Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Which turn is most comfortable? (R or L)

Notices
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

Which turn is most comfortable? (R or L)

Old 06-30-04, 01:50 AM
  #1  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
Thread Starter
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Which turn is most comfortable? (R or L)

We were discussing which direction of turn is most comfortable. Interstingly, all riders amoung our group said that left turns are more natural, or more comfortable. This was regardless of whether they were right or left handed. I'm wondering what your preferences are, and also, some opinions about what makes one direction more comfortable than another.
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 02:35 AM
  #2  
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 12,234

Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
In traffic... right turns are usually more comfortable.
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 06:19 AM
  #3  
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Posts: 18,208

Bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany, 2018 Lynskey Helix Pro

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
For me a left turn is more comfortable when making a U-turn, but it is easier and more natural feeling to make right turn when riding hard and fast. Don't know why.
RonH is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 07:31 AM
  #4  
Laggard
Lance Hater
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RonH
For me a left turn is more comfortable when making a U-turn, but it is easier and more natural feeling to make right turn when riding hard and fast. Don't know why.
Same here.
Laggard is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 07:37 AM
  #5  
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Posts: 5,451

Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Either way works for me I honestly don't feel a difference. I'm definatlly right handed for almost everything except hockey and I can bat lefty fairly well too. Mabey the lefty/rightie thing has something to do with it?
jfmckenna is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 07:49 AM
  #6  
ewitz
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: toronto
Posts: 456

Bikes: specialized allez pro, giant tcr composite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The crits I ride are all set up for right hand turns. I think it would feel weird to run the course backwards doing left hand turns.
ewitz is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 08:19 AM
  #7  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
Thread Starter
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So far it looks like people vary in their preference, which is what I sort of figured. I guess it's just coincidence that the group I talked to all were left turn lovers.
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 08:33 AM
  #8  
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Posts: 5,451

Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I just did a crit last Sunday with left and right turns, I thought that was cool.
jfmckenna is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 09:23 AM
  #9  
Fat Hack
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
the group I talked to all were left turn lovers.
I thought the theory is that left turning feels more natural because your heart is slightly to the left of your body, meaning, left turning feels safer because the heart is closer to the ground.

I was told this is why all running tracks and velodromes, etc, turn left.

Urban myth, maybe
 
Old 06-30-04, 09:28 AM
  #10  
SteveE
Veni, Vidi, Vomiti
 
SteveE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Republic of Anaerobia
Posts: 3,582

Bikes: Serotta Legend Ti, Romani Columbus SL, Soma Doublecross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RonH
For me a left turn is more comfortable when making a U-turn, but it is easier and more natural feeling to make right turn when riding hard and fast. Don't know why.
Because if you turn right making a U-turn, you end up running into the curb or off the road. Perhaps the fast right hand turn is psychologically easier because if you misjudge your speed you've got more pavement to play with (assuming you don't find traffic going the other way). If you screw up a left-hand turn your off the road and have probably crashed. There's probably a bit more margin for error on the right-hand turn than there is for the left.

It'd be interesting to see what the folks in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan think.

SteveE
SteveE is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 09:45 AM
  #11  
PriO
dotdotdot
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 465

Bikes: Cannondale R600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I gotta say left. Although im right handed, my left turns are way more smooth and precise. I think its because my right arm is stronger than my left so when i turn I misjudge the power or something.
PriO is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 02:43 PM
  #12  
VeganRider
Just Do It !
 
VeganRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 852

Bikes: Litespeed Ti, Trek Carbon.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Maybe SteevE has a point there! It's left for me too. I've thought about it too and wondered if it could have anything to do with eye dominance? Or maybe in the back of my mind I know there is a derailleur and hanger on the other side that I really don't want to nail on the pavement!
VeganRider is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 02:57 PM
  #13  
sorebutt
Über member!
 
sorebutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA.
Posts: 993

Bikes: 2004 Albert Eisentraut

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
huh, never thought of it..
but if I think of it, in a car I feel better on left turns i guess because I see better where I am going.. On a bike I like right turns better, maybe because I crashed once on a left turn, and banged my left shoulder really good..
sorebutt is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 04:04 PM
  #14  
ChezJfrey
Rider in the Storm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 736

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, KHS Fiero (Fixed), Centurion Ironman Expert

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Perhaps a poll? But I imagine the split is 50-50.

