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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ok, just a quick question...front or rear or both?
when the time comes to upgrade, i'll go to the avid mechs. i was just wondering which to switch out first- the front or rear? having read some threads in here, it looks as though people seem to upgrade their front to disk when the time comes.

the question is based on the fact that on occasion when i am riding the brakes, it is always concentrated with the rear with the front pulsing for additional slowing power. i understand that the front actually does more work as the weight shifts forward. maybe i avoid it to avoid endoing, i suppose.

is my technique weak, or did i get the wrong impression from misc. posts?

another factor is the ease of removal of the front wheel (bike fits in car, so this is done 2x per ride). are disks as easily released?

thanks in advance.
 

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I already rode that
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harryhood said:
ok, just a quick question...front or rear or both?
when the time comes to upgrade, i'll go to the avid mechs. i was just wondering which to switch out first- the front or rear? having read some threads in here, it looks as though people seem to upgrade their front to disk when the time comes.

the question is based on the fact that on occasion when i am riding the brakes, it is always concentrated with the rear with the front pulsing for additional slowing power. i understand that the front actually does more work as the weight shifts forward. maybe i avoid it to avoid endoing, i suppose.

is my technique weak, or did i get the wrong impression from misc. posts?

another factor is the ease of removal of the front wheel (bike fits in car, so this is done 2x per ride). are disks as easily released?

thanks in advance.
When I upgraded to discs I did both at the same time. ( also went 9spd too)
The front brake does more of the slowing down then the back brake does. Just dont go grabbing a handful of front brake and you will be ok. Thats why you would usually see riders with discs running 8" rotors upfront. For the record I'm running both 6"s but will be going to 8" in the front because I dont think the 6 is cutting it for me and I want to have that extra braking power :)

As for removal of the wheels....well the front for me goes on easy enough but the back is sometimes a pain but I'm getting better at it :rolleyes:
 

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Don't touch me!
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What I did...

Initially I went with a front disc(160mm) with a vee rear. Eventually I got sick of the grinding noise(mud, sand, and water) from the rear that I went with a rear disc 2 months later.

The right choice is front first, rear later. I would say at least 70% of your stopping power should come from your front wheel. Eventually you probably will want to go with disc all around. If I had to do it again, I'd go with 180mm front and 160mm rear(with me being 6'1 and 170lbs).
 

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"El Whatever"
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What they said...

Plus... practice a little.

Discs are more modulable than vees so you will feel they bite less but restrain yourself from squeezing the lever really hard or you'll endo or skid.

Discs are more modulable but far more powerful so a little finger pressure will be enough even for mechanicals.

Work a tad more on front wheelies to educate your reactions and do not grab a fistful of brake in emergency situation. Natural reaction to danger is to squeeze the levers so try to avoid it.
 

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v 2 disc

Hey guys.. X-bmx'er here. A little trick for you on changing to disc. They definitely have more stopping power and I wasn't use to that, so be prepared to skid when first riding. So I set the front lever to pull in farther than the rear when pulled at the same time (about 1/2 inch or so). Also, I pull with my middle finger, not the index... Took getting some use to but helps in shifting and not moving the hands as much. In doing so, I set the brake levers so that when I pull as hard as I can, they hit my knuckles and that prevents the skidding and "disc lock over the bar syndrome"( also helps steady the hand on the pull). hehe.. Done that, didn't like it,disloacted the wrist to prove it. That might help a little in the change over. ~eyeguy
 

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My technique is actually derived from a lot of commuting time on the street, including trips down a grassy slope in all the riding around.

Learn how to brace yourself for a full on front slam. Me, personally, I still haven't been able to endo, but I'm a clyde, and I'm not sure it'd be good for a suspension fork or my headset to have to support those kinds of forces... even if they could. But I've come damn close. Learn the limits of that front brake, and adjust your reactions accordingly. Get used to shoving back from the bar, and get your butt way back off that seat. Then adapt your technique to offroad. It's a given that learning proper braking on the road is a whole different animal, but learning what your bike will do under optimal traction conditions will help you deal with similar conditions off road. And besides... most folks I know still end up on the road once in a while, and cars are less predictable than trees.

The caveats?

-In slippery stuff, don't risk a front washout. gravel, wet grass, snow, mud, moose droppings, traffic accidents involving a truck full of joy lube... use the rear brake. A rear skid is much easier to control adn recover.

-It's perfectly possible to use your front brake while going downhill, and use it effectively. But as above, it's easier to modulate speed with your rear brake, since the worst case scenario is a skid, instead of an endo. But that's one of the reasons it's just as well to run a V brake in the back; modulation isn't as critical. The worst case scenario for the front brake is you break off your front teeth at the gumline on a rock. That's why you should learn the limits of your front brake, and why a disc is better suited; modulation helps you reduce the risk of such mineral-high diets. Modulation on the rear wheel is nice and all, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have a better feel for a potential endo, so you can avoid it.

This is even mentioned on sheldon brown's website... he talks of how he learned to use the rear brake more during his mountain biking days, over his front brake, and had to re-learn to use the front as a primary on the road. I guess the nature of off roading is that the terrain is uncertain. Better to slide than dive because of either an endo or the front wheel washing out.

So your existing technique isn't too bad... scrub off what you can with the rear, and use the front when it's practical, comfortable, and safe to do so. Modulation will be a tool to give you better control of hte front brake, so you can use it better, with less likelihood to lock it up than if you were using Vs. Instead of pulsing it, you'll be able to drag it. The result is that you'll be able to use it more confidently, and be more comfortable stopping faster.

Ahhh... phooey. It's 1:40AM. I'm probably babbling at this point. So the short of it is that it's more important to have more control over your front brake. Discs will give that to you. Upgrade the rear if you decide it's necessary, or if you feel like it, but remember that if all else fails you can jam your frame pump through the spokes of the back wheel and still probably have more control over the bike than you do when you lock up the front wheel with V brakes.
 

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I just swapped out my arch rivals to avid mech on my hard tail. I would recomend getting a set of avid levers with the speed dial if you don't already have them. It makes adjustmens so much easier on the trail. If the feel is to tight, a few twists and nice and soft. As far as brakes, I would get both if you have the cash. That way you get use to the feel on both and know how much break to grab when you need it depending on the circumstances, instead of having to retrain yourself. If you have been riding a while you can pick up the feel of different brakes quick, newbies need more time.

Its sounds like you are new to mountain biking. When I first started out I used more rear brake than front because of inexperience and fear of endoing. Nothing like going down a steep rocky hill and using to much front brake to put the fear of the left lever in you:) Now I use my front brake more depending on the conditions.

I think it is easier to remove the wheels with disks, but I came from avid arch rivals and big tires.
 
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