Lets talk skills..braking skills- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 40 of 40
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Drth Vadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    781

    Lets talk skills..braking skills

    How do you use your brakes? Front, back or both, and may be none? Light, hard or feathering control braking? I want to know how to use my brakes more effectively. I here all to often that momentum in DH is you friend. I hope I'm not assuming that does not necessarily mean speed, just movement. edgimucate me.

  2. #2
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    5,934
    If tires are skidding you're doing it wrong. Unless it's an intentional slide to reposition the rear wheel or something along those lines, that is. If you aren't using the front brake heavily (but with finesse) then you could be braking later and less often.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Evo.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    621
    I use my front more then my back and use both for increased stopping power. I try and brake hard before a turn, not while turning or going around a brim.

    At least this is what I try and do...

  4. #4
    Ride, Jump, Pray, Land
    Reputation: siyross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    140
    It really depends on the track and the weather and the speed you are travelling. You will have to figure out yourself what works best. Everyone will use their brakes differently on each track and each run.

  5. #5
    Slap happy crappiness
    Reputation: DHgnaR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,090
    Brake before a turn, not in it. Corner's are all about exit speed, keep that in mind with braking and it'll help you properly brake. Stay off them in the rough if possible.
    I usually use both for normal braking. For panic braking it's usually rear. For looking cool and doing stoppies after my run it's front only.
    As far as light, hard, feather... it really just depends on the situation.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Drth Vadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    781
    Quote Originally Posted by siyross
    It really depends on the track and the weather and the speed you are travelling. You will have to figure out yourself what works best. Everyone will use their brakes differently on each track and each run.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you didn't say sh*t. like with everything there are general rules regardless of the conditions.

  7. #7
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    42,936
    front brake is for stopping ...rear brake is for steering....never use front brake in turns

    a good technique for learning braking skills is to take your rear brake off bike and ride your favorite trail....

    this will teach you:

    to feather your brake
    body positioning (lower center of gravity) (so you don't go over the bars)
    better (more efficient) braking technique
    learning to weight the back

    you learn fast this way because if you do make mistake you realize it right away. Your front tire will slide out or you will feel yourself getting light (like you are going over bars or you will go OTB).

    IMO this is the fastest way to learn proper braking technique if you are a better then a beginner. Beginners need more time on bike first
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 02-18-2011 at 01:10 PM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    94
    slowing down before a turn?

    use both brakes, but with more emphasis on the front brake (its where the braking power resides on a bicycle)

    if making a slide into a turn, without looking to scrub speed, then its the back brake for sure...

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Drth Vadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    781
    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    a good technique for learning braking skills is to take your rear brake off bike and ride your favorite trail....this will teach you.
    IMO this is the fastest way to learn proper braking technique
    I like the suggestion and will do it when I think my knees can handle the mistakes, but right now is a little to early too be taking those kind of chances, plus it's way to muddy here in the tri-state area.

  10. #10
    meow meow
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,621
    if your not dragging your back brake all the way down the hill your doing it wrong.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,156
    Practice: mark a point on the ground, preferably dirt but the street if fine too. Roll with speed to the line/marked point and try to stop before it "without" skidding. As you get better, increase your speed. Some tips: drop you heals ( forces your body weight down and into the pedals) and shift your weight back and down. Just remember not so far back that you unweight the front. I use a ***** ton of front brake but it just takes time to get the feel. This is just a basic drill i use to help beginners but is fun at all levels.
    Last edited by m-dub; 02-18-2011 at 05:22 PM.
    Enjoy every ride!

  12. #12
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    42,936
    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr
    I like the suggestion and will do it when I think my knees can handle the mistakes, but right now is a little to early too be taking those kind of chances, plus it's way to muddy here in the tri-state area.
    knees have nothing to do with it...if you are scared falling then go slower at first...that is the first thing you will realize....you will have to go slower to stay in control....which will get you going faster in the long run because you will brake way better and your bike skills go up because of balance

  13. #13
    sadly, like the element
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    knees have nothing to do with it...if you are scared falling then go slower at first...that is the first thing you will realize....you will have to go slower to stay in control....which will get you going faster in the long run because you will brake way better and your bike skills go up because of balance
    I learn a ton of balance and slow speed handling skills crawling up technical climbs where I'm at my limit of power/lungs and can not just power through them but instead have to pick lines carefully.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: charvey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    358
    Read the braking section of "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" by Lee McCormack and Brian Lopes.

    In fact...read the whole thing, multiple times. Lots of good info in there for you to think about.

  15. #15
    ban
    ban is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,510

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by charvey9
    Read the braking section of "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" by Lee McCormack and Brian Lopes.

