Once you start cycling on a road bike, you will quickly become aware of limitations when you compare how it breaks compared to a mountain bike. A mountain bike with disc brakes can stop very quickly compared to a road bike. The breaks are much weaker on a road bike than on a mountain bike, but that is not all. The contact surface between the tire and the ground on a road bike is so small that stronger breaks are not necessary. If you block tires, it is almost certain that the tire will go aside and you will painfully hit the ground. Plan ahead and whenever possible avoid situations where you must stop suddenly. In time you will get an idea how fast you can stop, but at first be cautious.
As mentioned before, road bikes provide less resistance than mountain bikes. This means you will go much faster downhill. However, keep in mind that the faster you go, the harder it will be to stop. Considering the already mentioned brakes and small contact surface, there is no need to point out the fact that it can be dangerous riding quickly downhill, thus planning in advance can be crucial.
Keep in mind that on a road bike your body is positioned forwards and when going downhill this is even more evident. You will go very quickly downhill on a road bike. This is why you will not feel very comfortable when going downhill until you become accustomed to it.
As you are limited with sudden changes of direction and the efficiency of breaking, you are left with having to perfect the best trajectory to go through the curve in the best and the safest way with the least unnecessary breaking.
As you approach the turn, evaluate your speed and abilities and, if necessary, slow down before you enter the corner. The idea is to minimise the breaking in the corner itself. Keep in mind that you are not on a mountain bike and don’t have the luxury of the strong breaks, nor the stability of a mountain bike. The technique of going through the corner at an optimum speed and safely is something you learn over the years.
Cycling on a wet road
A wet road and cycling in rain definitely makes things more difficult. The tires are more prone to sliding during breaking and brakes generally slide badly when they are wet. Don’t be surprised when you experience pain in your arms after your first experience cycling in the rain. Pay special attention to road markings – they are surprisingly slippery when wet and you will lose grip when you press the brakes or when you put too much force in the corner.