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Not using the front brake in traffic

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Sideshow, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Hey

    I know that most efficient braking is through applying front and rear brakes together, but...

    On my daily commute in Sydney traffic (30+mins) I find I can do the entire trip and never touch the front brake.

    I slow down through down shifting and lightly applying the rear brake (top speed would be about 70kph for a small amount of time).

    My question is, am I getting into a bad habit here? Should I ALWAYS be applying the front brake even in this traffic commuting?

    Thanks for any info.
  2. I use the rear brake for gentle slowing, adjustment of speed, splitting, etc. It's a good way to stop gently without the front diving.

    I'm usually covering the front in those situations though.

    That said, once over splitting speed, it's best to move to the front only, so you don't have to deal with an e brake & a locked rear.
  3. I use my rear brake largely in traffic (filtering, slow stuff etc) but make a point of using my front brake for other times. You want to make sure you're competent with the front brake, so practice using it regularly, but, it makes sense to use the rear in slow traffic.

    If you don't have any opportunities to use the front on your commute, see if you can incorporate a quick stop practice in somewhere on your daily commute (for me, I do it down my street on the way home. It's a quite street, and I usually get to do 2 of them). Make sure you scan the cars around you BEFORE you attempt that. Do not do it if there are cars (etc) behind you.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. depends on the bike... Rear brake will work on cruisers more effectively than on sports bikes. It is a bad habit to get in to, especially when it comes to emergency braking, due to you having no feel of the front and most important brake on the bike.

    I can go months without touching the rear brake but MV's list of situations above are the same as mine.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I use my front brakes for everything besides tight full lock uturns. Yes that includes filtering and all other super slow riding.

    I would say you should definatly start using the front brake more, front and rear is not always the best way to stop quickly, as a proper emergency stop will on almost all bikes lift the rear off the ground, hence your rear brake wont be doing shit.

    The last thing you want to do is develop the habit of stamping on your rear in a real life emergency situation, e.g. car pulls out on you. It will not stop you in time alone.

    But yeah, a lot of new riders rely heaps on the rear brake, so dont feel like your shit at riding or anything, its a very normal tendency.
  6. Be wary of only using engine breaking whilst in traffic, always touch one of the brakes enough to activate the brake light. Otherwise Joe Cager might not notice you are slowing and drive straight through you.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. ...I ride majority of the time with just front brakes, even filtering and u-turns. Some times if traffic is moving at 5km/hr and there is not enough room to filter, I just sit back with the rear brake on to coast slowly and trying not to put my foot down.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Front brake 90% of the time (with rear brake maybe 70%). Rear brake alone, only when moving below 10kmh.
  9. had a M50 then a M109. Used the rear brake a lot because you could.
    Swapped for a 1100 monster, and it has taken some time to develop better habits. Just the other day, realised I dont use the rear brake in traffic anymore.

    The monster will lift the rear wheel easily if you grab a handful. better to develop some feel
  10. I hardly ever touch my rear brake, and like unconnected this includes filtering/splitting and slow riding.

    I don't know why but on my bike it feels awkward.
  11. As a noob, I know I over stamp the rear brake already and am practising using it more finely. I think it is important to develop more finesse in front brakes as they are more powerful and easier to lock up if you just grab them. I have to keep telling myself to relax my shoulders and elbows so that I don't overdo it when I stop.

    So I agree with the others, very important to know your front brake.
  12. I've gotten into the habit from day one of using both brakes when slowing up in most situations and double tapping front brake just enough to make my brake light flash to ensure the people around me know I plan on braking.
  13. I can go all day and never use the front.. ha specially on the gay viffer.
    Just means I am riding well under my capacity and leaving plenty of room everywhere.
    Doesn't mean the front isn't always covered in places where my mind says " just in case"
    Using the rear brake first isn't a bad thing
    It does take longer to stop. And you know that. so you brake earlier. The bike sits flatter, even if you later add front brake.
    Your brake light is on longer...hopefully that increases the chance of someone seeing it ??
    But as I say cover the FRONT BRAKE. If it looks the least bit suss.
    If your not on brakes and running along and it looks suss.... Get in a healthy gear and cover both the brakes.
  14. also, it's cheaper to use the rear brake :)
  15. I don't get it.
  16. He means cheaper because less pads as he has dual rotors on the front

    I use front mostly or rear mostly depending on the bike. I rarely use just one.
  17. Smaller cheaper pads and rotors
  18. Wouldn't that be false economy as the rear would wear out a lot quicker? According to my physics anyway.
  19. I think its because we are too use to driving. When I first started I had an over-reliance on the rear brake, but after I sold my car, I now rarely use the rear anymore.
  20. yes, I meant that there are 2 sets of pads on the front, and only 1 on the back.