    In fact...read the whole thing, multiple times. Lots of good info in there for you to think about.
    I second this one.
    Also, I think really focusing on your position on your bike/your attack position is key. A great attack position allows you to scan farther down the trail, be better prepared, and see where to brake. I've been riding a while, and I recently reviewed and made some tweaks to my position and it has paid off in spades in all aspects of my riding, braking and cornering in particular.
    Its better to focus braking by feel rather than trying too hard to focus on the mechanics of braking while riding.

  17. #17
    Underskilled
    Reputation: CaveGiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,263
    The best tip I got was only brake when you need to, then brake like you mean it.

    So when you are about to touch your brakes, do you really need to drop any speed there, or could you ride on through. If you really do need to hit that brake, wait until the last minute and ditch a ton of speed fast.

    This advice is relevant for most stuff and sped me up a lot.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Quarashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    884
    How hard do you think would it be to make some kind of recording mechanism to attach to my brake lever to see where I brake. Maybe just a a pressure over time stat.

    Most of my braking is done by instinct and I don't think I'm doing much wrong but I'm really curious as to how much I use my brakes, especially rear, and where. Remembering DH runs I honestly don't have a clue where I use my brakes apart from the spots I've marked down as braking areas.
    About buying a bike:
    Quote Originally Posted by No MSG
    It's like finding a wife. Personality is important, but you gotta look at that face every morning.

  19. #19
    NWS
    NWS is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,468
    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr
    How do you use your brakes? Front, back or both, and may be none? Light, hard or feathering control braking?
    Quote Originally Posted by hampstead bandit
    use both brakes, but with more emphasis on the front brake (its where the braking power resides on a bicycle)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    If you aren't using the front brake heavily (but with finesse) then you could be braking later and less often.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    I use my front more then my back and....
    There are good reasons for this pattern.

    On my AM bike, I super-sized my front rotor so that squeezing both levers equally gives much more braking at the front wheel than at the back, so the proper bias comes more naturally. I'm running 203/160 rotors now and it just feels right. Of course you can do the same thing just by squeezing the front lever harder, but I didn't see any point leaving my bike set up with the stock brake balance if I was just going to have to compensate for it every time I pull the levers.

    So for the DH bike I'm building (just ordered the frame last week) I'm thinking 203/203 but with a much more aggressive front brake - like Shimano Saint front and XT rear, or Hope v2 front and x2 rear, or Code front and Juicy rear, etc. Is anyone else using a setup like that to get a better brake balance?

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Pedal Shop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,132
    l'm with SMT...

    the only thing l do different --

    right hand = front brake
    left hand = rear brake

    l have been doing this for years --- sure, l used to motocross but that's not the reason... l have been doing right/front & left/rear for about 29 years. if l'm not mistaken, most of the world set their bikes up this way, it's the U.S. market that has it right/rear, left/front.

    * some of it is that l only have half a thumb on my left hand (cut it off when l was 19) -- dexterity with that hand is a little different.... l also prefer to have a twist shifter on the front D cause l can't quite reach index'd shifters.

    * l always felt, use your dominant hand to control your dominant brake (the front).

    * it keeps people from asking if they can borrow your bike --
    -----Joe biker dude: "hey Mike, can l take your bike for a spin"?
    -----Me: "sure, go right ahead... oh by the way, the brakes are reversed"
    -----Joe biker dude: "oh, ehhh... neveryoumind"
    **** if l don't think all that highly of the person, l let them find out on their own.

    * in the unlikely event someone jacks my bike, l sure hope they go assoverteakettle the first time the jam on the brakes not knowing the brakes are reversed.
    Pedalshop.com also on Facebook
    Marin - Transition - Santa Cruz - Cove...

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,445
    all these posers are wrong. shredding a berm to pieces is one of the few true joys of life. thus, you should only use your rear brake (and never your front, ever), and the goal is to drag it through every corner and smooth section you can find. If your rear wheel isn't skidding through every smooth section and corner, you're doing something wrong.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Shop
    l'm with SMT...

    the only thing l do different --

    right hand = front brake
    left hand = rear brake

    l have been doing this for years --- sure, l used to motocross but that's not the reason... l have been doing right/front & left/rear for about 29 years. if l'm not mistaken, most of the world set their bikes up this way, it's the U.S. market that has it right/rear, left/front.

    * some of it is that l only have half a thumb on my left hand (cut it off when l was 19) -- dexterity with that hand is a little different.... l also prefer to have a twist shifter on the front D cause l can't quite reach index'd shifters.

    * l always felt, use your dominant hand to control your dominant brake (the front).

