Lean, don’t steer, through turns.
You make a car go around a corner by turning the steering wheel. You make a bike turn by leaning it.
That’s a big difference between a vehicle with four wheels and one with two wheels. But we see many new riders try to steer their bike like they’re driving a car. They slow down and pivot the handlebar, creeping around corners.
To learn to steer by leaning, try this on your next ride.
Stuff half-a-dozen paper cups into your jersey pocket and cruise to an empty parking lot. Set the cups in a long line but make them a bit offset like a slalom course. Then ride toward the first cup.
As you approach it, lower your outside pedal and press your weight on it. This will be the left pedal if you’re setting up for a right turn. Then, instead of using the handlebar to steer into the turn, lean the bike by pushing lightly on the bar with the inside (right) hand and pulling up slightly with the outside (left) hand. Keep your upper body vertical as the bike angles over and you put weight on the left pedal.
As you approach the next cup for a left turn, reverse the procedure. Have your right pedal down, push down with your left hand and pull up with your right hand.
It’s almost like you’re trying to point the bike in the opposite direction you want to go. But this technique will make the bike lean smoothly into the turn. Try it.
Remember, these are subtle movements. Don’t exaggerate your push/pull on the handlebar. A little goes a long way. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the bike will tilt and how well it turns — especially at faster speeds as you develop this skill.