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Thread: Silly Question

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    Silly Question

    My last BMX bike which my dad got me in ~1977 was not what I wanted. I wanted a Schwinn Phantom (mags ), instead I got a Raleigh Rampar. The Rampar had a coaster brake. My friend's Schwinn, just under a Phantom, had front and rear 'regular' brakes. So to my question: Why do BMX race bikes only have rear brakes? Thanks.

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    Yeah. I Race. minichamp31's Avatar
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    Front brakes are unneeded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by minichamp31 View Post
    Front brakes are unneeded.
    But why rear instead of the stronger and lighter (less cable) front brake?

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    unofficial
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    if you're really cool, you disregard this situation all together and just ride brakeless
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    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meek View Post
    But why rear instead of the stronger and lighter (less cable) front brake?
    Next time you are going fairly fast, you should slam on your front brakes and find out. Personally, if there was a way to stop at the end they shouldn't have brakes. It also means less weight.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

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    Large Member urodacus's Avatar
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    wrong, mr fuzzy box. the front is a much much stronger brake, but does not mean that you go over the handlebars the instant you apply it. in fact, the front brake is the preferred brake for most uses, with the rear being much less able to stop you because it can usually make the back wheel skid at a much lower braking pressure than the front wheel will tolerate. if you ride a road bike, especially if you ride fast, you will appreciate that quickly. also, if you ride a motorbike, the same thing is dead obvious.

    with a front brake on, you can't do bar spins. that's about it.
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    We win all charity rides Street rider's Avatar
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    unless you have the cable threaded through your forks...

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    Yeah. I Race. minichamp31's Avatar
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    Alright, after everything, I don't know. That's it.

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    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urodacus View Post
    wrong, mr fuzzy box. the front is a much much stronger brake, but does not mean that you go over the handlebars the instant you apply it. in fact, the front brake is the preferred brake for most uses, with the rear being much less able to stop you because it can usually make the back wheel skid at a much lower braking pressure than the front wheel will tolerate. if you ride a road bike, especially if you ride fast, you will appreciate that quickly. also, if you ride a motorbike, the same thing is dead obvious.

    with a front brake on, you can't do bar spins. that's about it.
    front brakes on road bike and a motorcycle are different than a bmx.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

  10. #10
    No lugs? No hugs. Exit.'s Avatar
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    I use only the front brakes on my roadbike, and only the back on my BMX. Different animals entirely.
    1997 Vitali track, 1986 Cilo Swiss road, 2006 KHS Flite 100, 2009 top-secret track bike.

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    if i had a front brake on my bmx i'd use it. i don't though, and don't get fast enough on the thing for it to be really worth the hassle of buying and installing one.

    if you're grabbing a fistful of front brake out of nowhere on any bike you're doing it wrong, it's no different on a bmx.

    as near as i can tell, bmx racers these days don't have front brakes because at some point a bunch of kids who didn't know how or when to use them took them off to save weight, stock bikes followed the trend, and no-one since has grown up with much choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by urodacus View Post
    the front is a much much stronger brake, but does not mean that you go over the handlebars the instant you apply it. in fact, the front brake is the preferred brake for most uses, with the rear being much less able to stop you because it can usually make the back wheel skid at a much lower braking pressure than the front wheel will tolerate. if you ride a road bike, especially if you ride fast, you will appreciate that quickly. also, if you ride a motorbike, the same thing is dead obvious.
    That's nice. Racer's generally use rear brakes to keep from looping out on manuals, where only the rear wheel is in contact with the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by urodacus View Post
    with a front brake on, you can't do bar spins.
    The 1980s just called, and they said to look up something called the Pott's Mod.

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    Yeah. I Race. minichamp31's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would be in a lot more pain because of looping out if it wasn't for my rear brakes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    The front brake theory is the exact same on both bikes. The main difference on a bmx is that the weight of your upper body is a lot higher above the headset. A lot more leverage to pull the back tire off of the ground, and quicker. On a road bike your hands are usually at or below the headset. This doesn't mean you cannot go over the bars on a road bike, but it's less likely. Just my opinion. And yes the front brake is twice as powerful as a rear in brute stopping power.,,,,BD
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