Leaning to the inside of a turn
How do you corner on a bicycle? For many cyclists, the obvious answer is “By turning the handlebars in the direction of the turn.”. However, this is incorrect. The correct answer is that a bicycle changes direction because it leans to the inside of the turn (leaning to the inside). The function of the handlebars differs according to the speed: at low speed, one uses the handlebars to stay upright (keeping balance), and at high speed, one uses them to make the bicycle lean to the inside of the turn. (To make the bicycle lean to the inside of the turn, one pushes the handlebars in the opposite direction; see Countersteering.)

Cyclists that usually ride slowly often do not recognise themselves in this explanation, and there are two reasons for that:

  1. The slower one rides, the less the bicycle has to lean to make it through the turn.
  2. The slower one rides, the more one has to use steering impulses and body weight displacements to keep balance. An observer then sees a cyclist that swings through the turn.

The necessity of leaning to the inside of the turn is immediately clear if a rider wants to take a sharp turn at high speed. The higher the speed and the sharper the turn, the more the bicycle must lean to the inside of the turn.

For beginning e-bikers, who are not used to the higher speeds, leaning often causes problems. A typical scenario is that of an e-biker who does not make it through a turn because he is afraid of leaning more to the inside. Taking a turn always begins by estimating (before the turn) one’s speed and the sharpness the turn, and by reducing speed if necessary.