View Full Version : Switchbacks revisited and the front brake.

09-05-2004, 07:16 PM
First things first... I went downhilling the other day on a lift served single track that's brand new... woo-hoo, lots of fun.
But, I realized that I could hardly reach my front brake ( my finger tips were getting strained) and I had one of the guys adjust my levers inwards quite a bit... what a difference! Everything I've ever learned about front braking became so much easier!

So how does this apply to switchbacks? Well, I found that being able to control my cornering with my front brake improved my turning skills to a whole new level yesterday. I disocvered I'd still been very weak in my use of the front brake, mainly because of a weak reach...not being effective.

Let's recap the braking skills because I know you are going to ask anyway.
Front is 60-70% of your braking, much more powerful than your rear brake. You never ever grab the brake, but you feather it or modulate it, two fingers only. Skill- practice going down anything just controlling your speed with the front, and the using both brakes but never ever locking up the rear. I played with this yesterday, and it was so much clearer to me... everything I've ever learned about braking came together. I've always complained about a weak side turning, and this helped immensely. Even on the steep switch backs, I couldn't beleive the difference. Havne't tried a "V" one yet.

Two of the guys in our group are super mechanics... how many folks do you know that travel with a full set of tools and a stand for a day trip. Anyway, here's how it was described to me to set the brake levers: when your bent fingers are at a 90 degree angle, your brake pads should be just touching the rim. I'm going to try to learn more about these adjustments.

anyway, here I am on a switchback, having the time of my life controlling my turns.