Off-camber turns for a BMXer

Hey Lee,

Although I have been racing BMX for about 6 years and consider myself competent at the downhill aspect of mountain biking, I have trouble pulling G’s out of off-camber turns. I think my lean angle is pretty good, but I am unsure as to how my pedals should be positioned. In berms, I like to keep my pedals level for a nice, uniform pump, but I’m not sure that this is the best for off-cambers. Should I drop the outside pedal instead to get more weight to the other side of the bike? Thanks. -Rex

Hey Rex,

I say this with utmost respect for BMX racers, but most of them can’t turn without berms. This makes them about as skilled, cornering-wise, as soccer balls.

Everyone has trouble pulling Gs out of off-camber turns. There just isn’t enough support. The best you can do is make good angles, load the tires as much as you can and find a tiny patch that isn’t so off camber.

Check this out:

This corner has a slightly positive camber, but the technique is the same for negative camber: leaning the bike, pressing into the outside pedal, driving hips toward the next turn, saying “braaap!” Location: Valmont Bike Park. Photographer: Marty Caivano.

The book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills has lots more detail (but the same ragged t-shirt).

By the way:

Loading the outside pedal improves control when things get sketchy on the BMX.



Know more. Have more fun!

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