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How To Corner Like A Pro

Vincenzo Nibali

Cornering fast feels great and improving how you corner will have benefits whatever cycling you do.

Whether you ride sportives, race on the road, or commute to work, learning how to take corners like a pro will help you to ride safely and quickly.

Mind The Terrain

Look for and avoid sand, rocks or cracks that could cause you to slip. After you know what the riding conditions are in a particular corner, you can slowly increase your speed each time.

Apply Pressure

Do all your braking before the turn. Weight distribution is critical: To keep from sliding out, weight the front wheel by putting your hands in the drops of the handlebar with your elbows bent. Next, exert pressure with your outside hand and foot, creating angulation like you would in a ski turn. Don’t try to pedal in a corner.

Lean The Machine

Release the brakes and start the turn by leaning the bike—not your body—into the turn. This can be accomplished by pushing lightly with your inside hand; some call this counter-steering. If the turn is tight or your speed increases, lean the bike farther in, and vice versa.

Aim For The Inside

Carve a smooth arc through the apex of the turn: Start at the outside of the corner, near the center line. Aim toward the inside of the turn, then exit as far to the outside as possible. Do not cross the double yellow line.

Keep Looking…

In the direction you want to go. This will help you maintain a smooth line.

Make Your Exit

As you come out of the turn, gradually straighten the bike until it’s upright, then start to pedal again.

Mind The Rain

Painted lines, manhole covers and oily pavement become slippery in wet conditions. Wet roads exaggerate everything you do: Braking while the bike is leaning will cause you to skid more easily, and sudden turning can make your wheels slip. So slow down.