A vertical turn on a mountain bike can be one of the most difficult things for some riders to learn. While the basics are very similar to what you will find on the road or dirt bikes, there are actually two different types of turn on the mountain bike: straight and a sloped downhill.
Straight turns are completely flat. They are basically a straight-out right turn that starts up the trail and ends right where you started. The most common of these is the B-Turn, which is also sometimes called the Rock Turn. This turn is where you start out about two feet right of your front wheel, as soon as you make it up to about five feet high. As you get higher, you begin to bank and turn a bit, and you are in the air above the trail in about two feet.
A steep slope is the other type of turn on the mountain bike. Here, you need to make the turn about two feet more up than you started. It’s basically a steep slide turn and will include a couple of feet of the bank at the top of the turn. However, because it is a much steeper angle, you will likely need to make it even steeper, depending on the terrain, to maintain a smooth ride. If the bank is too steep, it could easily result in a wipeout!
A short trail has become an easy turn on the mountain bike because it has become much smoother. Whether it’s a trail at a local park, a backcountry road trip, or simply a steep hill at home, you should take a bit of time to learn how to make these turns.
Some riders will simply know what they need to do and then continue up the trail and make the turn. These riders may want to watch how they ride for a few moments, and pay attention to how other riders are riding. However, if you’ve tried to make a turn on a mountain bike that doesn’t work, then you know exactly what to do!
You may be making a straight turn, and you want to ride through the turn, as far as you can go. In this case, you will probably want to slow down and ride along the edge of the side of the trail, catching your balance as you go over the top of the hill. This will allow you to stay in line with the trail, and you won’t end up going off the side of the hill.
Sloping turns are also pretty common, and you can create them by riding up the hill and hitting a horizontal drop, or hitting the top of a small vertical drop. The more twists and turns you try, the more likely you are to learn to ride through them. The most important thing to remember is that a vertical turn is not the same as a flat turn, and you should avoid those.