EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › technique for switchbacks
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technique for switchbacks

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I started riding a new section of trail that has 4 sharp switchbacks on a steep section of trail. What is the best technique for riding down a section like this? I find myself having too much speed and not enough confidence to really lay the bike down into the turn.
post #2 of 10
Here ya go - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI6Sl...eature=related

As a general rule, you want the front wheel as far on the outside as you can get it. You want a line that stays high at first don't go for the apex early. The rear wheel will track inside of the front wheel. If you want or need to come closer to the apex, you can grab a handful of brakes or do a cutie and slide the back wheel through the corner. Alternatively, grab some front brake and nose wheelie through the corner. I think you'll see all of these in the video above.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I think I am starting too far to the inside of the turn. Nice video.
post #4 of 10
Great vid!

Roots are slippery, & watch where you put that front wheel.
Thanks,
JF
post #5 of 10
The simple rule is to lean the bike into the turn and lean your body away from the turn, which results in your upper body staying more or less vertical, just like a good parallel turn on skis.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Lots of "gravity incidents" there.

You might find this vid useful also:

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Here ya go - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI6Sl...eature=related

As a general rule, you want the front wheel as far on the outside as you can get it. You want a line that stays high at first don't go for the apex early. The rear wheel will track inside of the front wheel. If you want or need to come closer to the apex, you can grab a handful of brakes or do a cutie and slide the back wheel through the corner. Alternatively, grab some front brake and nose wheelie through the corner. I think you'll see all of these in the video above.
I dont know if your kidding or what? but riding switchbacks fast requires a very counter intuitive move.

Uphill ride a slightly harder than your use to gear so as the rear wheel doesnt spin out and the front tires doesnt pop into the air. Ride as close to the downhill(or inside side) as you can go. as you approach the switchback steer you wheel to the outside as your body COM falls to the inside of the of the turn. then just look up and keep pedaling let you front wheel wonder where it need to go and exit the switch back while still pedaling hard.

Downhill the only thing to add is make sure you do all your braking in a straightline untill you get good at drifting, skidding whatever(yeah it hurts trails but done correctly it is the fasteest way around a DH turn). Still its important that you start inside let your wheels go wide as your body go into the turn, and then just let the fact your body is inside and you wheel are outside steer you though the turn.

both these way work alot better than outside -inside-outside which work on anything but switchbacks.

there is a great video on youtube of this somewhere.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
Lots of "gravity incidents" there.

You might find this vid useful also:

this video right here, helped me ride tighter switchback so much.

and dont lie the bike down into the turns keep it as upright as possiable for the tight switchback once you get your confindence up there will be some switchback you can lay over like 99 percent of Flying Dog.
post #9 of 10
This instructional video re-enforces everything I've learned about riding switchbacks. I think it is exactly what the OP is looking for! Enter the turn too wide, & you risk having your front tire sliding out in the soft stuff all the other rookies have made worse. Don't cut back to the inside, & you'll get stuck in the groove that the downhill brake lockers have created.

Also as BWPA mentioned, using the biggest gear you can handle is a great way to maintain traction & constant power to the drive wheel. This works not only on switchbacks, but on any steep, loose section.

Another thing I've found helpful for downhill switchbacks is to rotate my inside knee into the direction of the turn while maintaining an upright torso.

Thanks, this is a good thread.

JF
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
That second video is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
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