Do I want some brake squat?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do I want some brake squat?

    PLEASE: minus points will be awarded for preachers of suspension A over B.

    This thread is not even diectly about floating brakes.

    This thread is about – “when considering what the rest of bike and biker are going through.
    …..how much squat do I want?”

    none,
    a little
    or a lot..

    If that sounds funny Steve Peat was riding a single pivot without a floater and Fabien Barel used his floater to increase squat… and they both proved they know what they are doing.

    Orange dropped floaters after the 222, Kona has just taken them on.(D.O.P.E)
    I presume they both also know what they are doing.

    Errrr…..It’s got me stumped – so far I know

    1–brake-jack is a rider (or sprungmass) inertia thing under braking.. (back end goes up).

    2–fork dive is a rider (or sprungmass) inertia thing under braking.. (front end goes down).

    3-brake squat is a brake induced wheel inertia thing – braking further compresses rear suspension.

    4-I wonder if speed affects how the above compete against each other, squat becoming dominant the faster you go.

    5-elimiate the rider!! watch the Kona DOPE video and 99.9% of bikes will squat – different suspension designs to more or less an extent.

    6-A floating brake can be setup can increase/decrease or neutralise brake squat depending on how you mount it.

    The customer reviews you find on “brake therapy kits” are very good. My question is that this braking subtleness must be at the cost to front suspension travel as with the squat neutralised, the back end is higher, giving a higher C.o.G. and more overall inertia must then act on the front.

    Brake jack and brake squat must to a degree cancel each other out.

    Do People buy brake theropy, notice the back end is undoubtedly more subtle braking down some steps… are converted…. and then wonder what is up with their fork….

    I ride my anonymous 18kg FR (180mm front and back) mostly in the alps, not so much parks. Highly technical alpine trails means a lot slower, but a lot lot steaper, endo turns and a big risk of going over the bars.

    But ripping down fast sections and prepared DH tracks are also on the program.

    I notice harshness on speed bumps, but feel with a bit of experimentation in riding position, braking and a few twists of the coil I am best of accepting it to keep my front high and my back low and a low C.o.G.

    Can anyone map out the merits of a floating brake though the spectrum from Fast DH to extreme steep and technical - WITH REGARD TO THE WHOLE RIG - not just the back end.

    This is a super example of technical alpine to broaden the scope of what we are talking about.
    http://en.sevenload.com/videos/lSbcLXA-BV1
    the opposite to fast and flowing – technically elegant – also well cool – terrible music

    lets say a day out has a bit of everything – what is important?

  2. #2
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    Brake squat isn't really a bad thing at all. What you want to avoid is brake-induced-suspension-lockout... That is what a lot of floating brake's try and eliminate.

    Saying that I had a Ventana El Cuervo and I ran it with and without it's optional floater. Once I installed it, I never looked back. I took the bike to Whistler a few times so I have a good handle on braking bumps and the floater smoothed them out substantially... There will be many people who say they didn't notice a difference, but on this bike in particular I can testify that it was an over-whelming difference.

    I never noticed any problems with the bike in the steeps diving or throwing my weight forward. I did notice more rear braking traction. Once again; floater win... The only thing I guess I'm getting at is it made the whole bike feel much better and faster to me... My 2 cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  3. #3
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    brake-induced-suspension-lockout?

    surely that can only occour after you have gone through ALL the travel - otherwise its just going to be a little stiffer - your sitting at 50% sag and not 40%

    but so what - good and bad? - i dont know

    Love to try one - its just a big retrofit

  4. #4
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    i think it depends on the pivot point. if your pivot is really close to the bb, then you will have less noticable difference with a floater.
    HARDTAIL PRIDE- 09 Kona Five-0

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusttrails
    brake-induced-suspension-lockout?

    surely that can only occour after you have gone through ALL the travel - otherwise its just going to be a little stiffer - your sitting at 50% sag and not 40%
    I don't think we're on the same page here. Sag has nothing to do with it. It can happen anywhere in the bikes travel when you are on the rear brakes.

