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Braking for corners - why not?

Old 06-29-09, 01:37 PM
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You don't need to like or agree with the statement.
This behaviour shows lack of skill and experience.
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Old 06-29-09, 01:38 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
I've read Prehn, Wenzel, Friel, Carmichael, and numerous other books and articles that discuss bike racing tactics. I have yet to see anyone suggest unneccessary braking, in a corner or elsewhere, as a legitimate racing tactic.

Bob
I understand that the books you've read have not mentioned it. So in order to answer my question, it must be explained why they have not.

Just so everything's clear, I'm not convinced that it is an optimal strategy, especially given the cat5 vs pro race example.
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Old 06-29-09, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
You don't need to like or agree with the statement.
This behaviour shows lack of skill and experience.
I don't dislike or disagree with it. As far as I can tell, it's actually true. There is probably even a good reason for it. That's what I'm looking for, but it's starting to sound pretty dogmatic.

But there doesn't even need to be a good reason for it for me to do it. I mean, I shave my legs, which is pretty much pointless. At least whatever small benefit it has is not significantly greater than the minor annoyance of having to shave them.

But I have found one thing though with this thread. Raising the question alone seems to universally invoke the mighty rage of all. Actually, that alone could be a sufficient reason never to consider the braking, which is again, not to say there isn't a better reason.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:22 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
Yes. All of them I think.


If "it" is the reason it's not an advantageous tactic, then yes.


ok
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Old 06-29-09, 02:28 PM
  #30  
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It is simply not possible under many circumstances for an entire pack to go through a corner without braking. It's the combination of an accordion effect (squishing tighter, in this case) from the deceleration into a corner and the effect of the draft. The guys in the back making a big stink about this don't understand the dynamics of how a pack works, but they know that Real Cyclists (which, in their minds, they certainly are) Don't Brake in Corners. Taking a corner slows riders down even if they don't touch the brakes. With a big enough pack, the effect of that speed change can propagate backwards at a higher rate than the riders go through the corner at. And it becomes necessary for riders a certain distance back to use their brakes to avoid stacking up into the guys in front of them. Whether it happens depends upon the course, the speed of the pack and the size of the pack. Necessary and predictable braking under those circumstances is a good thing. Braking unnecessarily is, of course, a jackass move, but that's rarely what's happening, in my experience. Yeah, there are a lot of inexperienced riders in Cat 4 and 5 races who brake unnecessarily, but that's why they're in Cat 4 and 5. If the Real Cyclists in the back have such a problem with that, they're welcome to come to the front and show everyone else how it is done.

It can get really irritating to be one of the riders mid-pack who is forced to brake, with guys further behind you yelling "No brakes in corners!" Right, you idiots, so instead of braking I should run up the rear wheel of the guy in front of me and cause a stack-up? Yeah, I bet you would love that.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:34 PM
  #31  
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Thanks grolby. The total amount of insight in this thread just jumped about ten-fold.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:36 PM
  #32  
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The Wilmington crit is a perfect example. Turn three is ballistic fast into a slight uphill. Turn four leads to the false flat start finish straight. The first three guys through turn three can basically coast to turn four. Riders 6-10 need to pedal, but can generally get by without any braking. Beyond that you're SOL. You're on the brakes, then out of the saddle. Hit turn four and gaps have opened and you're sprinting around riders to get back on. Try it for 20 laps or so The field shatters. If you're hitting the brakes you're not only hurting everyone behind you, but you're taking yourself out of the game. The strongest and smartest riders know where the sweet spot in the race is, and those are the guys who are ultimately going to podium because they're conserving energy and are obviously strong enough to stay where they need to be in the race.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:37 PM
  #33  
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I enjoy sitting in the back and yelling "hey get off the brakes you morons!"

I know it has no reason and no effect, but hey if you can't annoy your fellow bike racers, then why pin a number, ya know?
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Old 06-29-09, 02:37 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
I'm just asking the question. Clearly there is more braking in the 5 field than the pro field. I don't understand why that is the case. And I don't see why it's not a legitimate tactic, which is not to say that it's an effective one.

That is the point you keep missing is that, in order for something to be considered a legitimate tactic it must first be effective. Braking needlessly durring a race has been thoroughly shown to be ineffective. Now do you get it?
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Old 06-29-09, 02:40 PM
  #35  
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Bikes don't have brake lights, so it's more dangerous when people brake before turns than it is in, say, a car.

It's not that hard to learn to pedal through a turn. The hardest part for many people is letting go of control. Just do it. You'll see that it can be done. Once you love it, you'll move on to another thread about clipping pedals.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:41 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
I understand that the books you've read have not mentioned it. So in order to answer my question, it must be explained why they have not.

Just so everything's clear, I'm not convinced that it is an optimal strategy, especially given the cat5 vs pro race example.
Because it is unsafe. A no responsible racer is going to recommend an usafe tactic.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:41 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
The Wilmington crit is a perfect example. Turn three is ballistic fast into a slight uphill. Turn four leads to the false flat start finish straight. The first three guys through turn three can basically coast to turn four. Riders 6-10 need to pedal, but can generally get by without any braking. Beyond that you're SOL. You're on the brakes, then out of the saddle. Hit turn four and gaps have opened and you're sprinting around riders to get back on. Try it for 20 laps or so The field shatters. If you're hitting the brakes you're not only hurting everyone behind you, but you're taking yourself out of the game. The strongest and smartest riders know where the sweet spot in the race is, and those are the guys who are ultimately going to podium because they're conserving energy and are obviously strong enough to stay where they need to be in the race.
I did two crits last weekend with >90 degree turns, so I know the feeling well. I suppose the best use for such a corner is to be near the front going in and then attack exiting the corner, putting any chase at a disadvantage.
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Old 06-29-09, 02:46 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by MattDC View Post
That is the point you keep missing is that, in order for something to be considered a legitimate tactic it must first be effective. Braking needlessly durring a race has been thoroughly shown to be ineffective. Now do you get it?
Yes. Thanks.

