Help my switchbacks! – Quickie answer

Hi Lee,

Hope all is well. As I am pinning down my XTERRA training for this upcoming season in May, I’m still at a loss with cornering going downhill on tight switchbacks. Right now, I don’t have the confidence to lay off the brakes when I’m in the apex of the turn. Granted, I don’t death-grab the brakes in the middle of the apex, but right now, I have to lightly/feather it in the middle of the apex. I know you said (at Moab and in your book) to lay off the brakes in the middle of the apex and to trust (as well as low, look, lean, turn).

Any advice and parking lot/grass field drills would be greatly appreciated. I feel that cornering is one of the things that is limiting my mountain bike skills.

By the way, XTERRA training is going well. Pump the base, F6 and strength/functional fitness (with a good coach) has been keeping my fitness sharp for the trails as well as with my road biking buddies. I will take you up on Prepare to Pin It later this season.

Thank you!



I’m glad you’re thriving on your bike. This great question is worth a detailed reply, but right now Done must prevail over Perfect.


Practice tighter and tighter turns on flat ground with good traction. Use cones (or whatever) to mark the inside and outside of the trail. Work your way down to a very tight switchback style turn. When that feels good, do it on dirt. When that feels good, do it on a hillside.

Slow way down before the turn, then focus on great corner fu. Feel free to drag your rear brake to prevent acceleration. Do lay off the front brake.

I hope this helps. Rip it up!


Know more. Have more fun!

Join the leelikesbikes mailing list:

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *