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Downhill technique: Flairing one's knee

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Downhill technique: Flairing one's knee

Old 03-18-20, 12:16 AM
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Robert A
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In the picture, it seems like Lemond has shifted his weight to the outside of the turn.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:53 AM
  #152  
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Also ^, for those that say you countersteer all the way through a turn, it appears that he is doing the opposite. Perhaps you adjust steering to maintain the same lean angle.
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Old 03-18-20, 08:27 PM
  #153  
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The mistake most people make is assuming that the direction of the tire determines whether countersteering force is being applied. That is not the case. Anyone who has spent much time on a motorcycle knows that countersteering force must be continually applied to keep the bike leaned and turning. If no force is applied the bike will quit turning. The bike's position is maintained by force feedback, not by looking at the front tire direction. If the bike is turning too tight, the countersteering force is reduced, not eliminated. If you want to quit turning, quit applying the countersteering force and it will straighten up all by itself.

Take a motorcycle training course if you really want to understand proper turning technique.
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Old 03-19-20, 09:32 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The mistake most people make is assuming that the direction of the tire determines whether countersteering force is being applied. That is not the case. Anyone who has spent much time on a motorcycle knows that countersteering force must be continually applied to keep the bike leaned and turning. If no force is applied the bike will quit turning. The bike's position is maintained by force feedback, not by looking at the front tire direction. If the bike is turning too tight, the countersteering force is reduced, not eliminated. If you want to quit turning, quit applying the countersteering force and it will straighten up all by itself.

Take a motorcycle training course if you really want to understand proper turning technique.
People keep saying this, but it doesn't get through: motos are not the same as bicycles. If you weighed 10 times what your moto weighed, your supposition would be true. But you don't. I rode my BMW 50,000 miles through Europe and North Africa back in the day when there were no speed limits and now I descend as quick as I can on my bicycle. It's not the same.
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Old 03-20-20, 08:10 AM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
People keep saying this, but it doesn't get through: motos are not the same as bicycles. If you weighed 10 times what your moto weighed, your supposition would be true. But you don't. I rode my BMW 50,000 miles through Europe and North Africa back in the day when there were no speed limits and now I descend as quick as I can on my bicycle. It's not the same.
If you paid careful attention on a winding mountain descent, you would notice that the same basic steering principles apply to both. Of course a rider can move around on a bicycle and affect the steering to a greater extent, but there is no need for position changes, when proper steering input will do the job.

One big difference with a motorcycle is the ability to use the large amount of power available to increase or decrease the turn radius. A motorcycle can also apply engine braking to greatly reduce the braking required. You probably never coasted down a steep mountain descent on your motorcycle.

The application of countersteering force on the handlbars follows all of the same principles.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:19 PM
  #156  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
It's a lot trickier doing things at 30mph than it is at 10mph, but the physics is the same. Pressure on the inside bar is not necessary at either speed. Obviously, for safety reasons, you're better off keeping your hands on the bars at 30mph.
Video this when you do it. Get into a sweeper doing about 35 mph applying countersteer. Maintaining body position and weight distribution, mid turn remove your inside hand from the bar. This is going to be fun to watch.
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Old 03-20-20, 01:06 PM
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Yes, it shifts your center of gravity. It helps keep the bike upright so you don't run out of tread and have the bike slide out in the turn. Most of my bicycle handling skills I picked up racing motorcycles. Bike handling isn't taught much in the bicycling world.
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Old 03-20-20, 01:32 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by LAJ View Post

This reminds me of a time when I was a kid, and my mother was driving weird.

We said (from the back seat) "What are you doing?" & she replied "I'm practicing accelerating into the turns".
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Old 03-20-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Video this when you do it. Get into a sweeper doing about 35 mph applying countersteer. Maintaining body position and weight distribution, mid turn remove your inside hand from the bar. This is going to be fun to watch.
There is no doubt you will crash if you maintain the same body position and weight distribution when you let go of the bars.
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Old 03-21-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
There is no doubt you will crash if you maintain the same body position and weight distribution when you let go of the bars.
That's the point I think was being made.
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Old 03-24-20, 02:51 AM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
That's a bit of semantics. I would not call it counter steering of the bars remain turned to the right during a right hand turn. I would only call it counter steering if the bars actually were turned to the left during a right turn.
That's automotive or 3+ wheeled counter steering. This is why I don't like the term used for 2wheeled bikes. Leaning the bike in to a turn is counter steering. The bike wants to otherwise counter your counter steer and make you high-side. An easy experiment is walking the bike by the seat and steering the bike with that hand, the bike will want to fall outside the turn because of fork trail and rake, general physics. Same reason delta trikes tip over as well, with enough speed..
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Old 03-24-20, 08:46 AM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
That's automotive or 3+ wheeled counter steering. This is why I don't like the term used for 2wheeled bikes. Leaning the bike in to a turn is counter steering. The bike wants to otherwise counter your counter steer and make you high-side. An easy experiment is walking the bike by the seat and steering the bike with that hand, the bike will want to fall outside the turn because of fork trail and rake, general physics. Same reason delta trikes tip over as well, with enough speed..
Thank you for this. Whenever a thread comes up with the mention of countersteering, it gets in my head-- because I just don't get it. At no point on a bicycle do you turn the bars opposite to the direction of travel, so I have never been able to detect countersteering. It's easy in a car, both to do and to feel.

