How To Ride Unsupported Corners

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Bike, Skills, Skills & Setup

We’ve been diving into some important skills in preparation for the 2022 KAP sani2c. The Adventure and Race are coming up from the 11th to 14th of May and the nonstop edition is set for 3-4 June if you’re up for an overload of all the sani2c riding goodness in less than 24hrs!

In this video and article we’ll be taking a look at how to ride unsupported corners, such as you might find on the Great Oke singletrack or a gravel road T-junction. These are corners that don’t have a built up bank to hold you through the turn. Having the ability to hold your momentum through corners such as these helps to keep your average speed up and reduce the amount of accelerating back up to speed you’ll need to do throughout the day.

Preparing For sani2c – How To Ride Unsupported Corners

Braking Early And Thoroughly

Traction is everything when it comes to unsupported corners and thus you want to be sure that you don’t need to touch the brakes while turning! Therefore the first thing to think about as you approach an unsupported corner is braking early and thoroughly so that you don’t need to slow down any more once you’ve started turning. CLICK HERE for our video and article on proper braking technique.

How To Ride Unsupported Corners
Your tires don’t perform well for cornering when under braking. Getting off the brakes to turn a corner is of utmost importance!

Entering Wide For The Corner

Along with early braking you want to enter the corner as wide as the track or road allows (and not being a nuisance to the other riders around you of course). This makes the corner a more gentle arc, allowing you to carry your entry speed around the turn, not feeling like you’re going to slide out or go off track.

Keeping Your Eyes Up / Spotting The Exit

Once you are in the corner, keep your eyes up and look at the point where you want to exit the turn. This helps your body relax and draws your posture toward hitting that exit point. This is a very important component to effective cornering and required attention and practice to get right.

How To Ride Unsupported Corners
Look for the wides part of the track (or road if turning at a gravel T-junction) that you can use to enter a corner, even 10cm extra makes a difference! Once you’re in the turn, keep those eyes up and spot the exit!

Body Position

Along with spotting the exit. Focus on leaning your bike inwards but not your body. Think about putting pressure on your inside hand (eg. left hand if turning left) and outside foot (eg. right foot if turning left). This drives your weight into the side knobs of your tires designed for cornering traction. This body position is key for traction and stability when there isn’t a berm to support you through a turn.

If you can nail all these points (listed below) you will be well on your way to carrying good momentum through the corners, helping to conserve valuable energy and boost confidence in your riding ability during your 3 day stage race! It certainly takes time to build this confidence so be sure to practice these skills whenever you’re out riding your bike in prep for sani2c. Focus on nailing the body position!

Remember the points:

  • Brake early and thoroughly.
  • Enter as wide a you can.
  • Keep your eyes up / spot the exit.
  • Weight inside hand and outside foot.

You can practice this cornering technique on any surface on which you have room to do some gentle carving turns. Practicing on a familiar and repeatable corner and can help you see the progression of your skills. Having a friend video you so that you can review your positionand technique helps too!

Thanks for watching, keep an eye out for more content in the coming weeks and be sure to follow the racing from sani2c on their Instagram Stories come 12 May!

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