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Crashing techniques and styles

Old 06-12-22, 12:17 PM
  #51  
koala logs
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If you ride often and long enough, crashing is inevitable. Over the bars is easy. Being hit by a deer? The only rolling will be in a hospital bed recovering. Snapped steerer tube? Or my personal favorite, a broken seatpost taking you straight down onto your tailbone. Deer, school buses and USPS drivers are my biggest fears. I saw at least 100 deer on yesterday's ride (187 miles). I know two riders taken out by deer. I had an elk jump across the road within inches of me on a descent, 40 years later my mind's eye can still see the antlers or are they called horns.....that would have been some crash. Nowadays, I try to avoid riding just before and after sunrise and sunset.
Twice, I went over the bar during emergency braking but unhurt and uninjured, mostly because I'm already going slow by the time I went over. Scary nonetheless.

The problem is with traditional road bike design. The wheelbase is too short for such high CoG making it prone to flipping over when braking and unstable if you brake during a turn... It forces riders to become timid with braking, resulting to much longer braking distances and greater overall risk. It's ridiculous that many roadies defend such "design feature" saying it makes the bike agile (for what???) they even make it sound that toe overlap is a good thing like it's a measure of one's manhood or riding skill.

I know it's impossible to stop for a wildlife that caught you completely by surprise especially during high speed descent. But some of them might just be avoidable if the speeds are less and if the bike was able to stop in a shorter distance.
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Old 06-12-22, 12:56 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Twice, I went over the bar during emergency braking but unhurt and uninjured, mostly because I'm already going slow by the time I went over. Scary nonetheless.

The problem is with traditional road bike design. The wheelbase is too short for such high CoG making it prone to flipping over when braking and unstable if you brake during a turn... It forces riders to become timid with braking, resulting to much longer braking distances and greater overall risk. It's ridiculous that many roadies defend such "design feature" saying it makes the bike agile (for what???) they even make it sound that toe overlap is a good thing like it's a measure of one's manhood or riding skill.

I know it's impossible to stop for a wildlife that caught you completely by surprise especially during high speed descent. But some of them might just be avoidable if the speeds are less and if the bike was able to stop in a shorter distance.
Road bike design is great. I happily defend it. And going fast is great.

Emergency braking on a road bike can be very effective, especially on a disc-braked bike. Naturally, this is a learned skill and practice improves it. I have never, ever gone over the handlebars of any bike I have owned as a result of braking and I can and do brake in corners with no thought of holding back if I need to brake harder - yours is the very first comment I've ever read re road bike design making people timid when braking.

When racing, agility and reaction time are vital attributes; if you are in a Peloton negotiating many riders around you, wheels in front of yours - mere inches apart - at 30mph+, traffic furniture thrown in for fun, then a bike that is agile is a benefit. Of course, we have to be agile and have good reaction speed ourselves but some bikes are better than others by design, weight etc.

My 6kg Wilier is very agile when cornering, for example, and I can accelerate much faster riding it than I do on my aero bike. My aero bike will hold its speed longer though and so I ride the bike that suits the race. Of course, an aero bike and a climbing bike can both be agile but the lighter bike tends to be more so. An endurance bike benefits from a more relaxed geometry but is often less agile too - but, that's ok for its preferred use.

Obviously, not everyone needs a sharp, aggressive handling bike and many who buy them might indeed be better off getting an endurance bike.

For people, like my wife, who simply want to enjoy riding as comfortable as possible, with zero interest in speed, then there are plenty of bikes out there for the job. Her traditional Amsterdam-style bike is perfect for her riding preference. It is not aggressive in the slightest, not being designed for speed in any way. And there is zero toe-overlap! Go figure, a bike that is fit for purpose for the type of rider who wants to ride the way she does. Equally, my road bikes are designed for the type of rider I am - fast and aggressive!


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Old 06-12-22, 01:39 PM
  #53  
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My experience and what I've seen in other recreational riders comes to this: by the time you know you are crashing, you're on the ground. I know there are a few exceptions but generally this is the way it happens.
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Old 06-12-22, 03:09 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Twice, I went over the bar during emergency braking but unhurt and uninjured, mostly because I'm already going slow by the time I went over. Scary nonetheless.