So it comes down to misapplication of a term; yes, body shifting is kinda like countersteering because we're using body weight to make the bike do the opposite of what it wants to do-- but we're still turning the bars to the right to go right, and vice versa.

There are guys out there countersteering on two wheels, and it's pretty easy to see:
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Old 03-24-20, 12:59 PM
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After taking my motorcycle training course, where the first thing taught was to push on the right side to lean the bike to the right and turn right, I gave it a try on my regular 10 mile mountain descent. I made one turn after another only pushing the right side of the bars (turning left) to lean the bike and turn right. To stop the turn, all you do is let up on the pressure. Works just like a motorcycle, except the force required is much less. You can prove this even more emphatically, using an open hand, in the hooks, so you can't turn to the right, unless you cheat and use your left hand.

I remind myself of this on an abrupt right hand corner at the bottom of one hill, where it turns onto a level road. To tighten the turn radius, after you're in the turn, just push some more on the right hand side of the hooks.
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Old 03-24-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
. At no point on a bicycle do you turn the bars opposite to the direction of travel,
incorrect.
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Old 03-24-20, 02:24 PM
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Stunning counterpoint. I am suitably awestruck.
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Old 03-24-20, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Stunning counterpoint. I am suitably awestruck.
I could give you all of the anecdotal evidence to prove you wrong, but this is becoming a flat earth discussion. I could go outside and film myself countersteering in slow motion from the top down and people would still argue against it.

Have a youtube video:

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Old 03-24-20, 03:03 PM
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While I enjoy Minute Physics, you absolutely, under no circumstances, need to countersteer to initiate a turn on a bicycle. Wanna turn right? Aim the wheel that direction. I accept the explanation that countersteering is primarily done with body positioning, because the bike wants to do what it wants to do (stay upright) and we want to go one way or the other. But no one needs to Scandinavian Flick a bicycle. They turn pretty easily. The lean pretty easily too, as the meatbag on top usually weighs 5-10X what the bike weighs, and the CGH is really high.

The whole focus on countersteering is a load of bollocks, because in terms of cycling, it's happening unconsciously. We're all making minute corrections almost constantly just to keep moving in a straight line. But the notion that you have to make an initial exaggerated motion to the left to go right? Idiotic. I refer again to my photo in post 162. Dude is countersteering-- with his body and his hands.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
While I enjoy Minute Physics, you absolutely, under no circumstances, need to countersteer to initiate a turn on a bicycle. Wanna turn right? Aim the wheel that direction. I accept the explanation that countersteering is primarily done with body positioning, because the bike wants to do what it wants to do (stay upright) and we want to go one way or the other. But no one needs to Scandinavian Flick a bicycle. They turn pretty easily. The lean pretty easily too, as the meatbag on top usually weighs 5-10X what the bike weighs, and the CGH is really high.

The whole focus on countersteering is a load of bollocks, because in terms of cycling, it's happening unconsciously. We're all making minute corrections almost constantly just to keep moving in a straight line. But the notion that you have to make an initial exaggerated motion to the left to go right? Idiotic. I refer again to my photo in post 162. Dude is countersteering-- with his body and his hands.
"Dude' is also skidding.

...and you're still incorrect.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:07 PM
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Then that makes two of us, as skidding is what a tire does when braking or cornering force exceeds available grip. He is powersliding, because he's producing power in excess of tire grip. At the very least get your terminology straight.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Then that makes two of us, as skidding is what a tire does when braking or cornering force exceeds available grip. He is powersliding, because he's producing power in excess of tire grip. At the very least get your terminology straight.
Do you powerslide your bicycle often? I've done something like it it while clipping pedals in pro crits. The only thing to prevent the inevitable massive crash is....countersteering.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
I could give you all of the anecdotal evidence to prove you wrong, but this is becoming a flat earth discussion. I could go outside and film myself countersteering in slow motion from the top down and people would still argue against it.

Have a youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llRkf1fnNDM
Yeah, that lil flick... I don't do that unless I need to turn wide.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
Yeah, that lil flick... I don't do that unless I need to turn wide.
I assume the "flick" is exaggerated for the visual aspect. The flick is still present in normal turning. Here is the same thing done on a dirt bike that is under no throttle influence, going bicycle speeds.

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Old 03-24-20, 04:24 PM
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If you look at motorcycle racing, the riders slide their body sideways on the bike, towards the inside of the corner.















If they turned the same corner at the same speed without moving their body sideways, they would need to lean the bike further. This would take it to the point where there is less tire grip on the road, and the bike would probably slide out. In other words, they do it to keep the bike more upright, which results in more tire grip.

Maybe some cyclists also put their knee out to keep their bike more upright, and have more tire grip.
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Old 03-24-20, 06:28 PM
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We took the tandem out on Sunday for another spirited solo ride. I noticed that on the tandem, I do have to apply countersteer all the way around the corner, whereas on my single bike I don't. I think the difference is that I can't muscle the tandem around like I can my light single by shifting my weight.
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Old 04-05-20, 11:49 PM
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So I've started to get the hang of countersteering in turns. When I apply the technique, my bike sets up and enters the turn much faster than before. It seems to make the frame lean just a bit further in the turn, causing the front wheel to come around a little quicker.

Now, I'm still curious about the flaired knee into the turn. As best as I can figure, it causes the rider to shift the rest his weight a bit to the outside, but I don't know why it matters.
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