Master Class // Cornering with Jack Moir

Jack is about to share with you some of his best tips and tricks for mastering the art of turning a mountain bike with maximum speed and confidence.

As Jack points out, there are a million and one different types of corners that you’ll find on the trails, all of which require a slightly different philosophy of attack in order to squeeze their maximum amount of juice. And so, in this article Jack chats about the most common type of corners and how to pointers for ‘how to’ nailing the perfect technique for each.    

Getting your head in the zone before you start

If you’re talking ripping bike park berms with lots of support, I would almost go up a little in pressure, or run an insert to stop that rear tyre rolling. I also wind on a bit more low speed compression when riding bike parks to hold the bike up a little and stop it bogging in fast corners/while jumping and pumping. This gives you the support to really commit to a fast berm and helps you carry speed down the whole trail. However, If you’re talking flat corners with roots etc, you want to do the opposite. You want the bike as supple as possible to maintain traction while trying to turn on the roots/rocks/bumps.


This is one of the most important aspects of cornering and there are no real shortcuts, it’s just all practice and repetition. It’s something that sounds so easy to do, but it’s actually really hard to brake at the start of a corner and resist the urge to drag brake while going around it. The more you do it the easier will get. On that note, it’s important to remember that all corners are different, some corners may require you to brake mid corner. (see below)

Flat corners

Watch some Sam Hill videos! I like to come in as wide as possible to open up the corner and throw a leg off. This helps you weight the outside pedal and gives you confidence that you’re not going to go down if you lose traction. You can control the bike with the rear brake a bit, if you’ve come in too hot and are not turning sharp enough a little rear brake will slide the rear out and tighten up your turning radius. This only works at high speed with a bit of gradient, otherwise you just kill all your exit speed. Trying to do this without taking a leg off is really fun, but you might end up with a bit of skin off your elbows haha.


Railing berms

Start by picking your entry line and always aim to set up your line out as wide as possible. Then, lean back, heals down, get all braking done on entry. As you finish braking and start entering the turn you want to be spotting the exit. From here you need to start leaning in and adjust your weight back to the neutral position, hinged at the hips, elbows up, head up. Perhaps the most important rule with riding berms fast is to resist the urge to touch your brakes! And also, always be ready to counter any sliding/loss of traction with your hips. If the corner is a real short and punchy one, you can incorporate a pump into this and generate some more exit speed.

Wooden wallride berms

Wooden wallride berms can be sketchy as f**k, especially in the wet! The most common thing I see is people trying to ride up onto them without the speed/momentum required to be able to tip the bike over enough. You want to be leaned over enough so that the centre knobs of your tyre are perpendicular to the wallride.

If your side knobs are in contact with the wood, then you are not leaned in enough and will slide out.

Linking corners/switchbacks

This one really all depends on the type of corners. If the corners are built really well and the track isn’t too steep you may be able to just rip through them no brakes after the initial braking point. If there is a bit of gradient this won’t work as you can pick up speed in the corner if you rip it well. This is where you might have to drag brake mid corner to set up for the next. Once you have entered the first corner, you need to be looking ahead enough that you are already spotting the entrance/ braking point to the next corner. If you think you have too much speed, you need to pick your braking point and wash off a bit of speed before entering the next corner. (this could still be in the 1st corner if they are real close together).

It’s easy to over brake in this scenario, so keep practicing on a set of corners until you are able to get it with as little braking as possible.

Corners littered with janky rocks, stumps, etc. 

If the corner has a lot of dirt as well as rocks and stumps then you can look for places where there is support for you to do most of your turning on. For example, there might be some rocks/roots then a flat piece of dirt or a rut formed then some more rocks/roots. You want to come in, be careful not to brake too hard on the rocks and roots on the way in as that can send you offline. Spot your turning point and do as much turning on that point so that you are hitting the next little patch of roots etc in a straight line. Obviously, all these types of corners are going to be different, so general rule of thumb is that you want to look for dirt patches you can push hard/turn on so that you can unweight over the slippery roots.

Sometimes in gnarly wet root sections there are literally no areas of support and you just have to do your best not to brake on the roots, and throw a leg off and dab your way through.

Squaring off a corner and throwing max roost 

Easy as mate; come into the corner deep inside, no brakes at all, and just swing off it, braap! [R]