    "Brake induced suspension lockout" occurs when you apply the brake and the suspension design on the bike in question stiffens. The bike will skip, and the wheel won't follow the terrain. This is the exact characteristic I noticed with my Cuervo. If I got on the brakes in heavily stuttered areas of trail, the rear of the bike would become harsh and sometimes would verge on uncontrollable. Skidding would occur much easier than it should have. After installing the floater, the bike just slowed down. The bike tracked better, it was smoother if I slammed on the brakes, and I didn't skid around as much either... Almost like having ABS in a way.

    This is an extreme example; but try to think of it this way: When you're coasting along at speed you have a full suspension bike. When you apply the brakes; you're have a hardtail...

    Like I said; a major improvement. My bike was an easy changeover and at the time was an extra $150. I had the cash so I got it with my frame. I figured why not? If you're used to the bike you're on then you have to decide if it's worth your time and money. For a lot of people, they don't notice the difference. I did.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  6. #6
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    OK, trying to get back onto the same page I have had a flash of inspiration – maybe wrong – but here it is.

    I can’t see how the suspension can lock out “completely” if it’s not against the end stop it can always move.

    However, I know exactly what you say you feel over speed bumps – here goes.

    Flying over the bumps with speed and braking, the back end compresses (brake squat without a floater)….. all bikes will to some degree, its wheel weight derived - nothing to do with me..

    However, at the same time, braking also brings my inertia forward onto the fork more.

    Key point : In effect the rear shock thinks I have suddenly lost a lot of weight.

    Put the two together – my suspension is much more compressed, because of wheel inertia – becoming stiff and offering response more suitable for a fat person, yet I have become skinny person.

    The result very little travel in relation to the trail feedback – it still moves but a lot lot less than it should.

    That made my brain hurt but it sound sort of plausible even if I say so myself.

  7. #7
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    Here is the way I look at it.

    Brake squat is helpful in counteracting brake dive.

    The effect or result is artificially compressed suspension, which makes it appear stiffer causing "brake jack". I bet you could cause the same effect (brake jack) by mounting a spring (or pumping up the air) that is say 1.5 or 2 times the lbs/in required by your weight.

    So the suspension is not "locked out" under brake jack, it is simply significantly stiffer than what is needed to be active on smaller bumps, causing skipping over said bumps...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusttrails

    I can’t see how the suspension can lock out “completely” if it’s not against the end stop it can always move.

    Brake induced suspention lockout is a real phenomenon..........even if you can't bend your head around it...
    I'm GNARcissistic

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusttrails
    PLEASE: minus points will be awarded for preachers of suspension A over B.

    This thread is not even diectly about floating brakes.

    This thread is about – “when considering what the rest of bike and biker are going through.
    …..how much squat do I want?”

    none,
    a little
    or a lot..

    If that sounds funny Steve Peat was riding a single pivot without a floater and Fabien Barel used his floater to increase squat… and they both proved they know what they are doing.

    Orange dropped floaters after the 222, Kona has just taken them on.(D.O.P.E)
    I presume they both also know what they are doing.

    Errrr…..It’s got me stumped – so far I know

    1–brake-jack is a rider (or sprungmass) inertia thing under braking.. (back end goes up).

    2–fork dive is a rider (or sprungmass) inertia thing under braking.. (front end goes down).

    3-brake squat is a brake induced wheel inertia thing – braking further compresses rear suspension.

    4-I wonder if speed affects how the above compete against each other, squat becoming dominant the faster you go.

    5-elimiate the rider!! watch the Kona DOPE video and 99.9% of bikes will squat – different suspension designs to more or less an extent.

    6-A floating brake can be setup can increase/decrease or neutralise brake squat depending on how you mount it.

