Breaking In Air / Covering Breaks?

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Breaking In Air / Covering Breaks?
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Posted: Sep 14, 2016 at 11:17 Quote
I've been watching a few videos recently and noticed that most people I'm watching seem to always have their fingers over the front breaks in the air - but due to the helmet cam footage (of what I've been watching, at least) I can generally only see this while they're in the air.

Is it just common practice to keep your fingers over the breaks the entire time while riding? Or is there any specific reason they're covering them while in the air? Is there any reason to hit the breaks in the air?

I've read some people say that hitting the front break mid-air will make you dive down (front fire first) but opinions seem to be inconsistent

Posted: Sep 14, 2016 at 14:42 Quote
If you riding anything that ain't a long straight I always have 1 finger on the brakes ( it feels strange not to ) ! You can bring the front wheel down by front braking in the air BUT it will negatively affect the smooth landing ( as wheel has to catchup with bike speed ) . Rear wheel braking will work better and won't affect landing as much ! You should jump in a neutral position so you can lean forward/backward when needed so braking in the air should be a last resort ! Ps I may be wrong lol !

Posted: Sep 15, 2016 at 11:55 Quote
Matt115lamb wrote:
If you riding anything that ain't a long straight I always have 1 finger on the brakes ( it feels strange not to ) ! You can bring the front wheel down by front braking in the air BUT it will negatively affect the smooth landing ( as wheel has to catchup with bike speed ) . Rear wheel braking will work better and won't affect landing as much ! You should jump in a neutral position so you can lean forward/backward when needed so braking in the air should be a last resort ! Ps I may be wrong lol !

Thanks for the response!!

Posted: Sep 15, 2016 at 20:59 Quote
I brake in the air quite often to adjust the attitude of the bike

Mod Plus
Posted: Oct 10, 2016 at 19:36 Quote
Having your fingers over the brakes in the air isn't about controlling the bike by grabbing them mid-flight; instead, it's done in order to be able to regain control the instant you touch down. Did you hit that jump with a little too much speed, and now a tree is rapidly approaching? Hopefully your fingers are near the brakes and you can shut things down before impact.

Of course, it's not a hard and fast rule that you should have a finger over the brakes at all times. That's part of the beauty of mountain biking - everyone has their own style, and plenty of riders, especially those from a dirt jump or BMX background, wrap all of their fingers around the bars once they're airborne. Do what feels most comfortable, but I would strongly recommend against trying to rely on the brakes to change the bike's position in the air.

Unlike on a motorcycle, where it's not uncommon to change the position of the wheels in mid-air by twisting the throttle or grabbing the brake, on a mountain bike it's best to change the angle with subtle shifts in body position, or by bending your arms to bring the front wheel up and towards you. Braking while in the air on a bike will bring the front end down, but it happens very quickly, and I'd say that in most cases it's far too fast of an action to be useful for anything except tossing you over the bars.

Posted: Oct 31, 2016 at 16:36 Quote
mikekazimer wrote:
Having your fingers over the brakes in the air isn't about controlling the bike by grabbing them mid-flight; instead, it's done in order to be able to regain control the instant you touch down. Did you hit that jump with a little too much speed, and now a tree is rapidly approaching? Hopefully your fingers are near the brakes and you can shut things down before impact.

Of course, it's not a hard and fast rule that you should have a finger over the brakes at all times. That's part of the beauty of mountain biking - everyone has their own style, and plenty of riders, especially those from a dirt jump or BMX background, wrap all of their fingers around the bars once they're airborne. Do what feels most comfortable, but I would strongly recommend against trying to rely on the brakes to change the bike's position in the air.

Unlike on a motorcycle, where it's not uncommon to change the position of the wheels in mid-air by twisting the throttle or grabbing the brake, on a mountain bike it's best to change the angle with subtle shifts in body position, or by bending your arms to bring the front wheel up and towards you. Braking while in the air on a bike will bring the front end down, but it happens very quickly, and I'd say that in most cases it's far too fast of an action to be useful for anything except tossing you over the bars.

Great response and answer, thank you!

Posted: Nov 1, 2016 at 11:05 Quote
I agree with most of the above except the last point ! On a Mx bike jumping , things happen abit slower than on a mtb ( your airborne for longer ) so a little dab of rear brake can quickly get your front end down if you need to ! But as i said earlier " its best to jump neutral so able to move in any direction " !

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