Learning bicycle braking skills is probably the most important part of safe riding. Every bicyclist has to know how to properly use his brakes– when to use them, and how much braking force they need in different situations. Also, body and hand positioning are very important when braking. Below are some essential bicycle braking tips and guidelines to avoid crashes, such as the classic “over the handlebar” incident.
Rear, Front, or Both?
This won’t happen when you’re using the rear brake alone, because as soon as your rear wheel starts to lift, your rear wheel skids, limiting its braking force. But unfortunately, it would take twice as long to stop with your rear brake alone as with your front brake alone. Therefore, relying on your rear brake is unsafe for riders who go fast. It’s important to make use of your arms to securely brace yourself during hard braking, to avoid this incident.
True enough, good technique involves shifting your weight back on your saddle as far as you can comfortably move. This is to keep the gravity’s center as far back as possible. This principle applies whether you’re using your rear, front, or both brakes.
Using both brakes at the same time can cause “fishtailing.” When the rear wheel skids while the front brake is also engaged, the rear of the bicycle will tend to swing past the front, since the front is applying much more decelerating power compared to the rear. When your rear wheel starts to, it could move sideways as easily as forward.
Practice these bicycle braking skills and techniques for a safer ride. For bicycles with premium braking systems, visit the website of Zize Bikes, the only maker of custom built, extra sturdy bicycles for everybody, including bicycles for heavy riders which can support weight up to 550 pounds.