Light before the corner, heavy in the corner

Get a few elite riders, build some berms at the bottom of a steep hill, remove the brakes, see who can start highest on the hill without crashing. 

DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! But do watch the GMBN video: 

1) It’s fun to watch pro riders be afraid — and yet execute. #onereasontheyarepro

2) You can see this on everyone, but it’s most obvious with Brendan Fairclough. Notice how they get light before the turn then get very heavy — braaap! — in the turn. This gives them traction and control. 

This is a smart habit to practice on all turns. This way, when you reach a crazy turn and you can’t use your brakes, the skill is there for you.

A safer version of this challenge is the French turning drill. Find a downhill with a corner at the bottom. The corner should have an uphill exit. See who can coast the highest after the corner. That’s a good indication of exit speed. Feel free to brake.

What do you think?


7 replies
  1. Anne says:

    The bottom of corkscrew at Valmont would be a good place to practice this because you do have an uphill turn there.

  2. andrew Jacques says:

    I few of use have tried this on these turns to see how far we can get. We only get around 70 feet which is around the 5/6 min in the video as the bikes wont hold in the exit and you just slide out (without consciously using the light/heavy). All of us are half decent riders who have raced dh but it puts it in perspective how good these guys are compared to normal riders. Will try the light/heavy and let you know.


  3. leelikesbikes says:


    ” it puts it in perspective how good these guys are compared to normal riders.”


    Please keep us posted.


  4. andrew says:

    quick update. took about a hour of practice mostly to get the timing correct as I was either to quick with the heavy or not committed. Made it up to about the 95-100 area Two things there is a difference between the natural g-force of the corner and actively being heavy and light and keeping the bike on a vertical plan when turning so not moving the bike forward or back until exiting the corner. The big difference is that it was fear that stopped me not skills


  5. leelikesbikes says:

    There is a powerful difference between the trail doing something to you and you intentionally doing something to the trail. The latter is way better.


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