Looking to enhance your cornering game? That makes two of us! Whether you are trying to shave seconds off your PR or just looking to feel more confident in the corners, these tips from 5 Time World Cup Champion Aaron Gwin will help take your cornering confidence to the next level. Be sure to take it slow and build on these foundational elements over time. Using the correct body position when cornering may feel awkward at first but will pay dividends in the long run.
Keeping Your Head and Chest Square Over the Bike
Imagine sliding across a hardwood floor in socks. You can do this by being light on your feet. The harder you press into the ground the less you glide, right? The same goes for mountain biking. Being light on your tires is how you wash out, downward pressure is how you get traction. So how do you generate downward pressure in a corner? Keeping your head and chest square over the bike will generate the maximum amount of downward pressure on your tires. This is how you can prevent the bike from washing out from under you.
Dropping The Outside Foot
Again, this is all about traction. When you drop the outside foot, it shifts your weight to the outside pedal. Doing this increases the downward pressure you are putting on the bike the same way your square body positioning does. The outside pedal keeps the weight on top of the bike, while the inside pedal pushes the weight laterally. Dropping your outside foot in flat corners is extremely helpful, but is less necessary in a berm or rut.
Later in the video, Aaron provides a few cornering drills to help practice body positioning techniques. Luckily, you don’t need to drive over to a trail to practice these drills, just a parking lot or patch of dirt will do fine! Good luck out there and let us know in the comments below if you found these tips and drills helpful for your cornering abilities.