Teaching tip for leaning bike more than body?

Hey Lee,
I have been working with a couple of people for a while now and I just can’t get them to lean their bike more than their body. They came to MTB quite recently from other sports and nothing I have tried with them will get them to forget their deeply ingrained past.

Got any hot tips on a drill to make people see the light? I was getting them to slalom down a slope on slippery grass where it is about the only way to get around the corners, but it didn’t work for them.

I went back to your book today hoping there was something. While it talks about the importance of cornering that way, it doesn’t provide a skills drill for it.

Cheers man!

Hey Michael,

Thanks for writing.

Look on page 92 of MMBSii (that’s the 2nd edition of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills).

On clean pavement — NOT slippery grass!!! — have riders focus on the movement from the first photo to the second. Pay special attention to the left arm (and, secondarily, the right foot).

That movement is the key to learning to lean your bike independently from your body. Once you can do that, the world is chock full of braaap.


— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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8 replies
  1. leelikesbikes says:

    Thanks Lee.
    I admit I skipped right over p 92 when digging into the book again.
    We have done the drill on the tar. It just doesn’t translate to the trail. But I will take them back to the tar and try again. Repetition may be the solution.
    I’m taking some of them to BC in July for 15 days of descending – can’t wait.

    Rock on,

    — — —

    Yeah Michael,

    Repetition until it’s in their souls, then translate to easy dirt. When you increase difficulty too fast, you get fear and tension. If someone can’t handle a situation, it’s the coach’s job to dial it back (or sometimes sideways).

  2. zach says:


    don’t you have a pretty good side by side photo of you, Will and I showing different bike angles in the same corner?

  3. Ralf says:

    Hey Lee,

    Could you clarify one thing about the flashlight for me.
    What I do not grasp so far is what the “flashlight – turning of the hips” does.
    Judging from you remarks on skiing you know a thing or two about that as well. Being an enthusiastic skier myself, I have compared the position of carving a turn on skis with that on the bike. The only thing which seems to be different is the turning of the hips. As you surely know, during a turn on skis you try to keep your downward-pointing shoulder and hip back, so that you can keep the skis on their edges. So rotating the hips forward during a turn isn’t good on skis – why is it on the bike?
    Or did I misunderstand something here?

    Thanx a lot.


  4. Tyler says:

    Hi Lee
    I must say that Chance’s comment above got me thinking about something that has been ‘stewing’ in my mind for a while. I’ve been following your blog for many years and have watched with interest as others in the industry have started teaching concepts that, as far as I can tell, originated with you. The language and content of their instruction is good, but it seems they have read your book and, to a large extent, then started teaching it others to create a better ride or as an add-on to fitness programs that help you ride strong. Perhaps I’m incorrect and/or reading too much into it, but maybe not. Maybe you should start publishing and marketing fitness/strength programs? I’m sure you’ve learned a lot over the last few years and create a bit more business for yourself, right? We’re all copying others to some extent, but I think there’s a line that can be crossed…especially in niche market like dedicated mountain bikers. Anyways, maybe I’m wrong but that’s my two cents.

  5. Brian says:

    I must say that chance’s comments above got me thinking as well. What kind of tool posts a link to someone else’s blog/training page on a blog/training website?

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