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Discussion Starter #1
Thought this might be an interesting topic. I've been riding MTB for many years, some racing, and now that I have an Exige S and starting (JUST starting!) to learn how to drive, I see so many similarities. So in the hopes others might be interested, I'll get things rolling.

My bike (Giant Anthem Zero) is an XC race model with very limited suspension travel. It rides quite stiff, not like a hardtail though. Cornering is all about weight management. Generally, initial brake-in (and/or weighting the handlebars) helps the front tire bite and track, then a smooth transfer of weight to the rear brings the back end around (and prevents one from flying over the bars). Of course technique varies depending on terrain, other riders, etc., but I'm enjoying experimenting with applying weight-management driving techniques to the MTB, and vice versa. For example, I've been playing with trail-braking on the bike. Never tried that before.

But what about that intial weighting of the front? It seems like something you want in a car, to prevent understeer when you're beginning a turn. Brake in (weight in front), accelerate out (weight moves to rear) is what I hearing & reading is the desired sequence of events. Listen I know this is probably REALLY basic stuff, but for myself and anyone else who thinks of these similarities between driving and MTB technique, it would be best to know now if any assumptions are incorrect and could lead to bad (and dangerous) habits.

Another similarity for me is the steering. I'm used to handling the rigid feel of the MTB bars, which I apply to the Lotus. A firm but light enough grip to LET the steering wheel do its minor vibrations, rather than try to control it via a deathgip, seems to help me corner smoother.

Often just before entering a corner on the MTB, I like to do a gentle move on the bars toward the outside of the turn, which then helps me weight the bike to "take a set" into the turn. Sometimes I do this in the Lotus. It SEEMS natural, it's fun, but....is it a bad habit to get into? I'll bet it probably is.

Anyone else out there feel this symbiotic relationship between Lotus and bike? Let's hear your thoughts!
 

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I recently had a friend start to ride a motorcycle, and he said he finally figured out what I was talking about for driving cars fast. As far as brake before the turn, and slowly apply the throttle as going through the apex. Now, he says, he's a better car driver because of his motorcycle training. I would think the same sort of thing applies to mountain bikes as well. But, I don't trust my mountain bike enough to try trail braking. :)
 

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Your thoughs are pretty right on. One difference is that to help get around a really tight turn with a lot of camber (steep switch back) you CANNOT put your foot down on the ground when driving a Lotus. Just can't get the damn door open fast enough and still control the car, and that is for a left turn..... don't know what you are going to do about a right hander.:D
 

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I think my MTB would be better compared to a rally car than the lotus. I do need to ditch the downhill bike and get a better trail bike though. Not racing anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Your thoughs are pretty right on. One difference is that to help get around a really tight turn with a lot of camber (steep switch back) you CANNOT put your foot down on the ground when driving a Lotus. Just can't get the damn door open fast enough and still control the car, and that is for a left turn..... don't know what you are going to do about a right hander.:D
rotflrotflrotfl
Funny thing though, I used to own a 60's VW fastback, and while driving to a trailhead at 12,000' in the Calif. White Mountains on a dirt road, I was losing power in first gear on a steep rise, and actually opened the door and Flintstoned up the damn thing with my left foot.
 

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I recently had a friend start to ride a motorcycle, and he said he finally figured out what I was talking about for driving cars fast. As far as brake before the turn, and slowly apply the throttle as going through the apex. Now, he says, he's a better car driver because of his motorcycle training. I would think the same sort of thing applies to mountain bikes as well. But, I don't trust my mountain bike enough to try trail braking. :)
I feel the same way about my sportbike. Helped me alot lol
 
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