Learn How to Brake Correctly

When we start to ride a bike, one of the things that we do is brake! And, unfortunately, is one of the things that we’re doing it the wrong way.

Brake properly and without wearing the components of bicycle involves many variables. Among these variables are the type of brake (“cantilever”, “v-brake”, the disc, among others), the type and condition of the land we’re pedaling (asphalt, soil, sand, etc), and the kind of bike that we are conducting.

We don’t have the goal of making a technical discussion about what type of brakes is better or even techniques used in competitive environment. Our idea is to provide some tips so that you can optimize this routine and crucial to who “goes from bike”!

To get a good brake, it is necessary to be with the tires, good brakes (with good “shoes” or good discs, depending on the case), good wheels and, especially, to maintain the set always clean and well regulated.The wrong positioning of the brake assembly compromises the efficiency of the entire process, whatever the quality of parts.

The ideal is to slow down the straight, to get the highest possible traction set. The position of the brake levers should always be as close as possible to the handlebar stem, because ideally, our fingers are on the ends of the levers, and not in the Middle, because with this we have more leverage and therefore less physical wear and tear.
Ideal position of the fingers on the brake lever

In terms of land, the ideal is to always give priority to stop dry and firm ground. I.e. in days of rain or drizzle, we must reduce our speed and always seek to anticipate the reactions of other vehicles in our surroundings. If you are pedaling on Earth choose the drier part of the soil, with less vegetation and moisture. Believe me, this can make all the difference between “taking a floor” or not.

Excessive braking can also cause accidents. Look always look where you’re going, the more “forward” as possible. This will diminish the sense of speed because as we look closer to where we are, we seem to be going “too fast” and tend to slow down more.

As well as on motor vehicles, ideally working with gears and with the speed, braking to a minimum. With the experience, we realize that each place has your speed. And, by working in this way, we save the components of the bike.

The Efficiency Of The Brakes

Just for reference, a good set of brakes should be fired, in normal situations, only with one finger, and in emergencies with two fingers. If you have to make greater effort to this, probably with some problem in your system and the ideal is to go to a Shop of your confidence to solve the problem.

Oddly enough, the front brake is the most efficient to stop the bike. We always work on average with 65% support in the front brake and 35% on the rear brake. The importance of working the two brakes “in conjunction” is too big, because, despite being the largest front brake responsible for “stop” the bike, therear brake is that provides the “firmness” in the path and in the direction of the bike, and it will also ensure the bike traction for the front can act.

We should always avoid the locking of the wheels, which is almost always followed by a slippage and a possible fall. If you need to brake sharply, “lock” the rear wheel, but never the lead. And to do this, try playing your body back, as if he wanted to “pull” the bike. In fact, the position of the body affects and the bike at the time of braking. The more there is weight on the rear wheel, the greater the traction with the soil, making you stop more efficiently.

For example, if you are down a sloping stretch and need to slow down, get out of the saddle and move your body behind, making all your weight goes to the rear wheel. In more technical snippets, mostly on trails, we got to stay with the body behind the saddle, changing the Centre of gravity of the bike. But for everyday use, and mainly urban, this isn’t necessary.

And just a reminder, the front brake is always on the left side of the heart. And the rear of the right side.Believe me, I’ve seen much drop by cyclist if confusing time to brake.

In addition to the tips above, always keep your look forward, predicting what happens around, obstacles and the reactions of other vehicles and pedestrians. Stay tuned to the pedestrians, they almost always cross in front of the bikes because they have no idea that the bike normally stop to them sooner than they predicted, because of the speed at which moves. This is the most common reason of accidents between cyclists and pedestrians, especially in parks, where many times everyone is more distracted than usual.

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