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Top 5 Tips For Cornering In The Wet | GCN’s Pro Cycling Tips


– Wet conditions add a little bit of spice to cornering on road bikes. So, coming up are some things
you need to bear in mind to help you navigate
turns safely in the wet. (rock music) Lowering your tire pressure
increases the surface area of the tire that’s in
contact with the road, giving you more grip, which
is a good thing when it comes to wet roads because
wet roads are more slippery. So, if I’m setting out
on a ride and the roads area already damp, then I’ll
knock at least 10 to 15 PSI pressure out of my tires. (70s funk music) Now the type of tire that you’re using can also play a big part. Although, funny enough, on
road bike tires, actually tread pattern is not
really an issue and that’s because the speed that we’re going and the narrowness of the tire means that we’re never really ever
going to be aquaplaning. But what is an issue is tire compound. So whilst most good quality
tires will have similar levels of grip in the
dry, there can be a big disparity between
manufacturers in the wet, and that is down to tire compound. We’ll also talk about tire width as well, because it goes back
to that previous point about the contact patch. A wider tire will give you
a greater contact patch with the road than a narrow tire, and it will also,
remember, allow you to drop the pressure even further. So the difference between
a 25 and a 28 mil tire can be quite significant. You can drop the pressure
probably by about 20 psi. So if you normally run 90
on your 25s you can probably get away with 70 on your 28s. And actually if I let you
into a little secret here, despite being 72 kilos, I’m running 50 psi on my 28mm tires at the
moment and it feels amazing. And very grippy. (jazz music) If the level of grip on
asphalt or tarmac is lessened in the wet, then it’s
almost nonexistent on other surfaces like drain covers
or also white lines. Now, you should always
look ahead when cornering or descending, so that you
can find the right line, but it’s even more important in the wet, so that you can avoid
crossing such surfaces. And if you can’t avoid them
at all, then just make sure that you straighten the
bike up, just momentarily, as you do go over them
and that way you’ll lessen your chances of actually slipping out. (slow rock music) Now, unless you’re running
discs, you are going to have to bear in mind that braking takes longer in the wet on rim brakes. And even if you are using disc brakes, to be fair, as we’ve already mentioned, there is simply less
traction on wet roads. So slowing down will always
take a bit of extra time. To remedy this, what you need to do then is just start braking a
little bit earlier for corners to allow you to slow down to
the appropriate speed in time. And a great little tip,
actually, if you are using rim brakes is to drag the
brakes, even before you want to slow down and
that’ll keep the rim surface free of water, so when you need them, they’re going to become more effective. Now, an added thing to
bear in mind, is that while it’s always important to be
able to slow down quickly, it’s even more important
to do it for corners because you really want to avoid turning and braking at the same time. ‘Cause that’ll really push your luck when it comes to traction. And then also remember,
as well as actually not braking corners, you certainly can’t lean the bike over as far as well. Again, coming back to
that all important point that there’s just less grip
available for your tires. (jazz music) Now, a final, small, but
still significant point, and that is that if you’re
riding in a group in the wet, just give yourself a little bit more room behind the rider in front. And that’s because if they
make a hash of a corner, you’ll give yourself a
little bit more time to react and hopefully avoid meeting the same fate. It’ll also mean you get
better visibility as well ’cause you’ll be away from the
spray from their back wheel. The same is true, actually,
not just from riding with other riders of
bikes, but also if you’re commuting to work, give yourself a little bit more room
behind cars as well. So make sure you do your braking early, certainly before you
actually start turning, and that you can’t lean
the bike over quite as far. Give yourself a little
bit more room when riding in a group, and try and
avoid those extra slippery surfaces like drain
covers and white lines. And when it comes to your equipment, let a bit of pressure out your tires, and if you’ve got the choice,
run slightly wider ones with the grippiest
compound that you can find. Now, do make sure you subscribe to GCN before leaving this video. To do that, just click on the globe. If you want some more content,
we’ve got some special wet-weather videos, as well, for you. Click down there for Top
10 Wet Weather Riding Tips, over here, How to Dress
for Wet Weather Riding.

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