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How much front brake?

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Some of my riding buddies seem to have differing opinions, how often are you supposed to use your front brake? Some of my friends say it's better stopping power so they use it 70% of the time and some of my other buddies say don't use it at all? What is the happy medium? I currently ride woods only but I'm looking into track riding soon so opinions for both types of riding would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Straight line hard braking almost all front brake . The back tire has no bite. All the weights on the front.

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Lets put it this way, virtually the only time I use my rear brake is on downhills. ;)

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Go practice and see.

I'm not very fast but can braking fair if I work hard. Amazing How Many People I Can catch up to on corner entries.

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I'm just the average trail rider.... I honestly use my front brakes 80% of the time, not entirely sure why I'm favoring them so much ^_^

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the correct answer is 'the right amount' and it varies with terrain and situation.

 

in generaly, being able feel when either brake is about to lock up and keep it just before that point will give you much better control on downhills.

 

sometimes a LOT of front brake can really help the bike dig into a tight corner, by tightening the steering, and putting more weight (traction) on the front, but you have to do it right (increasing pressure), once the front wheel starts to rebound, traction goes away in a hurry. also this doesn't work at all in sand.

 

similarly the back brake can do magical things for handling, settling the bike over chop or blasting out of corners, and also getting the rear end started sideways to begin one of those massive roosting power slides that makes you feel the love child of god and ricky carmichael.

 

my advice is start by learning how much force it takes to lock up your. do them one at a time, lock, release, lock, release. if you can find a flat or gentle downslope that's a bit dry, you can learn a lot in a short time. to lock the front you'll want to start with your weight way back on the bike.

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I use to primarily use my front, but now use my back more than the front (based on someone's recommendation). It has sped me up a lot in the trails and has caused a lot less wrecks for me. Front brake washouts would get me.

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This question has been asked before and I've occasionally tried to pay attention to when and how I brake..

 

On fast flowy single track I tend to keep my foot over the rear and use it before going into tight corners, then accelerating out. I almost feel I'm steering with the rear. For example going into a tight right hand corner fast, while leaning/turning the bike into the corner, almost locking the rear so the back end slides to the left then release and gassing it.

 

This might not make sense nor am I racing so I have no idea if this is the best technique but I'm usually way out front of my riding buddies

 

Generally if its a straight line and I'm trying to stop as fast as possible as posted 80% front/20% rear, otherwise I'm guessing 80% rear/20% front

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Do a test. Get it up to speed and hit front brake only, then try back only and see what happens.

Front will be shorter with a more controlled stop, back will be longer with the back end dancing around.

Personally, and im no pro, but the back brake is only made for stomping.

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The front brake is 80% of your breaking in all sorts of dirt except sand and mud. In sand and mud, engine brake is king. You need to train your fingers to squeeze progressively on the front brake, in normal dirt or clay it is good practice to keep some front brake in while starting to accelerate in corners because it will compress the forks and keep the front tire settled as well as change the angle of the bike to allow for tighter turning towards the apex, where you would let off and roll on hard through the second part of a corner. In sweepers keep that sucker in until you're wrist is twisted open and you will have great control. Rear brakes and thumpers are not the greatest friends, engine braking is better and keeps the rear wheel from locking up.

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How does weight play into the braking equation? For instance, I notice that with my 300lb XR6 the bike slides super easy with aggressive braking, I've had the both wheels sliding dance before and it's a hairy ride. The XR4 and XR2 are way easier to anchor down and make stop.

These are just braking observations. I'm looking for handling techniques and how to use the brakes on various weights of bikes to accomplish the same end result.. Go fast and be under control. Mostly riding woods and some sand.

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How does weight play into the braking equation? For instance, I notice that with my 300lb XR6 the bike slides super easy with aggressive braking, I've had the both wheels sliding dance before and it's a hairy ride. The XR4 and XR2 are way easier to anchor down and make stop.

These are just braking observations. I'm looking for handling techniques and how to use the brakes on various weights of bikes to accomplish the same end result.. Go fast and be under control. Mostly riding woods and some sand.

moving mass....more weight, more momentum. Use engine braking and front brake as your quickest and best bet. Down shift and grab a hand of front brake and it should be stable.

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Gary Semics has a good tutorial on braking.

Yes the front brake has about 70% of the overall braking force of the bike. But the rear brake does it part also. If your hard on the front brake, let's say your using all 70%, using the rear brake properly will gain more braking force. Of course the rear will be light, due to weight transfer, so you can't get all of the other 30%. But some is better than none.

Plus, when dragging the rear brake properly will affect the rear suspension differently and help plant the rear tire into the ground. This was the first thing i noticed when i started using the rear brake better than i used to.

With all this said, using your brakes in general are all terrain based. If it's slick or off camber, to much front can cause you to lock up and wash out.

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Went riding in November back brake just wasn't working. Had no time to fix so I went riding in the mountains with no back brake. I got along fine without it.

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