How to Effectively Use Bicycle Brakes
Forgetting how riding a bike works is impossible. One of the first things a person learns is how to apply the brakes when riding. All that the rider needs to do is pull some levers which will cause the brakes to squeeze the rims or rotors. The process will bring the bike to a halt. While you learn to ride a bike, you usually know the standard drills of pushing the pedals to go and squeezing the brake to stop. However, there is more to pushing the brake when you take up cycling more seriously.
Ensure Your Weight Is Pushed Back
When your bike is slowing down when you’re pulling the brakes, your body’s weight will begin to shift over towards the front wheel. The force will make it so that the front brake is what has all the braking power. It results in the bike being more challenging to control and more of a challenge to stop it. When you brake, push back with your weight so that the braking force is level and the pressure is all on the back wheel. If you ever try braking when you’re going fast, having the force on the back wheel and having the weight distributed evenly is what you should keep in mind. If you have to brake more quickly, you have to get your weight pushed back faster too. You might throw yourself off the seat if you don’t have your weight distributed correctly. Knowing about how to distribute your weight will give you better control of your bike, and it will help improve your power when you brake. If you can, you can try and practice your weight distribution in grass fields or parking lots. You can try doing emergency stops as a way to practice. You have to gain a bit of speed, place your hands into the drops, keep your arms straight while having your weight pushed back a bit behind the loser
When You Turn, Get Low and Don’t Brake
Before you reach a break, ensure that the speed you’re going isn’t faster than necessary. Your speed when you reach the turn has to be slow enough so that you don’t need to be using your brakes. When you’re nearing a corner, have your hands in the drops so that you’ll have better leverage when braking and you’ll lower your centre of gravity. These factors help you improve the control you have over your bike. Apply equal amounts of pressure onto the brakes as you shift your bodyweight back. Next thing to do is release the brakes as you manage past the turn steadily.
Don’t Be Tense, Relax Yourself
When you hit the brakes, and your shoulders and arms are all tensed up, you won’t be able to absorb a single stopping force. The inability to absorb any force shifts the stopping forces into your hands. Your hands will be forced to close, and you’ll brake with more force than you intended to exert. When this happens, the bike will be difficult to keep in control of, and you’ll most likely crash. What you should be doing is keep your elbows bent and shoulders loose and ensure that your grip on the bike’s bars is relaxed. Being relaxed will help you modulate the speed you’re going while also assisting with your control maintenance.