How to brake effectively and safely on a bicycle.
In this complimentary section from our online course ‘Traffic Smarts for Cyclists,’ we discuss proper braking technique.
- Any bike handling skills that are new to you are best practiced off the road, in a controlled area such as a paved playground or basketball court, or a vacant parking lot.
- Always stay within your comfort level, and pay close attention to what you are doing.
- Don’t practice these skills when you are tired or distracted.
Now let’s look at some important braking techniques, including:
- How many fingers to use on the brake levers.
- How much front brake to use (and why skilled riders use more front brake than rear).
- What to do if your rear wheel skids.
- ‘Covering’ your brake levers to give you a faster response time.
- Dealing with different road and weather conditions.
Which hand controls which brake on your bike?
In North America:
The right hand controls the rear brake
• Think "right = rear"
• with an 'r' in each word.
The left hand controls the front brake.
• Think "left = front"
• with an 'f' in each word.