Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-08-05, 12:32 AM   #1
chis51hd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chis51hd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Davao City, Philippines
Bikes:
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tips on using front brake

I just want to get some tips on using the front brake properly, especially during hard braking. My bike has Shimano v-brakes, and they have fairly strong stopping power. But I'm still not that confident using too much pressure on the front brake, for fear of flying over the bars. Are there techniques to apply when using the front brake, like pushing against the bars, shifting body weight, etc.?
chis51hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 12:47 AM   #2
mx_599
Lost in the Black Hills
 
mx_599's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,725
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chis51hd
I just want to get some tips on using the front brake properly, especially during hard braking. My bike has Shimano v-brakes, and they have fairly strong stopping power. But I'm still not that confident using too much pressure on the front brake, for fear of flying over the bars. Are there techniques to apply when using the front brake, like pushing against the bars, shifting body weight, etc.?
Body position is going to depend on situation. However, if you're just practicing on mild terrain, I would maintain a rather neutral position.

If you feel your back end coming up....release front brake! Get most of your hard front braking done while you are vertical. (i.e. before you start cornering). Otherwise you might washout

Last edited by mx_599; 07-08-05 at 12:52 AM.
mx_599 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 12:52 AM   #3
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
Posts: 15,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
__________________
Raiyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 12:59 AM   #4
mx_599
Lost in the Black Hills
 
mx_599's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,725
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Or read this...!
mx_599 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 06:38 AM   #5
willtsmith_nwi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chis51hd
I just want to get some tips on using the front brake properly, especially during hard braking. My bike has Shimano v-brakes, and they have fairly strong stopping power. But I'm still not that confident using too much pressure on the front brake, for fear of flying over the bars. Are there techniques to apply when using the front brake, like pushing against the bars, shifting body weight, etc.?
Weight behind the saddle.

Start by going down hill with your weight behind the saddle. This will keep you from flipping. The brake action will naturally shift your weight forward.

To get comfortable, you may way to adjust your rear brake (right) so it won't work. Than try some biking on flat ground relying only on your front brake.
willtsmith_nwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 06:47 AM   #6
Travelinguyrt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The front brake isn't called the DENTAL brake lightly
Travelinguyrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 08:00 AM   #7
freeranger
Senior Member
 
freeranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Bikes: 06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike
Posts: 1,016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get used to using both brakes together. You will eventually find yourself using the front brake more, to reduce speed, and using the rear brake for control. The more you ride, the more natural it will become.
freeranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 11:04 AM   #8
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Practice on a grassy (soft) lawn. Ride fast and apply the front brake. Keep doing this, each time using more and more front brake until you get the rear wheel to start coming up off the ground. Work at it and you'll learn how hard you can use the front brake.

To get maximum braking, slide your rear off the back of the saddle and stay as low as possible. But since you don't always have time to do this, practice in your normal riding position.
supcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 11:29 AM   #9
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Bikes:
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not to question someone with the obvious experience of Sheldon Brown, but he does not state *why* he does not recommend braking with both front and rear. The only reason I use both is so they wear evenly, and it took me quite a while to get juuuust the right tension on both so my bikes stop on a dime. Am I missing something?
RT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 11:57 AM   #10
chris_pnoy
ride like theres not 2mrw
 
chris_pnoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Baltimore MD
Bikes: Trek Bruiser 1
Posts: 385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Most of the stopping is done with the front wheels. When you slow down, inertia shifts forward and that is what causes some people to fly over their handle bars. Stopping with just the rear will not be as effective as stopping with just the front.

You will learn to modulate the braking so you don't flip over. You have to be riding fairly high and moving fairly fast to flip over. It happens also when riding downhill. Practice using both, then one at a time to see which does what and you'll be comfortable using them correctly.

When I brake going downhill, I tend to do my rear first, then my front if I want to stop. That however slows the driving wheel, the rear wheel, but it also means that I'm not applying all the power to my front wheel while still moving, which will cause a flip. Use the front brakes lightly and you'll learn to NOT flip over with them. You'll want to lean back, unless you like dirt for lunch.

Like mentioned, practice is the only way to get it.
chris_pnoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 12:34 PM   #11
Mechoption
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Bikes: 1995 Rayleigh Junker, 1993 Marin Palisades Trail, 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp, 1996 Commuter Special
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
front brake is most important for stopping, it's the same for cars - that's why most cars have disc brakes on the front (more stopping power) and drums on the back (less stopping power, cheaper and easier to fit an E-brake too) --- Unless of course you drive a more modern/expensive car and then you'll have discs all around !
Mechoption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 01:11 PM   #12
rigid4life
Very rigid mountain biker
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Icy Highlands of Canada
Bikes: '98 Rocky Mountain Cardiac, Early 90s Maruishi (now Jamis in America) Challenger
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
Practice on a grassy (soft) lawn.
Bad idea there! Grass can be very slippery even when dry (especially soft grass), it's far too easy to wash out. I recommend a dry, hard-pack dirt trail. Besides having a better surface, dirt is also a lot easier to wash out of clothes than grass stains. Of course if you're a real man (tm), you won't have any problems just practicing on pavement (every time you fall, it's just an encouragement to ride better and fall less ).
rigid4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 01:32 PM   #13
mx_599
Lost in the Black Hills
 
