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How to Corner on a Road Bike

Road Bike Skills 101: Cornering Tips

Becoming more confident at cornering on a road bike is an important step to being safe and smooth while navigating traffic and riding with groups, and increasing your cornering skills will help you ride a little faster too! 

Body Position

Perhaps the most important part of proper cornering is body position. Without appropriate body position through a corner, a rider will have a hard time maintaining traction and holding a line. Here are the key body position points to think about as you make your way through each corner:

Line Choice

When riding through a corner, a general rule of thumb is approach wide, lean inside to the apex and finish wide. This effectively creates a straight line through the corner and is the most efficient and fastest way through.

However, there are a couple key things you want to think about when approaching a corner to determine the line you want to take. Here are a few:

Braking and Speed

Your main goal through a corner is to exit faster than you entered. That requires braking control and gear selection when entering a corner and commitment on the exit.

On the approach, before you stop pedaling, shift into an easier gear so you are prepared to accelerate out of the corner. When entering a corner, start braking while you are still traveling in a straight line and aim to slow down to an appropriate speed before you start leaning your bike in the center of the turn.

Let go of the brakes slowly through the turn to maintain traction and control of the bike. Appropriate line selection is key to being able to let off the brakes and accelerate out.

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