1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    The front and the rear brakes

    Did a quick search and didn't find any responses, but have seen on other threads comments made by very experienced riders about how they never use the front and rear brake together, and that "control" etc etc is better if you use the front or the rear alone in many situations. I tend to use both brakes together the majority of the time, and would like to know from people that are advanced enough to use one or the other separetly how they use it and in what situations. For making turns more sharply? Also, in what situations are you supposed to use one or the other instead of both?
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  2. #2
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    I use one and both. I am far from advanced and don't use the brakes to accomplish anything other than slowing down but sometimes I just feel like the front brake is all I need and on steep dissents I will use the front mostly but also use a little rear just to take some pressure off the front. I just pay close attention to make sure my rear doesn't start sliding or locking up. I may be wrong in how I am doing it but so far works for me. My new bike will have larger better brakes so I am not sure how things will go with them.

  3. #3
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    on really really steep hills i try to stay of the front brake so i dont go over the bars.
    the rest of the time i use the front.

  4. #4
    local jackass
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    i use both together with no issues its all about modulation and your placement on the bike
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  5. #5
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    If you use both brakes at the same time, your bike will explode.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  6. #6
    Big Mac
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    When going uphill, I use the front brake. Downhills I use the rear only. On flats I use both. I also have a negative brake that I use sometimes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    If you use both brakes at the same time, your bike will explode.
    I thought only carbon fiber bikes exploded though?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    If you use both brakes at the same time, your bike will explode.
    this is true... if you are going fast enough you may also go back in time... its a sequel to "hot tub time machine"
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whason
    they never use the front and rear brake together, and that "control" etc etc is better if you use the front or the rear alone in many situations
    I think what they really mean is that they have learned to apply different levels of force on each brake lever at any given point in time and hence can use both brakes independently (but usually together) to control the bike.

    I would recommend "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" or fluidride vids etc for some discussion on braking technique.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    wow, I learned alot
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  12. #12
    local jackass
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    that guy sure does like to touch himself
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggoofy1
    that guy sure does like to touch himself
    Don't we all?

  14. #14
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    Who needs friggin brakes?? I lean forward and use my fingers to stop the wheels from spinning.

    Muahahahaha~

  15. #15
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    I tend to use the rear brakes more than the fronts. I really only use my fronts going uphill if I have to stop or if going really fast and just the rear are not stopping me fast enough.
    My bike has a larger rotor in the front which leads me to beleive I should use the front more often.

  16. #16
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoVA_JB
    I tend to use the rear brakes more than the fronts. I really only use my fronts going uphill if I have to stop or if going really fast and just the rear are not stopping me fast enough.
    My bike has a larger rotor in the front which leads me to beleive I should use the front more often.
    ~75% of your braking power is in the front
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    ~75% of your braking power is in the front

    I always thought too much front brakes could send you over the bars. I'll have to try it today.

  18. #18
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    On smooth downhills what you do is you put all your weight on the back wheel by pushing your butt back all the way behind the saddle and brake with both front and rear.
    On rough downhills, put all your weight back like above but use more rear brakes.

    You won't go over the handlebars.

    I usually use 75/25 front/rear on smooth leveled.
    50/50 on smooth downhill.
    25/75 on rough leveled.
    approximately 10/90 on rough downhill.
    almost 0/100 on steep (over 60 degree grade) downhill.

    ...never mind all that I said above. I don't use brakes! I use my fingers! Muahahahaha~

  19. #19
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoVA_JB
    I always thought too much front brakes could send you over the bars. I'll have to try it today.
    only if:
    1. your weight is towards the front of the bike
    2. your front wheel encounters root, rock, ledge, rut...anything that will slow your front wheel while on the front brake...

    soooo...basically if your weight is back (think butt behind the seat on steepy sections) and and you release the front brake when your wheel hits anything that will slow it down you will not go over the bars (99% of the time)....

    as highdell stated....MOST of your braking power comes from the front....and should not be neglected...that's where a lot of bike control comes from while descending.....

    PS - careful on the front brake descending switchbacks.....better to go into the corner slower and accelerate out....using the front in a tight radius really F's up your handling.....
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjoon
    Who needs friggin brakes?? I lean forward and use my fingers to stop the wheels from spinning.

    Muahahahaha~

  21. #21
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    I actually found on recently like in the past 2 weeks of riding that when i go around turns that if i use both brakes at the same time I have less control and cant make the turn as fast. I started using the back brake only while going downhill and really noticed a difference in the speed and sharpness that I can take the turns. I usually only use both brakes now if I am going in a straight line and need to stop quick. Otherwise I only use the front if I am on flat gournd and slow down gradually, just not to fast so I dont flip over the bike.
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  22. #22
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    bah...just go here:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html

    jeebus......
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  23. #23
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    bah...just go here:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html

    jeebus......
    Actually, I think your first post was better advice for mtn bikers. Sheldon Brown is aiming mostly for roadies - who rarely have to use the rear brake at all.

    At mtn biker doing steep rocky ledges, where the front wheel gets airborne and then lands, better not grab a handful of front, or it will put him OTB - as pretty much all of us have had the misfortune to prove at one time or another.

    Then there's the IMBA unfriendly lock and slide the rear wheel around the switchback move, popular among those who race, or wish they could.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highwaystreets
    this is true... if you are going fast enough you may also go back in time... its a sequel to "hot tub time machine"
    It must be some kind of mountain bike time machine...
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  25. #25
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whason
    It must be some kind of mountain bike time machine...
    Ummm, we JUST talked about this?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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