Author: Wyn Hughes

How to master adverse cambers when riding off-road

How to ride adverse cambers

When you’re riding off-road you’re going to come up against a multitude of terrains that all require different techniques to see you blast through them (or over them) without dropping your bike. Adverse cambers can catch you off guard, but with a bit of practice and the knowhow, you’ll be riding them like a pro in no time.

When coming into adverse cambers, the first thing that is going to happen is the front end will want to fall in. To combat this, as you approach you should be looking ahead for the braking point, while at the same time sitting or standing central and balanced. If you have the luxury of a rut, as long as its not too deep, use it to hold the bike round the corner.

When the time comes to slow down it is important to have the bike fully upright and to apply both brakes at the same time, I recommend using about 70% front and 30% rear. If at this point the bike starts to slide, keep calm and release both brakes and then re-apply to regain grip.

As you enter the corner at a nice controlled speed, release the brakes and lean into it. Unlike riding on the road, you should not lean your body. The body should be upright with the outside elbow up high to put a little pressure on the outside of the handlebars. By doing this you will compress the forks to put more grip onto the front tyre and prevent loss of control.

Your inside leg should always be out in front, not dragging the floor, so that it’s ready to regain your balance in case the bike slides and goes to fall in. As you round the corner you should also slide your body weight to the front of the seat to get as much weight as possible onto the pivot point.

When rounding the bend throttle control is vital. There should be smooth power around the turn, building speed gradually as you do so. Coming out of the corner your weight should slide back to a more central position, changing back up the gears as you go. Continue on, always looking for the next obstacle in advance with your elbows high.