Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Fat Bottomed Fredwina Heifzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Almost a cheesehead ;)
    My Bikes
    1998 Raleigh SC-200
    Posts
    174
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Fixies Don't Have Brakes?

    Or does that mean they just don't have brakes on the handlebars? Can you brake by doing the push your feet backwards thing? Like a coaster brake, except a fixie can't coast.

    I ask because I was reading some article about how advanced fixie riders can brake by pushing back on their feet and I thought this was a bit odd...I mean, doesn't just about everyone learn how to ride a bike with coaster brakes, so braking like that shouldn't be an advanced skill. Or is a fixie totally different?

    I fondly remember having competitions with the boys on my block to see how long of a skid mark we could leave on the sidewalk by riding fast as fast as we could and then hitting those coaster brakes

  2. #2
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mt.Diablo
    Posts
    5,486
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Fixies may or may not have one or two brakes. They do not have a coaster brake which is what you're describing. What makes it a fixie is that the crank and rear wheel are linked together with no clutch or freewheeling.

    With a fixie you don't "pedal backwards" to slow down but you can resist the motion of the crank by applying reverse pressure. You can do some other moves like skidding and skipping but they're not a very effective means of stopping. You can pedal backwards if you're actually going backwards but that's a pretty difficult trick. Fixie riders with no brakes pretty much rely on their maneuvering skills to not need brakes; it's a controversial concept in which intelligence is frequently questioned. Fixies with just a front brake are more common and sensible.
    Last edited by DiabloScott; 06-03-09 at 04:58 PM.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paradise, TX
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross Check, Redline Monocog 29er, Generic Track bike, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker
    Posts
    1,518
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a track brakes are not allowed. Some people use track frames on the street wich don't have mounting points for brakes. Most sensible fixed gear riders have a front brake for emergency use, but you are correct you stop a fixed gear by simply stopping the pedals. That isn't very effective at high speeds though. I have had others clock me at 45mph on long downhills on my fixed gear. When spinning that fast, the back tire tends to come up in the air if you resist the pedals, so having a brake is a good idea.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,105
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    A coaster bike coasts when you stop applying power to the rear wheel and by back pedalling you engage the brake.

    A fixed gear has no mechanical brake and the rear wheel actually serves as a flywheel and stores kinetic energy... because the drive is fixed you cannot coast but can resist the forward motion of the pedals to slow and with greater effort and technique stop / skid the back wheel.

    The majority of people who ride fixed gear bicycles use at least one brake as this can provide adequate stopping power... the front brake can actually provide all the braking power possible if it is correctly applied.

  5. #5
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,568
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a coaster brake bike, you rotate the pedals backwards to engage the brake, then once it's engaged, you just push on the pedals, but they don't continue to rotate backwards.

    On a fixie, you'd be applying pressure in the reverse direction, but the pedals are still rotating forward all the time. If the back wheel is turning, so are the pedals.

    The same principal applies to unicycles and kid's tricycles.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  6. #6
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    My Bikes
    Kona Cinder Cone, Sun EZ-3 AX
    Posts
    1,195
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    sensible fixed gear riders
    Isn't that an excellent example of an oxymoron?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Incorrect

  8. #8
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mt. Airy, MD
    My Bikes
    Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
    Posts
    2,579
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you have an LBS that stocks fixed gear bicycles (you'll get flamed for using the term "fixie" around here) you should take one for a test ride sometime. They are [in my opinion] one of the most fun types of bicycles to ride.

    Sheldon Brown loved them too!

  9. #9
    Fat Bottomed Fredwina Heifzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Almost a cheesehead ;)
    My Bikes
    1998 Raleigh SC-200
    Posts
    174
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies. I've learned something new

  10. #10
    Gear Hub fan
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    My Bikes
    Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega
    Posts
    2,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rarely mentioned but use of a brakeless fixed gear bike on the street is illegal in most states as they require a mechanical brake on at least one wheel. I have not heard of it being enforced but it could IMO make a difference if injured on a brakeless FG bike and you try to sue or collect insurance.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  11. #11
    Banned.
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Southern california
    My Bikes
    Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
    Posts
    3,498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Rarely mentioned but use of a brakeless fixed gear bike on the street is illegal in most states as they require a mechanical brake on at least one wheel. I have not heard of it being enforced but it could IMO make a difference if injured on a brakeless FG bike and you try to sue or collect insurance.
    Oh it is enforced in our little California town. One of our club racers got a ticket and the CHP wasn't about to be talked out if it. So now he has a front brake, as required by statute. He has tried to convince me that riding a fixed gear is worth trying. But if you can’t coast down a hill what is the point of going up one? A SS maybe but once they came up with multiple speeds what is the point?

