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Best braking traction tires?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Best braking traction tires?

Old 09-05-06, 07:54 AM
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eandmwilson
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Best braking traction tires?

Yes, did the search

So, I'm riding Hutchinson Top Speeds in 23, and have twice locked up (in less than 50 miles) the rear wheel and skidded/fishtailed at relatively low speed. One time was on wet wood, which I expected, but the other time was on asphalt, which I DIDN'T. I weigh 215, but that doesn't seem to be the main issue.

Are Hutchinson Top Speeds OK tires? Are there more grippy tires that would be less prone to skidding? Size wize, 23-25 is the range I'm looking at. Or are 23s more prone to skidding due to smaller contact areas?
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Old 09-05-06, 08:04 AM
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I doubt it's the tires.

probably your brakes/brake blocks or technique.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:12 AM
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Hmm...I'm 215#, using Hutchinson Top Speed tires (23, also), and I've never locked up. Even after dramatically increasing my braking force by switching to Kool Stop pads, I still haven't locked up.

I think technique is the culprit, too. Are you using the rear brake as your primary means of stopping?
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Old 09-05-06, 08:25 AM
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If your stopping in a hurry, push your ass back, modulate both brakes independently. Even pushing your weight back, it will take less force to lock the rear brake than the front, becasue your weight shifts forward in a hard stop.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:41 AM
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For most stopping applications, I find that the front brake is sufficient. I don't use the back brake unless I need to stop extremely fast, or there are slippery conditions about.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Namenda
Hmm...I'm 215#, using Hutchinson Top Speed tires (23, also), and I've never locked up. Even after dramatically increasing my braking force by switching to Kool Stop pads, I still haven't locked up.

I think technique is the culprit, too. Are you using the rear brake as your primary means of stopping?
Yep. Bike and brakes are spanking new, and I'm still getting used to them. Since I've endoed a few times on my cross bike from excessive front braking, i rear brake and then front brake. With road geometry, it is OK to front brake primarily?
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Old 09-05-06, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by eandmwilson
Yep. Bike and brakes are spanking new, and I'm still getting used to them. Since I've endoed a few times on my cross bike from excessive front braking, i rear brake and then front brake. With road geometry, it is OK to front brake primarily?
That's what most people do, I think. I don't really know anything about cx, but on clean pavement, the front brake provides more stopping power than the rear. It's still possible to endo, so you have to use some technique, but yes, the front brake will stop you faster if used properly.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:18 AM
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when you stop using the rear brake for heavy braking, you will find the bike will hold a line and turn into the corners better.

the key to proper braking, in any type of vehicle, car, bike, motorcycle, kart, is smoothness. As you apply front brakes, weight is transfered to the front wheel, deforming the tire and expanding the contact patch on the road. If you smoothly increase the pressure, you will find more traction is available for braking as more weight is transfered to the front. Maximum braking occurs just as the rear wheel begins to lift off the ground. This means 100% of your weight has transfered to the front, and that tiny little contact patch has expanded its grip on the road as much as it ever will.

If you grab the brakes, they can lock prematurely. Smoothly apply increasingly greater pressure, untill you feel the rear begin to lighten. Then feather off smoothly. You will find you have much more power this way, and you can brake later, which is faster if that makes any difference to you.

Last edited by dangerman; 09-05-06 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 09-05-06, 11:56 AM
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Can you believe that Mr. Brown discusses this very topic?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
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Old 09-05-06, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by eandmwilson
Yep. Bike and brakes are spanking new, and I'm still getting used to them. Since I've endoed a few times on my cross bike from excessive front braking, i rear brake and then front brake. With road geometry, it is OK to front brake primarily?

This is why you push your ass backwards.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
This is why you push your ass backwards.
In effect, active suspension for meat bags. Switching to a wider tire and lowering air pressure helps, but it's going to be very minor.

Like eveyrone else said, it's technique. You should set up your rear brake so that you can lock it with full lever travel with your ass hanging off the back of the bike. Anymore and it'll be instant slide-o-rama anytime you grab it in an emergency.

