Do you drag your brakes ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you drag your brakes ?

    I do for the most part. Tried to convince myself over the years that I don't drag my brakes or slow using a F 75 to R 25 ratio , doesn't seem to be the case based on my rotor colors and pad wear. Rode moto's years ago you could slow using the bikes compresion and feather the brakes. So what's text book braking for bicycles - just blaze, intermittent feathering or ???

  2. #2
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    Look ahead, pick where you're going to brake, then use them like you mean it. I move my weight back and down as I engage the brakes to get as much traction as I can in that moment the brakes catch. I only drag through steep techy sections where you need to control speed. I'm interested to hear other's techniques too....

  3. #3
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    Of course you're going to drag/feather your brakes at times. Otherwise you are going to attempt to brake harder when you get going too fast, and that bracking action will exceed the traction available.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
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    I would end up in a full body cast if I did not drag my brakes.

  5. #5
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    buy a bmx bike or dirt jumper. remove brakes. go ride street and DJ's. Learn how to guage speed and jump correctly.

  6. #6
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    I do not drag my brake......I slow in certain sections....but I try and keep it wide open...only time to drag your brake is in very steep sections and then you brake before and let bike roll through for less brake squat
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  7. #7
    clyde in training
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    if it's required, yes. the other 98% of the time, no. doing it all the time would be a terrible idea.

  8. #8
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    I dont have the greatest brakes, so yeah. I try not to though.

  9. #9
    should know better.....
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    I believe in well timed firm braking, then let it run everywhere else.
    "Always Ride."

    -Anthony S.

  10. #10
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    +1 on brake only when you need too, then brake like you mean it.
    but to be fair, I am prone to drag to reduce acceleration =-(

  11. #11
    maker of trail
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    I do not drag my brake......I slow in certain sections....but I try and keep it wide open...only time to drag your brake is in very steep sections and then you brake before and let bike roll through for less brake squat
    this man speaks truth.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    I do not drag my brake........only time to drag your brake is in very steep sections
    ? So do you drag it or not?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
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    Decided to make a few runs (local singletrack no wide open DH) and test some braking methods. First run would be run hard, brake @ the last moment . Next run would be to keep accelaration even by dragging the brakes. Final run I would try and gauge my speed and brake less in general. The slowest run was the last mentioned method - Though I was familiar with the trail ,the brake less overall , just made for a slower experience. Running hard and braking @ the last moment felt less controlled , had a couple oh s*&% moments. Finally I made the run keeping acceleration in check by dragging and of course it felt natural as that's what I ususally do. On a side note I always have one digit on my levers and never thought to notice if riders ever take fingers off the levers ? I did that for a moment and it brung me back to my coaster brake riding days - I guess my brakes are a safety net start to finish.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    Decided to make a few runs (local singletrack no wide open DH) and test some braking methods. First run would be run hard, brake @ the last moment . Next run would be to keep accelaration even by dragging the brakes. Final run I would try and gauge my speed and brake less in general. The slowest run was the last mentioned method - Though I was familiar with the trail ,the brake less overall , just made for a slower experience. Running hard and braking @ the last moment felt less controlled , had a couple oh s*&% moments. Finally I made the run keeping acceleration in check by dragging and of course it felt natural as that's what I ususally do. On a side note I always have one digit on my levers and never thought to notice if riders ever take fingers off the levers ? I did that for a moment and it brung me back to my coaster brake riding days - I guess my brakes are a safety net start to finish.

    A large majority of the time you do not want to use your brakes to control acceleration. While there may be some "oh $hit" moments, you will develop the right skills, line choice, and braking technique to control your bike with consistancy. Then you can work on pedaling to increase your acceleration down the trail.

    Once you get used to it, your bike will perform a lot better without the brakes dragging too.

