This is a two-part question.
I've been watching various videos and getting various advice about mountain bike cornering. My impression is that all of the advice cannot be true, because the advice, taken together, seems self-contradictory. Also, some logic out there seems rather disconnected from the physics.
A few years ago, I read this book on race car driving: "Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving". It is the best physics-based explanation of car handling I've seen. Based on the laws of physics, each tire has a maximum amount of traction for a given amount of downward force per tire. I want to point out two things that result from this:
If you need more traction, you can: (a) get stickier tires, (b) increase contact patch, (c) increase downward force (i.e. the 'normal' vector, perpendicular to the surface).
For a given amount of friction, it may be used for some combination of acceleration (forward), braking (backward), or cornering (sideways). By combination, I mean the sum of the force vectors. So, the more friction you use in acceleration or braking, the less you have available for cornering.
Unless I hear a better explanation, I think the above explanation above serves as a useful fundamental grounding of tire traction, whether it be on-road or off-road.
Question, part 1: Is my summary of the physics detailed enough to be useful without overlooking any key aspects? Are there problems in borrowing the logic of automotive tire grip and applying it to mountain biking?
Here is one way to apply this knowledge. As an example, I heard something like this from a video about mountain bike handling (sorry, I lost the link):
"pedaling out of a corner gives more traction at the rear wheel" (paraphrased)
This seems bogus to me. If you pedal, you are asking the rear tire to use grip for acceleration, meaning less is available for cornering. Question, part 2: Is my logic correct?