    The customer reviews you find on “brake therapy kits” are very good. My question is that this braking subtleness must be at the cost to front suspension travel as with the squat neutralised, the back end is higher, giving a higher C.o.G. and more overall inertia must then act on the front.

    Brake jack and brake squat must to a degree cancel each other out.

    Do People buy brake theropy, notice the back end is undoubtedly more subtle braking down some steps… are converted…. and then wonder what is up with their fork….

    I ride my anonymous 18kg FR (180mm front and back) mostly in the alps, not so much parks. Highly technical alpine trails means a lot slower, but a lot lot steaper, endo turns and a big risk of going over the bars.

    But ripping down fast sections and prepared DH tracks are also on the program.

    I notice harshness on speed bumps, but feel with a bit of experimentation in riding position, braking and a few twists of the coil I am best of accepting it to keep my front high and my back low and a low C.o.G.

    Can anyone map out the merits of a floating brake though the spectrum from Fast DH to extreme steep and technical - WITH REGARD TO THE WHOLE RIG - not just the back end.

    This is a super example of technical alpine to broaden the scope of what we are talking about.
    http://en.sevenload.com/videos/lSbcLXA-BV1
    the opposite to fast and flowing – technically elegant – also well cool – terrible music

    lets say a day out has a bit of everything – what is important?
    Basically, you hit the nail on the head with that post. Different riders prefer different amounts. I prefer geometry over tracking, so I prefer more. Others don't mind the sensation of getting pitched forward so much, and just want the back end to feel smooth and track always. Most people want something somewhere in between. A lot of companies talk about how they are 100% active in breaking, but if you actually look at the squat curves, they're clearly not, and clearly not designed to be. Marketing vs actual engineers.

  10. #10
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    Just watched the vid that was linked... those "endo turns" just look annoying lol.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    Basically, you hit the nail on the head with that post. Different riders prefer different amounts. I prefer geometry over tracking, so I prefer more. Others don't mind the sensation of getting pitched forward so much, and just want the back end to feel smooth and track always. Most people want something somewhere in between. A lot of companies talk about how they are 100% active in breaking, but if you actually look at the squat curves, they're clearly not, and clearly not designed to be. Marketing vs actual engineers.

    thanks - its a trade off between rear wheel tracking and geometry

    Am I right this "brake lockout" is actual only Brake "stiffening" (squat) COMBINED with me becoming lighter on the rear as I tip forwards? - TRAVEL IS THERE - just reduced by 2X so to speak - also like essenmeinstuff says

    then you would need an anti-dive fork for the floater not to effect geometry.

    I know that all sounds techy, but a floater is expensive and a hassle….. and not speced even by many pros… – worth getting informed about - the feedback is great thx
    Last edited by dusttrails; 03-02-2009 at 03:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    Brake therapy does what it says - it takes out brake feedback from your suspension. I had one on a forward single pivot and it made a huge difference in suspension sensitivity while braking - I could brake down stair-step terrain and feel the suspension really work.

    However, the bike was made to squat, and the squat was gone with the floater. I took it off and liked the feel of the bike better with squat - especially setting up for a corner, or misjudging speed and braking in a corner. If you're gonna do that, you have to try not to brake while you're in the bumps. . . I think that's why you don't see them on the pro bikes - they brake less than we do.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-townDave
    Brake therapy does what it says - it takes out brake feedback from your suspension. I had one on a forward single pivot and it made a huge difference in suspension sensitivity while braking - I could brake down stair-step terrain and feel the suspension really work.

