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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)

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Old 12-28-06, 05:39 AM   #1
Aldone
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Brakeless and bad weather

Hello

I've brakes on both of my fixed gear converted bikes but I'm looking for a track frame to built a nice brakeless bike.

In fact I "almost" never use the brakes on my road converted frames, I say "almost" because I really can't stop on wet surfaces.

How can you ride brakeless when raining or the road is wet by the rain??
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Old 12-28-06, 06:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Aldone
Hello

I've brakes on both of my fixed gear converted bikes but I'm looking for a track frame to built a nice brakeless bike.

In fact I "almost" never use the brakes on my road converted frames, I say "almost" because I really can't stop on wet surfaces.

How can you ride brakeless when raining or the road is wet by the rain??

Set your brake equiped conversion up for foul weather...put some fenders and bigger tires on it. Then use your nice track bike for sunny days. Thats what I do.
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Old 12-28-06, 08:53 AM   #3
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i use a lot more back pressure in the rain so the wheel's not locking up. also, while skidding is obviously not as effective in the rain, it is easier to do. instead of having to throw your body forward to initiate, you can do it a few inches off the saddle, or even in the saddle. this helps to make up a little of the difference in stopping time. in addition, i'll use hockey stopping a lot more in the rain. even people that generally can't do it can usually throw one in the wet. other than that, slow the hell down and give yourself the space you need to stop. and remember that the cars can't stop as well either...

that all being said, i wouldn't ride my nice bike in the rain anyway unless i got caught in it...that's what a beater/rain bike is for.
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Old 12-28-06, 09:08 AM   #4
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My rack and fender commuter is brakeless, and I definitely have way worse braking in rain or snow. I tend to try not to skid and just use backpressure, but if I do skid I try to fishtail the end around a little if my skid isn't doing anything. I really should mount a brake but I'm just too lazy.

If cars follow you too closely wave them back as much as you can. I've been tailgated in the rain a few times and its scary because the cars can't stop as well as you, and you can't stop well in the first place!
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Old 12-28-06, 09:53 AM   #5
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On a beater if you have old steel wheels, like I had, in the rain the brake is pretty much useless.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:17 AM   #6
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Rain riding is great. Just give yourself more time to slow down and more room to skid. Although it's easier when wet, don't skid in the saddle.
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Old 12-28-06, 10:34 AM   #7
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What? Wait a minute brakes suck in foul wether. IMO your better off using the wheel to slow down then rim brakes in foul wether.
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Old 12-28-06, 11:13 AM   #8
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yeah, i ride brakeless in the rain and you just have to take it REALLY slow and back pedal without skidding or skippin. I wiped out one time when a truck cut me off and I instinctively put it into a skid and the bike fishtailed. I put a hole my favorite shirt
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Old 12-28-06, 11:43 AM   #9
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Remember when people started switching over to fixed gear because it was what the messengers in Minneapolis were riding due to the increased control in slippery conditions? I guess we've come full circle.
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Old 12-28-06, 12:37 PM   #10
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Remember when people started switching over to fixed gear because it was what the messengers in Minneapolis were riding due to the increased control in slippery conditions? I guess we've come full circle.
I'm trying to compose a post without the word hipster in it but I think i'd be a hypocrit.
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Old 12-28-06, 12:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bitpartinyrlife
i use a lot more back pressure in the rain so the wheel's not locking up. also, while skidding is obviously not as effective in the rain, it is easier to do. instead of having to throw your body forward to initiate, you can do it a few inches off the saddle, or even in the saddle.
The point of a skid is to slow down, not slide farther. I hardly ever throw myself forward to skid, I find it way more effective to do short skids or skips without putting any weight forward, even in dry weather. Rain making it easier to skid is no way a benefit to stop faster IMO. Of course unless you are talking about messing around, that's a whole different story.
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Old 12-28-06, 12:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by luvthemas
The point of a skid is to slow down, not slide farther.
Ironic, given that a skid is probably the worst way to slow down ever. The maximum braking force you're ever going to get out of a bicycle is through the front wheel and the nth force just before the wheel locks up.
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Old 12-28-06, 12:54 PM   #13
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I meant short repetitive skids with your weight on your rear wheel, not just lockin' it up and sliding down a hill.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:30 PM   #14
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Ironic, given that a skid is probably the worst way to slow down ever. The maximum braking force you're ever going to get out of a bicycle is through the front wheel and the nth force just before the wheel locks up.
Yeah theoretically speaking, but in reality sometimes you just can't apply enough back pressure so skidding actually is more effective for quickly scrubbing off speed, and we are talking brakeless, so the front wheel is out of the equation.
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Old 12-28-06, 01:45 PM   #15
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Braking is diminished in the rain, regardless of whether you are skid/skipping or hand braking. Nonetheless, a hand brake is still more effective overall. If your hand brake is less effective at stopping you than your legs, then it needs adjustment or new shoes or something....

Having said that, I always will avoid using a handbrake in the rain because it accelerates rim and brake shoe wear big time and makes lots of black rim gunk. The gunk spreads to your tire sidewalls, frame, fork, and everywhere else.

I have always despised black rim gunk and I will carry that hatred to my grave...
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Old 12-28-06, 01:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by luvthemas
The point of a skid is to slow down, not slide farther. I hardly ever throw myself forward to skid, I find it way more effective to do short skids or skips without putting any weight forward, even in dry weather. Rain making it easier to skid is no way a benefit to stop faster IMO. Of course unless you are talking about messing around, that's a whole different story.
my post said "throw your body forward to initiate." I don't know about you, but at 25 mph I i don't regularly lock it up two inches off the saddle in the dry. In a panic situation maybe, but otherwise that's way more effort than i want to expend to slow down at a stoplight. In regular situations i just move my body up about halfway to the stem to easily lock it up without having to muscle it, then move back towards the saddle to get my weight over the rear wheel. The whole movement is quite quick. i agree that throwing yourself over the front of the bike doesn't stop ****, which is why i move backwards as soon as I've got it locked up. what i was saying is that in the wet, its easier to lock up so you can forego the leaning forward part and keep your weight over the back wheel...
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Old 12-28-06, 03:19 PM   #17
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Get used to fishtailing so that if your back wheel goes silly on you, there's a better chance of you staying off the ground. Lots of weight over the rear wheel helps it keep it's grip in the first place.
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Old 12-28-06, 05:53 PM   #18
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if you skip a lot, give yourself a bit more time to stop. Don't take tight turns and watch out for brick and cobblestone surfaces[if your city has bricks or cobblestones on any streets].
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Old 12-28-06, 06:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by operator
I'm trying to compose a post without the word hipster in it but I think i'd be a hypocrit.

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