Originally Posted by ri_us View Post
Bikes don't have brake lights, so it's more dangerous when people brake before turns than it is in, say, a car.

It's not that hard to learn to pedal through a turn. The hardest part for many people is letting go of control. Just do it. You'll see that it can be done. Once you love it, you'll move on to another thread about clipping pedals.
I'm talking about a race, not traffic. I seem to have given some people the false idea that I am incapable of handling a corner in a crit without braking. That's not true. I've raced about 25 cat 3 crits so far this year with a fair number of top 5 finishes. I'm past the pedal clipping stage. Usually.

Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Because it is unsafe. A no responsible racer is going to recommend an usafe tactic.
It's certainly possible to do it unsafely, but that's not what I'm talking about. It's possible to brake in such a way that riders are given adequate time to respond. I seen plenty of braking in any of the tight corners in all the crits I've done.
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Old 06-30-09, 08:40 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
I've read Prehn, Wenzel, Friel, Carmichael, and numerous other books and articles that discuss bike racing tactics. I have yet to see anyone suggest unneccessary braking, in a corner or elsewhere, as a legitimate racing tactic.

Bob
Not unnecessary braking, but Eddy B, in his book Road Bicycle Racing advocates slowing the field when blocking by getting to the front of the field, slowing slightly, and taking an outside to inside line (late apex).

Since you will be crossing most of the field with this line, you will end up interrupting the planned lines of a bunch of people, and they will have to slow down when they run out of space to the inside. He warns that this is a potentially dangerous technique. If you're subtle, it can be effective.
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Old 06-30-09, 09:59 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
Better tactic for the leader going into a corner to make the guy behind work more? Learn how to corner fast and attack coming out of the corner.
I like this tactic and use it a lot. If on the front, I like to ease slightly on the straight and then attack going into the corner. Just create a little gap going in and that gap will grow and grow as it passes back through the field. Not that I'm on the front much, but if I am, I might as well make others work too.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:10 AM
  #41  
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accelerating after slowing down requires more physiologic cost for me more than acclerating out of a corner that I maintained a constant speed through.

If someone in front of me taps their brakes, I either stay in their draft while they accelerate so they're doing more work than me to get back up to speed, or pass them to maintain my momentum, therefore less work for me to go faster than the brake man.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:26 AM
  #42  
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^ what he said.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:33 PM
  #43  
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does anyone here pedal out of the saddle through corners? Just wondering.




Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
accelerating after slowing down requires more physiologic cost for me more than acclerating out of a corner that I maintained a constant speed through.

If someone in front of me taps their brakes, I either stay in their draft while they accelerate so they're doing more work than me to get back up to speed, or pass them to maintain my momentum, therefore less work for me to go faster than the brake man.

You won't be able to do that so easily if you are on the inside of a corner between a bunch of other riders.... It's a great tactic if you are in a position to take advantage of it!

Last edited by fordfasterr; 06-30-09 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:49 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr View Post
does anyone here pedal out of the saddle through corners? Just wondering.







You won't be able to do that so easily if you are on the inside of a corner between a bunch of other riders.... It's a great tactic if you are in a position to take advantage of it!
cornering and proper positioning aren't tactics.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:56 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
cornering and proper positioning aren't tactics.
I have been corrected.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:59 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr View Post
I have been corrected.


also, no on the standing while pedaling through a corner. coming out of the corner (after its apex), yes. going into a corner (before you lean a quick 1 to 2 pedal strokes gives you speed to carry through it), yes. mid corner, no.
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Old 06-30-09, 01:33 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
It is simply not possible under many circumstances for an entire pack to go through a corner without braking.
Many? Maybe in the lower cats. But at the last NRC race I did we averaged 30+ MPH on a tight 8 turn course and there was very little braking involved.

Unnecessary braking is not a "tactic". It's simply dangerous. If it WAS a tactic why not do it on the straights too? I mean, same effect right? And all Brakeboy is doing is screwing things up 8 riders back, the guy's sitting on Brakeboy's wheel just sit while Brakeboy has to bring them back up to speed.

I've always found railing a corner at warp speed to be far more effective for creating gaps. But then, I can race my bike.

And BTW, I just go around the guy hitting the brakes; another reason why it's not a "tactic".

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Old 06-30-09, 01:38 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr View Post
does anyone here pedal out of the saddle through corners? Just wondering.


That would be a bad idea because you'd be unweighting your rear wheel. Unless it was a slow corner uphill, you're asking for trouble.
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Old 06-30-09, 02:27 PM
  #49  
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You do more damage to the back by maintaining a high cornering speed. There is going to be an accordian anyway, and those at the back will just have to accelerate that much harder.

Look at riders who brake too much as an opportunity, easy prey. They help keep prize money up and entry fees down.
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Old 06-30-09, 02:35 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by efficiency View Post
Not unnecessary braking, but Eddy B, in his book Road Bicycle Racing advocates slowing the field when blocking by getting to the front of the field, slowing slightly, and taking an outside to inside line (late apex).

Since you will be crossing most of the field with this line, you will end up interrupting the planned lines of a bunch of people, and they will have to slow down when they run out of space to the inside. He warns that this is a potentially dangerous technique. If you're subtle, it can be effective.
Blocking IS a legitimate racing tactic. Braking unneccessarily is NOT the right way to block. It's just a dangerous, bonehead move.

Bob
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