Q: What’s a better choice for type of front brakes? Caliper, V-brake, or the U-brake. Another question that I have is: What type of brake pads have the best hold for flatland riding? Also I just started flatland about 9 months ago and I can’t figure out why I cant keep the bike centered on the fork glide trick.
A: Way to shoe horn a dozen questions into three sentences Chris. No worries though, we have answers for them all. For starters, a V-brake in the front would be ideal, but as there aren’t any reputable companies offering a fork with front V-brake mounts, it might be a tough one to pull off. The reason for this is V-type brakes stick out a lot, don’t take well to being stomped on while riding flatland and scuffing and are a little more particular when it comes to lever selection and cable routing full of tight bends, as in through the steer tube of your fork and hooking the tight turn back to the brake itself. Long story short, you want a U-type brake, primarily because forks are readily available for them, they work well with most levers and even when at the receiving end of a brake cable that is all but tied in knots. For even more stopping power, keep your housing short and pick up a set of the new Odyssey clear brake pads. As for keeping the bike centered, it’s not the bike buddy, it’s you. You need to learn to position your body over the bike in a way that puts you in control of the balance point. If the bike is running the show, then you are off the mark and should try leaning into it a little more next time round. Practice hard, most flatlanders put in many hard hours a day to hit the Professional level, but fortunately for you, a few minutes is all it takes to hit the fun level, so get on it.