Cyclocross Skills Series - Part 3 - Cornering
In general, there are two types of cornering techniques in cyclocross: fast corners and slow corners.
There are some general tips which carry across both, but I also have some individual tips exclusively for each type of cornering. For both, you want to do the majority of your braking before the corner while the bike is upright and in a straight line. Come off the front brake first as you begin to lean into the corner and then, just before the apex of the corner, come off the rear brake. Always keep your focus on where you want to go so as you enter the corner; look for the apex and then switch to look at your exit point.
The general racing line for a fast corner is to enter wide, clip the inside tape of the corner and then exit wide to make the corner as shallow as possible. For fast corners, you want to apply your weight through your outside pedal so that the tyres have as much weight through them as possible - this also avoids the possibility of clipping your inside pedal on the ground. You want to keep some weight on the front wheel (but not too much) - you’ll find that balance through practice.
For slower corners, a lot of these tips still apply. The main difference for slow corners is that you will probably want to continue pedalling through the corner. Timing of this is key: try and pedal down with the inside foot as you hit the apex. This weight transfer will help you turn the bike round tight corners, especially through muddy conditions. Keeping drive to the rear wheel will help with traction and assist you in controlling any slides that might happen in the corner. If the rear wheel slips, apply slightly less pressure through the pedals. If the front wheel begins to slide, pedal hard. You can also pedal and brake at the same time for even more control through slippery corners.
If you would like a one to one coaching session with Ian don't hesitate to get in touch.