  15. #15
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    Brake late and hard, think like a racecar.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    ? So do you drag it or not?
    before a steep section
    ...read the next line and don't take things out of context
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    before a steep section
    ...read the next line and don't take things out of context
    I didn't take it out of context, you said you didn't, but then you said you did.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    Brake late and hard, think like a racecar.
    That's what I was taught. At least to win races...
    Die to ride, ride to die

  19. #19
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    There are always braking points, some let you mash the lever to your brakes full potential, others don't. Rather than being concerned on how you use your brakes work on being faster/smoother through the obsticle your braking for (turns, drops, etc.) If you suck at cornering its not cuz you suck at braking, its cuz you suck at cornering.

    Now if your riding your brakes an entire run or locking up the rear through everything then you have an issue with wiring between your brain, scrotum and fingers.

  20. #20
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    Brake right before bumps.
    Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Of course you're going to drag/feather your brakes at times. Otherwise you are going to attempt to brake harder when you get going too fast, and that bracking action will exceed the traction available.
    Then you're one of the ones responsible for all the f'in braking bumps covering the whole f'in trail

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Then you're one of the ones responsible for all the f'in braking bumps covering the whole f'in trail
    Well, if you brake hard and late and there's not enough traction, you're going to go OFF the friggin trail. I don't try to drag my brakes any more than anyone else, and for a lot of riding I don't, but anyone that claims they don't drag their brakes at times is full of it IMO.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  23. #23
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    i drag my brakes like it earned me a dollar per foot. this 2 wheeled speed thing skeers the crap outta me to be honest but im workin on it and the draggin is gettin much closer to featherin with every run now that ive embraced 1 finger braking and sticky tires that allow more control and sharper lean angles on increasingly stupid terrain. studying body position has also given me some hope. a good bike with dialed suspension helps as do a healthy set of stoppers but the real trick has gotta be a eyes fwd mode of attack as mentioned above. i was shyt hot at this when i was doin the race car thing but the bike deal is a constant and steep learnin curve for me. surprises suck and thats all ya get with yer nose on the front tire.

    its startin to seep into my brain that this is just like juggeling 40 balls at once, all on fire while wearing a suit made of seran wrap soaked in gasoline. its kinda tricky and involves a ass ton of skills al comin together at once.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    I didn't take it out of context, you said you didn't, but then you said you did.

    here's the statement..."only time to drag your brake is in very steep sections and then you brake before and let bike roll through "
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  25. #25
    Commit or eat sh!t
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    here's the statement..."only time to drag your brake is in very steep sections and then you brake before and let bike roll through "
    Come on Bob, you know he's trolling.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mexi mike
    you have an issue with wiring between your brain, scrotum and fingers.
    While riding, that is

    Brake minimally, you go faster. Fairly obvious. Acceleration downhill is one of the best feelings in DH riding, I don't want to jeopodise that by braking unless I'll otherwise fall off.
    ~ Downride and Freehill, nothing else ~

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable0guy
    Come on Bob, you know he's trolling.
    hook, line and sinker
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  28. #28
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    I don't appear to do it very much at all; my rear pads last about 3-5x as long as my fronts on my "dh" bike ... on my XC bike (read: flat ground) the rears last about 2-3x as long.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    i drag my brakes like it earned me a dollar per foot. this 2 wheeled speed thing skeers the crap outta me to be honest but im workin on it and the draggin is gettin much closer to featherin with every run now that ive embraced 1 finger braking and sticky tires that allow more control and sharper lean angles on increasingly stupid terrain. studying body position has also given me some hope. a good bike with dialed suspension helps as do a healthy set of stoppers but the real trick has gotta be a eyes fwd mode of attack as mentioned above......surprises suck and thats all ya get with yer nose on the front tire.

    its startin to seep into my brain that this is just like juggeling 40 balls at once, all on fire while wearing a suit made of seran wrap soaked in gasoline. its kinda tricky and involves a ass ton of skills al comin together at once.
    aint it the truth....LOL !

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    W but anyone that claims they don't drag their brakes at times is full of it IMO.
    you need to ride with us then
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  31. #31
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    Lol, all you people who think you're too good to drag your brakes need to come ride with us. We'll show you some trails you'll literally be dragging your brakes down the entire time, and STILL going to fast/barely in control. P.S. SMT when are you gonna ride baldy?

  32. #32
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