It is 2021 and I still cannot corner

I have always been weak at cornering but it is getting frustrating now. I have done so much research and I still can’t get myself to bend the bike or take the best line. Advice will be appreciated:

I have been practicing on this local corner by my old high school (I only practice this in areas where I can see every aspect of the corner from a distance for safety against cars). I take it at about 21-22mph with no problem.

Here is a video of me doing it from the ground: Cornering - YouTube
Here is a video of me doing it from a gopro: Gopro cornweing - YouTube

I have been using google earth to look at the length of the apex to determine how tight a corner is.

Corner I train on:

Please let me know how I did on that corner and how I can improve!!

The thing is none of the corners on my race are that tight and the roads are wider so I will be taking them faster… but doing these at the same bank angle is so difficult. I am still working on looking in the direction you’re going but I don’t think it can help as much as I need it to.

I found a local corner that is most similar to the one in my race that I am working on.

If we do some math… If I can do 22mph at line length of 21m then by proportions I should be able to do the 26m (the one I am going to try and do) at 28mph (this seems crazy).

I am interested to hear your thoughts on this idea and looking for advice on how to get these down. On top of just this I need to be able to do these in a race in a large group. I was just looking over the data from the winner of last years race and their cornering speeds so I need to be able to corner this corner at 28mph.

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If you’re trying to ride in a straight line you’re going to need to slow down.

In your first image the turn in point is above where you start your line (should be by the tree) and the finish point is the second tree on parking island after the island your line ends at. This will prescribe a slightly tightening arc.

You would do well watching race car lines through corners to understand how to maintain speed. The shortest line isn’t going to necessarily be the fastest. And by race cars I don’t mean NASCAR. Try F1 and the like.

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It’s 2021

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Perhaps we can widen the topic slightly: how and where do you practice cornering? I’m asking because if you practice cornering for racing, you can (and often should) clearly use the full width of the road. But that is a rare luxury on public roads. Any tipps and tricks?

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FYI for everyone else - he’s not taking the lines shown in the pictures.

Is there any reason why you aren’t taking the whole lane?

Your lines are too tight. Assuming you can take the whole road you are starting wide on the right side which is good but you turn in too early which is causing you to straighten up and adjust mid corner. Realistically you could go full send on that corner by turning in a little later (second tree), hitting your apex and then exiting right next to the parking island on the right all without hitting your brakes and then swinging left to prepare for the next right hander you took.

If you’re afraid of someone coming up and undercutting you on the inside then they will either one cause a crash because they will have no where to go but to the outside or two they will have to brake hard to avoid a crash. Since there is a right hander after that left there isn’t really much choice of line through there if you wanted to keep your speed up.

If it feels unsafe to take that corner faster, maybe it is. Maybe the road surface is bad, or is slightly off camber. Or maybe you have the wrong tyres or run them at the wrong pressure. Or your weight on the bike is wrong, and leaning it further will make you slide out.

Ideally, you’d get a mate who is good at cornering to test out the max speed and best line, and pull you through it.

Also, the race situation will help if it’s just a mental hurdle.

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Looking a little at your GoPro footage it seems like you’re trying to lean the bike too much than what is needed, then trying to recover that, and then trying to find a line.

Dont force the bike, look where you want to go and let your body steer that, and let the bike follow.

Feels a bit like your body and your bike are trying to do two different things

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I was thinking I had slept in by a little too much

A few tips which really helped me:

1. Be relexed, especially in upper body
2. Brake earlier so you don’t have to brake while cornering
3. Start cornering wide (and not too early) and then try to hit apex and then exit wide again
4. Look where you want to go and not front wheel
5. Try to follow better riders and see what they are doing
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You may well be doing it already but I find consciously loading my inside hand; encourages counter steering which can help initiate the turn and feel more confident through it, is my go to whenever I’m not feeling it.

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I’m in the same situation as you. Now that I’m a stronger rider I want to get better at cornering so I can hold my speed up but I have a mental anxiety about every corner I take fast. I thought I was getting better at it then I was on a group ride and I was the third bike and took the corner faster than the bike in front so I clipped his front wheel. After putting my Allez in the ditch I have decided to ride solo or with just one other person until I get much better at it. We will get there, it sounds like you are just as determined as me to get better at it.

