Don’t Fear Your Front Brake
Maybe you’ve come out of a corner, overusing your front brake, and washed out. Maybe you’ve had the dreaded “over the bars” crash – you decided then and there to never touch your front brake again. It might be tempting to rely solely on your back brake for stopping power. However, not utilizing 100% of your stopping power can create an out of control sensation and encourages skidding. Your front brake accounts for approximately 70% of your bike’s stopping power. If you’re only using the back brake, you’re not taking full advantage of all of the control that your bike has to offer. The key is using both brakes together with a smooth touch as well as making sure to shift your hips and bottom back under braking. By moving back under braking you make it safe to use the front brake and make the back brake work better. Practice this out on the street and down gentle hills to get more comfortable and then start trying it on your favorite trails.
Doug demonstrates riding back under braking. This position provides a secure place from which to counter the stopping power of your front brake. Practice getting here from cruising in neutral position by slowly applying pressure to both brakes and bringing your hips and bottom back.
You’ll feel the same after mastering this simple and powerful skill
We hope you enjoy our weekly mountain bike tips. Please remember that they can help but will not eliminate risks, as mountain biking is a dynamic sport. These tips are meant to help you build skills and progress for a more enjoyable mountain biking experience.