Cornering: Which foot forward?

Hi Lee,

Your website in an invaluable source of info, and thanks to your tips I’ve become a better rider. Lately I’ve been practicing aggressive cornering a lot; as you say pointing your hips in the direction of the turn is key.

I’ve noticed that I can more effectively point my hips in the right direction if I keep the turning side foot behind, ie keep the right foot behind when turning right, and the left foot when turning left. Yet since I’m right handed and my dominant foot is the left, it comes natural to keep the right foot behind even when turning left, which results in less effective hips turning.

Lately I’ve made an effort to “switch stances” when cornering to the left. Am I doing the right thing or should I just keep the same stance all the time? In your pictures I noticed that you keep the dominant/left foot in front when cornering in either direction. Thanks

regards, Vito

Jon Watt shows us the way. Note the diagonal cranks, the way his left knee clears the saddle and the awesome traction he is generating. Waaaattt Waaaaattttt Waaaaaaaaattttt!!!!!!

Hey Vito,

I do tend to corner with my left foot forward, but only when I’m not paying attention.

In a perfect world, you’ll turn with your inside foot forward.

1) This clears your knee and creates more space to lean your bike beneath you.

2) It helps that first pedal on the exit.

3) It helps you advance into cornering with diagonal cranks. Here’s where things get even more interesting. Explained for the first time in history:

Most of us corner with either our outside foot down (when we need to set an edge) or our pedals level (when we’re flowing/pumping through the turn). That’s fine, but there are a lot of points in between.

Once you master the “vertical” and “horizontal” styles, you can relax into more of a “diagonal” style where your forward foot is higher than your rear foot. This gives you the best of edge-setting and flow, and it gives you a great first crank out of the turn.

Cornering with your inside foot forward will require you to open up your hips, and your mind. Try it for a while, and tell me how it goes.

This is just the tip of this particular iceberg. Stay tuned.

— Lee

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