Elmer J Fudd wrote: ↑
Wed May 06, 2020 10:21 am
Glad you like the articles . Anything topic in particular you are wanting to learn more about?
Well that would be everything, love reading about all things bike related.
In terms of technique:
How do some racers / riders manage to break traction at both ends deliberately and still keep control would be interesting, not that i'm going to try it.
Body position in corners, what is the theory / physics involved, does it make much difference on the road?
And maybe the holy grail for those of us without active suspension, but some adjust-ability: how to set up your suspension (for your physique, ability and style), be it road, off-road or track. This is a book in itself, but even though it can have a great impact is rarely discussed beyond the boy racers.
Thanks for the message, some good questions there. For your first question about riders/racers breaking traction deliberately and maintaining control, that would come down to practice and experience. The more practice and experience you have with sliding tires and pushing to the edge of traction, the fewer chances you have of losing control. I find that dirt riding is a great way to practice that feeling of loss of traction and regaining traction. You can get some pretty incredible practice with throttle control and sliding in the dirt which then transfers over to pavement rreally well.
At the Superbike School where I coach, we also have a cool training bike called the slide bike which has outriggers attached that provide stabilization and dampening so that students can practice sliding the rear tire and overcoming the survival reactions of chopping the gas with less fear of crashing. This really helped me when I was first racing as it gave me the confiedence to really get to WOT with less fear of sliding because I knew what to do.
Body position: This is an extremely important riding skill that I find most students tend to either forget about, or overcomplicate. The main point and purpose of good body position is that (on pavement and while cornering) it helps to REDUCE overall lean angle. By moving your body over to the side that you are turning into (to the left for a left turn) you can essentially keep the bike more upright. A bike that is more upright has more available traction and also more room for error as you have more lean angle available if needed.
One of the biggest mistakes that pavement riders make is leaning away from the bike or pushing it down and underneath them which causes them to use more lean angle than necessary. Body position can get tricky when switching from bike/riding styles as road racing/riding technique is completely the opposite of dirt riding body position. Another aspect is that correct body position, both in the dirt and on the pavement is paramount to being able to keep your arms relaxed. Riding with excess tension in your arms can make steering less responsive and the rider more likely to panic in emergency situations.
You ask if body position makes a difference on the road and yes absolutely it does. You don't need to have hang-off road racing style by any means, but If you have a rider that is using more lean angle than necessary or gripping the bars too tightly or moving around excessively then they are more likely to make riding mistakes and crash. I could go into a lot more detail on body position but my kids need help with their homeschooling (LOL).
As for suspension, as you say, you can write an entire book on the subject. As someone who likes to make things as simple as possible, I'd say start first with setting up the sag correctly for your weight. From there a fun exercise it to try all aspects of your suspension by adjusting it on your own. Start with full hard, then go full soft then make smaller adjustments in between so you can FEEL for yourself what the bike does and how you like it. From my (limited experience) in working with suspension guys while racing, everyone has their own idea on how a bike SHOULD be set up and how it SHOULD feel to each rider but it isn't always the way it works. Some riders prefer to feel the bike moving around underneath them, some want it to be rock solid stable, some don't mind it twitchy as long as it turns quickly, some prefer the opposite. The best way to really KNOW is to practice and try it yourself.
Hope that answers your questions and I'm happy to go into more detail (on the technique side of things) if needed/wanted. Love these conversations, thank you!!