How to cycle safely on a wet road

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Technique

How to cycle safely on a wet road

Five considerations when cycling on a damp and grimy surface


Safety brake

Slowing a bike on a wet road can seem like a challenge, but applying the correct technique should allow you to do so safely. Dry weather braking technique – gently applying the front brake first, before ‘blending’ in stopping power with the rear almost immediately – remains our chosen method on wet roads. You’ll need to brake harder on a wet road, too, and if you’re approaching a corner (more of which on the following pages), get your braking done before you start turning.

Apply the front brake gently in the first instance before blending in stopping power with the rear

If you’re using rim brakes, and the overwhelming majority of road cyclists will be doing so, there is an additional phase to consider. ‘Scrubbing’ water from the rim surface is an important preliminary to the braking phase, especially if you’re rolling on carbon rims. Gently squeezing the brake levers with sufficient force only to bring the pad into slight contact with the braking surface should be sufficient to clear it of water. Having done so, the braking process described above can be applied. Riders on aluminium wheels – and even owners of carbon hoops are likely to pack them away for winter – will not find this technique of the same importance, but it can be considered best practice.

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