Steep enough? Aaron Gwin performs during the UCI World Cup in Leogang, Austria. (Photo: Stefan Voitl/Red Bull Content Pool)
- Mountain bike brakes are more than powerful enough to slow
you confidently, on the steepest descents.
- But who do many riders struggle for traction when
descending and trying to slow down?
- One of the world’s best, shows you
how to get much more, when pulling those levers.
Aaron Gwin is one of the greatest mountain bikers of all
For the last decade, the Californian rider has been Greg
Minnaar’s main rival. He has also has been responsible for the resurgent
interest in downhill mountain biking, in America.
Gwin is known for his powerful riding. Where many rivals are
on the edge of losing control rolling down steep rock gardens, Gwin makes it
look deceptively easy.
A rider who can win – without a chain
The most remarkable showcase of his outrageous mountain bike
riding talent on steep and treacherous trails happened in 2015. At the Austrian
UCI World Cup downhill mountain biking event that season, Gwin snapped his chain out of the start ramp and
proceeded to do the impossible – winning the race, without a functioning
When it comes to learning better mountain bike skills, there
is hardly a better tutor, than the five-time UCI World Cup series winner.
American tips, that apply to local conditions
Gwin lives in Temecula, California. And the trails he rides
are very similar to South African conditions – dry and dusty.
In his latest riding tutorial, Gwin discusses and shows the
ideal way to maximize your braking performance. And most of it, has to do with better weight distribution.
It’s all in the ankles
Riders can pull on those brake levers with all their might,
but if the bike’s pedals aren’t adequately weighted, most of the braking force
is going to waste.
As with most things in mountain biking, improving braking performance
when descending is simple. Just drop those heels.
Increased weight distribution (and pressure) on the pedals
help balance braking power in relation to available tyre traction. On a steep
and loose trail, dropping those heels help a lot. As Aaron Gwin, expertly