26 Jan 2021
Braking lesson with...Pedro Gomes
Cornering on a bike at high speed is something that new riders are usually scared of as you are literally relying on 28mm of rubber and physics. But as with everything, practice makes perfection and the more you do it, the more you enjoy it and relax. Mastering some basics is key to cornering smoothly and fast on a bike. We have reached FSA and Vision sponsored pro triathlete Pedro Gomes, discovering two of the most important things to keep in mind when braking on bike.
FRONT BRAKE FIRST, REAR BRAKE SECOND
"When I first started riding, there were two main things I quickly had to learn that helped me turn corners and do it smoothly, especially at high speeds. Unlike other types of riding, on a road bike, you use mostly your front brake as the major braking mechanism to reduce speed ahead of a corner or curve. When you hit the brakes on a bike at speed, your weight shifts forward and by using your front brake first, you are less likely to lock the wheel."
"The rear brake should be used as a secondary mechanism to slow down and seen mostly as a precision touch to the process of reducing speed Just like a race car, you want to do this process and shred speed before the corner and then release brakes as you go through it. This will not only help you go through the corner fast as it will help the wheels from locking at any point."
USE WHAT YOU LEARN IN PHYSICS' CLASS
"When going into a corner, especially if it's a tight one, you want to keep the outside leg extended with the pedal at the lowest position possible. On the other hand, the inner side pedal is as high as possible to clear the road and prevent it from clipping the asphalt. At the same time, you should apply force to the outside pedal as this will produce force opposite to your weight, provide grip and traction and prevent you from sliding. It's physics! And it will help massively to keep you upright on the bike with the rubber side down. Also like a race car, as soon as you have safe clearance on the inner side pedal, start pedalling to quickly regain momentum and speed. As a rule of thumb, play it safe and make sure you are out of the corner before starting pedalling again."