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Old 07-02-05, 03:04 PM   #1
FireTeamCharlie
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No brakes illegal?

I and a few friends of mine were zooming down a hille going around 40 MPH, on out BMX bikes racing, at the bottem of the hill a cop stops us because he saw my friend stick his shoe in his tire. He yelled at us about how no brakes is illegal and then ranted about us not wearing helmets (Helmet law in mass is 18 and under must wear a helemt or be fined).
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Old 07-02-05, 03:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
I and a few friends of mine were zooming down a hille going around 40 MPH, on out BMX bikes racing, at the bottem of the hill a cop stops us because he saw my friend stick his shoe in his tire. He yelled at us about how no brakes is illegal and then ranted about us not wearing helmets (Helmet law in mass is 18 and under must wear a helemt or be fined).
You state's traffic laws should be available on-line; if not at your local library. This is entirely possible, I live in Ontario and a bike - defines as a vehicle on the HIghway Traffic Act -bikes must have (at least) a rear brake.
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Old 07-02-05, 03:47 PM   #3
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California law stipulates that a bicycle must have a brake system capable of causing at least one tyre to skid. The precise wording and specific requirement are a bit nonsensical, particularly for those of us who realize that the FRONT brake is by far the most important one, and that skidding the front tyre is a recipe for disaster, but the intent, that bicycles have effective stopping capability, is sound.

Pick your political fights intelligently. Yes, from a purely libertarian position, neither brakes nor helmets should be mandatory, but your personal and economic cost of meeting both requirements is so trivial that you should just go along. Besides, the upside is that good brakes or a helmet just might save your life sometime.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by John E
Yes, from a purely libertarian position, neither brakes nor helmets should be mandatory, but your personal and economic cost of meeting both requirements is so trivial that you should just go along.
As an essentially libertarian person, I'm not sure I agree with that. Lack of a helmet may result in injury only to the cyclist, and therefore I am against mandatory helmet laws as an unreasonable limitation of my freedom. Lack of brakes could result in injury to another person, however, and I don't feel my freedom trump another person's safety.
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Old 07-02-05, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
I and a few friends of mine were zooming down a hille going around 40 MPH, on out BMX bikes racing, at the bottem of the hill a cop stops us because he saw my friend stick his shoe in his tire. He yelled at us about how no brakes is illegal and then ranted about us not wearing helmets (Helmet law in mass is 18 and under must wear a helemt or be fined).
He coudl've smacked you with about a hundred bucks worth of tickets. What's your point?
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Old 07-02-05, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
I and a few friends of mine were zooming down a hille going around 40 MPH, on out BMX bikes
I was on my Townie doing some hill training and I come up on Lance Armstrong,
so I yell "on yer left" .............
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Old 07-02-05, 05:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
... he saw my friend stick his shoe in his tire...
Florida Traffic Law 316.2065(14) States "Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes that allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 mph on dry, level, clean pavement"

The law says you have to have them but the law doesn't say you have to use them.

So does your "friend's" bike actually have brakes? If not and your "friend" was riding it in Florida then yes that would be illegal. If your "friend's" bike DID have brakes that could meet those standards but your "friend" decided to be stupid and not use them, then no, being stupid is not illegal.

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Old 07-02-05, 06:03 PM   #8
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40 MPH with no brakes? Training for a Darwin award?
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Old 07-02-05, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
I and a few friends of mine were zooming down a hille going around 40 MPH, on out BMX bikes racing, at the bottem of the hill a cop stops us because he saw my friend stick his shoe in his tire. He yelled at us about how no brakes is illegal and then ranted about us not wearing helmets (Helmet law in mass is 18 and under must wear a helemt or be fined).
didnt know bmxers use cycling computers...[/
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Old 07-02-05, 07:26 PM   #10
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didnt know bmxers use cycling computers...[/
Didn't know 40 mph was attainable on a BMX even on a good downhill.
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Old 07-02-05, 10:57 PM   #11
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Just put the brakes on....all BMXs should have a mount around the chainstays for a caliper or similar style of brake.

Plus all you need is a tektro or whatever you can get for $10 + cable + brake lever. If you are worried about cable tangling, get one of those Oryg cable detanglers.
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Old 07-03-05, 12:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by spinbackle
Didn't know 40 mph was attainable on a BMX even on a good downhill.
It's not.
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Old 07-03-05, 12:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinbackle
Didn't know 40 mph was attainable on a BMX even on a good downhill.
Having raced BMX, I seriously doubt that anyone was doing 40 on a BMX bike. In Virginia I think you have to be able to stop in a certain distance and may include a skid requirement, but doesn't specify brakes. I'm not going to bother looking it up, because it's state law and doesn't apply to you, although common sense should.
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Old 07-03-05, 02:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
As an essentially libertarian person, I'm not sure I agree with that. Lack of a helmet may result in injury only to the cyclist, and therefore I am against mandatory helmet laws as an unreasonable limitation of my freedom.
I'm not sure what the law is in your country/state but if you were to suffer a head injury that leaves you physically incapable of looking after yourself and you had no family to look after you does the state assume responsibility for your care at the state's expense? If so then it could be argued that the state has some right to legislate such that it reasonably minimises the chances of you suffering that injury. Ofcourse if there is no such facility run by the state then my argument is moot.
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Old 07-03-05, 10:59 AM   #15
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In New Jersey a bike must have brakes.

