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Cornering (and use of the Front Brake)
#1
It is time to address what is clearly a big problem for me. My braking technique is like a dinosaur from a bygone era of rim brakes.
I keep using both brakes at the same time. This was necessary with rim brakes in bad weather etc due to their lack of power. But now I am running Elixirs it is a seriously bad move and will often dump me on the ground.  :'( I kept doing it in Wales and somehow didnt wash the front out.
So....does anybody have any advice as to when I should and shouldnt use the front brake?
Thanks.
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#2
Not in a corner......rear is fine but not the front, do your braking before the turn, as upright as possible and watch out for loose stuff
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#3
sometimes you have to break in a corner especially if it is an unexpected one on a new trail for instance. I think the trick is to get used to squeezing the brake lever as opposed to yanking it.

i usually use both brakes at the same time, i also push back against the pedals and bars as i brake.

are you pulling the brake hard whilst in a corner and still sat on the saddle by any chance? if so then i suggest you try to stop doing all three.
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#4
Basically what you need to do is to learn to ride smoother, its like when you are driving your car behind a driver that brakes at every corner when really they dont need to. You need to relax, look at the trail ahead and prepare even earlier for whats coming up. Just doing this alone will help you ride smoother and stop you grabbing the brakes as hard as you wernt prepared for what was coming up. Braking is just bad, braking while leaning the bike over will prop the bike back up, which unweights you and messes the whole flow of the corner up. If you do brake use the rear more than the front.

Just practise riding trails without using the brakes, you may not go as fast but your certainly be smoother. I dont use my brakes on the whole of yogurt pots and pretty much all of barrys for example.
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#5
[quote author=]

are you pulling the brake hard whilst in a corner and still sat on the saddle by any chance? if so then i suggest you try to stop doing all three.[/quote]

No. One finger braking is the one thing I have perfected and I am covering the lever and only pulling gently. elixirs are stupidly powerful though.
Mr braking is often reactive rather than pre-emptive. Learning trails will help. I ended up riding with no fingers on the front lever today but that just meant I was grabbing it in a panicking fashion which made it worse.
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#6
+1 for all the squeeze, don't pull & be smooth stuff.
Corners should be approached with a slow in fast out theory & you need to be at the speed you want to corner before you start to change direction.
You also need to look further up the trail so you are picking your line through several corners as a group rather than taking each corner seperately. You may need to be slower in a fast corner if it followed by a tighter one. This will avoid the harsh panic at the exit of the fast one when you realise you're moving too fast for the next bit Wink
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#7
"Buzz" Wrote:Basically what you need to do is to learn to ride smoother, its like when you are driving your car behind a driver that brakes at every corner when really they dont need to. You need to relax, look at the trail ahead and prepare even earlier for whats coming up. Just doing this alone will help you ride smoother and stop you grabbing the brakes as hard as you wernt prepared for what was coming up. Braking is just bad, braking while leaning the bike over will prop the bike back up, which unweights you and messes the whole flow of the corner up. If you do brake use the rear more than the front.

Just practise riding trails without using the brakes, you may not go as fast but your certainly be smoother. I dont use my brakes on the whole of yogurt pots and pretty much all of barrys for example.

Cheers Russ. All makes good sense. cornering is the next problem I need to solve though!! I may seek lessons and 2 or 3 months time.
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#8
if i wash out its usually because im not properly balanced on the bike (generally sat down, certainly not in full attack position), this for me has more bearing than where i end up braking, i brake in corners all the time but it doesnt cause a washout.
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#9
Washing out on corners is usually caused by leaning with the bike rather than trying to keep your weight on top of it, keeping the weight on top of the tyres where it should be.

As breezer said brake before the corner, never in it, as your loose grip and balance.
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#10
"Buzz" Wrote:Washing out on corners is usually caused by leaning with the bike rather than trying to keep your weight on top of it, keeping the weight on top of the tyres where it should be.

As breezer said brake before the corner, never in it, as your loose grip and balance.

Exactly what I was about to say. Ideally you want to lean the bike over while keeping your body over the contact patch of the tyre, so that your forcing the tyres into the ground rather than leaning with the bike and just relying on the side knobs. I pretty much only use the rear brake off road unless having to shed a lot id speed, and then only in a strait line.
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