Downhill Mountain Biking Tip – The Brake Release Technique


Here’s a downhill mountain biking tip you don’t hear everyday:

Release the brakes to regain control when you’re braking or skidding out of control downhill.

Sound crazy?  Well, releasing the brakes just for a split second when you’re losing control downhill, can often be just the thing to get you back in control. It all follows the logic that a rolling tire has more grip than a braking or skidding tire.

Watch the 2-minute video below or read on to learn exactly how to use the Brake Release Technique.

How you brake is a split second decision that depends on the situation.  But, if that braking or skidding is putting you out of control, then releasing the brakes often puts you back in control.

Allowing the wheels to roll to find grip, just for a moment, can be enough to restore traction and control.  And that can be enough to help you steer away from trouble then brake again if needed.

I’ve had to do just that on several occasions on the downhill in the video below.  It’s so steep, dry and loose, that it’s really easy to get into trouble.

If you don’t set your speed and end up entering the downhill too fast, it’s almost impossible to slow down and keep control.

That’s when the Brake Release Technique comes in very handy!

Super Tip: Combine the Brake Release Technique with good L.A.P. Technique to enhance your confidence and control even more!


Perfect Brake Release : It takes a bit of courage to let the brakes go when every muscle in your body is saying otherwise.  Often though, releasing the brakes for that split second is exactly what you need to do. Remember:

  • A rolling tire has more grip than a braking or skidding tire
  • Sometimes this technique helps you adjust your line and continue to the bottom
  • Other times it helps you steer safely away from danger or to a safe stop
  • In both cases this braking technique can put you back in control by helping you avoid a crash or serious injury!

More Essential Downhill Mountain Biking Tip:

How to Heel Drop for better control downhill
How to Keep Control over Braking Bumps and Ruts
How to Use a Dropper to Harness Your Full Riding Potential

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