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MTB How to improve my braking?

Discussion in 'Cycling Department Forum' started by Petra, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Petra

    Petra Well-Known Member

    I'll start off by saying I'm a noob as regards to biking techniques. I'm a beginner, so I must learn everything by trial and error :) The things I find difficult are braking and turning. For example, at first I didn't even know which lever controlled which brake, I just squeezed both brakes at the same time.

    Some time ago I had to stop suddenly (a car hit a scooter just in front of me) and I squeezed both brakes hard, my bike blocked and I almost flew over the handlebar. So that didn't go well ;) What can I do next time it comes to this? What is the best braking technique if you have to come to a full 'panic' stop?

    In general, I tend to 'overreact' my braking. I do that with my regular bike too. It probably is better when I brake a bit lighter instead of slamming the brakes constantly. But how? Tips are more than welcome!
  2. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein Active Member

    What I did is when I first got back on the bike and knewing I would need to go through traffic I went to a basically not used parking space which ended with some grass. I accelerated and did emergency brakes and always shortend the distance to the grass. So in case I can't stop it, it would not really hurt, but there was some kind of barrier I had to avoid and react fast and brake hard. I can only recommend just doing that for 20 times or even more as it really helped me in judging how fast I can stop and having no fear going over the bars.

    Watching some of the gcn videos made me really think about braking in the first place and it is very good advise (they have a few more just search for "gcn brake"):
    Petra likes this.
  3. Marcel vd Aa

    Marcel vd Aa Member

    Well seeing that your mtb is equipped with discbrakes I would recommend that you do not use both brakes in an emergency stop. Disc brakes tend to brake much harder with less force from your hands. Also when braking only on the rear you can still steer away from the objects in your way. That might cause your rear to slip but better to have a side impact than a head on collision. On my bike I have normal rim brakes and locking up the front is much further away. Plus with those brakes you can loosen the tension on the front brake cable so that a full pull on the brake handle will not translate in full force on the brake pads. Not sure if that is possible with discs...perhaps your bikeshop can help you there... Having said that you can use the front in a emergency situation but not squeeze it as hard as the rear brake. You can practice this every time you need to stop normally so that it becomes automatic...
    Petra likes this.
  4. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein Active Member

    On the road I would never ever only use the rear brake on a disc brake bike that is way too dangerous and you will have a much longer stopping distance. I have a bike with disc brakes as well and they are actually much easier in an emergency stop as you can apply a lot of brake force without grabbing hard on the levers. So you always have a good amount of control when something is close to locking up. That is the reason why you should practice it. If you switch from a rim brake to a disc brake bike and vise versa you always have to have a few minutes to adjust to the other system again. I did a few emergency stops on my disc brake bike and never even got close to going over the bars. You should also always apply more pressure to the front as the front can handle much more brake pressure compared to the rear. If I apply less pressure compared to the rear my braking distance will extend by meters.

    But as I said before the best thing is to practice this. Trying to apply as much front pressure as possible with a decent amount of rear pressure and getting close to the point where the rear brakes traction or the front is close to locking. It has to become second nature.
    Petra and Marcel vd Aa like this.
  5. Rupe68

    Rupe68 Member

    This looks interesting, @Petra maybe to expensive now (dont know how much it is) but in a couple of years the price should come down.
    Petra likes this.

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