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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the people use the front brake more than the rear, but I remember when I was a kid and used the front brake the rear wheel went up from the ground and I remember flying, I still have the stitch mark! So since then I use mostly the back brake. It was a small road bike I used to have back them, I don't know if that was the reason!! So when you are speeding do you still use the front brake more than the rear?
 

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The front brake will have ~75% of the stopping power, so if you need to stop quickly, you'll need to use it. However, you need to learn to "threshold brake" or hold the brake at the point just before the rear tire gets in the air. Practice on some grass and gradually go faster and faster...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sounds complicated! If you have to do an emergency brake what do you do? wouldn't you end up over the bars if you push the lever too hard and immediately?
 

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local trails rider
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Current brakes have the power to lock the wheels in just about any situation. Fortunately, they also have some "feel" that lets you "modulate" your braking.

You need to learn braking, become the human ABS system :) If you just grab a handful of brake, you will either skid or go over-the-bar, depending on speed and traction.

There are situations where you want to be very careful with your brakes (steep descents, going over rocks and roots, slippery surfaces). Moving your weight back when braking also helps to keep the rear glued to the ground.

edit: braking is a learned skill (not in your genes). You need to practise.
 

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You need to learn to brake.

Using the rear brake only will make the bike skid, and spoil the trail.

You need to shift your weight backward when you brake, and also learn to modulate braking. If you lock your front brake, then it's probably that you will do an endo (superman, over the bars, etc.). What you need to do is to brake slowly, but keep the tires rolling until you stop.

You should find places in the trail where it's smooth so you can lower your speed, and in loose terrain you should try to keep your speed, or brake very slowly.

Just my .02
 

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rzozaya1969 said:
Using the rear brake only will make the bike skid, and spoil the trail.
This was very evident yesterday when I was DH'ing at a ski resort. Riding the chairlift I saw a number of folks locking up their rear tire and skidding through the corners. The main trail at Tamarack has definately changed these past couple of weeks since I was first there. The corners were very chewed up. There were a number of times I came close to crashing cuz my front wheel would get bogged down in the several inches of dust in the turns.

PLEASE DON'T SKID!!!!!
 

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Stay on trails where you're in control and comfortable. It will help you get the feel for brakes. When you're in control, you should never skid. Just a hint, you can't do that with back brake only.
 

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I'm new to the sport, but I'm quickly learning that most of my stopping power is with my front brake. I almost got myself into trouble like that last weekend though. I was coming downhill into a switchback (probably a little too fast), and I braked as hard as I could, with much more front than back as usual. My back end came up about a foot off the ground, and if I didn't make the corner, I'd be falling off a pretty steep slope. Luckily, I was able to regain control and just barely make the corner, but that's definitely why you want to practice how much front brake you want to use.
 

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thestarsfan9 said:
I'm new to the sport, but I'm quickly learning that most of my stopping power is with my front brake. I almost got myself into trouble like that last weekend though. I was coming downhill into a switchback (probably a little too fast), and I braked as hard as I could, with much more front than back as usual. My back end came up about a foot off the ground, and if I didn't make the corner, I'd be falling off a pretty steep slope. Luckily, I was able to regain control and just barely make the corner, but that's definitely why you want to practice how much front brake you want to use.
You found the limit for that situation. Don't let that discourage you from using front brake. The fault was slowing down too late for the corner, not using front brake. A cool trick I've always wanted to learn for switchbacks is to pop the back up like that and swing it around.
 

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importdriver said:
60% Front, 40 % rear. Is that Right? :???:
No idea about the percentages (no way to measure). I apply the amount I need. I try to train my fingers (nervous system really) so that they adapt to the requirements of the trail: no wheel is skidding and I am not going OTB because of braking.
 

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Hmmm, it is actually harder than it sounds—it was only recently that I was told not to skid on the trails because of what it does to it—once you commit into a long technical downhill and lock up your rear brakes, I cannot see how you can ease off the brakes in these situations. I mean once you let go of your rear brake thats it, the bike would be bucking you off all the way down the hill! Yes, I got to the bottom ok but I can't say the same for the trail.
 

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AlliKat said:
A cool trick I've always wanted to learn for switchbacks is to pop the back up like that and swing it around.
I just learned this the other day, The trick that helped me most is to start entering the corner a little bit before lifting the rear tire so the slight sideways motion "carries" the backend into the corner a bit. Its also much easier on a slight downhill slope to learn on.

Norm just ease off the rear brake slowly till the tire spins again. I know it goes against what your mind is telling you to do but a spinning rear tire offers a ton more control than a skidding rear tire.
 

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I wore out all four pads at the same time... So apparently I split the brake force evenly as possible between the front and back most of the time. I probably feather the brakes more than grab them.

Of the several emergency stops I have had the rear wheel spent most of the time in the air.
 

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jeffscott said:
I wore out all four pads at the same time... So apparently I split the brake force evenly as possible between the front and back most of the time. I probably feather the brakes more than grab them.

Of the several emergency stops I have had the rear wheel spent most of the time in the air.
+ 1. I need 4 pads right now actually.
 

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normdzn said:
once you commit into a long technical downhill and lock up your rear brakes, I cannot see how you can ease off the brakes in these situations. I mean once you let go of your rear brake thats it, the bike would be bucking you off all the way down the hill! Yes, I got to the bottom ok but I can't say the same for the trail.
If you have a wheel locked, you have much less control of what goes on. Maybe you should try to find a spot that is less steep and practice going down that without locking a brake.
 

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"You need to learn braking, become the human ABS system If you just grab a handful of brake, you will either skid or go over-the-bar, depending on speed and traction."

LOL funny you should mention this. I have disk brakes on my bike and this is the first time I've ever had them. also my first time riding trails so I did exactly that, grabbed a handfull of front brake on a steep section and yep over the bars I went. Learning to transfer your weight to the rear when braking going downhill i learned is key ( learned the hard way).
 

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Littlewolf said:
I agree that using both brakes with careful modulation is the key to control.
But I ran into this article the other day...

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-6-161-1335-1,00.html

This guy says stay off the front brake. I guess this is the technique you have to develop to race.
oh, yeah, 1 guy say stay off the front brake and we have to follow him. ;)

He's a downhiller, and he likes to skid. And I bet he uses full protection.
 
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