52

Reference - Cyclecraft by John Franklin A cycle takes more than twice as far to stop using only the rear brake compared to using only the front brake, which will usually stop the machine just as quickly as using both brakes. Nevertheless, you should always apply the rear brake, and slightly in advance of the front brake, so that a slight skid at the rear ...


36

Years ago when cars started to get ABS, the argument was that a skilled driver could stop quicker with it turned off, and there was proof of it. When Traction control came in a skilled driver could go faster with it turned off. When ESP became available, ditto. We all know that an unskilled driver benefits enormously from these aids, and it turns out not ...


30

Bicycle dynamics A bicycle may only be ridden because of the peculiar steering geometry. The centre of the contact patch of the tyre is behind the point where the steering axis intersects with the ground. The distance between these points is called trail. In order to visualise it you may have a look at this figure from the bicycle dynamics article on ...


22

I've always used both. Among other things, if you apply both brakes you're in much better shape should one of the brakes fail suddenly (eg, broken cable, unanticipated wet rim, etc). But then, I've never pretended to be a racer. Added: It should be noted that, unless you're riding like a maniac (or at least like a BMX rider), 95% (at least) of your ...


19

I'd qualify myself as a "skilled" cyclist. I would not say that I only use the front brake 95% of the time. When riding in a peleton it would be very dangerous to make any kind of sudden stop as you cause alarm and possible collision with people behind you. If i do need to slow in a group, I use only my back brake. It allows a far more gradual slowing and ...


16

Although this isn't explicitly part of your question, I'll go ahead and throw it in as it's one of the most important factors to consider in terms of increased suspension if you plan on pedaling your bike- the basic principle behind propelling a bike is to convert a mostly downward force (pedaling) into forward momentum (the drivetrain turning the back wheel ...


14

I've ridden several thousand miles a year for the past several decades, so I consider myself a skilled cyclist, or at least an experienced one. I usually (80-90% of the time) apply both brakes equally. In a downhill situation, or one where I might have to turn sharply while braking, I might use the back brake more than the front. Having had more than a few ...


11

Simple answer is no. I do mountain trail riding and depending on the terrain I would say that the results may vary. How ever I would say that with my style of riding, I do use my front brakes 95% or more. The main reason why I use front brakes that much is because of the control you maintain. Depending on where your center of mass "hovers" over your bike, ...


9

I think this is being over-thought. Aerowheels on messenger rigs have nothing to do with performance, quicker locking ability etc. etc. It’s just the new generation mimicking the older generation, trying to be cool. When I was a messenger, many of us were pursuing racing careers. The messenger gigs were essentially poor man’s training, and a steady source ...


8

As you have found out there only seems to be one true steering damper currently on the market, and it's a speciality product for downhill MTB racing or dealing with cross winds on time trial bikes. This is not a product for the problem you are experiencing - losing control when the front wheel hits a bump. It actually sounds like you have balance and ...


7

disadvantages : more weight (more material, more oil) more energy required in order to pedal the bike is less snappier because it "eats" some of the terrain, so dirt jumping tricks (e.g 360s, backflips, frontflips) are harder than on bikes with less suspension some people believe that more suspension is not appropriate when learning to ride MTB and ...


6

The received wisdom has always been that, in an emergency stop, just pulling hard on the front brakes will massively increase the probability of a flip - especially if you're on a downward slope. The back brake is generally more for minor corrections, a bit of extra control on the speed, but implicitly not about outright stopping. In a peleton or paceline, ...


6

Suspension isn't something that can broken down simply, but let's try. First, you're asking about two different scenarios: front suspension and full suspension. Both setups can range from as little as 80mm on a hard-tail dirt jumper to 215mm on a full downhill/freeride bike. Now, obviously, you're not going to want to grab your downhill bike to become the ...


6

Regarding how increased suspension adversely effects handling. The first consideration is that to accommodate the increased travel you must make the bike taller so that the pedal/chainrings don't hit the ground as you utilize the increased travel. This results in higher center of gravity and the accompanying adverse handling changes. Second; assuming there ...


6

From your description I would guess that your problem not about learning how to do it (you can do it, but only on one side) but more about fear and confidence. There are two things you will need: some quiet spot to practice with smooth surface and not many obstacles, maybe a parking ground or so, a bike that has a preferably upright riding position. The ...


