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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Faster in emergency?
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Choosing between high-siding (and certainly crashing and hurting yourself) or possibly safely stopping....modulating is better.
 

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Technically, if you skid your rear tire, you spin out not high side. Unless you let off the brake at a terrible time and place.

You cannot stop fast doing either, to stop fast you will need to use your front brake. The rear brake is really just for minor speed corrections.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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You're kidding right? Why on earth do you think millions and millions of dollars have been spent engineering ABS systems on cars and motos? Also read what @duriel posted, the front brake is the one that slows you down.
 

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a real member's member
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"in an emergency"? like when an oncoming car turns left, directly in front of you?

no time to think about it. adrenaline and reflex immediately take over. brake like crazy, lock up the rear, and fishtail to a stop.

i wouldn't be able to do it (fishtail and keep my balance) if i consciously had to think about it. but a car has forced me to do it on three occasions. scary as ****. i regroup and scream at the driver, using every foul word ever learned.
 

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If you skid any decent length with the rear you'll eat right through the tire carcass in no time and then pop the tube...It'll be an emergency then. :)
In an emergency all bets are off, though. I ride MX, supermoto, and mt bikes and KNOW brake modulation and still skidded when some idiot went down in front of me in a crit.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Technically, if you skid your rear tire, you spin out not high side. Unless you let off the brake at a terrible time and place.

You cannot stop fast doing either, to stop fast you will need to use your front brake. The rear brake is really just for minor speed corrections.
True, OTOH your odds of locking your rear wheel and letting go at the "right" time are rather low if your rear wheel slides out from behind the front at all. And no matter what, locking up your rear and losing traction pretty much means you're going to crash. And on a paved road, that can also mean getting run over from L/R/back.

Best to choose an option that doesn't cause you to lose traction.


Not panic locking might mean an endo if you hit something....locking means you're going down, the only question is how hard--and if anything/one else hits you when you hit/slide.
 

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Actually locking the rear wheel can be useful, if you can pull it off.

Snap turns can be made by leaning, locking the rear wheel allowing it to skid sideways, allowing your bike to be pointed in a tighter turn, but you have to have the bike leaning heavy towards that way, as when you let off the brake, you will be going the new tight turn direction (this is the area where you can high side, if you have the bike slow enough and leaned enough, you can handle the violent turn).
This only works at relatively slow speeds though, you couldn't do the snap at anything over 10. At faster speeds it is possible to slightly tighten the turn on a moto, but you have to be really good, like 'rossie' (professional) to pull it off.
In dirt it is easy, on pavement, very hard to manage.
 

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Big is relative
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I ride my cross bike on gravel roads and trails. I lock up the rear sometimes without trying. It has mini V brakes and I could add a modulator which is basically a rubber disc that goes in the noodle that "modulates" by making the lever a little mushy. On the road, a locked rear wheel means a flat spot and should be avoided. To stop fast, shift your weight back and rely on your front brake.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Front brake with ass off the back of the saddle.
I got this tip from an article a couple of decades ago and used to practice it. Saved my butt a few times.
Push forward on the bars to get your weight as far back and as low as possible. Less likely to lock up the rear and/or flip over the front.
 

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Know-nothing New Guy
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Heckuva time to make my first post, I guess, but here it is anyway. I'm pretty new to road cycling, but use much of what I have learned as a motorcyclist to what I do on a road bike.
That said, your front brake is your friend. When you brake, your weight shifts forward, loading the front tire & unloading the rear; the front tire is where your greatest traction is. Modulate both brakes, shift your weight to the rear & be ready to steer around what is in front of you if necessary.
A skid is (almost?) never your best bet, IMHO.
 

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I'm pretty sure if we had anti-lock brakes, not skidding would be the norm, however, we don't, and as humans we are only capable of so much under high stress situations.

Check out this video from the 2015 Tour of Poland. Specifically, watch the guys trying to avoid the pile up after Caleb Ewan clips a wheel and crashes. They immediately go into a sideways slide trying to avoid riding into the downed riders in front of them.

I have no idea if this is something they are taught to do, or if it's just instinctive to do that as such high speeds. One advantage of this, at least in a head on situation, is it reduces the likelyhood of gong over the handlebars. It also puts the bike between you and whatever you hit.

I'm not sure if the archaic BBcode on this site will support the timestamp in the URL. If not, just fast forward to about th 6min 45sec mark and watch the carnage in slow motion.

Edit: It doesnt; Here is the direct link to the timestamped URL. Right click this link and "Open in new tab" to go straight to the slow motion video replay
https://youtu.be/p4ir4Hm7mrw?t=6m40s

Here is the full video.

 

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Know-nothing New Guy
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I'm pretty sure if we had anti-lock brakes, not skidding would be the norm, however, we don't, and as humans we are only capable of so much under high stress situations.

Check out this video from the 2015 Tour of Poland. Specifically, watch the guys trying to avoid the pile up after Caleb Ewan clips a wheel and crashes. They immediately go into a sideways slide trying to avoid riding into the downed riders in front of them.

I have no idea if this is something they are taught to do, or if it's just instinctive to do that as such high speeds. One advantage of this, at least in a head on situation, is it reduces the likelyhood of gong over the handlebars. It also puts the bike between you and whatever you hit.

I'm not sure if the archaic BBcode on this site will support the timestamp in the URL. If not, just fast forward to about th 6min 45sec mark and watch the carnage in slow motion.

Edit: It doesnt; Here is the direct link to the timestamped URL. Right click this link and "Open in new tab" to go straight to the slow motion video replay
https://youtu.be/p4ir4Hm7mrw?t=6m40s

Here is the full video.

I think that actually makes the point of controlled braking vs locking either wheel. If you watch carefully, several riders manage to avoid the crash by braking hard and steering around the carnage.
Obviously, that is a worst case scenario, with riders going at max effort in extremely close proximity to each other, and not being able to see what is unfolding in front of them until they are already into it. Unfortunately, I guess that is what we are also faced with with cars vs the relative speed of cyclists sometimes.
A good point nonetheless, that sometimes you only have time to grab the brakes and hope for the best, no matter what your level of experience is.
That said, ouch, what a crash!
 

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And no matter what, locking up your rear and losing traction pretty much means you're going to crash.
I disagree. Locking up the rear wheel will not necessarily lead to a crash. If moving in a straight line the rear wheel will simply trail the front. If turning, a skidding rear tire will be free to slide out which may lead to a crash.

To the OP's inquiry, modulating the brakes to keep the tire from skidding does provide the most effective braking and keeps the bike in control.
 

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Russian Troll Farmer
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As an engineer, there are a few things that I know to be fact, rather than opinion:

1) Rolling friction is ALWAYS greater than sliding friction.

2) A skidding tire has much less control than a rolling tire.

Anything else you do with a skidding tire MIGHT work, but if you miscalculate, you are $cr3w3d.....
 

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Given the OP's choices, skidding provides the greater friction and shorter stopping distance.
No it does not. The flat spot of a tire is technically motionless, so it's experiencing static friction while the tire is still rolling. When you skid the tire the flat spot experiences kinetic friction, which is weaker. This is why ABS was invented. It prevents sliding and thus results in shorter stopping distances.
 

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High Siding

Technically, if you skid your rear tire, you spin out not high side...
You can't actually "spin out" but you could go down on your side if you're turning. If you start fishtailing you CAN high side. Look at the famous footage of Joseba Beloki doing it in the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong went off the road and rode through a field and back into the race. Beloki broke his hip, ending his pro cycling career. DON'T skid your rear tire for all of the reasons mentioned in this thread.
 
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