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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

View Poll Results: Do you use brakes on your fixie?
Nope. 51 38.64%
Front brake. 72 54.55%
Both front and rear. 9 6.82%
Voters: 132. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-27-06, 04:56 AM   #1
wroomwroomoops
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Brakes or not?

After trying fixed gear up for size for a couple of weeks, I personally don't want to say goodbye to brakes. My (very short, admittedly) experience suggests that it's reckless to ride without brakes - or at least, it is, for me. Maybe because I'm a beginner. Also, I want to spare my knees as much as possible, and it seems that forceful backpedaling may be bad for them.

On the other hand, there are accounts that show fixed gear biking to be good for one's knees.



So, as unscientific as this may be, I am curious to know how much fixed gear bikers use brakes. Hence this poll. I am sure there will be at least one post saying "what a stupid poll". I'll survive
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Old 12-27-06, 05:06 AM   #2
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Old 12-27-06, 06:24 AM   #3
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Front brake here.
For the experienced fixer, brakeless is probably OK if you are not riding very far or very fast. I've done it, and its a fun challenge. Brakeless in moderation is probably good for your knees. However, on an extended road ride, you will eventually let your guard down and your knees will start to suffer..thats when brakeless becomes dangerous and unhealthy...IMHO.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:41 AM   #4
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No brake=small cock compensation
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Old 12-27-06, 08:31 AM   #5
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Judging from the poll results, it's not rare to have a brake or two, on a fixie. I had a completely different impression when I looked through the "Your Fixed Gear/SS Photos!" thread. There the proportion of brakeless to brakeful seems to be about 5:1 or 6:1. For the record, at the time of posting, the poll results are
4 9 2

Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 12-27-06 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:35 AM   #6
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would anyone recommend running a ss (freewheel) with only a front brake?
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Old 12-27-06, 08:39 AM   #7
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only if you're silly
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Old 12-27-06, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathhare
No brake=small cock compensation

When you have a small cock you have more leg room to stop that **** with your legs. What's wrong with that.

No hand brakes here, but I I can stop as good as another other hack in town on their magna mountain bike. I like the simplicity.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:46 AM   #9
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started with front brake.

now brakeless
my wife bike has a front brake and I never touch it when I ride it.
she even forgets it there. but she is glad it is.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dersu Burrows
would anyone recommend running a ss (freewheel) with only a front brake?
Nothing wrong with it at all.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:16 AM   #11
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i have one fixie with brakes, the other without
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Old 12-27-06, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
Judging from the poll results, it's not rare to have a brake or two, on a fixie. I had a completely different impression when I looked through the "Your Fixed Gear/SS Photos!" thread. There the proportion of brakeless to brakeful seems to be about 5:1 or 6:1. For the record, at the time of posting, the poll results are
4 9 2

Fixed Gear Gallery is the same...lots of bikes with no brakes, or anything else for that matter. Its fairly obvious that people dont really ride their bikes all that much, or they photograph their bikes before installing the brakes and other accessories or remove them off to take the photos. I guess is supposed to make the bike look cooler...really, it just makes it look less functional. Can you imagine all these people riding around with no brakes, no water bottles, no fenders, no frame pump, or bag for spare tube and tools? I kind of doubt it. Theres no way I'd ride far from home without most of that stuff (except maybe fenders, which I only have on one of my bikes).
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Old 12-27-06, 09:34 AM   #13
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A singlespeed is obviously safer with two brakes. A fixed gear with two brakes, while not as aesthetically pleasing, is totally worth it.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Fixed Gear Gallery is the same...lots of bikes with no brakes, or anything else for that matter. Its fairly obvious that people dont really ride teir bikes or they photograph their bikes before installing the brakes and other accessories or remove them off to take the photos. I guess is supposed to make the bike look cooler...really, it just makes it look less functional. Can you imagine all these people riding around with no brakes, no water bottles, no fenders, no frame pump, or bag for spare tube and tools? I kind of doubt it. Theres no way I'd ride far from home without that stuff.
Water bottle, pump, tools and tubes go in a bag on my back.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by I Like Peeing
Water bottle, pump, tools and tubes go in a bag on my back.