The problem is with traditional road bike design. The wheelbase is too short for such high CoG making it prone to flipping over when braking and unstable if you brake during a turn... It forces riders to become timid with braking, resulting to much longer braking distances and greater overall risk. It's ridiculous that many roadies defend such "design feature" saying it makes the bike agile (for what???) they even make it sound that toe overlap is a good thing like it's a measure of one's manhood or riding skill.

I know it's impossible to stop for a wildlife that caught you completely by surprise especially during high speed descent. But some of them might just be avoidable if the speeds are less and if the bike was able to stop in a shorter distance.
Speed is fun in the right place

i do agree with you on balance of the bike. For a tall rider and my proportions, most new bikes put me too far forward with one of the problems being what you describe. When braking hard, I really can't get my weight far enough back on most of my bikes although one custom bike is much better.

WRT to wildlife, I was on a club ride a few years back and we approached a bunch of deer in a cut cornfield. I could see that they could run into us, so, I slowed way, way down. One of the deer jumped right over the head of the lead rider. He had no clue and never touched his brakes. I was in a pack once and a squirrel too a rider down. Two dogs attacked me and the little one caught into my front spokes taking me down.....there was not a damned thing I could do. A truck mirror clipped my shoulder sending me into a corn field, no real injuries on that. The notion that crashing is avoidable is really naive.
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Old 06-12-22, 03:14 PM
  #55  
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In the few years I've been biking, I've crashed once. This was on a city street, and largely due to a car swerving into my lane without warning.
Cracked two ribs, and the pain and fear kept me off the bike for quite a while. I'm older, so cracked ribs take quite a while to heal.
I don't think that crashing is an inevitable part of cycling. I just think it's very likely.
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Old 06-12-22, 06:35 PM
  #56  
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A man's got to know his limits. But the only way to know those limits is to test them.

If I crash riding slab on my skinny bike it means I screwed up. Doing wheelies riding home from happy hour was the poor decision that lead to the last one I remember. On my fat bike I am always pushing my limits of what I can ride and get in over my head once in awhile. Some of the hills I climb are tough to stand on so failures get interesting. Part of the fun.

The judo suggestion is a good way to learn how to fall. Would think any sport that tosses you on the ground once in awhile would be good practice. A youth of going too fast on bikes, motorcycles and skis gave me plenty of tumble time how to roll.
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Old 06-12-22, 09:42 PM
  #57  
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On a motorcycle I learned to lay the bike down and hang on. It works. I avoided serious injury twice by laying my motorcycle down and sliding along with it. To bad I could not remember how to do that when I was on my bicycle though...

As far as Road Cycling I think cyclists who have Off Road and BMX experience do have a big advantage when it comes to the CRASH!!!
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Old 06-12-22, 11:13 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Speed is fun in the right place

i do agree with you on balance of the bike. For a tall rider and my proportions, most new bikes put me too far forward with one of the problems being what you describe. When braking hard, I really can't get my weight far enough back on most of my bikes although one custom bike is much better.

WRT to wildlife, I was on a club ride a few years back and we approached a bunch of deer in a cut cornfield. I could see that they could run into us, so, I slowed way, way down. One of the deer jumped right over the head of the lead rider. He had no clue and never touched his brakes. I was in a pack once and a squirrel too a rider down. Two dogs attacked me and the little one caught into my front spokes taking me down.....there was not a damned thing I could do. A truck mirror clipped my shoulder sending me into a corn field, no real injuries on that. The notion that crashing is avoidable is really naive.
I'm glad you see my point on bike handling.

I also agree with you that some situations are unavoidable with luck playing its part. But won't you agree that shorter braking distances would make your bike safer to ride? Just the fact you know it's more resistant to flipping over if you press the brakes hard will help build confidence in braking instead of being timid at using them.
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Old 06-13-22, 01:47 AM
  #59  
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I think a good point has been raised in this Thread whereby when choosing a bicycle we need to ensure that we choose the right one - this also helps avoid accidents and thereby reduces crashes.

It is absolutely no good - as this Thread has itself demonstrated - in buying a bike that makes someone too timid to use effectively; because, for example, the design is just too aggressive for them. Blaming the design in this case is wrong. It is the cyclist who has chosen incorrectly for their needs and abilities.

