Home > Cyclocross

Pro Tips: Finding the limits of traction with Michael van den Ham

Corner on the edge with the Canadian national champion

Photo by: Michael van den Ham

Cyclocross is all about finding traction in sketchy conditions. To do well, you have to be confident that your skinny little 32c tires will grip as you try corner through muddy ruts, grassy off-cambers, sand and, well, all kinds of other combinations.

Knowing exactly when your tires will grip, and when they’ll slip, is the key to staying upright and going fast. That might seem obvious – falling is always slower than staying upright – but really knowing where that limit is can be crucial when course conditions change constantly during a 60 minute race.

To help find that limit, Canadian elite men’s cyclocross national champion Michael van den Ham is back for the second installment in his series of cyclocross training trips. After explaining how to find the perfect tire pressure, the B.C. racer shows how to use those tires to corner fast in any course conditions.

How to Corner at the Limits of Traction

What’s van den Ham say about living on the edge?

In this training tip, I talk about getting more comfortable riding on the edge – right at the limits of the traction your tires can offer you – and give a drill that can help you do just that.

Michael van den Ham will try defend his maple leaf jersey when the Canadian cyclcross national championships return for the first time since 2019 in Victoria, B.C. in November. Before that, he’s in Rochester for Pan Am cyclocross championships hosted by Really Rad CX on Nov. 4, 2022.