Fabien Barel and Steve Peat, How do they stop?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fabien Barel and Steve Peat, How do they stop?

    A history lesson and a Question.
    I raced DH in the 90's. My DH bikes were mainly FSR bikes. I felt that they worked well because I liked to ride brakes a lot. My friend raced Pro dh on a Santa Cruz Super 8. A the time SC had a bunch of info on their website about how their bikes squatted under braking and that was a good thing to keep you from going over the bars on steep descents.
    Steve Peat at the time was racing for Orange, Orange added a floating brake set up for their DH sled, the claimed that Steve didn't need it because he didn't use the brakes.
    The next year SC came out with their V10. If anyone remembers it originally had a floating brake also.
    Kona came out with a floating brake on heir Stab. It had 2 positions, one for a neutral feel and one to make the rear squat. They clamed that Fabien liked to preload the suspension going into the corners.
    One of my friends has a Canfield. High pivot with a idler. The bike is fast as hell but he had a hell of a time getting it set up. It would handle like hell under braking. He ended up setting a lot of low speed damping into the shock.
    My question is how many manufactures use custom rear shocks to counter effect suspension when braking? And why do we become so concerned with suspension rates and damping but don't tune the rear brakes it a floating brake setup.

  2. #2
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    lets put it this way...anytime you hit your brakes, you compromise the suspension. Most bikes have a lot of trouble going through bumps, rockgardens and braking bumps....

    IMO....Brakes lock suspension ....basically making it a hardtail....it is wheel hop if you race cars.....I have seen bikes like a kona that bounce (hop) through just a few bumps on a trail. Floating brakes let the suspension move while hitting the brakes. Now single pivots and Faux bar (konas) have this inherit problem....VPP are slightly better. FSR was my favorite for a long time, but my Jedi has the best braking under rocking conditions. I don't know what Canfield you are having problems with but both my Jedi and Balance are the best when braking through rockgardens, bumps and braking bumps.

    Now all bikes could do really well if they have floating brakes. Why don't all bikes have floating brakes which would help any bike in bumpy conditions. It is very simple....everyone wants to cut weight. So like Steve Peat and other riders better then moderate. You learn to brake more effiently....like if there is a turn coming up with tons of brake bumps....you learn to brake before the bumps then roll through them to let suspension be smoother or you go to the outside (or inside) of the brake bumps where it is a little smoother then the middle.

    To answer your question....a shock isn't going to do much to help with braking
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 05-01-2016 at 11:57 PM.
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    I was told at the time that Fabien like to use the inherit squat in his brake to preload the suspension going into berms. He was world champ 2x so I believe Kona had the alternate setting for a reason.
    I measure weight on my xc or trail bike just like anyone but I do think we go a little crazy when we talk about DH bikes and what they weigh.
    It surprises me that floating brakes are overlooked on a DH setup.
    So what about a Devinci. A simple single high pivot with a floating brake/linkage actuated shock. How much does the brake affect the suspension?

  4. #4
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    Fabien and his "squat bike"...I bet they just put in a shorter length shock to get more pop and lower it for corners.....many pro bikes have their suspension shortened for pedally tracks or turns......and something to think about....

    Something to think about...Gwinn breaking his chain...Gwinn could've wanted his suspension more freed up by sabotaging chain...

    Floating brakes help free up the suspension. On the Devinci ...it helps a ton...day and night difference.

    Again...floating brakes would help any bike...but nobody wants to take the 2 pound weight hit....it is all about making your bike lite and riding to compensate the lack of effective braking
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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    Gwinn...Hmm.
    Have you rode a Devinci? I really like a high pivot, I feel for a dh bike you need some chain growth. Most magazines complain about pedal feedback but I feel it is worth it.
    I started thinking about this while I was riding my new 150/160 bike. Even with the Fox rear at descend mode I thought that it could use a little less compression damping.
    I went to the cane creek site and their recommended base tunes for single high pivot bikes call for more low speed compression damping. These bikes don't need it for a pedalling platform as they extend under pedal forces. So I had to wonder if it would help with brake squat? Talking about low speed damping not high speed damping?

  6. #6
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    The simple solution is to just not use the brakes. Really. Not in a rock garden, anyway. and not while cornering.

    Easier said than done though, I realize. :/
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    The simple solution is to just not use the brakes. Really. Not in a rock garden, anyway. and not while cornering.

    Easier said than done though, I realize. :/

    These are all true words.
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  8. #8
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    Those guys are champs because they can "read" a trail at immense speed better than 99.95 % of people on the planet. They figure out exactly where to brake. And they just don't do it that much.

  9. #9
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    A wise man once told me repeatedly as he followed me down SnowSummit, "..Less brake...! some of the best advice I've ever had! Smooth is fast!


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