts wheel.

  2. If carrying enough speed then drop your outside foot, put your weight through that foot and through your inside arm. The faster the corner, the more you may feel it necessary to drop your torso down towards the bars, probably with your hands in the drops. This will help weight the front wheel and increase grip.

  3. Keep your arms relaxed. Keep your elbows bent and a light grip on the bars. Your weighting of your outside foot and your lowered torso will keep the bike balanced and promote grip in both tyres.

  4. Check your equipment before training/racing (tyres in good condition, no play in headset etc) and then trust that that equipment will get you round the corners. If you’re a nervous rider then the bike will be much more capable than you are, so have faith in it.

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Here you go

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What’s the difference then? Of course you don’t hang off the bike as much as on a motorbike going 170 km/h through a corner, neither does your road bike weigh 180 kg, and your tyres aren’t as wide and grippy.
The fundamentals are the same - bicycles allow much greater mistakes and the marginals are much greater. Everyone in MotoGP/Formula 1 corners the same, while in bicycling people have different techniques and still get away with flaws. Look at the fastest cyclists going down hill in grand tours though, at 80-100 km/h - likely MotoGP technique.
All the braking, unweighting, body and bar control described in this thread, also by you, is the same. However, if you don’t have perfect technique with body positioning, trail braking and unweighting when racing motorbikes, you’re screwed. In road biking, not so much - you just have to compensate by pedaling harder out of the corner and afterwards.

Pedal pressing is bullshit. You just have to unweight your butt, for suspension reasons. Which pedal you press on only affects steering a bit, but you steer with your handlebars anyway. Once again, look at MotoGP, some press on the outside and som press entirely on the inside - exactly the same results since the body position and handlebar control is the same.

MTB technique is often different since they go at lower speeds and have less traction. It’s like comparing Formula 1 and rally, or MotoGP and enduro/motocross. When on asphalt, you don’t lean the bike and keep the body upright to slide sideways through corners - you do exactly the opposite, keep the bike as upright as possible when leaning the body to maintain traction.

Well you’ve listed the main differences for me so I won’t repeat for you. The fact is that the difference in speed, contact patch and weight makes riding a bike and motorbike quite different

I’m not sure what you mean by “look at the fastest cyclists…likely moto gp technique”. What does that mean? People were riding bicycles before moto gp existed.

I agree that the braking, unweighting, body and bar control are the same between motorbike and bicycle but these aren’t things you can see by watching videos of motogp so that’s unlikely to be useful.

I’m not sure how you can say pedal pressing is bullshit. Try going round a fast corner with both pedals level and all your weight on your butt and hands. You don’t steer with your handlebars unless youre riding at walking pace. In fact, you can steer a lot more successfully whilst no-handed than you could by keeping your body still and just using your hands.

Racing downhill - the best and easiest advice for beginners is: LOOK AHEAD. Do not stare at your front wheel.

for me its a technique and confidence thing. im gonna start practicing and paying way more attention to pre braking and leaning harder, plus eye placement.

now when you say pull down with inside hand. do you mean push the bar into the ground. or imagine pulling myself into the bar?

What helped me a lot was to ride with more experienced cyclists (I have only had my road bike for a bit more than a year, was riding mountain bikes before that). If you see them ride a corner at speed taking a certain line, this gives you the confidence that you can do it, too. With mountain bikes, you really have to be more creative when cornering, since you need to take grip level and surface structure along different lines into account. On a road bike, you can stay closer to the ideal line, provided you have space (which is not always a given in a race). One of the cardinal rules is that you should do all the breaking before cornering. Having disk brakes definitely up my confidence in my experience: I have much better modulation and can feel what is going on.

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If you have to brake in the turn, only use the rear brake. I find this allows the bike to better maintain lean whereas touching the front brake makes the bike want to come up a little straighter (I think I might have read that in McCormick’s MTB book). I also prefer the Davis Phinney method, which definitely varies from what you see most racers doing. Phinney recommends moving your inside knee in towards the top tube - sometimes I actually find my knee touching the top tube - whereas many others and racers often have their inside knees away from the bike and pointing into the turn. Maybe this is also b/c I find this more comfortable as I’m also a skier and this relates to angulation and getting more weight over the tires. Try each one out and see what you feel most comfortable with. I still find myself leaning my inside knee into the turns sometimes … which I find to work better at slower speeds.

I love this thread - all these tips and tricks are great but honestly the best way to learn how to corner is to go do it.

Find someone who is a better bike handler than you are and try to hold their wheel through a turn at 20, then 25, then 30, so on and so forth.

You can practice technique and read about it all you want - but this is something that requires muscle memory and confidence. By all means, go try out every tip and piece of advice in this thread - but at some point you’ve got to get your reps in and finding a faster more confident wheel to follow will help you level up this skill faster than any amount of reading or advice

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It is definitely preferable for the rear wheel to lose traction than the front wheel. As a MTBer, I don’t panic when I slide out a little, I know how to catch it. But you need to practice that and feel comfortable doing that. For if you panic, things can go wrong quickly.

Instead of supporting upper body weight with both hands (as during normal riding), bias it into the inner hand, while the outer one is still attached, but feels unweighted. It works better in drops too.

Watch Vincenzo Nibali


Regarding front or rear brake, you have to understand what brake does what and when to use which, which combination and what amounts. Touching your rear brake while already braking hard will just make you skid since the rear tyre is already almost lifting off the ground. The majority of braking is always done on the front since there is much more weight and traction while braking there.

However, when on loose or wet surface, if you brake hard at the front the rear won’t lift, the front will wipe out and you’re on the ground. So loose/wet surface is totally different from dry asphalt with sticky tyres, as is cornering on loose surface (mtb) and road bike (asphalt).

Once again, motorbike techniques. Most cyclists are slow in corners, no matter ftp or what category they’re in. I always rest in corners and still leave gaps behind me. (I rarely brake in corners at all while on a bicycle, unless I see gravel or other dirt. On a motorbike there’s always a lot of braking going fast into corners.)