How to ride Flat mountain bike Turns | MTB turning Basics Part #2 | Skills with Phil

How to ride Flat mountain bike Turns | MTB turning Basics Part #2 | Skills with Phil


today we’re going to be taking a look at
Flat turns these are the kind of of turns will most likely find on
mountain trails. There’s no camber or extra support to help assist you. For that
reason there are some of the hardest to rail. In my opinion doing flat times fast
is one of the hardest things to do, and no matter how well I do them I never feel like I did right. For flat
turns body position and technique are critical to get around them. The basic
concept for a flat turn is that you need to maximize traction the more weight you
have directly over your contact patch of the tire, the more traction you will have.
If there’s one thing that I want you to get out of this video, it’s understanding
the concept of how you get the most traction out of the turn. So the general
idea is to keep your weight over the outside pedal and outside grip. You do
this by leaning your bike, dropping your outside foot, pushing your hips to the
side, and lowering your chest. In a flat turn, you want lean your bike more than you lean your body. This way you can drive your side knobs into the ground for additional
traction. Something you want to try and avoid is leaning too much. In this video
you can see that my back end start to slip and kick-out. That’s because I was leaning too far
inside and caused my tire to deflect off the ground and slip out. Line choice is
another critical aspect of flat turns. You can make a turn tighter or wider
depending on where you set up. In general you want to make the widest and
smoothest arcing turn as possible. Doing so will allow you to maintain the
most amount of speed. Quite often that will mean setting up outside of the
beaten path. Another aspect that goes along with line
choice, is a visual reference. Now it’s important to keep your head up and look
through the whole turn. The farther ahead you’re looking, the more time
you’ll have to anticipate obstacles on the trail. Now it really depends on the
turn, usually I try to pick a focal reference
about halfway through turn, and before I reach that point of reference,
I’m already looking ahead another visual point of reference. Usually that’s the exit of the turn or
the feature that comes me immediately after. Braking is also another very
important part of turning, both flat turns and berms. All your braking should
happen before you get to the turn, and while you turn you want to use the least
amount of breaks as possible, and ideally none at all. If you lock up your back
brake and turn your back end will start skid. While it may look and feel pretty
cool, skidding is slower and often fround upon at most trails. Now if you pull the front brake, well let me show you what happens… Obviously this is not ideal so don’t do
that. Trail conditions and terrain also plays a huge factor and how you turn.
Newly built trails and loamy trails are much easier to dig your tires into. While
gravely and dry trails tend to be much harder packed a require a little bit more
finesse. So how much you can push each turn will depend greatly on the situation, and unfortunately there’s no easy way to
learn. That best way is through trial and experience. Now there are a few ways you
can practice flat turns in the comfort of your backyard. The first drill is a
figure-eight drill. I like ot place two objects about 30 to 50 feet apart, and then
practice turning in each direction. Here I’m using these cones which I picked up
off of amazon for about five bucks. If you’re interested, I’ll link to those in
the description. The figure-eight drill is good for practicing tight 180-degree
flat turns. The next one is a basic slalom course. Cou can do this on flat
ground or slight down hill. Now you can space these out however you want just make sure that when you’re doing it, you’re dropping your outside
foot and switching before you get to the next turn. Once you get comfortable with the slalom
course, go back and see how fast you can go. Pushing your comfort level is how you
progress. Obviously use your best judgment and try not to get hurt. So yeah that’s how you’re ride flat turns.
In the next video we’ll be looking at how to ride berms. As always my name is
Phil Kmetz, thanks for playing bikes with me today And I’ll see you next time. I feel really bad. I was riding
along and all of sudden saw something flutter me and right from my wheel and
well… and that’s what I hit. Sorry little guy didn’t mean to do that. I don’t like this feeling
As far as I know that’s first time I’ve ever done that. I love animals, it kind of sucks
to see that happen but it’s the way it goes. I’m gonna go make this guy little
resting place, hopefully he’ll be happy there

Only registered users can comment.

  1. love your videos! but still can't figure why MTB would use opposite logic to motorcycles, which we try to keep as upright as possible while the pilot is moving the body mass inside the turn

  2. well Put to gather Video as always Phil, I have a Play List with some of yours and a Few Others How to Video's for my Girlfriend to watch they Have been very Helpful for Her to touch up on what Iv already Taught her.Love to see the Compassion for the Bird, RIP Little guy/gal..

  3. I felt Speedy cornering can look way cooler than anyother tricks as I saw your videos. I am going to buy cones to learn advanced cornering. So stimulated!! 🙂

  4. It is so interesting to see that there are some same thecnics in MTBing and in motocross turns. But then there is so many diffrences. I use front brake for dirt bike when i want to turn sharper. Btw nice vid:)!

  5. Great video! just came from washing out on wet pavement for leaning to much, lol. Chunky and tall knobs didn't help either.

    Maybe you should have mentioned something about tires, specially since some have different profiles. Some tires will have a more rounded profile and will need to lean more to really get the side knobs to bite. Some have a more square profile, thus require less leaning. This is about the skills, but I think it is important to mention the tires part.

    Anyway, great video again!. RIP bird.

  6. Thank you so much man! I've been leaning over too far and washing out my rear tire on those flat turns. Can't wait to practice this in the AM! Great job highlighting the areas you're talking about with the editing.

  7. Linking to music, camera equipment and gear while delivering epic tips – Phil got it all covered!
    Sub to the scribed!

  8. I ate a tree to avoid a squirrel dude, nice to see somebody else that cares about something other than themselves. Great vid as always.

  9. Aw poor bird. 🙁 Great video! In the slalom section it looks like your kind of pumping your way thru each turn, is that what you're doing?

  10. A whole new level of respect for laying the bird to rest. I've ran over a turtle riding one of the local trails here and it made me sick. I thought it was rock and it then it moved its head and it was too late at that point. He/She didn't get a headstone, but I made sure to return it to the Mother. Oh, and I like the use of cones for the flat yard practice. The handlebar stache gives you powers I cannot attain.

  11. Hey Phil, great channel. Some of the best explanations i've ever seen.

    I have a question for you. On fast, loose flat turns, do you ever put any weight through the inside grip or is it 100% on the outside? On really sketchy turns it feels like I can have a lot of weight going through the bars at a certain point (to stop the front breaking loose), but I am not sure about weight distribution between the hands.

    I'm looking at it from the point of being able to weight each pedal and each hand a different amount depending on the corner. Hope this makes sense.

  12. Awesome video's Phil. Saw you in an BKXC video and looked you up. You got another sub .. without knowing i have seen like 10 vid's already and have the feeling i have been watching like 10 minutes. hahaha.:) Gonna learn to ride better because of your vid's. realy good explanations.. greetings from the Netherlands.

  13. I really like this video. I wish someone would have show me this when I first started riding. I was always washing out the front tire because i was either leaning in and not tilting the bike in or too far forward on the handle bars or a combination of them all. I started watching all the MTB videos and watching how the pros did it. That slalom exercise is great. I learned how to rock the handle bar grips up and down and side to side in a smooth vertical motion and tilting the bike inside instead of actually turning the front wheel. It also helps me to put downward pressure on the inside handle when cornering on flat turns. Very helpful video. I was also going into turns way too fast for my skill level. getting the braking done before the turn helps you go in under control. Also a really helpful technique that I learned from riding at a pump track is that you can use the same technique on flat turns. Pumping a flat turn by preloading the suspension helps with traction and shoots you out of the turn with some momentum.

  14. Ooh noo not the bird 🙁 i can imagen how you must have felt… I killed one with my cars once and almost gave up driving cars :P. Great videos though!! im gonna try these tips soon!

  15. Phil, do you have any tips on weight distribution through your hands? Should I be weighting the inside straight arm, or the outside arm with my elbow pointed? Ps keep up the great videos!

  16. QUESTION: On my motorcycle, I was taught, at high speed, to counter-steer to lean the bike over; put my body on the inside of a turn; and get low. To get back straight and upright, then steer into the turn and the bike stands up beautifully. It works!

    The purpose being, to lean the bike only as much as necessary. And that's what I've seen done in motorcycle racing. They even drag their inside knee.

    But at slow speeds (5 MPH) on a motorcycle, don't counter-steer — just point and lean.

    Years ago, I was coming down a steep hill on my street bicycle and noticed that I had to counter-steer.

    I've been doing MTB for a year now. A few times when I've needed to quickly make a turn tighter I've put my mountain bike on the inside, like in your video. That saved me!

    Next time, I'll try counter-steering on my MTB, downhill, when I'm not facing branches, roots, and rock gardens. Do you counter-steer on downhills?

    Please help me understand why you and I put our MTB on the inside of the turn, with our bodies on the outside of the turn.

    Thanks for your patience for my 2 long questions.

  17. the dude is so good, he can actually demonstrate a front wheel slide out and smile after the crash. crazy bad ass.

  18. Sand is impossible to go fast on in a turn. I rode over dark sand mixed with dirt. Didn't see it and took the turn fast my tire turned all the way to the left fell a foot and almost fell off a 20 feet drop

  19. When switching which peddle is up through the slalom at the end you peddle backwards and not forwards. Which makes sense when I think about it, but thought it was interesting and not something you actually mentioned.

  20. Pretty sure your supposed to stand your body low to the ground and stand the bike up as much as u can to keep your wheels up right for the most traction

  21. Really informative man! I'll be practising these techniques for sure. Also, as for the bird and your response, you are just lovely.

  22. Great sets of videos that are possibly the best tips I've seen for turning along with Richard Kelly's of IMB. Thanks for posting!

  23. Im trying to set up my own cone course, and I'm not sure what distances I need to put them out at.
    Anyone have a … schematic ?

  24. I got run over by a deer and he didn't even bother looking back to see if I was alright…..Nice that you gave that bird a resting place.

