How to link turns on a mountain bike like a boss
Carrying speed through interlinking switchbacks is all about thinking ahead and doing things at the right point. Going full gas into the first corner may feel fast, but it’ll most likely unsettle you and cause you to mess up the next one.
Follow these tips and you’ll soon be linking your turns like an Olympic skier!
1. Read the trail
You may not be able to see around the turn, but think about what the trail has been like so far. Anticipate how much grip you think the dirt will have and how supportive a camber there’ll be.
Brake accordingly, before you drop into the turn, and let off as you enter it. Braking mid-turn will stand the bike up and slow you right down, so try to stick to your braking points.
2. Set up wide
If there’s space, position yourself at the outside edge of the trail, to widen the arc and make it easier to rail around. That said, if the outside line looks unsupportive or blown out, then think about setting up wide and cutting inside.
Drop a foot if needed, and roost up some dirt, emulating the king of inside lines, Sam Hill.
3. Lean and look
Once you’ve initiated the turn, look at where you want your wheels to end up, not just at the exit of the corner. This will ensure you don’t understeer.
In berms, stay in a neutral position, on top of the bike. If the turns are flatter and drifty, then use your arms to lean the bike between your legs to maintain traction. As you exit, your eyes should already be focused on the next corner.
4. Scandi flick
For very tight corners, you can grab a big handful of brake to put the bike into an opposite lock. The tyres will stop sliding and bite as you release the lever, and this should catapult you the other way into a perfect arc – but it takes practice!