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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 11-04-07, 10:14 PM   #1
EivlEvo
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Front Brake or Rear Brake?

n00b question... I tried the search, nothing "definitive"

What's the difference between using a front brake or a rear brake on a fixie?

I'm building my first one, and was just wondering if it came down to anything more than simplicity of cable routing to the rear?

Anyone know why I couldn't use a "rear" brake caliper on the front?

Thanks squad,
~DC
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Old 11-04-07, 10:22 PM   #2
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shouldn't be a problem to use the caliper that was on the rear in the front.


from my understanding they are the same
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Old 11-04-07, 10:25 PM   #3
acoldspoon
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Running a rear is more of a PITA because every time you change gearing or your chain, you have to match your rim up with your brake pads. This can lead to you pulling out your hair in frustration and will offer you less gear ratios. As to using a "rear" caliper on the front, many modern calipers come with a certain amount of toe in already built into the brake caliper. Thus, running a rear brake on the front may lead to inefficient and noisy braking. As well, a rear brake caliper uses a different attachment bolt that may well be too short to go all the way through your forks.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:32 PM   #4
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You have a rear brake on a fix. It's called your pedals. And the only reason not to use a rear caliper on a fork is the length of the center bolt. Obviously, if your front caliper is damaged or for some reason unusable, you can swap out the center bolts.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:35 PM   #5
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Front brake is more powerful.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:37 PM   #6
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^^Wow. Didn't think of that. Makes total sense.

Then there's also this arg for front:

www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
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Old 11-04-07, 10:50 PM   #7
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For maximum braking power, a front brake designed as a front brake works best.

That said, for a brake intended as an emergency brake, should one throw a chain, a rear brake has some merit.

A few years ago I rode over the crest of a hill onto 1/4" thick clear ice.

I back-pedaled and my rear wheel spinned backwards.

Unconsciously, I tapped the front brake and the front wheel went out from underneath, resulting in four broken ribs and a punctured, collapsed lung.

I got back on my bike and rode five miles to the Emergency room where they put in a chest tube.

I eventually had three chest tubes and went a month without work.

Bummer.

If I had not had a front brake, I think I could have ridden through it, or onto the side of the road, or at least clipped out before I fell, and, perhaps, have fallen better.

That said, I recommend either a front brake or two brakes.

A rear brake alone looks too weird.
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Old 11-04-07, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Cox View Post
I got back on my bike and rode five miles to the Emergency room where they put in a chest tube.
Damn!
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Old 11-04-07, 11:56 PM   #9
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yeah that's pretty hardcore. i don't think i'd be able to do that. i should probably put my brake back on, i've tempted fate for a little too long now.
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Old 11-05-07, 12:14 AM   #10
EivlEvo
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Yeah, I'm a car guy so I realize that the front brake is far more efficient in stopping force, but I wasn't sure if there was a specific reason for one over the other.

I actually only have a rear caliper, but I'm pretty sure i'll be able to adjust it to function on the front no problem. That whole adjusting gear ratio's is some good logic too, since this is my first setup I'm sure I'll try to be switching cogs initially.

But yeah, I'm gonna be taking the freewheel off of my wheel next weekend or so and i'm pretty sure thats called a "suicide hub" for a reason so it'll be just for an e-brake anywho.
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Old 11-05-07, 12:23 AM   #11
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really? with a name like evil evo i never would have guessed.

e-brake? dude... icard:
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