Camber tips

I have been riding for a few months now and have been leaning my body into the path camber but it feels strange , should I be leaning my uni or a combination of both . Thanks David

I think a certain amount of body lean is always required to compensate for camber or other tilts to the riding surface. The uni always tries to go downhill, and you have to maintain an off-center position to keep the wheel pointed back toward the road.

Some tires are much better with camber than others. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but rounder tires generally do better than squarish ones.

The body lean and uni lean are related. The centre of gravity must remain above the contact point on the road, so leaning the body goes hand in hand with the uni leaning the opposite way.

It isn’t as simple as the uni rolling down a side slope. A tyre tilted to the road surface causes sideways forces as the tread is forced to run straight across the contact patch, misaligned with the circle the rest of the tyre is running. These forces act both in front of and behind the point where the steering axis is projected onto the road. Unfortunately they don’t cancel out and result in the uni being forced to turn down the slope.

Leaning forwards changes the geometry of the steering axis and tyre contact patch helping to overcome the problem even if you don’t actually lean your body into the camber.

You can also push hard with your inner thigh against the front half of the saddle to resist the turning force.

Tyres with a relatively rigid carcass are the worst because the sideways force is proportional to the resistance to flexing.

For example, the Maxxis Hookworm in any size larger than 20 inch is terrible. The Maxxis DTH (24 and 26 inch) is far less susceptible. Maxxis Torch (29 inch) is also quite good.

The bigger the tyre diameter and width the worse the camber problem. Low inflation pressure make a longer and wider contact patch, exacerbating the problem.