Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Correct Way To Brake on a Bike

Braking is an essential skill for any cyclist, whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider. Knowing how to brake correctly not only helps you avoid accidents but also improves your overall cycling performance. In this blog post, we'll discuss the correct way to brake on a bike.

Types of Brakes

Before we dive into the correct way to brake on a bike, it's important to understand the two main types of brakes: rim brakes and disc brakes.

Rim brakes are the most common type of brakes and use rubber pads that press against the wheel rim to slow down or stop the bike. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to maintain. However, they can be less effective in wet or muddy conditions and can cause the rim to wear over time.

Disc brakes, on the other hand, use a rotor attached to the wheel hub and calipers that squeeze the rotor to slow down or stop the bike. They are more powerful and consistent in all weather conditions, but can be heavier and more expensive than rim brakes.

The Correct Way to Brake on a Bike

  1. Look Ahead

The first step in braking correctly is to look ahead and anticipate any potential hazards, such as traffic or obstacles on the road. This will give you enough time to slow down or stop the bike safely.

  1. Apply Both Brakes

When braking, it's important to use both brakes simultaneously. This helps distribute the braking force evenly between the front and rear wheels, which can prevent skidding or loss of control.

For rim brakes, apply even pressure on both brake levers using your fingers or hands. For disc brakes, use one or two fingers to squeeze the brake lever, depending on your preference and the strength of your brakes.

  1. Brake Gradually

It's important to brake gradually and smoothly rather than slamming on the brakes. This helps maintain control of the bike and prevents skidding or loss of traction.

Start by applying light pressure on the brakes, then increase the pressure gradually until you reach the desired speed. Avoid squeezing the brakes too hard or too quickly, as this can cause the wheels to lock up and skid.

  1. Use the Rear Brake More

The rear brake is less powerful than the front brake, but it's still important to use it when braking. The rear brake helps stabilize the bike and prevents the front wheel from lifting off the ground, which can cause a loss of control.

In general, it's recommended to use the rear brake more than the front brake, especially when riding at high speeds or on steep descents. However, in emergency situations, it may be necessary to use both brakes evenly.

  1. Avoid Braking in Corners

Braking while turning or cornering can be dangerous, as it can cause the wheels to lose traction and slide out. It's best to brake before entering a corner and then maintain a steady speed throughout the turn.

If you need to slow down while in a turn, use the rear brake only and apply gentle pressure to avoid skidding.

Knowing how to brake correctly is an essential skill for any cyclist. Always look ahead, use both brakes simultaneously, brake gradually, use the rear brake more, and avoid braking in corners. With these tips, you'll be able to stop your bike safely and confidently, no matter the situation. Happy riding!