Most of the time, simply pressing on the brake levers (on most bicycles) will adequately slow and stop you. However, there are times when you have to stop on a dime. Knowing how to effectively and quickly stop a bicycle can spare you from bruises from a possible crash or may even save your life. And one of the basic bicycle emergency maneuvers is the quick stop technique. Everyone who rides a bicycle needs to learn this maneuver.
What is the quick stop technique?
The quick stop technique is exactly what it sounds like. It is a quick stop to get you and your bicycle to a full stop in as short a distance as possible. This is mainly executed to avoid an obstacle. When performing this technique, be sure you maintain control of your bike.
How does the quick stop technique work?
Keep in mind that the front brake has more stopping power than the rear brake. But, if you use it incorrectly, it can cause a crash. The front or the rear brake can cause your weight to shift forward. This increases the power of your front brake. To get maximum braking control, you should properly adjust your brakes.
To correctly execute the quick stop technique, you should shift your weight back over to the rear. To do so, simply slide behind your saddle while pushing your bicycle out in front of you using your arms. Make sure your handlebar is straight and that you don’t try to make a turn.
To avoid flying over your handlebar, practicing using your front brake is necessary.Keep in mind that squeezing too hard on your front brake will make your weight shift forward. To stop your bicycle safely, use more of your front brake. Then slightly release both your brakes when your rear wheel skids.
Your rear brake has lesser stopping power than your front. Keep in mind that your rear wheel tends to skid if you place too little weight on it. This could possibly throw you over your handlebar.
The quick stop is a simple technique, however, you have to practice it so you can use it effectively and safely. Practice first at slower pace until you familiarize yourself with it and then try to increase your speed. Keep in mind that when you do come to a full stop, and you are wearing clipless pedals, you have to be ready to begin pedaling again or quickly unclip. Otherwise, you would most likely experience the zero mph crash.