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Video: How to improve your braking

The right technique for slowing down safely

GCN have put a new video on YouTube to show you how to improve your braking.

The video advises you to use your front brake mostly because that’s the most effective way to slow down.

Yes, we were all told as children to use the front brake sparingly to avoid going over the handlebars, but one brake manufacturer recently told us that pro racers tend to use the front for 80% of their braking, shifting bodyweight backwards when necessary to stop the rear wheel coming off the ground. The video tells you how and when to use your rear brake too.

The video suggests positioning your hands on the drops when riding at speed, partly because this is a secure position for your hands and your bodyweight is low so you can better cope with braking forces.

Keeping your brakes well maintained will give you better modulation and more effective braking, so the video provides some advice on getting it right.

Where you brake can also make a big difference. It’s best to do as much braking as possible before you get to a corner rather than when you’re in it to avoid sending the front or rear end sliding out.

It’s also a good idea to brake on a good section of tarmac if you get the chance, rather than on gravel, white lines or metalwork in the road where it’s easy to lose traction.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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80sMatchbox | 9 years ago

I live and ride in London...I'm always ready to brake, so that I don't break.

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