Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Why is it such a sin to use the rear brake

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Why is it such a sin to use the rear brake

Old 04-04-12, 09:03 AM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 2,134

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Liked 2,768 Times in 999 Posts
When braking hard, not necessarily a panic stop, I apply both brakes until the back tire starts skidding. Then back off the back brake. Never had any problems with the technique. Unless I'm in a turn, the road is wet or some other condition causing problems.

I can only remember having 3 "cartwheels" in my biking life. That's not counting meetings with autos, side slipping in the corner, etc.

The first at 12 yrs, I was riding down a steep bumpy path in a quarry. Too steep. I never touched the brakes. But I hit something! Never knew what.

The second at 19 yrs another quarry, we were using a steep downslope and a small berm to do jumps on our 10spds. The other kids were jumping higher than me! So I pedalled down hard hit the berm and really flew! Mid air the bike rotated forward and we landed in a face down position.

The last time at 20yrs, riding a borrowed bike, the brake lever fell off into the front wheel still hanging by the cable. I was in a hurry so I continued pedalling, leaned way over the front tire, pulling on the cable, cursing all the while. The lever slipped crossways into the spokes. The front tire stopped spinning. I managed to stop the bike by applying my face to the sidewalk.
locolobo13 is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 09:09 AM
  #52  
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,655

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Liked 2,585 Times in 1,586 Posts
I didn't use any brakes on my ride to work this morning. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 09:21 AM
  #53  
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 6,186

Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Lots of diverse topics in this thread!

1. Trolls happen, nothing you can do to prevent them, just try not to encourage them.
2. I do wear socks with my SPD sandals (okay, I have really ugly feet).
3. I do have a kickstand on my commuter bike (DaHon Curve -SL-8) but have never noticed any side drag, etc.
4. I use both brakes but favor the front.

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 09:22 AM
  #54  
Still spinnin'.....
 
Stealthammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Whitestown, IN
Posts: 1,208

Bikes: Fisher Opie freeride/urban assault MTB, Redline Monocog 29er MTB, Serrota T-Max Commuter, Klein Rascal SS, Salsa Campion Road bike, Pake Rum Runner FG/SS Road bike, Cannondale Synapse Road bike, Santana Arriva Road Tandem, and others....

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by thermionicscott
i didn't use any brakes on my ride to work this morning. Just thought i'd throw that out there.
fg?
Stealthammer is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 10:23 AM
  #55  
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,655

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Liked 2,585 Times in 1,586 Posts
Originally Posted by Stealthammer
fg?
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 11:14 AM
  #56  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,614

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Liked 4,442 Times in 2,479 Posts
Originally Posted by metro2005
In an emergency stop you weight shifts forward and therefore lifting weight of your back wheel. When you brake with your rear brakes you only get a skidding back wheel and no stopping power. On a shortwheel based recumbent bike its even worse with all the weight on the front wheel you have almost no stopping power at the back wheel at all.
That your weight shifts forward is certainly true...under all conditions. Even if the bike has only a coaster brake on the rear wheel, the weight shifts forward. Ask any 10 year old about skidding the rear tire with a coaster brake equipped bike. That's not the point of this thread. No one that I've seen post here is say to use only the rear brake. They are talking about using both brakes vs the idea that you should (almost) never use the back brake.

Your recumbent example is a special case, however. For regular bikes and longer wheelbase recumbents, the rear brake's contributions aren't zero until the rear wheel lifts off the ground. Even in your short wheelbase example, the contribution from the rear brake isn't zero. The time between going from contributing some deceleration to contributing zero may be shorter but that's a function of the bike geometry.

Originally Posted by metro2005
When in slippery conditions the rear brake can be usefull as well as when going downhill. You can then use the front and rear brake at the some time or switch between them to let them cool down.
You can also use the rearbrake to slowdown a little bit but not for coming to a complete stop.
The rear brake is useful in almost all situations until you lift the rear wheel off the ground. At that point it doesn't matter.

On downhills...high speed downhills with a 50 lb touring load in mountainous terrain...I've never experienced wheel overheating because I don't drag my brakes. You will get far less wheel heating if you use both brakes to check your speed momentarily, then get off the brakes entirely. Simply sitting up can have a dramatic effect on speed too.

Originally Posted by metro2005
In all other conditions: the front brake is the best option, it gives you the most stopping power (about 80% of the stopping power comes from the front brakes) and the most control over your bike because when your backwheel skids you fall.
Therein lies the lack of understanding. Yes, you get most of your power from the front brake. But you should just throw away 20% of your deceleration because you are afraid of sliding the back wheel. As I said above, when the back wheel starts to slide, get off the front brake. You may lose a small amount of deceleration but you'll gain a lot more control of the bike.

And a skidding rear wheel doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to crash. Again, ask the 10 year old.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 11:27 AM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 176
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Hmm, I use both brakes, but I have my front brake adjusted so that I can hit it as hard as I want to and I won't do an endo unless I move my body weight forward slightly.

But, I have the Burley 99.9% of the time, so I have to use both brakes or the rear brake will just wear out right away and only cause me to skid. Plus, I don't think I can do an endo with the trailer attached, but anything is possible, I s'pose.
SonataInFSharp is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 12:50 PM
  #58  
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 14,930

Bikes: Yes

Liked 4,228 Times in 1,560 Posts
Originally Posted by Stealthammer
fg?
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
So rear brake only then. (That's still a brake unless you're freewheeling and coast to a stop.)
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 12:56 PM
  #59  
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,655

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Liked 2,585 Times in 1,586 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K
So rear brake only then. (That's still a brake unless you're freewheeling and coast to a stop.)
Oh, I suppose, technically. (It does have a front handbrake installed, for emergencies.)
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 04-04-12, 12:57 PM
  #60  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ventura County, CA
Posts: 156

Bikes: 2012 Cervelo S5 Rival and 2012 Speed Concept 9.9 Di2

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have bad habit of using only rear brake too much...it wears down my brakes super fast, have to get pads replaced way too often.
hiyer1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
tastewar
Bicycle Mechanics
17
08-15-17 06:47 PM
NYSteve
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
43
01-22-16 02:47 PM
Colorado Kid
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
2
04-25-14 09:51 PM
krazygluon
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
49
02-14-11 12:49 AM
fw5zTPmU2K8X
Cyclocross Racing
5
10-29-10 06:33 PM

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.