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Mountain Bike Brake Control!

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

How to have so much brake control down a rock face you get bored!

It's a common question: "How do you have so much control down THAT?!

Read on, and take notes from the vid above!

Tip #1 - My body position!

Start in neutral position - hips high, slightly bent at knees / elbows, chin over stem. Think hip hinge for all those gym people. I'm tall! If you watch this video from beginning to end you will see how I maintain that position until I pick up a bit more pace down rougher terrain at the bottom. At that point I 'bow' slightly (increase the hinge) to establish a stronger base of support and accommodate for the increases in pressure.

Often I see people in a constant 'attack' position - really low over the bike. But, starting low gives you little room for movement. Starting tall, and maintaining that for as long as possible, gives me all the range I need, and a more consistent feel down the rock face.

"Starting tall, and maintaining that for as long as possible, gives me the range I need and a more consistent feel down the rock face " – Katrina Strand

Tip #2 - Front brake!

Here, I am holding the front brake almost to threshold (so just before wheel is locked) and brought my rear brake in, but not as much as my front, along with modulating to avoid (or limit) skidding.

This is where I start - with a lot of front brake and modulating the rear as I need to. Of course if you feel the front brake lock, a little release (not a let go!) will help it gain traction again.

Tip #3 - Great brakes make a difference!

I choose Shimano XT 4 piston. I love the feel of the lever, and the huge continuum (modulating capacity) I get to work with.

Try it out!

I hope some of these tips help you 'get bored' next time you tackle a rock face!

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