    * it keeps people from asking if they can borrow your bike --
    -----Joe biker dude: "hey Mike, can l take your bike for a spin"?
    -----Me: "sure, go right ahead... oh by the way, the brakes are reversed"
    -----Joe biker dude: "oh, ehhh... neveryoumind"
    **** if l don't think all that highly of the person, l let them find out on their own.

    * in the unlikely event someone jacks my bike, l sure hope they go assoverteakettle the first time the jam on the brakes not knowing the brakes are reversed.

    That's too funny. I just bought a bike off of ebay and after putting it all together I noticed the brakes were reversed, I just thought the guy was crazy, but after reading this it makes sense, but is it for me? I think not.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: modifier's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,816
    Braking capacity on a 2 wheeled machine is about 70% front 30% rear.

    When ever I ride a trail and see skid marks going into a lot of the corners I think 'man that guy was either hauling a$$ or didn't know how to brake' I think in most cases it's the latter since I'm hauling a$$ too and not skidding.

    Some people are afraid of the front brake thinking they will go over the bars if they use it. The front brake is your friend. But then the rear can save you too. If you are into a corner too hot and you lock up the rear for a split second while leaning the direction you need to go to avoid the tree the rear will slid sideways squaring off the corner and pointing you instantly in the right direction then you let off. It's saved me from bad crashes several times. I tend to trail brake into corners if I'm going fast so that I'm right on it if needed.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  24. #24
    ~Disc~Golf~
    Reputation: highdelll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    16,492
    Skid all the way through the corner - that way, others that come after you will be able to see what line you took
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    250
    It's funny, my first bike was used and the rear brakes needed bled, BAD. I wanted to ride way too bad and just ended up hitting up the park anyway for about a week. Well the rear brake would work sometimes, but not others. coming from a moto back ground, I would prefer the front brake anyway (back brake is useless on a dirt bike), but that week of riding without a rear brake was really good for teaching how to use the front brake. It also taught me not to brake at all in corners.

  26. #26
    18 years old
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    632

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    all these posers are wrong. shredding a berm to pieces is one of the few true joys of life. thus, you should only use your rear brake (and never your front, ever), and the goal is to drag it through every corner and smooth section you can find. If your rear wheel isn't skidding through every smooth section and corner, you're doing something wrong.
    Wrong. I can't believe how stupid you sound. The front brake is used, and only used, on concrete...when every stop requires a stoppie.
    Quote Originally Posted by irieness
    ...it's just that when I'm wondering what things are like head tube, seat post, cranks, flux capacitor, SS, FS, hardtail...

  27. #27
    Takw/agranofsalt
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,532
    [quote=CaveGiant]The best tip I got was only brake when you need to, then brake like you mean it.quote]

    I disagree, there are many times when a subtle application of the brakes can adjust your situation. Brakes don't need to be either ON or OFF.

  28. #28
    ~Disc~Golf~
    Reputation: highdelll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    16,492
    Quote Originally Posted by NorKal
    ...Brakes don't need to be either ON or OFF.
    umm, how am I s'posed to mark the sweet line then?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  29. #29
    Takw/agranofsalt
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,532
    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    umm, how am I s'posed to mark the sweet line then?
    Here's a tip: put a pinch of sage in your boots, and all day long a spicy scent is your reward.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by NWS
    There are good reasons for this pattern.

    On my AM bike, I super-sized my front rotor so that squeezing both levers equally gives much more braking at the front wheel than at the back, so the proper bias comes more naturally. I'm running 203/160 rotors now and it just feels right. Of course you can do the same thing just by squeezing the front lever harder, but I didn't see any point leaving my bike set up with the stock brake balance if I was just going to have to compensate for it every time I pull the levers.

    So for the DH bike I'm building (just ordered the frame last week) I'm thinking 203/203 but with a much more aggressive front brake - like Shimano Saint front and XT rear, or Hope v2 front and x2 rear, or Code front and Juicy rear, etc. Is anyone else using a setup like that to get a better brake balance?
    I've been considering the same thing. Or you could just go with a smaller rotor in the rear. Less expensive rout would be a DH brake up front and an AM/XC rear.
    The guy yo' momma "act" like she don't know!

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: modifier's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,816
    There is always talk of good or bad brake modulation from brand to brand or model to model and now talk of installing mismatched brakes on the front and the rear. A bigger rotor on the front than the back makes sense because it take a lot less force to lock up the rear than the front and a larger rotor is a waste of weight and ground clearance if you are concerned with such things.

    I think it must boil down to lack of hand control. I guess. I've never had a problem with modulating any brakes or riding the fine line between stopping as quickly as possible and skidding a tire. Once you skid, deceleration is compromised. The harder you squeeze the more brake you grab. Plus the thought that both hands are controlled by one thought precess is an odd notion. As in saying that you need to have less braking potential on the rear brake so it equals out your lack of being able to control each hand individually. What?

