Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Single front break?

    Is it safe to ride a bike with only a front break? I'm not touring, just some commuting. Although traffic is a bit of a problem around where I live. I've been riding the bike with just the front break for about a month now with no problems. I'm just wondering if there are any general ideas about having only one break.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's primarily the front-brake that does the work, the higher the braking-forces needed, the higher the percentage done by the front. This will be fine under most conditions.

    However, braking while leaned over is safer with two brakes as you can balance them so that both tyres slide evenly rather than just the front-end or rear-end. Grabbing only the rear-brake while cornering will bring the back-end around and you do a low-side down into the ground. Grabbing the front-brake only will tend to stand up the bike and you go in a straight line to the outside of the corner.

  3. #3
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    My Bikes
    Crappy but operational secondhand Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    3,522
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Please fix your rear brake ....
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  4. #4
    Minneapolis colinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Just under Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    1984 Bianchi ATB, 1980? Raleigh Comp GS
    Posts
    843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamitemonkey
    Is it safe to ride a bike with only a front break? I'm not touring, just some commuting. Although traffic is a bit of a problem around where I live. I've been riding the bike with just the front break for about a month now with no problems. I'm just wondering if there are any general ideas about having only one break.
    When the one fails - that's the problem. All fun and games until someone's cable nut slips.

    If it's "black and white", good or bad, one brake on a freewheel is bad.
    THREAD KILLER

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    thank you for asking
    Posts
    18,502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by huhenio
    Please fix your rear brake ....
    .....or go fixed....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  6. #6
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Preferably a bike should not have "breaks" anywhere.

    Now "Brakes"....those are a whole different story....yes you should have both, just in case the front one fails for some reason.

    Not trying to be a prick, but I do feel compelled to point out the wrong spelling was used.
    -------- __@
    ----- _`\<,_
    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  7. #7
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    2,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes. Having a single brake system is dumb. Bikes usually come with two, front and rear. Coaster brakes are more reliable than most other kinds, but they're also on bikes that usually don't go quite as fast. Fixed-gear folks running just a front brake still have a second, their legs.

    Cars FYI usually have three. Two hydraulic circuits (both activated by the brake pedal, but if one fails the other usually continues to work), plus a mechanical system (the e-brake or parking brake).
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
    Now living in the land of the cheesesteak.
    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

  8. #8
    Senior Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Directly above the center of the earth
    My Bikes
    Electra Townie 1-speed with basket & fenders
    Posts
    3,305
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    From a safety standpoint, two brakes are better than one just because of the redundancy. Therefore, having a rear brake is, technically, "safer."

    It is true, though, that the front brake does 90% (or more) or the actual work except in really unusual situations. That being the case, I rode my single-speed for months with a front brake only. No problems. I ** DID ** check that sucker before each and every ride, though!

    I've never had a bicycle brake fail on me, although it is possible. IMHO, having a single front brake is adequate provided you give that single brake the maintenance, attention, and testing that it deserves - your life IS riding on that system!

  9. #9
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    pdx
    My Bikes
    highly modified specialized crossroads and GT hybrid (really a [formerly] 12-speed bmx cruiser, made before 'hybrid' took on its current meaning), as yet unmodified redline 925, couple of other projects
    Posts
    1,362
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    there are many many more dangerous things out there than only having a front brake. realize that there are risks, as have been well and accurately described here, and then do whatever you want.

  10. #10
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Anti Social Media-Land
    Posts
    3,076
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I converted my Dahon single speed to a three speed, I went for about a month without adding a rear brake to it (originally it had a stock rear coaster brake). I added a simple Teckro single pivot hand brake to the rear. It does a good job at slowing the bike and being a back up to the main brake, a v-brake stock part from Dahon.

    I recommend to add a brake as soon as possible for safety as well as peace of mind.

  11. #11
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Corona and S. El Monte, CA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale D600, Dahon Speed T7
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In CA, the law states that the bicycle have at least one brake that can skid on dry, clean pavement.

    ...which is silly, because we all know we can stop quicker if we DO NOT skid!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  12. #12
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    2,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by eubi
    In CA, the law states that the bicycle have at least one brake that can skid on dry, clean pavement.

    ...which is silly, because we all know we can stop quicker if we DO NOT skid!
    I think it's more a way of saying the brake has to be strong enough. Best stopping is accomplished just a hair before skidding, so if your brake can't make the tire skid, odds are good it can't get you close enough to the skid point to be applying ideal braking pressure.
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
    Now living in the land of the cheesesteak.
    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    11,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Skidding a tyre is a requirement in the CA law, eh? Funny... there's been plenty a new rider's that has crashed into things by using the rear-brake only. They lock it up and a locked up rear tyre gives you oh so much braking power.... you can see the skid-mark right up to the point where they hit whatever it was they were trying to avoid... You'd easily have 10x the braking-power from the front-brake by the time it locks up...

