Technique critique: Paul’s cornering form

Hey Lee,
I just wanted some input on my cornering. I have included a picture of myself goin around a fast sweeper. If you could look at this and give me advice I would appreciate it. I have been working hard on my form all winter.

Hey Paul,


– You’re low.

– You’re looking ahead.

– You’re leaning your bike.

– You’re driving into the outside pedal.

– You seem to be pinning it and having fun.

Could be better

– At this moment, you are not turning. It looks like you squared up a few yards ago, and now you’re going straight until you need to turn again. (This turn has multiple apexes.)

– With your bike leaned this far, your bars want to turn into the corner. You are holding them straight. At this moment you are forcing “good cornering form,” even though you are currently going straight.

– Remember: Lean to turn. Straighten up to go straight.

– And keep your elbows out.

You are on the right track. Keep at it!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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13 replies
  1. Jimbo says:

    I would say from looking at the photo there is a steeper berm on the outside of the corner to be used too.

  2. paul says:

    Thanks lee. Now I know what to work on.
    I actually just squared up and was in the process of righting the bike.I am wondering the benefits of having my elbow out I am afraid of hitting it on tighter trails.

    The berm you see on the edge is very soft and lead off a cliff into a barbed wire fence. So it is not an option.

  3. Zack says:

    One thing that I’ve found with cornering is that it’s important to be loose and still semi-comfortable on the bike in that position. Don’t exaggerate your form too much. While you can get lots of form advice, it’s important that you find your own comfort zone through practice. Go check out some pictures of Sam Hill, Steve Peat, Gee Atherton, Minaar, etc on google. They all have slightly different form in corners, but in general they are all low and loose.

    As for the elbows out thing, it’s very important. It forces your weight over the front of the bike and as a result pushes your front tire into the ground. You can always move around, but if you’re in a position where you’re nailing your elbow on trees and stuff while corners, you might be doing something weird.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    >> While you can get lots of form advice, it’s important that you find your own comfort zone through practice.

    Definitely. Learn the things that work, then relax and let things happen in your style.

  5. paul says:

    Zack: I am not tense, I have to really lean my bike on this corner inorder to make it around. Also a large portion of my weight is over the front tire putting my elbow out wouldnt change that.

    Lee:I did some drills last night and tryed putting my elbow out but I felt off balance and had to go way slower.

  6. electric says:

    Paul, it looks like you’re sticking your tongue out the side of your mouth? Try pressing it up against the top of your mouth and keeping your jaw closed instead, if you unexpectedly hit a bump or slide out it might cause ya to crunch down on that sucker. Resulting in some carnage and chipped teeth if your jaw bumps hard enough! Ouch.

  7. Chay says:

    Hey Lee, in a coner like Paul is doing in the photo, what will be the idea Front and back weight distribution?
    The reason I ask, is my front aways seems to slid first. But putting a lot of weight on the front when going downb hill just doesn’t seems natural.


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