How to properly brake on a bicycle?


Closeup of disk brake of a mountain bicycle

It would seem that there is no simpler device in the bike than the brake. We squeeze together the handle and handle, the vehicle slows down and stops. Meanwhile, improper use of the brakes can, at best, lead to excessive wear and tear on the tires, and to a dangerous fall. The word “brakes” is used here deliberately in the plural, because in addition to children’s MOTRs all our bikes are equipped with two brakes: rear and front. In almost all conditions braking starts from the rear brake located under the right hand.

Why? Because at any speed, braking the front wheel, we risk getting stuck in place and skidding, especially if we’re driving on a surface other than asphalt. Gravel, sand, mud, grass are all materials that rubber tires will not stick well. The slip of the front wheel means that there is no control over the direction of travel, which means a more or less dangerous fall. Therefore, we start braking from the rear wheel, which even if not blocked, does not deprive us of steering the wheel. The brake handle has a range of work, just like the brakes in the car. First, press it lightly to release it, and then press it until you reach the desired speed (with zero, or stop), or until the rear wheel is blocked. In the latter case, we reduce the pressure on the handle to allow the rear wheel to roll. Under any circumstances, braking with a blocked wheel is less effective than one that is rolling. In physics it is called static and kinetic friction. If, on the other hand, the braking efficiency of the rear wheel is not satisfactory for us, it should be gently braked with the front wheel, remembering about the danger resulting from the possibility of blocking it.

If the method there is ineffective, it means that we have chosen the ground speed and slope of the route badly. The only, though risky, exit is to block the rear wheel and turn to the side to set the bike like motorcyclists running on the cinder and stop in this position. In order to exhaust the topic of braking on a bicycle, it is also worth warning that locking the front wheel on a highly adhesive surface can result in putting the bicycle on the front wheel and falling over the steering wheel. As it turns out, proper braking is not so easy.