    I haven't ridden every brake on the market of course but I'm been on enough to know that modulation inherent to the specific brake has never come up as an issue and my hands work independently to apply the desired amount of brake to each wheel as needed.

    Possibly it has something to do with the fact that I have always done a lot of things with my hands that required a fine motor skills and I'm also almost ambidextrous. Maybe the problem with brake modulation comes from the ham-fisted segment of the population that also have trouble tying their shoes and were seriously stoked when velcro came around And people who just discovered bicycles.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    543
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Shop
    l'm with SMT...

    the only thing l do different --

    right hand = front brake
    left hand = rear brake.
    I also agree with SMT, some good techniques to aid in the stopping department.
    I'm also siding with you in regards to front brake = right hand. I also think it necessarily doesn't come down to preference. In the US, bikes are sold with front brake = left hand configuration. Here in Australia, bikes are sold with front brake = right hand configuration. Different parts of the world have set it up accordingly. My first bike had rh = fb, and so did all the bikes I've owned.
    I recently bought a bike that came from Canada, and the brakes were reversed, that was the first thing I had to swap.
    I also prefer my dominant hand to control stopping power, it's just what I"m used to.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: illbedeadbefore30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    66

    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I took my brakes off.
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  34. #34
    NWS
    NWS is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,468
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim F.
    I've been considering the same thing. Or you could just go with a smaller rotor in the rear. Less expensive rout would be a DH brake up front and an AM/XC rear.
    Each of the combinations I listed was DH front and AM/XC rear. I like the idea of using a large rear rotor just for heat dissipation, so I just ordered a Hope v2 and x2 setup last week, both 203mm. I'm more concerned with heat than with ground clearance.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    48
    Most important thing to think about while riding.

    Your tires only are capable of 100% traction.

    0% brake = 100% tire traction in a corner
    10% brake = 90% tire traction in a corner
    20% brake = 80 % tire traction in a corner

    and so on...

    These are in ideal conditions, but still apply. Every time you are going through a sweeper or any type of corner and you feel you have too much speed and go to hit brakes, you make things worse. Weight transfer and confidence in your tires and suspension play a huge roll. Also taking your feet off to get weight to the front wheel like you're on a dirt bike is pointless, your bike weighs 40lbs not 250lbs, and puts 0 power to the rear wheel with your sick ass foot hanging of the pedal like bubba. Keep your feet on ready to pedal out of corners and weight your outside foot.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by mexi mike
    Also taking your feet off to get weight to the front wheel like you're on a dirt bike is pointless, your bike weighs 40lbs not 250lbs, and puts 0 power to the rear wheel with your sick ass foot hanging of the pedal like bubba. Keep your feet on ready to pedal out of corners and weight your outside foot.
    The fact that your bike is light compared to a moto just means that it's even more influenced by your body position. Weighting the front with the foot out is a perfectly valid technique, especially in looser conditions where you really want that front tire to stick. And it obviously helps with confidence/balance in those conditions.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Drth Vadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    781
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Shop
    right hand = front brake
    left hand = rear brake
    I'm going to give this a try, It seems to make sense to me. I ride sport bikes and the feel needed in trail braking to tighten up a corner when later braking is crucial and could not imagine do in with my left hand. That is probable why seldom use the front brake on my MTB beside in assist braking. I would think I could scrub off speed fasted and have more finesse control if I'm using my dominant hand.

  38. #38
    maker of trail
    Reputation: essenmeinstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr
    I'm going to give this a try, It seems to make sense to me. I ride sport bikes and the feel needed in trail braking to tighten up a corner when later braking is crucial and could not imagine do in with my left hand. That is probable why seldom use the front brake on my MTB beside in assist braking. I would think I could scrub off speed fasted and have more finesse control if I'm using my dominant hand.
    Having riden motor cycles for a good chunk of my life the front brake goes on my right hand.

    Do it, I coudln't imagine it the other way around...

  39. #39
    Some Assembly Required
    Reputation: man w/ one hand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,063
    Quote Originally Posted by essenmeinstuff
    Having riden motor cycles for a good chunk of my life the front brake goes on my right hand.

    Do it, I coudln't imagine it the other way around...

    I use my left hand for both...... not by choice.......pfffft
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: aliikane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,425
    I think I brake different than everybody. I don't use my front brake a lot because the terrain I ride has a lot of loose sections and technical chop. Too much front brake has led me to a lot of washouts. I like to use the rear brake a lot and "no" I don't skid my back tire.Haha. I maintain traction. I just think that rolling tires with less braking is much smoother and faster especially in technical chop. If I use my front brake in technical chop, it is much rougher.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.