Braking and Steering when Cycling

This is another important technique that the cyclists will have to learn. This is used to bring the bicycle to a halt or just slowing down. The cyclist uses the brakes present on the bike by pressing them so that they apply friction to the bicycle wheel. This friction will interrupt the kinetic energy so as to dissipate it. This dissipation will cause the wheel to slow down or stop. In extreme conditions when the cyclist is moving downwards on a steep slope, the cyclist will have to use the brakes to stop the cycle.

There are four types of brakes in the bicycle -plunge, coaster, caliper, drum and disk brakes. The plunge was common with the older bikes. It was a simple system where a lever is pulled which presses a metal shoe against the wheel to stop it. The coaster brake is located in the hub of the wheel. When applied, it forces an opposite direction motion to that of the wheel and reduces speed. The caliper is seen in mountaineering bikes and uses a bush like system which when applied contacts the surface of the rim of the wheel thus slowing it down. The disk and drum brakes are less common.

Steering of the bicycle is done with the help of the handlebars on the bicycle. The handlebars help you guide the direction in which your bicycle should go. The design of the steering handles of the bicycle will vary with the use of the bicycle i.e. the purpose for which it is used.



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