Braking in cycling is a big part of cycling technique. Many riders do not learn the basics when they start cycling and progress through the sport learning this technique through crashing.
The rear brake tends to be where most cyclists focus much of their attention. The reason for this is that they are taught, or believe, that their front brake should be used cautiously to avoid flipping over.
However using mostly the rear brake results in a longer period required to slow and stop as well often results in the rear wheel dangerously skidding.
The truth of the matter is the front brake is where the majority of the bikes stopping power comes from. In fact, up to 90% of your bike’s overall stopping power is located in your front brake.
Why is this? The simplest answer is because when you begin stopping your weight naturally follows your inertia forward. In doing this when you slow your weight leaves the rear tire and moves to your front. This means the majority of your traction, when braking, is physically over your front wheel.
So to maximize your braking power, you apply your front brake first, then shortly after adding your rear bake into the mix. You should feel your bike slow immediately when applying the front brake, and then really balance well when you add in your rear brake.
One important detail to reduce the risk of losing traction, always doing your braking while traveling in a straight line and in advance of corners, sand, or where the surface can be slippery.
Watch this video where we will demonstrate the basics in optimal braking technique.