A women’s guide to better cornering on a road bike
Cornering is one of those fundamental skills you really need to perfect if you’re going to be a good bike rider. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert but my cornering technique has really improved over the years. This has been through watching other riders with superior handling skills to mine, listening to advice, attending skills sessions and practicing what I learnt.
I’m a pretty risk averse person so when I started out on a road bike I used to rely heavily on my brakes every time I went around a corner. Over time I learned that for a vast majority of corners you don’t need to, and shouldn’t brake at all. You might wash off speed before you reach a corner, but you don’t actually brake as you turn.
Women are generally more cautious than men when it comes to anything that involves physical activity and we need lots of encouragement before we become proficient at something.
So here’s my tips learnt from various people and a bit of research.
- Look ahead to where you want to go rather than at the road or bike immediately in front of you. You will automatically head in the direction where you are looking.
- Wash off speed before the corner by braking lightly with both brakes (this is called feathering) and don’t brake while you are going around the actual corner.
- Slow down around corners when the road is wet or there is debris like leaves or gravel. It is also important not to turn on any white road markings particularly when it’s wet because they become very slippery.
- As you approach the corner your inside pedal should be up and your outside one down. You should also put your weight on your outside foot which is down.
- Lean the bike over rather than yourself. The centrifugal force will ensure that you won’t fall off.
- For the ultimate in fast cornering you should put your hands down on the drops of you handlebars.
- Approach the corner wide, cut the apex and finish wide. It’s like straightening out the corner.
- Accelerate out of the corner and if necessary stand up on the pedals to get maximum power.
- Practice on your own, over and over again until you feel comfortable.
- Watch the professional riders on TV or better still go and see them live and see how they tackle corners.
About Nicola Rutzou
Nicola started cycling in 2008 to take part in a charity bike riding event. She loves cycling and it has changed her life. She wants to encourage other women to become obsessed as she is. To inspire other women she writes a cycling blog called Women Who Cycle. Next to that he works in the cycling industry in her home town of Sydney, Australia..
A friend of mine sent me a link to a great article about 105 year old Frenchman named Robert Marchand which shows a clear conne...Read more
When I first started riding a road bike, nearly eight years ago, I thought you just jumped on and away you went, but it didn’t take...Read more