Yeah, I considered that..but I doubt everyone rides everywhere with a Mess bag, and why would you? Its way nicer to just put that stuff on your frame. But then again, I never have to lock my bike up, so I can see where using a bag would be advantageous there. Still, this still doesn't solve the puzzle of all the missing brakes.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Fixed Gear Gallery is the same...lots of bikes with no brakes, or anything else for that matter. Its fairly obvious that people dont really ride their bikes all that much, or they photograph their bikes before installing the brakes and other accessories or remove them off to take the photos. I guess is supposed to make the bike look cooler...really, it just makes it look less functional. Can you imagine all these people riding around with no brakes, no water bottles, no fenders, no frame pump, or bag for spare tube and tools? I kind of doubt it. Theres no way I'd ride far from home without most of that stuff (except maybe fenders, which I only have on one of my bikes).
Actually, as far as I remember, most photos I've seen, have been of frames that didn't even have the brake posts.

OK, I went back to the "Your Fixed Gear/SS Photos!" thread, and I didn't see, in the few minutes I blanced through, one single instance where the bare brake tabs would be visible. So either all the frames where without them as designed, or they were shaved/filed off.

Just saying that I don't think people took off the brakes for the "photo opportunity", unless they are disc brakes. Either they have brakes, or they don't even have the possibility of have them installed. The ratio seems really to be about 5:1 as I guesstimated at first. So, this poll seems to show that there's a "silent majority".
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Old 12-27-06, 10:21 AM   #17
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both of mine have brake mount holes, and neither have brakes, and both are in the photo's sticky.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:23 AM   #18
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I just started riding fixed, and I'm really really glad I have the front brake, even though it's just some janky BMX brake my buddy put on it before I inherited the frame. I have a flip-flop hub with a freewheel on the other side, and am debating just getting a decent front and rear brake system for the highest level of safety.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
Actually, as far as I remember, most photos I've seen, have been of frames that didn't even have the brake posts.

OK, I went back to the "Your Fixed Gear/SS Photos!" thread, and I didn't see, in the few minutes I blanced through, one single instance where the bare brake tabs would be visible. So either all the frames where without them as designed, or they were shaved/filed off.
Most people are running only a front brake..its very easy to remove and reinstall a front brake and it doesn't require cable guides. Peopl tend to file off the cable guides for the rear brake and for the shifter cables, becuase they are going for that "clean" look. All the more reason to take off the front brake for the photo. Anyway, thats my theory. I'm guess I'm not saying everyone does this, but I bet some people have.

Last edited by mihlbach; 12-27-06 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dersu Burrows
would anyone recommend running a ss (freewheel) with only a front brake?
I used to ride a commuter bike I had with a 3spd freewheel and only front brake, it worked fine but I would hesitate to "reccomend" it.

I for one don't have the skill to stop my bike quickly without a brake so I use a front just to make sure because automotive sheet metal just dont taste good. My wifes bike has both brakes to make her feel more secure. I think the aesthetics aren't too bad with brakes (personal opinion for sure)
As for the carrying stuff thing, I usually have a messenger bag so I keep the tools and tubes in there, my bike has a Silca pump which I think looks pretty cool on it kinda adds to the vintage thing and I ride pretty far to work so bottle cage is definitely required. If I'm on a weekend ride or something I usually wear jerseys so I stuff all the junk in the back pocket
$0.02
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Old 12-27-06, 10:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinlikewhat
both of mine have brake mount holes, and neither have brakes, and both are in the photo's sticky.
I'm looking at your Schwinn Traveler, and I can't see brake posts on the fork. How do you mount brakes on that frame?

Here's the pic:

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Old 12-27-06, 10:52 AM   #22
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Even when I ride a freewheel bike, I only ever use the front brake. I would occasionally use the rear brake to scrub speed, but the front brake is where all the stopping power comes from. I never felt like this was bizarre or put me in any danger. The back brake I just did not use. I run only a front brake on my fixed gear, though I rarely use it. I tend to skip to stop 99 times out of a hundred. I keep the front brake for emergencies.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Fixed Gear Gallery is the same...lots of bikes with no brakes, or anything else for that matter. Its fairly obvious that people dont really ride their bikes all that much, or they photograph their bikes before installing the brakes and other accessories or remove them off to take the photos. I guess is supposed to make the bike look cooler...really, it just makes it look less functional.
It's bike p0rn. You don't see lots of clothing of girls in human p0rn either.
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Old 12-27-06, 11:09 AM   #24
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Started out with a front brake and after a year or so of not using it, it was removed.
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Old 12-27-06, 11:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
I'm looking at your Schwinn Traveler, and I can't see brake posts on the fork. How do you mount brakes on that frame?
Brakes are mounted on that bike in the same way they are mounted on this bike:
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...chmentid=32693

There is a brake hole through the fork crown, where a brake is bolted onto.
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