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  1. #1
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    My front brake looks babyish

    Customer: Could you take my front brake off? It looks babyish.

    Mechanic: I'll tell you what looks babyish: your face after it scrapes on the ground because you didn't have adequate brakes. You follow what I mean?

    Customer: no.

    Mechanic: I know you get on your bike to go and not to stop. But one day you'll need your brakes. I'll tell you what. Next time your friends tell you that being smart isn't cool, just tell them to shut up.

    Customer: I don't think I need the front brake.

    Mechanic: are you in school?

    Customer: yes.

    Mechanic: yeah, stay there.

    I swear to you this conversation took place today.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Back in the 50's.... none of my friends had bicycles with front brakes. We all had the one rear coaster brake.

    But that said [typed].......... I have a real hard time removing safety equipment. I couldn't just remove a brake... to look cool. The idea of removing reflectors, dork disk... and now even brakes, gears, derailleurs, and freewheels to look cool kind of surprises me. I've never used a bell. But bells are the law in one community I ride through most days. I keep thinking I should find a place to mount one.

    But to each there own I guess.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Front brakes look babyish, eh? Tell that to motorcycle road racers where the front brake provides like 98% of the stopping force. Or the downhill mountain bike racer. Or even a long time road bike racer.

    But in the end there's no accounting for stupidity. And it's shocking how often I run across motorcycle riders that say that they NEVER use the front brake because it's dangerous. Oddly enough they are all cruiser bike riders.

    I generally don't see this with bicycle riders though. Or at least not the bicycle riders I know. So this is a new one. But as said (typed) there's no accounting for stupidity.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pink Brakes ?.

  5. #5
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Pff, doesn't he know anything?

    The rear brake's for babies.




  6. #6
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    Yeah, and seat belts are babyish too. Safety catches on guns are absolutely neonatal. Condoms are for fetuses.
    Why don't we just agree not to have any accidents? Imagine how much money we could save on all that pointless safety equipment!

  7. #7
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    I guess it's not completely clear I reckon both brakes are good - that bike's sketchy in the wet (most of you would have deduced how sketchy the handling already is)...

    I might get around to putting a brake on it, but it's only a placeholder for another nice old steel frame in my size... I love all the drop though... I'm gonna have to find a big 31.8 riser stem to flip.

    I wish the Hillman looked like this...


  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    If you must have only one brake then the front is my choice. This new trend for losing all the equipment that makes a bike fun and safe is very strange. We don't need bar tape or brakes or gears.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Customer: Could you take my front brake off? It looks babyish.

    Mechanic: I'll tell you what looks babyish: your face after it scrapes on the ground because you didn't have adequate brakes. You follow what I mean?

    Customer: no.

    Mechanic: I know you get on your bike to go and not to stop. But one day you'll need your brakes. I'll tell you what. Next time your friends tell you that being smart isn't cool, just tell them to shut up.

    Customer: I don't think I need the front brake.

    Mechanic: are you in school?

    Customer: yes.

    Mechanic: yeah, stay there.

    I swear to you this conversation took place today.
    Speaking candidly, the conversation was infantile on behalf of both parties. The customer clearly didn’t comprehend the significance of a front brake while the mechanic failed to provide any explanation as to why this is factual. Life goes on (that is, until the customer’s front brake is required to save him from a potentially fatal collision).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Brakes are over rated. All they do is slow you down.


    My orthopedic surgeon told me that.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Customer: Could you take my front brake off? It looks babyish.

    Mechanic: I'll tell you what looks babyish: your face after it scrapes on the ground because you didn't have adequate brakes. You follow what I mean?

    Customer: no.

    Mechanic: I know you get on your bike to go and not to stop. But one day you'll need your brakes. I'll tell you what. Next time your friends tell you that being smart isn't cool, just tell them to shut up.

    Customer: I don't think I need the front brake.

    Mechanic: are you in school?

    Customer: yes.

    Mechanic: yeah, stay there.

    I swear to you this conversation took place today.
    If you think that's entertaining, just wait, it gets better, or is it worse? After a while you no longer hear the din, you just ring the register...Let me know...