Fixed it for you

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I’ve the same issue with cornering on open roads. So used to training in the one lane that I think I’ve a psychological block on crossing over. Starting a new race series in a couple of weeks, hopefully I’ll have the hang of it before it’s over . Think it’s liking skiing though - look/focus on where you want to end up rather than on the ground or the corner itself.

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General comment. Not that anyone does this here…

The worst cornering always always comes from riders who “lead” with their head and shoulders. Hard to explain but, when you see it you understand why they are slow, ginger and can’t corner as tight at speed. And this is not just a beginner thing. I’ve seen it with two teammates who are cat 1’s. If it’s a technical criterium I never get behind them. They fade off the wheel and needlessly spike the power to get back on the wheel as the road straightens out. Drives me crazy.

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Is this a good line to practice. I am taking it left so starting at the bottom and turning left (for safety and so I can get speed before the turn easily)

Note: In the race I have its a straight up left turn. The one I am practicing on angles outwards, but I want to take it as if it was a sharp left turn (as it will be in the race) so that is why on the exit it is defiantly not the best line. No I will not begin to turn into the curve at the very end of the corner. I just want to make sure I have enough space to abandon if needed.

Can you go into more detail? I thought you should look where you want to go, which invariably means turning your head (and perhaps your shoulders) in the direction of travel.

I think it’s something to do with their shoulders…IDK if I can describe it well but, it’s a little like in alpine skiing. When a skier is carving a turn say to the left and they rotate their shoulders into the turn (so right shoulder forward and left shoulder back) they will lose pressure on the skis and eventually the tail will wash/slide lose edge.

Same thing on the bike. Rotate your shoulders into the turn and (I think, I’m not sure cause I don’t do it) weight is transferred away from the outside leg/foot/pedal. The resultant is basically falling inside and therefore not being able to corner as tight and/or fast. More weight inside is bad.

Sorry that’s all I have. I tried to find a youtube but, all I got was what to do. Not what not to do…lol!

Update:
I made the corner bigger so I can take it faster. Can comfortably hit the apex or a meter before the apex at 28mph. I slow down quickly after that because it is uphill. I will do another corner in that intersection where there is no uphill after apex so I don’t lose any speed so I can do the entire thing at 28mph. I did not feel like the bike was on the verge of sliding out so I can probably try and bump it up to 30. I drew out the line I am taking in chalk on the road so I could follow it at first then I started to naturally take it without having to look and that is when I started making sure I was turning my head to see where I was going.

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Landis is correct, most roadies are horrible at cornering no matter what their CAT level, and don’t turn with your head and shoulders. Also, Blind76 has good overall advice. But neither told you how to actually do it.

Coming from a MTB racing background when I raced CX I could out-corner the roadies and gain 20-30 spots in the first couple of corners (this was when CX was huge).

So what’s the secret? Open up your hips to the turn and turn w/ your mid-section, not your head and shoulders (as Landis mentioned). In your video your bike isn’t too far into the lean, it actually looks OK, but your hips are too perpendicular with the bike and you aren’t looking through the turn. That is why you are having trouble coming around and your bike wants to go straight. The best way to understand is to imagine someone pulling on a string attached to your belly button. Turning left your saddle should look like this: | and your hips: / (obviously extremely exaggerated, but I suck at creating graphics)

How to corner better:
-Open up your hips to the turn
-Weight the outside foot and inside hand
-Look ALL the way through the turn. Wherever you are looking is where you are going to go. I actually point my chin where I want to go.

Things you are doing wrong in the video:
-Hips are perpendicular to the bike not opened to the turn
-You are looking at the camera instead of looking all the way through the turn
-You should be closer to the outside curb when starting your turn, which will smooth out the arc

You “dip” your bike a bit on the apex of the turn. The turn is closing a bit faster than you are anticipating/ able to handle. Working on the above will help you get smoother through the turns. On the last point, in a race sometimes your line is dictated by the person next to you. But if your hips are open and you are looking forward you can normally handle anything.

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I totally get the reference to alpine skiing. But there the slope has a constant direction and you should only move your lower body to make turns. But that isn’t how I picture cornering on a bike. I always thought you were supposed to turn you head and to some degree your shoulders in the direction you want to go in, but that your lower body should be square to the bike. A reverse alpine skier if you wish. Is that your point?

PS FWIW I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m not great at cornering, I got dropped on the last group ride twice on the downhill.