How to Work With Your Center of Gravity

When descending and cornering, it is very important to be aware of the position of your center of gravity.

Most people's center of gravity is located just below the navel. By correctly positioning this center over the bike you will be able to maintain stability and control in tight corners and on steep, fast descents.

You need to think in three dimensions: forward and back, up and down, and side to side.

While riding straight on flat ground your center of gravity is most likely a little forward of the bottom bracket. As you go into a corner or a downhill, slide back to position the center over the bottom bracket to increase stability. Lowering the center will also help in this regard.

While cornering, especially if you use the counter-steering technique, your center of gravity should be positioned outside of the turn, toward the contact of the tires to the ground. Remember to always keep your outside pedal down and weighted in the corner.

Experiment with where you place your center of gravity in different situations and you will quickly learn the placement that is best for speed and stability.

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Andy Applegate heads a2 coaching and is an elite-level road, cyclo-cross and mountain bike racer. He is also a USA Cycling and Ultrafit-certified coach.

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