Road bikes of a racing nature are fit for purpose. There is a valid case to be made, however, that road racing bikes are not for everyone and too many are steered that way because they simply like how they look or like to imagine themselves as racers.

Taking Trek as an example - their Emonda, Madone, Domane and Checkpoint are, as they themselves describe, Performance bikes. Racing bikes. They are designed for speed. They are aggressive. They will have toe overlap. They will brake very, very effectively but you need to know how to do that on bikes that have the agility that they possess.

Don't buy any of these bikes if they are too aggressively designed for you and you can't brake effectively riding them. They demand a greater level of skill than other designs.

You can get City, Cruiser and Hybrid bike designs that do not have toe overlap and, especially with disc brakes, are much easier to learn to brake - your weight is not as far forward so your CoG is somewhat different. The very vast majority of bicycles in Europe and Asia are these. They are easier to ride for commuters, for keeping fit, for recreational use. Countries that embrace cycling culture the most - especially in Europe - produce the most Professional racers, have the most prestigious races, have cycling as a sport that is endeared by much of their populations, but the very vast number of their cyclists don't ride racing bikes...they ride City, Cruiser, Hybrid and Amsterdam-style bikes.

Anyone who has been to Gent, Copenhagen or Amsterdam will know what I mean. These populations understand how to purchase bicycles fit for their own purposes. They buy bikes designed for comfort, that are easy to brake effectively, have a different CoG. They generally don't buy racing bikes unless they intend to take part in the sport or at least understand how they need to ride them - often they will then have both types of bike.

Don't hop onto a racing bike and then blame the bike design if you crash because you haven't learned to ride it properly by not fully appreciating what it is designed to do.


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Old 06-14-22, 07:52 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
I'm glad you see my point on bike handling.

I also agree with you that some situations are unavoidable with luck playing its part. But won't you agree that shorter braking distances would make your bike safer to ride? Just the fact you know it's more resistant to flipping over if you press the brakes hard will help build confidence in braking instead of being timid at using them.
I can brake VERY hard on my drop bar bike. It is all about technique. You need to shift your weight back (or, put another wayÖ shove the bike forward relative to yourself) and down BEFORE you grab a handful of brake.

I donít know why doing this is so much more intuitive for some people than others. I donít even think about it. I just do it. Maybe it is my mtb riding that has trained me for this.

Yes, most drop bar road/gravel bikes are more likely than flat bar bikes to throw you if you grab a handful of front brake without shifting your weight. But that shorter front-center is a little hard to get away from with drop bars, due to where the steer tube ends up being relative to where your hands are on the hoods and drops. Even mtb frames designed for drop bars have shorter top tubes (and thus longer front-centers) than flat bar mtbs.

So yeah, in the end, assuming traction is equal and brakes are as strong as needed, when push comes shove I can stop faster on my flat bar bikes than on my drop bar bike.

But it you are going over the bars, that is due to technique. And grabbing handfuls of brake without weight shifting on most flat bar bikes will do the same thing.

Last edited by Kapusta; 06-14-22 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 06-14-22, 08:20 AM
  #61  
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If you're to work on crashing techniques and styles, you need to learn from the master.

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Old 06-14-22, 08:53 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I can brake VERY hard on my drop bar bike. It is all about technique. You need to shift your weight back (or, put another way… shove the bike forward relative to yourself) and down BEFORE you grab a handful of brake.

I don’t know why doing this is so much more intuitive for some people than others. I don’t even think about it. I just do it. Maybe it is my mtb riding that has trained me for this.
I have perfected the technique as well but I still managed to flip the bike over. A pedestrian hopped into the bike lane without looking. I had to shout and brake hard at the same time but he just froze in place. Luckily, I landed on both my feet without falling down. I did the "leap frog" thing without even realizing it. The bike just slid under me so suddenly while the seat catapulted me upward and the only thing I did was spread my legs apart to clear the bike. I'm only using flat pedals so my feet just lifted off the pedals. I suppose the outcome would have been vastly different if I had foot retention.