  25. These videos are fantastic! The issue I find and where I ultimately struggle is the overload of informationand translating that info to the trail. I watch I vid like this, get out on the trail, try to recreate what I learned, there's so much happening so quickly that I fail and then revert to my sucky techniques. The drills are great and I enjoy doing them with my kid. What I'd like to see is a comprehensive cornering series where the fundamentals are broken down into weekly, on trail routines, that a can remember and tackle one at a time. I've tried doing this myself with info gleaned from cornering videos. I've improved but not like I could have. Here's what I've tried, Week One, visual: look up, look a head and follow through. Week Two, braking/speed control: slow down before the turn, don't brake in turn. Week three, foot work: outside foot down and weighted. Week four, body position: hips follow the turn. Week five, counter steering. I'm not sure if it's best to do each separately then link together or link as I go. I haven't found anything like that and would benefit from it immensely! This would take some work and might be a great idea for a patreon page that I would readily support.

  26. great vid, im a beginner in mountain biking and this helps a lot.

    part 1 almost hit a bear, part 2 i hit a bird, whats next?

  27. Great vid's!
    The only thing that would make them ridiculously awesome is a blue steel zoolander pose.I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than having really, really, ridiculously good channel. Just saying…

  28. Hi Phil! I love your videos! I need help! I've become a big chicken after a few falls and I need a confidence boost. The falls were do to stupid mistakes like cutting corners when riding on one pedal, Doing the one pedal thing while carrying a push broom. Also hitting a curb because I overshot. I hurt and broke ribs two of the times. That was when I rode a hybrid Bike. I now have a Trek marlin5 17.5 29er. Going up and down short 2 to 1 slopes has me freaked out. I mostly ride alone. Is there hope? Btw I'm 59.

  29. I really apreciate You took your time to bury that little fella. 😓 Love your videos. Keep up the good work.

  30. This is a great video! Thank you so much for making these videos, I just got my first bike pretty recently and turning is still a big issue!!

  31. Does Phil ever sit down on his bike?

    My dude you could save so much money just throwing away your bike seat!

  32. Great advice. Now I know what I can do to improve my cornering. No one was able to clearly show my why and how I needed to improve. Many thanks. Hope I can even learn more from your videos.

  33. thanks for the videos! your explanations are very clear, it's been an extremely helpful channel for me as I'm starting out mountain biking. also you're a nice dude! take it easy man, and thanks again

  34. Phil I want to thank you for these videos, I find them extremely helpful. At 47 I am a beginner in mountain biking, am I crazy or what ? So far the journey has been great except for a few crashes haha.

  35. I'm far from either a physics or MTB expert but as force vectors I can't figure out point one; ultimately all force is applied at the contact points and through the geometry of they bike to the tyres. Is it really possible to alter that? You can change your centre of gravity which will impact other dynamics and especially give you a better position to handle a following turn.

    Don't let the above detract from the fact that I enjoyed this video, it's a great tutorial – I'm just curious about the physics of it. I can definitely see how the lean of the bike matters in terms of aligning the tread. I loved your commitment to demonstrate braking :p and you've given me something to aspire to skill wise because at present my cornering and technical abilities are a mile behind my fitness as someone picking up MTB from a background of highly competitive road racing.

  36. There is a saying that when the rear wheel skids you make an adjustment and when the front wheel skids the doctor is making the adjustment :))))))

  37. how do you know the bird was dead, rather than just temporarily unconscious?
    strictly speaking you have to assess the breathing, and pulse.

  38. I was railing this flat 90 degree turn in a parking garage, was going wayyy to fast for my comfort/skill level. If my nasty brake grabbing habit hadn't kicked in I would've been fine but I did grab brakes, skidded out as described in the video, flipped when my bars hit the ground and slammed my front teeth into my bars. Numb teeth for about a month or so and no hard to chew food. I'm still salty cause I could've pulled that turn off.

  39. I’ve been riding for years and still struggle with flat turns.
    Good on ya for giving birdie a proper burial. That kind of thing bums me out. I came across an abandoned nest with a dead chick in it recently and it tore me up. Mama bird probably hit a window or something 😞

  40. Lets hope the bird was dead and not just knocked out. Normally best just to leave them to the side, nature will sort it out.

  41. HEHEHEHEH!!!! TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM!!! I LOVE YOU BRRROTHER!!!! STAY CHILL AND EXTREME… SOMEHOW AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Good tutorial!

    About the bird. I've been surprised several times by birds that appeared to be dead by impact, but later got up and flew away. So, it's OK to gently relocate the bird off the trail, but don't bury it. A buried bird, if not dead already, will suffocate. Even it is dead already, leaving it unburied is more natural; the forest creatures that eat dead birds will find it soon enough.

  43. Well, you sealed the deal for me with what kind of person you are… being so respectful of that bird you hit was amazing to see. I work in animal rescue and I so appreciate what you did. Too many men think they have to be calloused to truly be "men" and it's not true. Compassion is an essential ingredient of manhood. Thank you… and thanks for improving my MTB skills.

  44. Phil another great vid. I went and bout markers so I can do as you instructed. I for sure need more confidence in turns for, I many times use brakes in the turns. Frustrating at the least for me or I come out of the turn.

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