Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957

    Negoiating a hair-pin turn

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    While still slow, I've come a long way this summer in mountain biking. One of the things that still gives me a lot of problems are the really tight turns. Typically one of two things happen - I am either going too fast and wind up in the grass inside of the curve, or if I make it around the curve, often I seem to wind up trying to climb up the side of the curve instead of my tires being in the line in the middle of the single-track.

    My assumption is this is due to speed and body english...I did somewhat better today as I tried to intentionally slow down further and look as far ahead as I could but it was still a challenge. That is ok, challenges are good! It may also be that fear of the edge biting me as quite often these are on the edge, or at least a portion is.

    The only time I fell on the trail today was coming out of one of those hair-pins, once again I was further up the side of the berm than I should have been and my tire hit a boulder...I didn't go over the bars, but I did get thrown off the side of my bike. Fortunately there wasn't an edge there to go over

    Any advice from others with more experience? Thankfully I've seem to have pretty much gotten over my fear of exposure - outside of hair-pin turns that is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    Have you done the turning drill where you put something (like a water bottle) on the ground and steer around it? Like, to turn left, your front wheel would go to the right of the bottle and your back wheel would go to the left of it? Doing that a few times helped me get more of a feel for how the bike handles switchbacks and it helps me visualize the center of the turn to learn how to steer through it.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by jessmarimba View Post
    Have you done the turning drill where you put something (like a water bottle) on the ground and steer around it? Like, to turn left, your front wheel would go to the right of the bottle and your back wheel would go to the left of it? Doing that a few times helped me get more of a feel for how the bike handles switchbacks and it helps me visualize the center of the turn to learn how to steer through it.
    I have done this, but frankly the turns probably weren't tight enough...it sounds like a good drill to return to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Are you steering with the handlebars, or leaning into the turn? It's been my experience that I get better results with all turns, regardless of radius, when I lean more and let the outside edges of the tires bite. Momentum helps too.

    For me, it clicked when I realized that MTBing is kinda like skiing when it comes to turns....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I have really learned these last couple of rides just how much momentum really is a friend. I am unsure if I've really been going too fast...or too slow around the tight turns. I try to follow the curve around with my eyes, but I might be steering...something I check out next time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Don't worry, Catrin- I've been MTBing ~10 years and I didn't really get the whole momentum thing until just last year. Always something new to learn!

    You will have to steer some on a turn that sharp. But the slower you're going, the more you have to steer and the less you can lean/corner. I suggest finding a sweeping turn that you're comfortable with (no edges!), and practice going through it at different speeds and changing up the amounts of steering and leaning. See how your body and your bike respond.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    Yeah it's definitely easier for me going up, where the turn banks up slightly on the outside. Going down a switchback where the curve is angled down throws me off. It's a little easier to feel stable now since my tire pressure is lower.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    They are hard for me too! One thing to is to make sure you are looking past your wheel. I find on hairpins for some reason I tend to get focused back on the front wheel. Otherwise, everyone is right slow drills to get the poise will help. It takes time to get comfortable with something like this, they just feel awkward and scary!
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    Sounds like the MBing is going well Catrin! If it EVER stops raining this week I'd like to get out and ride a little. I may do what you said and just ride the bike around the grass at the park soon.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    There are no sharp 180 degree turns on that trail that doesn't have an edge of some kind, but there is another beginners trail in the same park that does. I don't seem to have much of a problem with other turns, and it helps to know that others have struggled with the same thing.

    What really helped with the momentum thing is that two weeks ago I rode with my personal trainer & his wife. She rode ahead of us, and he rode behind me and coached me. That was the first time I was able to ride the entire length of Limekiln less a stream crossing and where I fell over. I fell over a lot because I was pushing myself...and am still working on body awareness. He noted a shifting habit that wasn't helping me and kept pushing me on momentum - but not too hard.

    Yesterday was the first time I've been able to return to that trail and I did better than when I rode with them. I was even able to ride a couple of things that I had to walk the last time. In the end I only had to walk 3 places, probably less than 150 feet out of a 2.5 mile trail
    Last edited by Catrin; 09-25-2011 at 12:10 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by WindingRoad View Post
    Sounds like the MBing is going well Catrin! If it EVER stops raining this week I'd like to get out and ride a little. I may do what you said and just ride the bike around the grass at the park soon.
    It helped me at the beginning, and if you go back to the circle there is that large grassy area that has some different surfaces and small things to roll over. We can't go on any of the trails there, but no one has ever said I couldn't go on the grass

    You can also play in the soccer fields there on Reed Rd, that is even closer. Let's play it by ear and pay attention to the trail condition status at the HMBA website, though Ft. Harrison always seems to be yellow when all else is green. (yellow = slick spots, rideable but use judgement).

    I won't be traveling next weekend since the Breakdown is the following weekend, so perhaps the beginners loop may be dry enough by then for us to go check it out. It is almost perfectly flat so it takes longer to drain/dry.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •