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Old 06-25-08, 01:59 AM   #1
kamikaze kid
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Brakes Mandatory on Fixed Gear Bikes?

police keep hassling me about this but i really don't think they have the right to.
all of them say that you need one locking wheel, then when i explain that the wheel does lock they throw in "that is executed by a hand lever".
WTF? this is bull dude.
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Old 06-25-08, 07:32 AM   #2
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You need a front brake at minimum. I know it sucks but it's in the vehicle code. You could always throw a cheap interrupter brake lever and put some front calipers on but not actually hook it up ...
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Old 06-25-08, 07:45 AM   #3
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According to the Californai Vehicle Code (looked it up on www.leginfo.ca.gov),

21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it
is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one
braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


Maybe "executed by a hand lever" requirement was adopted by some local ordinance. In which case, you'll have to check it out with the local agency.
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Old 06-25-08, 08:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaze kid View Post
police keep hassling me about this but i really don't think they have the right to.
all of them say that you need one locking wheel, then when i explain that the wheel does lock they throw in "that is executed by a hand lever".
WTF? this is bull dude.

What's the big deal dude? Get a brake and spare the harrassment. You might need it someday.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:17 AM   #5
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I like to go fast which means the need to stop fast which is why I have a front brake.
I'm in too much of a hurry to Zen it up.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alainp View Post
According to the Californai Vehicle Code (looked it up on www.leginfo.ca.gov),

21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it
is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one
braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


Maybe "executed by a hand lever" requirement was adopted by some local ordinance. In which case, you'll have to check it out with the local agency.
Well, the hand lever is obvious BS. Put a coaster brake on that thing! Swobo's got them!
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Old 06-25-08, 09:39 AM   #7
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Are you riding this on the velodrome or the street? Sounds like the street to me... Get a front brake.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:51 AM   #8
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get a front brake at a minimum on that thing. It'll save your life at some point.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alainp View Post
According to the Californai Vehicle Code (looked it up on www.leginfo.ca.gov),

21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it
is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one
braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


Maybe "executed by a hand lever" requirement was adopted by some local ordinance. In which case, you'll have to check it out with the local agency.
This is kind of BS law. It implies you only need rear brake. Since any attempt to skid the front wheel will result in awesome superman impression.
That being said, get the front brake. I know it's hip, kool, and **** to ride without the brakes on a fixie, but at some point self preservation should kick in.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:32 AM   #10
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Get a brake and maybe they'll give you a discount on a helmet...Think about it if you had a kid, wouldn't you care for them enough to like them to have those 2 items?...I'm sure someone in your life cares for you. : )

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Old 06-25-08, 11:14 AM   #11
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I always use the brakes on my fixed gear bike. Your knees will thank you greatly when you get older. I couldn't imagine trying to descend Conzleman road from Hawk Hill without a front brake.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
This is kind of BS law. It implies you only need rear brake. Since any attempt to skid the front wheel will result in awesome superman impression.
Yeah, that always bugged me too - laws written by people who have no idea what they're doing. Possible exception might be a recumbant but I'm sure they weren't thinking that. Anyway a front brake on a conventional bike is far more able to stop you than a rear brake but the law doesn't recognize that.

Some cities have redefined the brake laws and allow brakeless fixies. I admire the skill of people who can ride with no brakes the way I admire the skill of tight rope walkers and bull fighters... but sometimes they DIE.

If your chain breaks you're in trouble without a hand brake.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:43 AM   #13
caloso
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I looked at the annotations to Sec. 21201. The brake requirement has never been litigated.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:51 AM   #14
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Just be a good boy and install a front brake. You don't have to use it.
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Old 06-25-08, 12:50 PM   #15
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Install the front brake, and just wear tighter jeans and get a slightly more emo haircut to compensate.
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Old 06-25-08, 12:50 PM   #16
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You'll probably find that you can ride faster with a brake installed. More confidence in your ability to stop quickly and all.

If you use an interruptor lever with a swing-open clamp (Soma has a nice one), you can even quickly remove the braking system when you take your bike to the track. So no big deal.
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