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  1. #1
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    Braking hard cause swerve - why?

    Hi,

    If I brake very hard on the bike while at 30+mph the back wheel swerves out to the right. Probably not by much but it feels like the back wheel is going to slip out from under me so I have to lay off the rear brake. Everything is fine otherwise at high and low speed. Wheels are true. Frame is too (at least I never crashed it).

    Any ideas what is causing this? Frame is steel Colnago, brakes are Chorus 2010, wheels are 32 spoke 3 cross. Only things I can think of are that maybe I'm putting in the rear wheel a tiny bit out of alignment - i.e. further back into one dropout than the other or maybe the rear brake is exerting more force on one side of the rim than the other and distorting the wheel temporarily. Any of that sound likely or any other ideas?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You are probably skidding your back wheel by applying the rear brake more than the front. Don't do that.

    Most of your braking power comes from the front wheel. When you grab a handfull of front brake, the rear of you bike lightens up, making the rear wheel to lock up and skid.

    Remember this. ......Front Wheel: Stopping..............Rear Wheel: Slowing.
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  3. #3
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    Look to see if you don't have a broken axle perhaps. Unless you're skidding as mentioned above the bike should stop in a straight line.

  4. #4
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Most of your braking power comes from the front wheel. When you grab a handfull of front brake, the rear of you bike lightens up, making the rear wheel to lock up and skid.
    Precisely right. Takes practice to actually do this, but in panic stop situations, you should pull the front brake lever with about three times the force of the rear brake lever.

    For what it's worth: there's almost no weight on a skidding rear wheel. So even the slightest weight shift to the left or right can provoke a swerve. Watch the rider lock up his rear wheel and easily do a swerve at 0:50 and 1:10 of this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNCPEzdZs5s

    /w
    Last edited by wim; 07-31-2011 at 05:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    I did this yesterday....too much back, not enough front and a sandy patch of road. Rear wheel slid sideways and ripped the tire. Tube blew. Big flat with no roadside repair possible.

    Good breaking practice is important.

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatman View Post
    I did this yesterday....too much back, not enough front and a sandy patch of road. Rear wheel slid sideways and ripped the tire. Tube blew. Big flat with no roadside repair possible.

    Good breaking practice is important.
    practice your braking too...
    i work for some bike racers...
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  7. #7
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    Spelling mistake....-10 pts.

  8. #8
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    Grand so, though I feel a little silly now. So I'm just skidding, I can work on that.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    That's one of those things you learn very quickly if you do mountain biking. Never, ever, skid your back wheel.

  10. #10
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    You ever watch motorcycle racing where they back it in to the corner? Imma have to say it doesn't work to well with it's two wheel brethren the bicycle.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatman View Post
    I did this yesterday....too much back, not enough front and a sandy patch of road. Rear wheel slid sideways and ripped the tire. Tube blew. Big flat with no roadside repair possible.

    Good breaking practice is important.
    You can carry 12 inches of duct tape or gorilla tape around your pump or CO2 cart. This can be used in this kind of major tire rip. You my not have a back brake if you have to wrap it around the rim too. However, you can get home.

    One thing you can do to help you adjust is to increase the pull slightly on your rear brake lever. It's not much, but you get that "less solid" feel from the back. This tricks you into using more front.
    It's a fire road.............
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tip, ziscwg.

    I need to practice such a tire repair. Good for me, I was only about 200 meters from home when it happened and was able to walk back, install a backup tire/tube and ride anyway.

    The tire was quite worn and probably should have been replaced by then anyway. I ended up with rips on both sides of centerline where the sidewall meets the wear surface of the tire.

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