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I've actually heard of MOTORCYCLE guys use the same logic. They just won't use and don't like the looks of a front disc on their "bike". I've even been told that THEY were told by the HD dealer to NOT use the front brake as it is dangerous! One time we were joined by a guy riding a custom bike with no front brake, more than once he struggled to stop and actually skidded a few times. None the less, I never rode with any like that again after that.

    People in general do some pretty goofy things to look "cool".

  13. #13
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I remember back as a kid in the 70's, I bought into the hype that using a front brake was risky because of the possibility of flying over the handlebar... it was (and is) a common (but faulty) view. In fact, the first bikes I ever saw with disk brakes had the disk on the rear only.

    It is easy to explain why the lack of a front brake is riskier than the lack of a front brake, but when the person wanting to remove the brake is doing it for style, there is little that will sink in.

    I seem to recall that the argument to stop smoking because it makes you unattractive is often more effective than the argument that it will kill you... I think the removal of safety equipment is similar. Maybe showing a picture of various forms of bicycle racers, or people that have an image of being cool, with front brakes on their bikes might be more effective than the argument of safety.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  14. #14
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    I try to be nice, but in this case I think I might have snapped...."can't figure out how to remove a part that is held on by fasteners in plain view? Hah! It ain't the bike that's babyish, baby!"

    I have had parents demand that I remove the poorly functioning hand brakes from their big-box purchased kid's bike! "Oh, she can just drag her feet".....and they seem really miffed when I politely decline....

    What IS it with people? Idiocracy is REAL.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    hahahaha
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    Speaking candidly, the conversation was infantile on behalf of both parties. The customer clearly didn’t comprehend the significance of a front brake while the mechanic failed to provide any explanation as to why this is factual. Life goes on (that is, until the customer’s front brake is required to save him from a potentially fatal collision).
    Yep. Tempting as it is to answer like this, better to explain why you need the front brake and why as a professional mechanic you refuse to remove it. Let the customer do it if he insists.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  17. #17
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    The less brakes you have, the more 'connected to my ride" you are, right?

  18. #18
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Back in the 50's.... none of my friends had bicycles with front brakes. We all had the one rear coaster brake.
    Sure, but those 40+ pound behemoths with 2" wide tires seldom got to the speeds today's bikes routinely manage, and when they did we sorely wished we did have something more than just the rear coaster brake...

  19. #19
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    shudda smacked him in the face and pushed him out the door with a kick in the pants, stooges style
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  20. #20
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Style, Baby!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  21. #21
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Front brakes look babyish, eh? Tell that to motorcycle road racers where the front brake provides like 98% of the stopping force.
    Only 98%? What's providing the other 2% when the rear wheel is lifting off the ground during maximal braking?
    Eschew simplistic dogma.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    There's always the Scuffy Skillman method...


  23. #23
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Only 98%? What's providing the other 2% when the rear wheel is lifting off the ground during maximal braking?
    Air drag and gravity.

  24. #24
    Rhapsodic Laviathan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Only 98%? What's providing the other 2% when the rear wheel is lifting off the ground during maximal braking?
    the other two is the rear brake. I don't know how you ride or what the front brake is, I know I'm not doing endos with every pull of the front brake. Get off the high wheeler, and on a safty bike sometimes.
    The speed is break neck, faster than a high speed dual cassette tape deck.

  25. #25
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    Hey I wish I hadn't had the front brake last year when I was riding a borrowed too small mtn bike on the road while traveling too keep up with the training. The bike suddenly went into a death wobble on some minor washboard pavement at less than 25 mph and the front V brake locked up diving the front shock fork and I went flying head first. Broke the fall with my outstretched hand but crushed the radial head in my elbow. Now I have a Ti component in there. Blasted front V brake.

    image.jpg

    But of course the real moral of the story is not the front brake..... Don't rig a too small mtn bike with a very long set back seat post for road riding as it creates incredible harmonic oscillation potential... BTW, the bike was fine....

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