6

A lot of people commute on cross bikes just fine (and even prefer them to conventional road bikes). He's full of it - the amount you'd need to forget to have issues is roughly being confused enough to think you're an onion (and if you're this confused, well, you're screwed anyway!), especially at commuting speeds. There are different bicycles for different ...


6

Is there a bike co-op in your city? When I ran around on a ratbike like that, it was because I just got whatever people had laying around and stuck it together as cheaply as possible, usually with no thought about anything other than what was directly in front of me at the time. I needed a wheel that would roll, and once I put it on, I didn't think about it ...


6

As stated in the other answer, the driving force behind these setups used to budget. The rear wheel is fixed gear, which limits the budget selection to old track wheels, converted freewheel wheels and self-built. Two first are high spoke count because that was all that existed back in the day, and easily available components for self-building are of the high ...


5

After reading the other answers, there are a few questions to adress here, but I must say in advance I'm an inexperienced road driver (2 1/2 yr on a road bike, with about 2k-3k per annum). There is no correct answer, but it depends on the situation. Mayor factors affecting the situation are speed, steepness, wetness, curviness and your positioning on the ...


5

Practice riding with both hands lightly touching the handlebar. In a sense you're learning to ride by controlling the bike with your seat/legs but you don't have to completely remove your hands from the bar, just try to transfer more and more control away from your hands (this is just an exercise, not for general riding). You should get to the point where ...


5

So let me get this straight before it becomes a mess: ..increased downward force from pedalling.. When you pedal the downward force is not increased - you are not getting any heavier. You can only increase the downward force on a rear wheel by shifting your body back - this will decrease the downward force on front wheel though, which is good for ...


5

It seems like it could be: Loose Hub Loose Headset Untrue Wheel Tire messed up one way or another From your description, it's hard to believe that the source is in the rear half of the bike (I'm assuming it also happens when you're not pedaling, correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to be a fairly minor problem (for now at least), that could be very hard to ...


5

(This answers the original question that was only about usefulness of steering dampers without details) The purpose of steering damper on motorcycles is to prevent steering oscillation, also known as speed wobble. They are generally not needed on bicycles, because the masses and speeds involved are low enough that the rider can stop the oscillation by just ...


4

On my commutes (most of my miles) I routinely use the rear brake. Often I simply want to scrub off some speed, not come to stop. In such cases, I use the rear brake only. I understand the "95 percent" theory, but in practice, not the case at all. In a hard stop, yes, but even then, I use both brakes, especially if I am carrying a load in the panniers.


4

Adressing your second question where you give the example "pedaling out a corner gives more traction at the rear wheel" and you state that this should reduce traction available for cornering - have you considered that the act of pedaling generally shifts the rider's weight back while also increasing the normal force through putting pressure on the pedals? ...


4

The weight distribution is affected only by the location of saddle and handlebars related to the wheels. It does not matter whether it is by higher rise stem or higher head tube. The difference that might affect handling is that system of frame with high head tube and short stem is stiffer than one of lower head tube and longer angled stem. You can feel the ...


4

Here's some images to help see the relative differences. Note they assume your stem starts at the same point, so if you're thinking of raising it, print the top one out on paper and then draw your riser in, and how the other stem sizes would work. If you're feeling unsure, wimp out and buy/borrow an adjustable stem. They're heavy and complex, but you can ...


3

Less fork offset on it's own means more trail. The fork length and wheel size will also affect this though, so you'd need to get all the numbers and maybe draw it out to work out the final difference in trail. More (longer) trail makes the bike more stable (especially at speed) but less manoeuvrable. Touring and downhill bikes tend to have more trail, while ...


3

I generally pull on my brakes equally while on the road and bias toward the back if I am stopping hard while offroad. I'd rather lock up the back wheel around a turn than the front wheel. The front wheel only had so much friction to spend. I rarely need to panic stop when it really makes any difference. Under most conditions the front and rear brakes are ...


3

One of the less-common situations where front wheel braking can be worse than rear wheel braking is when slowing with a loaded trailer. I have personally jack-knifed a bike when stopping for a red traffic light. The trailer was unbraked but had a decent load of tools, maybe 40 kilograms. The trailer continued to push forward, raising the rear wheel off ...


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