    However, the bike was made to squat, and the squat was gone with the floater. I took it off and liked the feel of the bike better with squat - especially setting up for a corner, or misjudging speed and braking in a corner. If you're gonna do that, you have to try not to brake while you're in the bumps. . . I think that's why you don't see them on the pro bikes - they brake less than we do.
    A really super and objective response – the feedback I need to base a decision on.. thx…

  14. #14
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    i had a stinky with d.o.p.e and for me it just felt smoother.

    best test was to skid on tarmac and let the rear wheel step out,on the none dope bike the rear tyre would judder across the tarmac,on the dope equipped bike it was just silky smooth with no judder what so ever and actually caught me out it was that smooth that i grinded my pedal as i was that far over.

    mostly brake jack/squat is all hype the average rider doesnt need help,wasnt to long ago we had no rear suspension.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusttrails
    brake-induced-suspension-lockout?

    surely that can only occour after you have gone through ALL the travel - otherwise its just going to be a little stiffer - your sitting at 50% sag and not 40%

    but so what - good and bad? - i dont know

    Love to try one - its just a big retrofit
    I don't think you have to go through all your travel to have suspension lock-out....I have seen stinky's just bounce with very few inches of travel being used.
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  16. #16
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    All of this has me scratching my head since I am currently in the process of building up my first freeride bike - a Santa Cruz Bullit. I opted to go without the floating brake for now, partially because I wanted to run a front derailleur on it just in case I decide to pedal the pig uphill. My guess is that I will be okay with the stiffening rear end under braking since my main mountain bike is a hardtail anyway. What about using a different technique for riding a single pivot design without a floating brake? Would it make sense to let off the rear brake when you hit a series of stutter bumps? Obviously there are conditions when you need to be on both brakes pretty hard on rocky steep trails, but I can imagine a lot of scenarios where you can time your braking a bit to compensate.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    All of this has me scratching my head since I am currently in the process of building up my first freeride bike - a Santa Cruz Bullit. I opted to go without the floating brake for now, partially because I wanted to run a front derailleur on it just in case I decide to pedal the pig uphill. My guess is that I will be okay with the stiffening rear end under braking since my main mountain bike is a hardtail anyway. What about using a different technique for riding a single pivot design without a floating brake? Would it make sense to let off the rear brake when you hit a series of stutter bumps? Obviously there are conditions when you need to be on both brakes pretty hard on rocky steep trails, but I can imagine a lot of scenarios where you can time your braking a bit to compensate.
    Honestly its pretty natural to do. You'll notice braking gets pretty harsh on fast bumps and your wheel will skip across the top alot more then it goes up and down tracking then you would on something like say, meastro. You'll start timing your braking better and blasting through the corners and rough spots with your hands off the brakes.

    Its a tradeoff, with pretty big pluses and minuses to both sides. On the one hand, you can have better rear wheel traction but experience a lower front end and higher rear end, and the sensation of getting pitched forward. Since this makes endo'ing alot easier and your front wheel sinks much lower then it should, it makes the front end harsher and less controlled. The plus side, of course, is that your rear wheel tracks way better and slows you down with less sliding.

    On the other hand, more brake squat has the obvious negatives of the rear wheel sliding out easier, not tracking as well, being way harsher and closer to knocking your feet off the pedals, and the obvious postives of sinking the rear end down, proportionally to the front, meaning that the geometry stays way better for not endo'ing, and keeps the travel used more equally.

    I came off a Glory/meastro (very little brake squat) and moved to a Canfield Lucky (a decent amount of brake squat, although not as much as many) and I'm pretty happy with the move. It still tracks ok, I have no fear of getting bucked off the pedals, but it also doesn't feel like the front end just drops whenever I grab the brakes. I don't think I would like any more or less. Ride some bikes and decide how much you like for yourself

  18. #18
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    Sorry I didn't have the answers for you dusttrails... I tried.

    I am currently on a Rocky Mtn. Flatline which is a similar design to the Cuervo I was on, but I have not invested in the floater. I've decided to go without it for cost reasons, but I notice myself riding the bike differently than my Cuervo anyway. The Flatline is a lot longer and more stable than the Cuervo to me and I tend to stay off the brakes a lot more than I could on the Cuervo... If it gets rough, I really focus on staying off the levers... I would like to try the floater, but I just don't know If I'll get one or not.