Road bikes would have been more resistant to such flips if only the wheelbase is longer, particularly if the front wheel is extended out to the front more with longer down and top tube and compensated with short stem like an MTB stem (such road bike design would be more suitable for us who has absolutely no intentions of racing who ironically makes up the majority of riders). You can do same thing by lowering your CoG against the bike. One way I did this is by slamming the stem all the way down and crouching down on the drops if I anticipate heavy braking in a crowded section of the street. It did made the bike more resistant to flipping and improved handling as well but not everyone is comfortable riding low.
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Old 06-14-22, 11:00 AM
  #63  
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I was certain I was going to fly off the road bike last Sunday but didn't. My front wheel got caught by a very difficult to see pothole as I was going about 20 mph and I was actually slightly off the saddle when my front wheel got turned just enough to throw me forward. My right hand actually slipped down the front of the handlebars and I found myself in a position I honestly cannot recall ever having been in before, my right chest actually touching the handlebars while the inside of my right leg was getting abraded by the font tire (inner lower thigh). Somehow, I managed to get the balance back with just my left hand on the left hood and both of my feet on the pedals (platforms, btw). I have no idea how I did that and couldn't have done any of this consciously thinking it through, It was sheer muscle memory. All of this happened in the space of about 2 seconds, and it ended with me somehow flopping back onto my seat with the handlebars pointing straight ahead, and me with a small black tire mark on my inner thigh.

Muscle memory kept me upright on the bike. I'm pretty sure I would have had a far worse outcome if I'd been focusing it on how to land. What we're doing on a bike has no resemblance to judo, no idea why my muscles would learn anything applicable to cycling doing judo.
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Old 06-14-22, 11:10 AM
  #64  
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I witnessed a big crash at the weekend in a large group ride. A couple of guys in front of me touched wheels and went down heavily. It was one of those zero reaction time crashes. Riding along happily, one second later bouncing helplessly down the road. No crash technique or style involved in this one!
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Old 06-14-22, 11:17 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
I have perfected the technique as well but I still managed to flip the bike over. A pedestrian hopped into the bike lane without looking. I had to shout and brake hard at the same time but he just froze in place. Luckily, I landed on both my feet without falling down. I did the "leap frog" thing without even realizing it. The bike just slid under me so suddenly while the seat catapulted me upward and the only thing I did was spread my legs apart to clear the bike. I'm only using flat pedals so my feet just lifted off the pedals. I suppose the outcome would have been vastly different if I had foot retention.

Road bikes would have been more resistant to such flips if only the wheelbase is longer, particularly if the front wheel is extended out to the front more with longer down and top tube and compensated with short stem like an MTB stem (such road bike design would be more suitable for us who has absolutely no intentions of racing who ironically makes up the majority of riders). You can do same thing by lowering your CoG against the bike. One way I did this is by slamming the stem all the way down and crouching down on the drops if I anticipate heavy braking in a crowded section of the street. It did made the bike more resistant to flipping and improved handling as well but not everyone is comfortable riding low.
Well you obviously did NOT perfect the technique. If you grabbed enough brake to go over the bars, then you grabbed too much brake, and in the end did not come to a stop as fast.
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Old 06-14-22, 01:15 PM
  #66  
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.....an there is always this crash technique.
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Old 06-14-22, 01:26 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
.....an there is always this crash technique.
Darwin Award contender right there!
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Old 06-14-22, 04:56 PM
  #68  
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The Elam Classic in Unaweep Canyon, CO. The categories were staged fairly close together and the 4ís caught the 3ís and intermingled. Once the descents came, that meant a pretty large (100+?) group of riders on the road.

We could smell burning brakes and I started hearing sudden deflations and crashes behind me. This was pre disc days so hot rims were the culprit. Unable to get to the front, soon enough a it happened in front of me and me and whole bunch of others went down. This was at approximately 40-45mph.

My wheel was done and I was out of the race. But, I landed on such a big pile of other people on the road, that I didnít have a scratch on me.

Moral of the story, the best crashing technique is landing on a pile of bodies. It worked for me.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:02 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well you obviously did NOT perfect the technique. If you grabbed enough brake to go over the bars, then you grabbed too much brake, and in the end did not come to a stop as fast.
Yeah, I did grab the brake too much. I was caught completely by surprise by the ped. He came from behind a kiosk that is right next to the road and the bike lane. No way I can see him in advance and there's only couple of feet left when I saw him.

