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Most riders do not know how to use the front brake. As a rider, are you using the front brake effectively? This article will guide you on this.
You may be wondering why the emphasis is on the front brakes when it is just a brake like the rear one. You may have been ignoring the front break all along. After all, the rear brake works just as fine. If you would like to get comprehensive information about the use of a front brake on a mountain bike, this article will guide you on the same.
The front brake should be used to stop the bike during a down ride as well as just before navigating a corner. This is because it is the more powerful of the two brakes. It has a large axle on the front part to support the front wheel thus increasing the stopping power.
If you are a fan of mountain bikes, and you do not know how to use the front brakes, this article will guide you on this. You could also not be using the front brakes for fear of falling off or simply because you do not appreciate its use. This article will explain when to use the front brake, how it works, and how to use it.
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Many mountain bike users are afraid of using the front brake for various reasons. Some do not know how to use it while others are afraid of using it. Seeing someone falling off after using the front brake is scary enough. However, you should not be worried anymore about this issue. With this guide, you are going to learn how to use the front brakes in a safe way and still realize an optimal riding experience.
When to Use Front Brake of a Mountains Bike
When you are riding down the hill, applying the front brake will slow you down faster than when using the rear brake. This is because it is easy to control speed when riding on rocky areas, root patches, wet surfaces, and other types of rough terrain.
Another situation where you can use the front brake is when navigating a corner. This should be used concurrently with the front wheel, which is responsible for the change of direction. However, it is advisable to apply the brake just before reaching a corner. Avoid breaking when you are at the corner. This is because you may not have control of the bike.
Another instance where you can use the front brake is when you are riding at high speed, and you want to stop instantly. The front brake is very helpful in the case of an emergency. This is because its stopping potential is higher than the rear one. In addition to that, there is more weight which is concentrated at the front of the bike hence more friction on the front tire.
How the Front Brake Works
Understanding how the front brake works will help you appreciate your riding. You do not have to be an expert in this, but at least you need to understand the basics. The first thing is that when you are using the front brake, you should squeeze it slowly and carefully. If you pull them hastily using your fingers, you may cause the wheels to lock.
The reason why the front brake is powerful is that it carries 70 % of the braking potential. The majority of the mountain bikes are installed with a sizable axle in the forepart. The large axle adds support to the front wheel to increase the halting power. A large and bulky tire in the front allows more friction thereby increasing the stopping power.
How to Use the Front Brake
When you are using the front brake, timing is key. When you engage with the front brake, ensure that you move your weight backward and lower at the same time. If you lean towards the front too much, you may flip over. This is more so if you are riding on uneven ground. You should also avoid a standing position as it could cause you harm.
As you engage the brake, you should exert more pressure on the pedals than on the handlebars. This will allow you to distribute the weight over the tires uniformly. Align yourself horizontally with your forearms as your feet incline towards the ground. Doing this will help you to avoid tripping over.
In case you need to stop urgently, avoid panicking and press the lever slowly. This will help you to adjust the rate of braking. Again, in the case the wheels lock, you can safely unlock, and proceed with riding in a safe way. For maximum safety, avoid applying the front brake at once. If you are not sitting in the right riding position, instant braking can cause you to fall over, and cause you an injury.
New riders think that skidding is the fastest way to stop a bike. This is a misguided approach to riding. Skidding does not allow the rider to have control of the bike, and therefore, you cannot stop as fast as you want to.
You may also find yourself zigzagging on the road instead of riding on a straight trajectory. Skidding is going to destroy your tires and cause trail erosion. This is because it stops the wheel rotation and locks it up making it drag in the dirt.
If you are practicing how to ride a bike, a parking space or a playground would be an ideal place to do this. This is because it will allow you to make mistakes and learn, without serious consequences on your side. Again, here, you can ride at any speed without getting worried about the consequences that may arise due to high speed.
Wrapping it Up
Frequent practice will help you to hover over the brake with minimal effort. Eventually, the braking process will be a natural response in a way that you will be braking your bike without much thinking about it. Regular practice will help you in your body positioning when you are riding, and this will include when you are braking. Overall, understanding how to use the front brake will lead to an optimal riding experience.