    Kinda like what you're thinking about I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  19. #19
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    Just to share, I've been using the Brake Therapy floater for a few years now on an '04 Bullit and recently transferred it to my '08 Bullit (it let me keep my front derailleur) and it has a similar and considerable affect on both bikes.

    Riding around on flat ground in the saddle and grabbing the rear brake creates considerable brake jack due to the upward angle of the floater mount. But, out of the saddle on descents, weight over the back tire, the brake jack isn't as noticeable, probably due to that I've adapted to riding the bike(s) with the floater. What is noticeable is that the rear tire doesn't chatter through the braking bumps and I can brake later and harder. It did take getting used to in that I have to shift my weight more when riding the bike, partially due to the brake jack and partially due to the fact that I can ride the bike more aggressively.

    The separation of braking forces from the rear suspension definitely makes the suspension more active. Without the floater, it feels as if the rear spring rate and dampening changes with the amount of rear brake applied. The suspension would compress easily, but not rebound quickly under heavy rear brake. Prior to using the floater on my '04, I ran a 325# spring with about 45% sag to get the suspension to be compliant under braking. With the floater, I run a 400# spring with 25% sag and the bike feels more predictable.
    Last edited by Bromine; 03-03-2009 at 06:07 PM.

  20. #20
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    Sod it, my secrets out, I am riding a Bullit too . Why I posted the vid with the steep stuff is because on alp trails (as oppose to a downhill run) you are at times really almost on the back wheel because it’s so steep.

    From the feedback I think I might invest in one, my coil fork lets me also pump in air for extra pre-load – I would then expect to pump in even more than normal with a floater - & ride a litte higher - have learnt a lot.

    I am prepared though that I might take it off again even though the back tracks better – as said above it has its side effects too.

    I have tried winding down the spring a few turns to try and keep the rear supple, but I guess this has little effect because the brake squat will also eat through the softer travel quicker as well.

    –really great info thx to all
    Last edited by dusttrails; 03-04-2009 at 04:02 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by konut
    i had a stinky with d.o.p.e and for me it just felt smoother.

    best test was to skid on tarmac and let the rear wheel step out,on the none dope bike the rear tyre would judder across the tarmac,on the dope equipped bike it was just silky smooth with no judder what so ever and actually caught me out it was that smooth that i grinded my pedal as i was that far over.

    mostly brake jack/squat is all hype the average rider doesnt need help,wasnt to long ago we had no rear suspension.
    I don't think that's really telling with respect to how it handles in real life riding conditions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I don't think that's really telling with respect to how it handles in real life riding conditions.
    it was sort of aimed at the car park test sort of thing,in how the bike feels differentley,or for what the rider should feel.

    for me off road personally i wasnt really fussed about brake jack/squat and seeing as i dont race the benefits of a brake device are just extra weight to carry.

  23. #23
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    If you go with the Brake Therapy unit (opposed to the Bullit2 specific version Santa Cruz sells) the rear hub is machined to accept the floater between the hub and the dropout. So, if you decide to remove the floater, you need to replace it with a spacer of some sort.

  24. #24
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    dusttrails, you are asking the questions, but I think you should be teaching the class!
    You seem to have a good understanding of what is going on.
    So, squat happens on almost all bike designs, and to some extent is a good thing to counter shock extension from unweighting the rear, and to maintain geometry during fork dive.
    Squat is simply the ground reaction force at the tire being transmitted to the swingarm, causing the shock to compress. It is NOT lockout caused by braking, it is just partial compression of the shock.
    On any given bike, decreasing the amount of squat, (through floating brakes or pivot configurations etc.) may help performance or it may not. Less squat is not always good.

    I think all you can say is that you can change the squat reaction to braking, but the proper amount of squat is largely a matter of personal preference. Different can just mean different, not necessarily better or worse.

    Edit: just noticed how old the thread is! That's ok, interesting topic.

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