mx_599's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,725
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddorado
Not to question someone with the obvious experience of Sheldon Brown, but he does not state *why* he does not recommend braking with both front and rear. The only reason I use both is so they wear evenly, and it took me quite a while to get juuuust the right tension on both so my bikes stop on a dime. Am I missing something?
I have learned a lot from his site. However, he is not God when it comes to proper braking.
mx_599 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 03:32 PM   #14
Sheldon Brown
Gone, but not forgotten
 
Sheldon Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Newtonville, Massachusetts
Bikes: See: http://sheldonbrown.org/bicycles
Posts: 2,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddorado
Not to question someone with the obvious experience of Sheldon Brown, but he does not state *why* he does not recommend braking with both front and rear. The only reason I use both is so they wear evenly, and it took me quite a while to get juuuust the right tension on both so my bikes stop on a dime. Am I missing something?
No problem questioning me, but you are missing something! ;-)

See my article on this topic: http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn

Here's the relevant section:
Using both brakes together can cause "fishtailing." If the rear wheel skids while braking force is also being applied to the front, the rear of the bike will tend to swing past the front, since the front is applying a greater decelerating force than the rear. Once the rear tire starts to skid, it can move sideways as easily as forward.
Sheldon "Front Brake" Brown
Code:
+--------------------------------------------------------------+
|  The man who does not read good books has no advantage over  |
|  the man who can't read them.                  --Mark Twain  |
+--------------------------------------------------------------+
Sheldon Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-05, 03:45 PM   #15
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Bikes:
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sheldon, no offense intended I spend mucho time on your site, but was curious why you didn't recommend even wear of the pads.
RT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-05, 12:59 AM   #16
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
Posts: 15,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddorado
Sheldon, no offense intended I spend mucho time on your site, but was curious why you didn't recommend even wear of the pads.
Because that's beyond anal. Your car doesn't even wear the pads out at the same rate. It's impractical to expect a brake that's doing 80% of the work to wear at the same rate as one that's only doing 20%
__________________
Raiyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-05, 03:19 AM   #17
Al K
Senior Member
 
Al K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Raiyn,

Excellent article and reference. Sheldon's site is outstanding. Thanks.

Al K
Al K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-05, 09:09 AM   #18
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Bikes:
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Because that's beyond anal.
I prefer to call it attention to detail. The Adrian Monk of cycling, if you will
RT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-05, 11:18 PM   #19
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
Posts: 15,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddorado
I prefer to call it attention to detail. The Adrian Monk of cycling, if you will
__________________
Raiyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-05, 01:33 PM   #20
willtsmith_nwi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
No problem questioning me, but you are missing something! ;-)

See my article on this topic: http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn

Here's the relevant section:
Using both brakes together can cause "fishtailing." If the rear wheel skids while braking force is also being applied to the front, the rear of the bike will tend to swing past the front, since the front is applying a greater decelerating force than the rear. Once the rear tire starts to skid, it can move sideways as easily as forward.
Sheldon "Front Brake" Brown
Code:
+--------------------------------------------------------------+
|  The man who does not read good books has no advantage over  |
|  the man who can't read them.                  --Mark Twain  |
+--------------------------------------------------------------+
And in some cases "fishtailing" on dirt, fishtailing is desireable. But it is unlikely that a newbie will have the skill to move his bike like this intentionally.
willtsmith_nwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-05, 01:57 PM   #21
cryptid01
one less horse
 
cryptid01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: East Jesus NY
Bikes: are better than yours
Posts: 5,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The rear brakes have their application as a means of bike control...not merely as an emergency measure for front tire blowouts. Mountain biking typically involves braking over variable terrain, and only experience can give a rider the "feel" for threshold braking (dynamic adjustment of front/rear brake bias to maximize stopping power without skidding). Ignoring the rear brakes is bad practice. Learning to apply them judiciously is good.
cryptid01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-05, 10:02 PM   #22
willtsmith_nwi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastro
The rear brakes have their application as a means of bike control...not merely as an emergency measure for front tire blowouts. Mountain biking typically involves braking over variable terrain, and only experience can give a rider the "feel" for threshold braking (dynamic adjustment of front/rear brake bias to maximize stopping power without skidding). Ignoring the rear brakes is bad practice. Learning to apply them judiciously is good.
Well said.
willtsmith_nwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-05, 01:00 AM   #23
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity
Posts: 15,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
And in some cases "fishtailing" on dirt, fishtailing is desireable. But it is unlikely that a newbie will have the skill to move his bike like this intentionally.
I bet your trail managers just LOVE you.
__________________
Raiyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:31 AM.