Or just use your front brake all the time where appropriate. I don't even have a rear brake.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:20 PM
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beating a dead horse here, but improved technique is more effective than improved equipment... so the very best tires can increase friction coeffiction by a hair.. but mass loading is much more effective
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Old 09-05-06, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by lrzipris
Can you believe that Mr. Brown discusses this very topic?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
+1

Front brake should be primary for all types of riding (CX, XC, road). The rules change a bit for specific technical obstacles, but if you're trying to stop, concentrate on the front.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:24 PM
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Who uses their brakes, especially the rear?

Don't use your rear brake! Train yourself NOT to use it, it will only get you in trouble. In a panic situation, the body automatically reverts to what it has been trained to do, not what you are thinking it should do. So train yourself not to use it. If you do insist on using it, set the cable so loose that holding the lever as hard as you can against the bar will not lock the wheel up.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:38 PM
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If you really gotta stop in the shortest distance, using both brakes will stop shorter. Admittedly most of the braking force is coming from the front, but you're getting some from the back, particularly if you really weight the rear wheel. More rubber generating more friction against the road = faster stopping.

Only downside is you can skid the rear tire, but 1) that's easy to modulate, less pressure when it starts to lock, and 2) a rear skid is rarely a big deal.

I try to avoid using the rear brake much, particularly in groups, but if I'm about to get plowed by a car, I'm using all the brakes available to me.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Who uses their brakes, especially the rear?

Don't use your rear brake! Train yourself NOT to use it, it will only get you in trouble.
thats a generalized and, as presented, faulty statement.

the best answer is to get used to modulating both brakes to their maximum effectiveness and as the situation fits... but as a blind response id much rather have the rear skid and "low-side" (motorcycle term for sliding crash) instead of flipping over the bars... and in mountain biking the rear brake is crucial
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Old 09-05-06, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj
thats a generalized and, as presented, faulty statement.

the best answer is to get used to modulating both brakes to their maximum effectiveness and as the situation fits... but as a blind response id much rather have the rear skid and "low-side" (motorcycle term for sliding crash) instead of flipping over the bars... and in mountain biking the rear brake is crucial
I believe he is talking about road riding and I stand by my response that using both brakes will only get you in trouble in a panic situation. Train yourself to only use the front brake and learn to use it to maximum effect is the only way to go.

The only exception is in very slippery stuff, grass, gravel etc, then you use only the rear brake to avoid having the front tuck.

How much braking effect will the rear have when it is hovering over the ground in a hard stop? None, so why not simplify your technique to avoid the very possible downsides of locking the rear.

In motorcycle racing, most riders (with the exception of those who can back the rear end into a corner using the rear brake) use the fron brake exclusively for hard braking.
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Old 09-05-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
I believe he is talking about road riding and I stand by my response that using both brakes will only get you in trouble in a panic situation. Train yourself to only use the front brake and learn to use it to maximum effect is the only way to go.

The only exception is in very slippery stuff, grass, gravel etc, then you use only the rear brake to avoid having the front tuck.

How much braking effect will the rear have when it is hovering over the ground in a hard stop? None, so why not simplify your technique to avoid the very possible downsides of locking the rear.

In motorcycle racing, most riders (with the exception of those who can back the rear end into a corner using the rear brake) use the fron brake exclusively for hard braking.
I still think that your first statement is erroneous. The front brakes take most of the load.... thats physics and is well established and understood. In regards to getting absolute maximum braking (minimal distance) one'd need to employ BOTH brakes. For dead emergencies, I, personally, would rather have the rear brakes lock up (recoverable) and rash-slide than the front and endo. (Of course, this is after first method is exhausted and there is no distance left...binary situation here).

Braking in normal situation? use both. Run out of space and time? grab the rears tighter than the front

As far as the motorcycle situation is concerned, though its irrelevant here, it is done with the throttle--not the brake... same applies to motorcars
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Old 09-05-06, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj
Run out of space and time? grab the rears tighter than the front
That can lock the rear and send you out of control, especially with so much force on the front. In the worst situation, you can pump the rear, but don't slam it on, and keep more pressure on the front brake.
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