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How the BrakeAce app can help you improve your MTB skills

Records are broken every year at races like the Tour de France and Milan san Remo thanks in part to power meters. Bikes definitely keep improving, but the riders themselves have never had more personalized or focused preparation - all thanks to the data from power meters that allow them to train their weaknesses.

Power meters literally changed the game for roadies.

SRM scientific
Dr Phil Fink with an SRM "scientific". They're much smaller and more user friendly now, but this one set the Uni back to the tune of ~$20,000

The technology has trickled down to us mere mortals since then, with companies like Stages Cycling power meters, the TrainingPeaks app and Garmin devices that have democratized the path to better fitness.

Mountain bikers lagged behind the power meter phenomenon due to the fact that better fitness hasn’t been what most riders want.

Mountain bikers just want to go faster.

And that’s exactly why we created BrakeAce. We created BrakeAce to help riders you like and I get faster by improving our skills and finding your flow. Remember, we’re riders too. You don’t get into creating a MTB product unless bikes are your life!

That’s us!

But how does BrakeAce help you get faster? And how can you use the app to improve your MTB skills?

Rohan BrakeAce app
Having no wires means you just need your phone to record and upload all your braking. The app analyzes the data for you.

Let's dig into it.

Here are 3 ways BrakeAce can help you get faster right now:

1. Feedback is king

When you’re learning a new MTB skill, feedback will help you improve leaps and bounds faster than trial and error alone. In fact, feedback is a fundamental part of learning theories such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and reinforcement learning. Feedback is critical for shaping behaviors and correcting errors or misconceptions.

Feedback on your MTB riding can be comments from your riding buddies, review of video footage, or actual data like that from BrakeAce.

BrakeAce takes your learning to the next level by uncovering what you actually do with your brakes and the places on the trail that are your weakest links. Undeniable scores like Modulation or F/R Balance mean that your feedback is not based on guesswork or biased by someone's clouded judgement. Add to it that you can track your progress as you improve or even compare things like your FlowScore or Brake Time to your faster friends.

In this case, BrakeAce streamlines your learning by showing you exactly what you’re doing instead of relying on incomplete comments or observations. Combine BrakeAce with video of yourself and feedback from your riding buddies, and you’ll unlock a new level in no time.

CASE STUDY: Christine’s BrakeAce showed her that she was only using her front brake 1% of the time. She had been told by her friends that she should use the front brake more, but she swore that she already was! With undeniable feedback from BrakeAce, she has been practicing using her front brake more on every ride. She’s now up to about 20% front brake - her times and bike control have drastically improved.

checking brakeace app with zerode taniwha
You can keep your scores to yourself or compare them to friends. Either way you have something strive for. PC New Zealand Mountain Biking

2. Uncovering Bad Habits

Getting faster starts with improving our weaknesses. It really is that simple!

We all know that MTB is complex. You’ve heard things like, “elbows up”, and “look through the turns!” And who could forget about pumping, pedaling, bunny hops, line choice and braking?!

If you really dig into it, riding MTB is simply doing lots of basic things the right way at the right time. This is true no matter what level you ride at - from beginner to pro!

By using BrakeAce you can uncover your “low hanging fruit” to improve. These are your Key Opportunities in the BrakeAce app, and they are plotted on the map for you. By starting with your worst bad habit, you can make big changes right away.

Use feedback from the BrakeAce app, your braking trace, friends on the side of the trail, or even a video of yourself riding through these KOs to uncover your worst bad habit and improve your MTB skills. Oftentimes these bad habits aren’t about braking at all, but the app uses your braking to uncover where and what these habits might be.

CASE STUDY: One of Jason's Key Opportunities was a bumpy right handed turn with a few different line options. He went to this section with his friend who took a slow-mo video of him riding it. Together they tried new lines, including one simple approach that allowed them to miss more bumps and brake with more traction. They were not only able to improve on this section, but they used this technique across the whole trail for their fastest times and best FlowScores.

riding eagle versus shark in rotorua on Giant Reign
MTB is all about doing simple things right. We all have plenty of things we can improve, but why not start from the top and work our way down? PC New Zealand Mountain Biking

3. The BrakeAce Method

If you’re like us, you don’t have as much time to ride as you wish you did. Plenty of us head out and ride the same trails in the same way and always have around about the same times.

But like us, you also want to nail your new PB on these trails. You could take a stab in the dark and find some places on the trail to improve, but the kids are screaming and the lawns need to be mowed - why not get your best bang for buck with your limited time?

Using the BrakeAce Method allows you to focus on the right places to find free speed. It’s 4 easy steps to your fastest downhills. These steps are:

  1. Do a run down your favorite trail to get a feel for the conditions

  2. Do fast run and find your Key Opportunities in the app

  3. Session your Key Opportunities

  4. Do another fast run down the trail

The BrakeAce Method really is as easy as that. We usually suggest re-riding each KO section 2-3 times, trying new lines and looking at the trail from a new perspective. Look at it from the top, the side and the bottom - you’ll see endless possibilities. The whole BrakeAce Method takes around an hour, and riders are saving 5-7 seconds by their final run!

It’s literally FREE SPEED!

BONUS TIP: Set up your phone against a tree to record yourself riding through this KO. If you’re not strapped for time, use this and your braking data for more informed session. Otherwise, save the video to review later.

CASE STUDY: Jeff is a great rider, but has always been about the same speed. He wanted to set some new PBs so he used the BrakeAce Method on his local descent. He sessioned his 3 Key Opportunities, and found that braking harder later allowed him to ride with better control on the rest of the track. On his final run, he got his best time by 7 seconds. He used what he learned on some other trails the next day and recorded 3 more PBs - all within a few days!

The BrakeAce app can help you improve your MTB skills by:

  1. Giving you undeniable feedback

  2. Helping you uncover bad habits

  3. Letting you execute The BrakeAce Method

So there you have it. There are 3 ways BrakeAce can help you unlock new skills and become a better rider. If you're interested in learning more about the power of BrakeAce, you can download our Free Speed e-book for free! Just use the code brakeacehomie to get it below and save $20

Or if you're ready to become a better rider now, shop our sensors:


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