If I had to choose, I seem to favor right-hand turns. I feel a slight more controlled for some reason.
ChezJfrey is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 04:11 PM
  #15  
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 15,061

Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Right I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I'm right handed?
__________________
Raiyn is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 04:17 PM
  #16  
zotma
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
how interesting, was just discussing this!
I feel pretty equal for the most part
but
I prefer the right for more comfortable high speed turns
I decided not to do a crit downtown (that would have been my first) and it turned out having all left turns so I felt better about not making that my first.
the folks I was talking to preferred left (a poll would be interesting)
zotma is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 06:14 PM
  #17  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
Thread Starter
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sorebutt
huh, never thought of it..
but if I think of it, in a car I feel better on left turns i guess because I see better where I am going.. On a bike I like right turns better, maybe because I crashed once on a left turn, and banged my left shoulder really good..
What do you think of this theory:

One friend suggested that auto racers (and drivers) in countries that drive on the right side, prefer LEFT turns because the driver (on the left) travels through a smaller radius during the turn, and thus experiences less centripital force than he/she would in a RIGHT turn. This person felt that the preference was carried over subconciously, to cyclist in these countries.

I'm wondering if the brits have a trend toward a RIGHT turn preference.
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 06:20 PM
  #18  
520commuter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it's a sharper turn, wouldn't it be MORE centrifical force?
520commuter is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 06:23 PM
  #19  
froze
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 4,761

Bikes: 84 Trek 660 Suntour Superbe; 87 Giant Rincon Shimano XT; 07 Mercian Vincitore Campy Veloce

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't have a favorite, their both equal to me.
froze is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 06:43 PM
  #20  
bmph8ter
crackhead
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: little rock, ar
Posts: 170

Bikes: santa cruz blur, felt F50, motobecane super mirage

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On the bike I prefer left turns. When driving a car, I do all of my donuts turning left too!
bmph8ter is offline  
Old 06-30-04, 09:08 PM
  #21  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
Thread Starter
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 520commuter
If it's a sharper turn, wouldn't it be MORE centrifical force?
In thinking about it, I think the force would be the same, as C force is proportional to the velocity and inversly proportional to the radius. Maybe a better way to say it would be that the driver's SPEED is less when turning left.
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 07-01-04, 12:11 AM
  #22  
leconkie
leconkie
 
leconkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Shikoku
Posts: 139

Bikes: Merida Freeway 9300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One friend suggested that auto racers (and drivers) in countries that drive on the right side, prefer LEFT turns because the driver (on the left) travels through a smaller radius during the turn, and thus experiences less centripital force than he/she would in a RIGHT turn. This person felt that the preference was carried over subconciously, to cyclist in these countries.
I'm wondering if the brits have a trend toward a RIGHT turn preference.[/QUOTE]


I'm a Scot (definittely NOT a Brit) and I feel better taking a right turn at speed when I'm in a car. This is probably because I've got further to go to hit the pavement if I get it wrong and also because I can see a lot better into the turn, separated from it by only inches, rather than the width of the car. When I was a stupid kid I did a hand-brake turn on a 6% sloped minor road in the wet at 50mph and only survived because I went clockwise. For biking, I prefer long fast downhill lefthanders. I actually feel a bit anxious on a long fast right hander. I'm sure its got a lot to do with the derailleur etc. I play guitar and have over the years developed a tendancy to always walk on the right side of whoever I'm talking to, having got so used to this position when cuddling into an acoustic. My friend told me that when I was playing 6 hours a day, I had a lop-sided stoop from it.
leconkie is offline  
Old 07-01-04, 01:17 AM
  #23  
Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,795

Bikes: litespeed, cannondale

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SteveE
Because if you turn right making a U-turn, you end up running into the curb or off the road. Perhaps the fast right hand turn is psychologically easier because if you misjudge your speed you've got more pavement to play with (assuming you don't find traffic going the other way). If you screw up a left-hand turn your off the road and have probably crashed. There's probably a bit more margin for error on the right-hand turn than there is for the left.

It'd be interesting to see what the folks in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan think.

SteveE
Good points Steve. I find left turns harder then right turns. It could be for the reasons you mention.

As you mentioned, if you go a bit wide on a right turn, well you just drift out into the pavement. So on right turns, you can turn close into the curb and if you need to drift out a bit, well no problem.

On left turns, if you drift wide, you are off the road.
Pat is offline  
Old 07-01-04, 05:34 AM
  #24  
oxologic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Singapore
Posts: 566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Right is more comfortable, but I turn left very often.
oxologic is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.