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Simple 4-Step Method for Faster Downhills


The BrakeAce Method is 4 Steps to faster MTB downhill riding. The BrakeAce Method is dependent on your Key Opportunities on each trail, which BrakeAce automatically analyzes and maps for you, showing you where and what can be improved. Of all the times you brake down a trail, BrakeAce identifies just 3 places on the trail for you to improve. Once you improve your braking on these and run the trail again, you will ride the whole trail faster. And as you improve, you will notice that these same sections no longer show up in your Key Opportunities. Now you have 3 new Key Opportunities so you can continually become a better rider on any trail.

We’ve tested and validated this strategy with riders at every level, and can happily report that on average, riders save 5 seconds per 2 minutes of trail. That is a BIG deal. Even professional riders save time - 1 second on a 1 minute track. That's HUGE! And it doesn’t take all day either - literally you can get faster in just 3 runs of that 2 minute trail, and only by sessioning 3 Key Opportunities. No wasting time on every corner, no holding your breath trying to avoid braking altogether - just 3 Key Opportunities to improve.

Here’s The BrakeAce Method in 4 easy steps:

STEP 1: Ride

Pick a local trail you know well, and ride that trail at a normal ‘fast’ pace. No sprinting unnecessarily - just a normal fast pace. The trail should be 1-5 minutes long, and primarily downhill. If it’s all downhill, that's even better; and if you have to stop before the end of the trail to avoid long uphills, that’s fine as well - we’re testing your descending here, and we want to do it uninterrupted. The primary aim of this run is to ‘sight’ the trail - make sure there are no surprises since the last time you rode it, and get a feel for the traction on the day.

Start your run from a standstill, with BrakeAce recording. Ride smooth and smart. Choose a stop location, and stop recording your run.

Upload your ride to BrakeAce. Note your bike setup, tire pressure, suspension settings, etc. in the NOTES section.

STEP 2: Identify Key Opportunities

Identify your KOs in the BrakeAce app. The app does this for you, so it’s easy. Take note of where they are on the trail. Click on each event to understand your braking profile and Brake Balance. You can easily see what aspect of your braking you can improve by looking at the color of the Key Opportunity. This will be Duration, Modulation, or Intensity. Key Opportunities can be relatively long sections of trail, so note the number of BrakeEvents in your KO.

Now head back to the top of the trail

STEP 3: Session Key Opportunities

Now time for the fun part - it’s time to get creative! Ride down the trail to your first KO, and it’s time to try some new lines. Whether you’ve ridden this trail 1000x or 10x, there is going to be a new way to get through it. Try outside lines, inside lines, coming into the section with more control, slowing down faster, etc. The particular strategy that’s right for you will depend, so don’t be afraid to try something different.

Take a video of yourself going through the section and reassess. Ask yourself if your body positioning and setup are right. Usually it is enough to session the KO 3-5 times. This should take no more than 10 or 15 minutes before moving to the next KO.

Once you’ve done this for all KOs, head back to the top of the trail.

STEP 4: Ride

The final step of the BrakeAce Method is to ride the trail again. Start and stop your run at the same locations. Ride smooth. Don’t overthink any section; and you can be calm because you already know what to do in your 3 KOs. Now it’s just time to nail your KOs and string it

all together.

Check your run time, check your FlowScore, and follow our Six Steps of Quick Analysis for even greater insight.



Robert McFadyen
Robert McFadyen
Apr 23

What about seasoned riders who exhaust key oppprtunities for a given section of a track or park ? This happened to a rider I sponsor when they were in an event at Derby , Tasmania this year . They had mastered the shorter courses over a month of practice . The first sensor failed after 6 months of hard use and water getting into one unit during flooding . The app has room for improvement and when the telemetry units get hot , they don't compensate properly . Also , they can twist or crack with heavier riders . This happened with Shimano Stages cranks a few years ago .

Matt Miller
Matt Miller
Apr 23
Replying to

Hi Robert, every ride gets new Key Opportunities. If there's one KO that a rider can't improve on, it can be flagged by tapping the flag icon in the app, hiding the KO, and selecting the next one. If the course was short and easy enough, there may not have been enough braking to register a KO (but they need to be extremely short and very low amount of braking). If you think there was an issue with the app, let us know your username and the ride and we will look into it for sure. If a sensor failed, this is something we would like to know about. We are not aware of any sensor ever failing, twisting or cracking…

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