  12. #12
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mt. Airy, MD
    My Bikes
    Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
    Posts
    2,579
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    He has tried to convince me that riding a fixed gear is worth trying. But if you can’t coast down a hill what is the point of going up one?
    If you've never tried it, no one will be able to explain it to you in words. There is a certain "one-ness" with the bike [often referred to as the "Zen of Fixed Gear"] since you control both the acceleration and braking with your legs the bike feels like a prosthesis or an extension of your body much more than a traditional freewheeling bicycle. They are also great fitness training tools. You have no idea how much you coast until you hop on a bike where you can't anymore. A few weeks riding fixed and you'll have legs like tree trunks!

    As I said before- I think all cyclists should at least try riding a fixed gear bike sometime. I know it won't be everyone's cup-of-tea but I think the association with urban youth riding brakeless track bikes like maniacs on the streets have tarnished the reputation of a very fun type of cycling that is done by a diverse group of people.

    A few other benefits:
    • FG bikes are inexpensive since they don't have shifters, derailleurs, and cassettes (the most expensive components of traditional bikes).
    • FG bikes are simple to build and maintain, other than chain oil and tension and some air in the tires there is almost nothing to tweak or adjust on a regular basis.
    • FG bikes are incredible training tools for building muscle and endurance. Lance rides one!
    • FG bikes (especially "track geometry" frames) offer a much more "exciting" ride becasue you really feel the direct power transfer. They make "the same old ride" that grew boring on a traditional bike seem new and fun again. [At least this was my experience with them]

  13. #13
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southwest MO
    My Bikes
    (1) 1993 Cannondale R900, red
    Posts
    594
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, if you loved riding a TRICYCLE, then you'll love the fixie!
    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

  14. #14
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mt. Airy, MD
    My Bikes
    Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
    Posts
    2,579
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
    Hey, if you loved riding a TRICYCLE, then you'll love the fixie!
    I think you mean "Big Wheel". Much sportier than a standard trike.





    I just realized I've become the official [non-hipster] spokesperson for riding fixed gear.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Phiberglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    122
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    If you've never tried it, no one will be able to explain it to you in words. There is a certain "one-ness" with the bike [often referred to as the "Zen of Fixed Gear"] since you control both the acceleration and braking with your legs the bike feels like a prosthesis or an extension of your body much more than a traditional freewheeling bicycle. They are also great fitness training tools. You have no idea how much you coast until you hop on a bike where you can't anymore. A few weeks riding fixed and you'll have legs like tree trunks!

    As I said before- I think all cyclists should at least try riding a fixed gear bike sometime. I know it won't be everyone's cup-of-tea but I think the association with urban youth riding brakeless track bikes like maniacs on the streets have tarnished the reputation of a very fun type of cycling that is done by a diverse group of people.

    A few other benefits:
    • FG bikes are inexpensive since they don't have shifters, derailleurs, and cassettes (the most expensive components of traditional bikes).
    • FG bikes are simple to build and maintain, other than chain oil and tension and some air in the tires there is almost nothing to tweak or adjust on a regular basis.
    • FG bikes are incredible training tools for building muscle and endurance. Lance rides one!
    • FG bikes (especially "track geometry" frames) offer a much more "exciting" ride becasue you really feel the direct power transfer. They make "the same old ride" that grew boring on a traditional bike seem new and fun again. [At least this was my experience with them]
    He got everything on the dot. I ride my fixed gear mainly for around town and cities for a quick commute or travel and sometimes for training. It's a completely different feels and lots of fun. It's also fun to do backwards circles, keo spins, wheelies, etc once you feel comfortable with the drive train and riding backwards, etc. Everyone should get saddle time on one sometime in their life.

Posting Permissions

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