Braking and Confidence When Cycling Downhill

Braking and Confidence When Cycling Downhill

One of the key ingredients for a biker is confidence. Cycling downhill can be quite scary because of the forces of nature and the momentum due to gravity and speed. The biker needs to be sure and confident in their bike as well as themselves.

The secret to cycling downhill is to move at a speed you feel comfortable with. If you are in a race, sometimes you might be tempted to outsmart those who are descending at a faster speed. It is very easy to make very costly mistakes if you do this.

A biker should also have confidence in the bike they are riding. One of the biggest fears people have when cycling downhill is if the tyre bursts as you accelerate. This is quite rare if you have maintained your equipment well. Make sure you have the right type of tyres which are also fitted well on the bike. The braking system should also be tested before the downhill run. Having the right equipment should make the cycling fun and safe.


The best way to brake when going downhill is by balancing between the front and back wheel brakes. It is advisable to apply 30% of your braking power to the back wheel while the remaining 70% should be applied to the front wheel. At the moment the biker is breaking, their full force will be directed towards the front. This is influenced by the biker’s weight and also his equipment.

The front wheel experiences the highest traction, while the weight factor on the back wheel will be less. If you brake too hard on the rear wheel, it might cause it to lock. The use of the rear brake really is to reduce speed and not necessarily stop the bike. Though this is the standard procedure in braking, these percentages might need to be changed when on a rough road or gravel.