Jersey bike laws can be found here:

http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...gulations.shtm
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Old 07-03-05, 11:37 AM   #16
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40 mph on a BMX bike is entirely possible.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:02 PM   #17
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There is absolutely NO reason that a BMX (or a cruiser, a lowrider, or pretty much anything else) couldn't roll down a hill at 40mph. With a tailwind, you don't even need all that big a hill. BMXs steer pretty twitchy at speed, but a lot of streetriders use slick tires at pretty high pressure. They roll faster than a mountain bike with knobbies.

You just need to let go of the brakes.

Which apparently wasn't an issue here...
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Old 07-03-05, 10:32 PM   #18
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what's the point of a BMX with no front brake? aren't there like...50 tricks any good BMXer could think of that need a brake? the only valid reason for you to not have a front brake on your bike is that the cable broke, and you haven't had the opportunity to replace it.
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Old 07-04-05, 01:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
There is absolutely NO reason that a BMX (or a cruiser, a lowrider, or pretty much anything else) couldn't roll down a hill at 40mph. With a tailwind, you don't even need all that big a hill. BMXs steer pretty twitchy at speed, but a lot of streetriders use slick tires at pretty high pressure. They roll faster than a mountain bike with knobbies.
No, you really can't. I won't say it's not possible. But having a good deal of experience on a road bike with better aerodynamics, lower rolling resistance, and a top gear 3X that of a BMX, there is no way he's reaching 40 mph on anything short of a half-pipe the size of a pro football stadium.

You have to pedal HARD in the top gear of a road bike to reach 40 mph, even down a good hill.

They're just trying to brag, or else meant 40 kph.
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Old 07-04-05, 10:44 AM   #20
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Look here:
http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/
And to quote the law on brakes:
"(7) Every bicycle operated upon a way shall be equipped with a braking system to enable the operator to bring the bicycle traveling at a speed of fifteen miles per hour to a smooth, safe stop within thirty feet on a dry, clean, hard, level surface."

Better law than many states which state that the bike must be equiped with a brake capable of making the braked wheel skid on clean, dry pavement. Which is silly, since if you skid the front wheel, make ready to eat pavement.

As far as the speed, if he's lacking brakes, he likely lacking any instrumentation as well. Subjective speed versus real speed is often skewed.
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Old 07-04-05, 02:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
I'm not sure what the law is in your country/state but if you were to suffer a head injury that leaves you physically incapable of looking after yourself and you had no family to look after you does the state assume responsibility for your care at the state's expense? If so then it could be argued that the state has some right to legislate such that it reasonably minimises the chances of you suffering that injury. Ofcourse if there is no such facility run by the state then my argument is moot.
Canada has universal health care. While I do pay through my taxes for the preventable medical conditions of others (the obese and smokers are more of a problem than cyclist without helmets, I think) this is not a DIRECT effect on me. I only approve of limiting the freedoms of one person when that freedom has a DIRECT effect on another.

Yes, indirect effects can be very significant, and should not be ignores. That is why governments have policies to promote healthy living, exercise, etc. There are a lot of ways to encourage behaviours that put less burden on "society" without unreasonable limitations of individual freedoms.
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Old 07-04-05, 05:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sestivers
You have to pedal HARD in the top gear of a road bike to reach 40 mph, even down a good hill.
Alright. There's no way I can argue this over the internet. But I think you really need to find some steeper hills.
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Old 07-05-05, 09:57 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by randya
40 mph on a BMX bike is entirely possible.
Out of a cannon.

Or theoretically, a steep enough hill. I'm sure they do exist, but they're pretty rare.
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Old 07-05-05, 10:13 AM   #24
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He coudl've smacked you with about a hundred bucks worth of tickets. What's your point?
Wasn't the point the question stated in the thread title?
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Old 07-05-05, 12:38 PM   #25
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...a steep enough hill. I'm sure they do exist, but they're pretty rare.
Not that rare at all, well maybe in Wisconsin... Every Sunday night in Portland, ZooBombers go 40 MPH on 16" kids bikes, the people with real BMX bikes go faster...
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