I did managed to avoid hitting him though. I landed just 2 feet from him. One factor that prevented a worse outcome is that I'm already slowing down at that point and lightly pressing the brakes. I'm aware that peds cross that street but that was the first time I encountered anyone jumping into the road without looking.

I actually started riding 700c road bikes when I was a kid. At the age of 10. I managed to flip the bike once while braking and it was completely my fault. Deore calipers on chrome rims grip it like glue! But I do remember it is much harder to flip the bike and I can stop in a shorter distance. I believe it was due to having the saddle slammed all the way down so I can reach the pedals and with my weight of 90 lbs at that time, it made the CoG low enough to make the bike significantly more resistant to flipping and stop in a shorter distance.

You can achieve the same effect at the correct saddle height by having a longer wheel base (having the front wheel placed more forward and compensated with short stem). I know some riders won't like such design, because the design is less capable in maneuvering around a tightly packed race. But the thing is most of us don't even race and I absolutely avoid riding with groups who rides very tightly and only inches away from each other. That is sure recipe for disaster whether you have super nimble bike or not.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:19 PM
  #70  
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That's my old neighborhood, and I recognize that kid. His name is Larry, but he would be a lot older now. I don't remember him ever wearing a shirt, though.

Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
.....an there is always this crash technique.
https://youtu.be/9manM-f-AdY
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Old 06-15-22, 01:34 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
On a motorcycle I learned to lay the bike down and hang on. It works. I avoided serious injury twice by laying my motorcycle down and sliding along with it. To bad I could not remember how to do that when I was on my bicycle though...

As far as Road Cycling I think cyclists who have Off Road and BMX experience do have a big advantage when it comes to the CRASH!!!
Sorry but I have a different opinion. If you know an impact is unavoidable your best way to reduce velocity is on the rubber and brakes. A glancing blow is better than a direct one. For example you are head down in TT mode when an SUV coming towards you suddenly makes a left in your path. Brake hard and try not to hit the front of the cage.
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Old 06-15-22, 04:51 PM
  #72  
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I crashed hard last night after 61 hard miles fully loaded that had close to 4,000í of climbing. Was nice to have a motel room after a week of tenting.
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Old 06-15-22, 08:20 PM
  #73  
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I donít think Iíve ever read an article on the subject in any of the major magazines back in the day (the day for me being the 1980s-1990s).
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Old 06-15-22, 08:50 PM
  #74  
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I think most people donít know how to emergency stop. The problem is people are too reliant on the back brake, itís not effective at all in an emergency. You can stop hard enough with the front that the back wheel becomes almost unweighted, and any braking will just make it skid. When talking to experienced people in real life, Iíve heard stuff like you get 30% of your braking power from the back, which is entirely untrue. This was in context of my back brake being broken and I was not worried about it.

This is weird advice but a good way of learning how to emergency stop is to just disconnect your back brake. Itís really only useful for minor speed adjustments in a group, and to avoid excessive wear/heat on the front, but thatís just my opinion. Of course itís always nice to have a backup brake in case something horrible happens. My shoe is messed up because I had to lock the back wheel up with my foot after a front brake failure and it ripped a big chunk of rubber out.

Also practicing hitting a back wheel with your front in a controlled environment (friend, in a grass field) is a good idea.
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Old 06-15-22, 09:01 PM
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tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I think most people donít know how to emergency stop. The problem is people are too reliant on the back brake, itís not effective at all in an emergency. You can stop hard enough with the front that the back wheel becomes almost unweighted, and any braking will just make it skid. When talking to experienced people in real life, Iíve heard stuff like you get 30% of your braking power from the back, which is entirely untrue. This was in context of my back brake being broken and I was not worried about it.

This is weird advice but a good way of learning how to emergency stop is to just disconnect your back brake. Itís really only useful for minor speed adjustments in a group, and to avoid excessive wear/heat on the front, but thatís just my opinion. Of course itís always nice to have a backup brake in case something horrible happens. My shoe is messed up because I had to lock the back wheel up with my foot after a front brake failure and it ripped a big chunk of rubber out.
That's not weird advice, it's ***deleted by censor***
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