  14. #14
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Burlington ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    '11 Cannondale Synapsese 5 105
    Posts
    5,902
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Preferably a bike should not have "breaks" anywhere.

    Now "Brakes"....those are a whole different story....yes you should have both, just in case the front one fails for some reason.

    Not trying to be a prick, but I do feel compelled to point out the wrong spelling was used.
    I am so glad I wasn't the one who posted the above (I am trying not to be the Grammar/Spelling Police), but come on!!!
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  15. #15
    Senior Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Directly above the center of the earth
    My Bikes
    Electra Townie 1-speed with basket & fenders
    Posts
    3,305
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161
    I am so glad I wasn't the one who posted the above (I am trying not to be the Grammar/Spelling Police), but come on!!!
    Is it just me or do 50% of the posters (on this and any other online forum) make frequent spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors? My formal education ended in 1974, and although I've forgotten more than I've remembered, I still spot errors...

    Is it because online communicators feel that typos and errors aren't worth going back to correct, or is it a symptom of a diminished educational system?

  16. #16
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norman, Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Pinarello Prince, 1980's 531 steel fixie commuter, FrankenMTB
    Posts
    1,896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Is it because online communicators feel that typos and errors aren't worth going back to correct, or is it a symptom of a diminished educational system?
    Both.



    As long as your front brake works really well, then you're fine. I have more bikes without rear brakes than with rear brakes. I never miss it. The only times I use a rear brake is when mountain biking and if I get a front flat on my roadie.

    If I get a front flat on my other bikes, I go into a ditch. Works fine for me.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  17. #17
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,385
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    there seem to be a lot of people in dc riding SSes that they try SOOOOO hard to make look like fixies.

    a)you should always have two safe ways of stopping your bicycle, in case one craps out on you
    2)really, riding a fix isn't all that impressive. lots of people have been doing it for over a hundred years, including grandmothers and republicans.
    g)as soon as you get on your bike, people can tell, and you become the guy who doesn't know what he's doing.

    there are some things worth dying for, fashion is not one of them

  18. #18
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norman, Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Pinarello Prince, 1980's 531 steel fixie commuter, FrankenMTB
    Posts
    1,896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    there seem to be a lot of people in dc riding SSes that they try SOOOOO hard to make look like fixies.

    a)you should always have two safe ways of stopping your bicycle, in case one craps out on you
    2)really, riding a fix isn't all that impressive. lots of people have been doing it for over a hundred years, including grandmothers and republicans.
    g)as soon as you get on your bike, people can tell, and you become the guy who doesn't know what he's doing.

    there are some things worth dying for, fashion is not one of them

    I'm confused about when this became a discussion of SS people looking like fixed?

    I do have two ways of stopping my bicycle. More, even. The ditch just happens to be second most convenient.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  19. #19
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,385
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    when i brought it up, i believe. that situation is when i most often see single brakes on freewheel bikes. i brought up said ssers so I could mock them without hurting someone's feelings. oh well, i tried.

    by all means equip and ride how you like.

  20. #20
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ZachS
    there are many many more dangerous things out there than only having a front brake. realize that there are risks, as have been well and accurately described here, and then do whatever you want.

    Read up on the vehicle code in relation to bikes in your state before doing "whatever you want"....many state mandate that a rear brake capable of skidding a wheel is REQUIRED.

    Last thing you need is getting hassled or getting a fine over not having a rear brake. Plus a lever, tektro caliper, and some cable/housing is not very pricey at all.
    -------- __@
    ----- _`\<,_
    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by baj32161
    I am so glad I wasn't the one who posted the above (I am trying not to be the Grammar/Spelling Police), but come on!!!

    I know my grammar and spelling sucks (well the spelling is just typos), but I couldn't help it...brake/break set off my inner smarta--. I was so close to making a post that was uninformative, and probably irritating to boot, but at the last second decided to be somewhat behaved.
    -------- __@
    ----- _`\<,_
    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  22. #22
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Burlington ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    '11 Cannondale Synapsese 5 105
    Posts
    5,902
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Is it because online communicators feel that typos and errors aren't worth going back to correct, or is it a symptom of a diminished educational system?
    I think it is both of these, but moreso the former. It is the attitude that says "well you knew what I meant." It really doesn't take anymore effort to just get it right in the first place. It is just another example of people thinking "just good enough" is good enough.

    I am now descending from my high horse.

    Cheers,

    Brian
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  23. #23
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Burlington ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    '11 Cannondale Synapsese 5 105
    Posts
    5,902
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    I know my grammar and spelling sucks (well the spelling is just typos), but I couldn't help it...brake/break set off my inner smarta--. I was so close to making a post that was uninformative, and probably irritating to boot, but at the last second decided to be somewhat behaved.
    No worries...you're still okay in my book. How's THAT for an honour?
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •