Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-03-09, 04:48 PM   #1
Heifzilla
Fat Bottomed Fredwina
Thread Starter
 
Heifzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Almost a cheesehead ;)
Bikes: 1998 Raleigh SC-200
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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
Heifzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 04:54 PM   #2
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Bikes:
Posts: 6,775
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(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.
DiabloScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 04:56 PM   #3
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Bikes: Surly Cross Check, Redline Monocog 29er, Generic Track bike, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker
Posts: 1,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
c_m_shooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 04:58 PM   #4
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(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.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 05:51 PM   #5
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(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'."
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 06:38 PM   #6
deraltekluge
Senior Member
 
deraltekluge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes: Kona Cinder Cone, Sun EZ-3 AX
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
sensible fixed gear riders
Isn't that an excellent example of an oxymoron?
deraltekluge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 07:19 PM   #7
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 14,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Incorrect
DataJunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 07:51 PM   #8
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
Posts: 2,578
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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!
HandsomeRyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 08:30 PM   #9
Heifzilla
Fat Bottomed Fredwina
Thread Starter
 
Heifzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Almost a cheesehead ;)
Bikes: 1998 Raleigh SC-200
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the replies. I've learned something new
Heifzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-09, 08:52 PM   #10
tatfiend 
Gear Hub fan
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Reno, NV
Bikes: Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega
Posts: 2,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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/
tatfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-09, 12:05 AM   #11
Robert Foster
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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?
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-09, 07:24 AM   #12
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
Posts: 2,578
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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]
HandsomeRyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-09, 09:35 AM   #13
jack002
Senior Member
 
jack002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southwest MO
Bikes: (1) 1993 Cannondale R900, red
Posts: 594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey, if you loved riding a TRICYCLE, then you'll love the fixie!
jack002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-09, 09:48 AM   #14
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
Posts: 2,578
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
HandsomeRyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-09, 01:46 PM   #15
Phiberglass
Senior Member
 
Phiberglass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern California
Bikes:
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
Phiberglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 AM.