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Technique Improvement - switchbacks

DarlophilDarlophil Posts: 16
edited July 2014 in MTB beginners
I'm not sure if this is just a personal shortcoming (I have many but we'll concentrate on mtb's) but I just can't seem to handle tight right hand switchbacks.

Left hand switchbacks I can do fine with no dramas, but with right handers I seem to get to the apex of the corner, lose balance and the left foot touches down.

Do/have any other riders (spicifically right handers) had issues with this type of corner and how do you go about getting the technique right?

Is it just a case of Practice Practice Practice, or any other methods that may be helpful?

Posts

  • Pesky JonesPesky Jones Posts: 2,986
    Im not really sure about switchbacks but I used to be able to ride left berms a lot better than right, it is literally a case of practice.

    Try and go as fast as you can, almost as you would if it were a left one. I did this, and came off a couple of times, but you do get the flow of it and by the end of it you know how to ride it!
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I find them harder because I naturally lead with my right foot. Conciously go into them leading with your left foot.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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    Parktools
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Its just practice until you get it right. Try and be a smooth as you can and build the speed up with each attempt. You can also see the line someone else takes and how they handle their bike.
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    +1

    Following someone (that's better than you) is the best way to learn any of these type of sports

    Btw - I have an issue with tight, right-hand switchies too
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    They're not easy to get right but there are some techniques.
    Firstly, get braking out of the way before the turn. Your bike will steer and grip better off the brakes.
    Go in to each turn with your outside pedal down, if it's particularly tight and you don't want to put any power down between turn you can back pedal to swap your dropped foot.
    Put pressure through the outside pedal, imagine you're forcing it in to the dirt. If there's a berm you can even pump through the outside pedal. Never turn with pedals level, you can't weight them properly so have less grip and less control.
    On the approach to a turn you should be focused on your turn in point, before you start to turn look at the exit. Ignore everything else, even roots, your bike will get you through them.
    Weight should be directly above the cranks. One thing dh racers do to centralise their body position is to bounce on the pedals while putting no weight through the bars. This naturally centralises you. I always wondered why dh riders seem to bounce their bikes before tech ssections then one fast lad told me to try it and it works.
    Following other people is not good, it teaches you the bad habit of not looking far enough ahead. It also stops you learning to judge speed properly.
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    Following other people is not good, it teaches you the bad habit of not looking far enough ahead. It also stops you learning to judge speed properly.

    It's a lot better way of learning something than listening to what people say on the internet. You can see their line choice, body position, foot/pedal position, speed in and out of the turn.
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    The most important thing for fast, smooth cornering is forward observation. You cant learn that by following.
    Getting my eyes further up the trail is the biggest improvement made to my riding in years.
    You will learn censored all following.
  • Pesky JonesPesky Jones Posts: 2,986
    You will learn censored all following.

    That, is such bullsh1t. I bumped into a group of riders at some dh trails and started riding with them, They said "oh, have you not ridden this line?" I replied no, and they said follow us down. Not blowing my trumpet but i already realised I was faster than some of the group so they started behind me, with the faster guys in front. So basically, I was sandwiched in. It went fine, but there was a blind gap jump, as well as a couple of drops. I doubt at the time I would have even bothered attempting any of them if I had gone down it by myself or walked the track - I would have bottled it.

    Even if you argue that i was forced to hit the drop / jumps, I still managed to clear the jump and drops by watching the guy infronts speed etc. So no matter what, you can definitly learn stuff by following.
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    So you learnt nothing about riding technique but just knew you had enough speed to clear stuff by following?
    The best way to improve is to find a good section you struggle with and ride it over and over, analyse where you are good and where you aren't so good and what you need to do. Keep doing it until you are faster and smooth. Then move on to another section with different features. You can easily spend a whole day breaking down and sessioning bits of a one minute track.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    POAH wrote:

    Boost your eyes? What the hell does that mean? Almost as useful as a rock climber who once told me to psyche my feet up for friction.
    The climbing tips are ok but his descending will be very restrictive at speed where you don't have time to look at the mid turn before spotting your exit.
    Never take mountain biking tips from an aussie in a road helmet.

    This has some good tips. He's on a downhill bike but the techniques apply on any mountain bike.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j45BtY08diw
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    POAH wrote:

    Boost your eyes? What the hell does that mean? Almost as useful as a rock climber who once told me to psyche my feet up for friction.
    The climbing tips are ok but his descending will be very restrictive at speed where you don't have time to look at the mid turn before spotting your exit.
    Never take mountain biking tips from an aussie in a road helmet.

    This has some good tips. He's on a downhill bike but the techniques apply on any mountain bike.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j45BtY08diw

    I'm assuming he means look up
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Why not just say look up instead of "boost your eyes"?
    Could you have found a worse video?
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    Why not just say look up instead of "boost your eyes"?
    Could you have found a worse video?

    I did try :lol:
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I agree that following people does not teach you technique or help you learn to read the trail - I am guiding in Whistler a bit and I keep telling people to look ahead up the trail and try to read the trail but we are a group of 5 all riding 3-4 bike lengths apart so aside from me out front no one gets much chance to read the trail, especially the guy at the back!

    Watching someone through a corner from a good vantage point can help.

    Steve Peat's video there is less wordy than the aussie guy but the same - to be honest I think Peaty's is a bit of a by the numbers, I was told to do this by my sponsors (thats why I am drinking Monster) rather than a passionate effort to impart knowledge which the aussie guy is trying to do (he crashes just to demonstrate the outcome of doing it wrong!)

    For the OP - I turn better one way than the other, pretty much everyone does - lead foot in the attack position has an impact and I find even if I drop the outside pedal I dont always change the weight distribution correctly unless I make a conscious effort and make a determined effort to steer with my whole body - counter rotating toward the turn.

    On very tight switchbacks there is an alternate technique to the lean the bike where you actively keep the bike upright (or even leaned out a little) and counterbalance by having the body to the inside of the turn and steer round the corner - if it is very tight and slow.

    I memorably was shown how to do switchbacks by an ex racer doing rolling endo's through the turn so wheelbase wasn't an issue - never quite mastered that one.....
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I memorably was shown how to do switchbacks by an ex racer doing rolling endo's through the turn so wheelbase wasn't an issue - never quite mastered that one.....
    I do that, but generally not on purpose, and it often ends in pain.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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