Good cornering is not just for the Tour De France. If you want to progress with your cycling then being able to corner properly will help ensure that you are in control and get around corners safely & fast. It takes focus, the ability to relax and a cheeky bit of courage but not too much courage! Too much courage and you’ll be in the gutter cleaning yourself up. Check out our 11 top tips to corner faster on a road bike. Helping beginners corner with confidence on a road bike.
Relax as you are cycling
Calm breathing, relaxing the arms and grip. This helps make sure a zen like state flows right through your entire body. Sounds like we are heading for a naked yoga session I grant you but as in all things tense equals problems on a bike. Staying loose means you are well placed to adjust to every day elements of your ride. This helps you flow through the corner making effortless tiny corrections as you sweep past lesser mortals unable to match your inner peace.
Don’t brake mid corner
As in driving the same principles apply on your trusty road bike. Consider the road ahead and brake in advance where needed to ensure you don’t need any serious speed corrections mid corner. Possibly odd advice on an article about speed but this is also about ensuring you come out the other side. Heavy braking risks coming off your bike and equally overly removing speed is hard to regain.
Look beyond the corner
Again this is good forward planning. Pro-active action where you are one step ahead of any possible hazard and keeping well clear of danger. Being able to adapt your line as you crest a corner means you can create more continued momentum and speed.
Distribute your weight evenly on your bike
Keep as much weight as possible on the outside foot. This brings your position central between the wheels and allows as much of the outer tyre tread to grip. It is equally important to keep front and rear distribution so both tyres are evenly. Again allowing maximum rubber to be holding the road.
Read our Top 5 Tips on how to plan nutrition for a long ride. Great things to understand for tackling distances.
Don’t fight your bike as you corner
Use your bike to make the turn rather than man handling your bike using your strength round the corner. Use your arms as you make the turn and keep your inside arm extended as far as possible giving you the opportunity to look further ahead and keep control of your cornering.
Maintain your pace as you exit the corner
Immediately as you feel the corner flatten out and you feel comfortable and in control put the hammer down and rebuild your speed. Casually regaining any lost momentum is criminal if you are seeking to maintain a lead or build any lead over those riders coming up behind.
Use as much of the road as you need
Any motorists reading this may take huge offence. Occupying a slither of the road on your bike can be more dangerous. On winding bends use the full width of the road (on your own side of course) allowing you to flatten out the corner and maintain much of the speed you carry into it. This is heavily underwritten with the qualifying statement that this isn’t best deployed in rush hour traffic. If you can use the road, do it. You will be safer and quicker benefitting surrounding traffic.
Use the handlebars for stability
Apply pressure to the outside of the handlebars. Share stability across the front of the bike through the handlebars. Apply some pressure on the outside handlebar to help maintain control and balance.
Stay low on the bike
Keep your centre of gravity as low as possible. As you cycle through the apex of the corner, your bike should be leaning more than your body. Keeping your body low creates less drag and allows you to move through the air with more ease. Same principal as riding on straight as arrow roads.
Use the drop handlebars
Using the dropped handlebars allow you to have more real control of the bike. This control is at a lower centre of gravity and forces you into a more aerodynamic position.
Make sure to be in the right gear
Same consideration as cycling on an incline. The wrong gear through a corner will lose you pace. Pick the right gear ahead of time for the corner and focus on safely traversing the bend. On a downhill this may be less relevant but on any longer corner on an incline gearing will be vital.