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Cornering and Tyre pressure

walsht1105walsht1105 Posts: 120
My cornering along with my descending is holding me back big time. I have read pretty much everything I can find on cornering and descending, I know I need to relax, I know about looking where you want to go not where you don't want to go, pushing on your outside foot, dropping your inside shoulder, I have read about the centrifugal? forces...

But I just don't feel confident descending/going in to corners quickly and it ruins my chances in racing. I just feel like my tyres are going to come from underneath me, like there is no grip - I have checked my tyres even replaced them to make sure its not a problem with them.

I wonder if the pressure I use is to high, I pump mine up to 110PSI and I weight 59-60kg. Is this too high? Michelin Pro3'S reckon weight of 60kg = 90PSI? Do you think having my tyres pumped too hard could be part of my problem or am I just being a sissy!

(I expect most to say I'm being a sissy and to MTFU)

Posts

  • manxshredmanxshred Posts: 295
    Harder tire does not equal faster. The tire will skip more on the road as it is not a perfectly flat surface. The same will happen in corners where the tire will bounce on any small bump or stone rather than deforming over it. Try dropping the pressure to 100 and try. Then drop a bit more till you find what works for you.

    Cornering is about confidence and having softer tires might just help the feeling of the bike, hence your confidence.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Personally I feel more confident cornering on harder tyres. When they're soft then feel like they might roll off the rim or something...
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  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Yes that's too hard. If its a concern that your tyres might slip or skip or feel squirrelly you want to know in your head that you have LOTS of contact patch. It gives you more insurance in case you have to use your brakes unexpectedly.

    Take them down to 100psi and see how it goes. Then try 105, then try 95 and see what "feels" best. Simple as trial and error. You might find that 115 psi is corrrect in the end, but if you never tried, you'll never know. As I say at the bottom:

    "don't die wondering"

    Back in the early 1990s when Conti Grand Prix tyres came out they were legendary. Everyone had the 20c size on Mavic Open 4 CD rims pumped to 120psi and we thought we were in nirvana. At the time this was the method.

    Now, I've gone wide (HED C2 rims) and 23 or 25mm tyres at 95 psi and they feel more like my old Mavic GP4 tubs (that was 20 years ago so I can't really remember how they felt to be honest) but it's a damn sight better than 120psi. Other Cat 2 racers are running tubeless Hutchinson's at 80-85psi around Hog Hill with victorious effects.

    Contact patch is your friend if you're skittish on descents. MTB & CX riders do the same thing for traction up hills and around corners. Some of that thinking does carry over onto the road.

    Experiment with it on a nice set of switchbacks near you.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,326 Lives Here
    6-7 bar.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    The best way to learn to corner (once you're running your tyres as soft as you dare) is to find a decent smooth quiet corner and just keep hitting it faster and faster until you slide out.

    But the benefit of sliding out is that you'll probably be okay.
  • walsht1105walsht1105 Posts: 120
    so when you guys corner do you just go as fast as you can and lean? how much lean can you give it before the bike will slip, is it a lot? Do you actually feel like your leaning in to the corner, can you tell the bike is at an angle or does it just feel normal/stable? I just need to bite the bullet and lean real hard in to corner don't i lol

    In your mind how much do little bumps in the road affect corner/grip? a lot or not at all?

    What about grit, if you see grit on the road that your most likely going to end up riding through how much does that bother you?

    What about the rain - if the road is slightly damp do you have to drastically slow your cornering down or is it 90% less of what you would do in the dry? so if you were taking the same corner with the only variable being the road is slightly damp, how much would you ease up in comparison to it being dry?

    I know I think too much about cornering and I need to relax but I feel like I'm missing something coz I just don't feel like I can get the bike around the corner safely at speed
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I think you're supposed to lean the bike whilst keeping your body relatively straight for optimum cornering, aren't you?
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  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    walsht1105 wrote:
    so when you guys corner do you just go as fast as you can and lean? how much lean can you give it before the bike will slip, is it a lot? Do you actually feel like your leaning in to the corner, can you tell the bike is at an angle or does it just feel normal/stable? I just need to bite the bullet and lean real hard in to corner don't i lol

    In your mind how much do little bumps in the road affect corner/grip? a lot or not at all?

    What about grit, if you see grit on the road that your most likely going to end up riding through how much does that bother you?

    What about the rain - if the road is slightly damp do you have to drastically slow your cornering down or is it 90% less of what you would do in the dry? so if you were taking the same corner with the only variable being the road is slightly damp, how much would you ease up in comparison to it being dry?

    I know I think too much about cornering and I need to relax but I feel like I'm missing something coz I just don't feel like I can get the bike around the corner safely at speed
    One word: watch the tour de france! Watch the rider very very carefully. Watch how they shift their weight. Watch their elbow angle, their back angle. Might was well see how the best do it.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    walsht1105 wrote:
    My cornering along with my descending is holding me back big time. I have read pretty much everything I can find on cornering and descending, I know I need to relax, I know about looking where you want to go not where you don't want to go, pushing on your outside foot, dropping your inside shoulder, I have read about the centrifugal? forces...

    But I just don't feel confident descending/going in to corners quickly and it ruins my chances in racing. I just feel like my tyres are going to come from underneath me, like there is no grip - I have checked my tyres even replaced them to make sure its not a problem with them.

    I wonder if the pressure I use is to high, I pump mine up to 110PSI and I weight 59-60kg. Is this too high? Michelin Pro3'S reckon weight of 60kg = 90PSI? Do you think having my tyres pumped too hard could be part of my problem or am I just being a sissy!

    (I expect most to say I'm being a sissy and to MTFU)

    Get some Ultremo R.1 or ZX - better than PR3 for cornering.

    Press on the outside pedal.

    Other than that, unfortunately its mostly down to the size of yer b0ll0cks :)
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I think you're supposed to lean the bike whilst keeping your body relatively straight for optimum cornering, aren't you?
    Who says?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • Karl2010Karl2010 Posts: 511
    If there is someone desending infront of you and going faster in the corners than you then you must be able to push yourself a little.

    I meen if they can do it, surely you can do it?

    Obviously if it feels realy dangerous then ease off.

    You could try desending to kill yourself.. In other words just say "censored it" im gonna go as hard and as fast as i can through this corner and bloll0x to it if i come off.!

    You never know it could just be a fear issue. Try ignoring the instinct that says "this is dangerous i need to ease off" and just see what happens.

    Probaly not the best advice. Depends how much of a mad [email protected] you are.!
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Herbsman wrote:
    I think you're supposed to lean the bike whilst keeping your body relatively straight for optimum cornering, aren't you?
    Who says?

    Can't remember but I'm sure I read that somewhere... I've tried it and it makes me feel a bit more secure going fast into corners...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • DubaiNeilDubaiNeil Posts: 246
    1) MTFU

    2) Try mountain biking (not Downhill Racing) - the "out of control" & "about to crash" feeling happens a lot slower, and with (generally/sometimes) a softer landing. Body armour is also more acceptable than road riding.

    3) Buy a motorbike and do a track riding course, you'll really learn how much cornering is possible on tiny little contact areas relative to power output & speed

    4) Try a lower tyre pressure, as this is a free trial!

    I have done (2), (3) & (4) and do find that my confidence exceeds that of the majority of my riding group.

    In my normal road riding (including some racing) I don't recall EVER seeing anyone actually "slide out" due to exceeding the available traction from their tyres. Collisions - yes, p*nctures - yes, running out of road/talent - yes, pedal strike - yes, but a simple slide - no. Then again, we don't have any rain :lol:

    All IMHO, :roll: , :? , :wink: etc
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    walsht1105 wrote:

    In your mind how much do little bumps in the road affect corner/grip? a lot or not at all?

    What about grit, if you see grit on the road that your most likely going to end up riding through how much does that bother you?

    What about the rain - if the road is slightly damp do you have to drastically slow your cornering down or is it 90% less of what you would do in the dry? so if you were taking the same corner with the only variable being the road is slightly damp, how much would you ease up in comparison to it being dry?

    road surface, grit, white lines, dead rabbits :shock: and rain/snow melt all affect how I descend - but the main decider is how long line of sight I can create for myself - if its short I take it easy if its long - like the tourmalet - woooo hoooo!
    I think what others have written - that just sliding out is unlikely is probably true - more likely to meet road furniture or run out of road than just simply drop the bike & slide!
    And the tip about looking where you want to go not at what you want to avoid DOES work on a motorbike as well as on push bikes - head up - look forward - stay SHARP
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    i wouldnt consciously be thinking about your lean angle, you look through the corner see your line and go, the bike (and you) will naturally lean to the required angle. as said above poor visibility, poor surface conditions etc generally mean dont go balls out.

    +1 for motorcycling teaching you how to corner, im new to cycling and usually struggling at the back but when we get a decent descent i find i can get to the front pretty easy.
    the other thing if you can overcome your fear descending is bloody good fun- the fastest youll ever go without even trying 8)
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    walsht1105 wrote:
    so when you guys corner do you just go as fast as you can and lean? how much lean can you give it before the bike will slip, is it a lot? Do you actually feel like your leaning in to the corner, can you tell the bike is at an angle or does it just feel normal/stable? I just need to bite the bullet and lean real hard in to corner don't i lol

    In your mind how much do little bumps in the road affect corner/grip? a lot or not at all?

    What about grit, if you see grit on the road that your most likely going to end up riding through how much does that bother you?

    What about the rain - if the road is slightly damp do you have to drastically slow your cornering down or is it 90% less of what you would do in the dry? so if you were taking the same corner with the only variable being the road is slightly damp, how much would you ease up in comparison to it being dry?

    I know I think too much about cornering and I need to relax but I feel like I'm missing something coz I just don't feel like I can get the bike around the corner safely at speed

    Careful on grit, grip will vanish.

    It hurts too to have the front wash out at 25mph or so. However I did find the edge of my Michelin Krylions. on a dry road I hit the left hander at 25+ MPH, gripped fine, the left hander which follows right after had grit around the edge which I didnt spot, and at simular speeds the front washed out on me.

    These tyres are supprisingly grippy, I am 85kg and at 115psi they really do go well, but at high pressures they simply do not "mould" around censored on the road surfaces, instead slip over the top and crash.

    In the dry and on a clear road you can really hammer the corners, it just takes balls to do it. Once you get over the mental block you will have to be doing stupid speed to wash out. However, if you see grit, take it from me, slow down. It really hurts, as you can see from this pic http://lp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb6306009/p4pb6306009.jpg

    As for turning, I always turned on my roadie like a motorbike, still seated but lean in with the bike. on the MTB, I stand and lean the bike under me while I stay central over the contact patch. Not sure if this is correct but it works well for both
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    The motorbike thing is a funny one - I do have a mate who is quite new to cycling but who is a fearless descender and he thinks his motorbike background helps. On the other hand I know a guy who used to (may still) get paid for teaching motorbike racing yes he's one of the slowest descenders I know.

    That said I can believe there is a link in terms of finding the right line through corners and keeping your eyes up looking where you want to go rather than at the road in front of you.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • At only around 60 kilos, you're very light. I'd drop the pressure in the tyres a bit.

    I tend to ride at around 100psi and i'm around 75 kilos, when i was 65 kilos i used to ride at 90psi.

    I was a fearless descender a couple of years ago when i was 17/18. Since having an accident on a flat road where my back wheel slipped from underneath me cornering i've been a lot more cautious. Two years on from this accident and i'm starting to get my confidence back.

    The motorbike thing is weird for sure. After riding my motorbike and getting on the racing bike, i'm not as confident on the racing bike as it feels so different. It takes a couple of days to get feel right again.
    Road: Hinde aluminium frame (black) with black Shimano 105 groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels

    Mountain: Diamondback S10 four point linkage full sus modified with Kona rear triangle and custom componentry
  • walsht1105walsht1105 Posts: 120
    Thanks for the replies, I have dropped the PSI and I do feel more confident on the cornering now... Probably all in the mind though, I imagine if someone increased the PSI with out me knowing I probably wouldn't know the difference lol

    I'm probably gonna do sessions dedicated to practising cornering now, got a nice quiet area to ride around the block doing four left turns, then swap direction and do right turns instead.
  • rlsrls Posts: 44
    I've done a lot of motorcycling, including touring through europe and racing on circuits in the UK and Spain, and would say that the biggest thing motorcycling lends to road biking is the ability to read the road well at speed. It wont automatically make you downhill like a nutter though...that either happens or it doesn't. :D

    As for technique, I also find it depends on the terrain and will certainly ease off if there is anything in the way that compromises grip (grit, water, roadkill, straw etc) or if I can't see through a bend.

    +1 for glorious French mountain descents. The best one I've found so far is descending the Galibier towards the Telegraphe, although Galibier through Lauteret and on to Bourg d'Oisans is awesome just because it seems to go on for ever. :D
  • Biffz0idBiffz0id Posts: 123
    I know it's more related to MTB but this may help a little - http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-Tuesd ... -2011.html.

    Anyhow, another tip, not sure if it's been mentioned, but run your front tyre at a slightly lower pressure than your rear. Theoretically it means if a tyre's going to wash it'll be your rear.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    1 'watch how the pro's descend' while they're easily the best at going up and going very fast generally, does it follow that they make the best descenders?

    2 'use the same techniques as motorbikes, ie lean the bike not yourself' I'm really not sure about this one. Motorbikes and their tyres are designed to be leaned over, I'm not so sure that push bikes with skinny tyres should be leaned over at all. On a push bike where you put weight will haveca bigger impact than how you put relativevlight bike.

    On a side note, any motorbike fans explain why a few of the moto gp riders are now sticking a foot out to corner? Again to me this emphasises how big an effect body weight distribution has on climbing.
  • rlsrls Posts: 44
    chrisw12 wrote:
    On a side note, any motorbike fans explain why a few of the moto gp riders are now sticking a foot out to corner? Again to me this emphasises how big an effect body weight distribution has on climbing.

    Sticking your foot out shifts the centre of gravity and helps ease the motorbike into a corner...no need to do it unless you're riding at superhuman speeds though. I accidentally did it once while signalling with my foot that I was about to pull off track just before a corner and was suprised how easy it made the bike to tip in. It wasn't all about weight shift though, at 100+ mph the wind hitting your leg has a huge impact which isn't easy to see when watching it on the tv, and is probably missed by a lot of people, unless they've stuck their leg out a car window while doing over a tonne!

    As for leaning over on pushbike tyres, a lot of them are multi-compound, just like motorbike tyres, with grippier but softer wearing sections that only touch when you lean the bike over.

    Richard
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    This:

    http://www.perfectcondition.ltd.uk/Arti ... ending.htm

    and this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdwxu58U0rQ

    made a massive difference to my descending. Inside shin against top-tube (really helps to stiffen the bike up, at least for me with my 59cm frame!), weight on outside foot, and (the key) positive pressure on the inside arm to control the lean/turn.

    Have fun!
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