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  1. #1
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    put rear brake on a fixie so that right brake lever doesn't rattle?

    I'm finally finishing my fixie project which has sat in my attic for the past eight months.
    I'm putting standard drop bars on the bike, because I like having all the available hand positions, and I've stuck old Shimano RX100 brake levers, basically the exact same as the current Tiagra model stocked by Rivendell.


    I could put just a front brake on the bike, but have two reasons to install a rear brake:
    1. cable tension from a rear brake will keep the right brake lever from rattling as I ride
    2. if I switch the rear wheel to a singlespeed setup I'd have more need of a rear brake

    So, what would y'all say? Am I likely to get rattling? The brake levers do have a return spring of course but I think cable tension from the rear brake would make the right brake lever much less likely to rattle.
    Removing the right lever isn't an option because I like the brake-hoods hand position and am using these Shimano levers because I find they have a more secure - though slightly less comfortable - spot for my hand than the Tektro levers I have on two of my road bikes.

    I don't see any downside to having a rear brake on a fixie, besides a little weight and a little less simplicity.
    Last edited by TallRider; 02-19-08 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Villainous huerro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery View Post
    I don't see any downside to having a rear brake on a fixie, besides a little weight and a little less simplicity.
    Well then there you have it.

    Edit: Yes, you will have rattling. Not necessarily th levers themselves, but the mechanism that holds the end of the cable will be able to rattle around in there. I suppose you could take it out or glue it or something, but that's just silly.

  3. #3
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    yeah, there's no problem with it. just one more way to stop. go for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    the guy must have been like holy ****? this kid on a fixie is killin it without engine motors.

  4. #4
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    ...only run one lever?
    you have a pair of back brakes attached to your pelvis.
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

  5. #5
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to just run the rear brake as well - there's also some side-to-side rattling in the lever that will diminish with cable tension attached to the lever.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
    ...only run one lever?
    you have a pair of back brakes attached to your pelvis.
    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery View Post
    Removing the right lever isn't an option because I like the brake-hoods hand position and am using these Shimano levers because I find they have a more secure - though slightly less comfortable - spot for my hand than the Tektro levers I have on two of my road bikes.

  6. #6
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    oops, didnt see that, sorry.
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

  7. #7
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I once took care of the rattling problem on the dummy lever by jamming a piece of bubble gum.

  8. #8
    out of shape
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    might be nice to have a hand position involving two hoods, instead of just one.

  9. #9
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    It's usually a pretty straight forward procedure to remove the lever from the hood.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  10. #10
    tad
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    you could probably remove the lever part of the rear lever and just mount the hood... that way you'd still get the hand position.

  11. #11
    road curmudgeon, FG rider GeraldChan's Avatar
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    It can't hurt to have a rear brake.

    Backpedaling to slow the rear wheels down is sub-optimun on older knees and the weight of the rear brake is trivial.

    Lastly you can stop faster.

    I run both brakes on my old school Cinelli 66 drops on both my FG bikes.
    1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
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    2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione

  12. #12
    ALL PARTY ryansexton's Avatar
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    I've thought about rocking a back brake, I decided against it because it'd take away the simplicity and make me too dependent. It would also add another part of the bike that I don't know how to fix.

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Just jam something into the part where the lever contacts, something rubbery.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    My current winter fix was set up with front and rear brakes as a SS so that a friend could ride it last summer. I never bothered to take the back brake off and it hasn't really bothered me- I can count on one hand the number of times I've used it but taking it off would be extra work and would result in the rattle the OP was talking about.
    There's nothing shameful about running a road-going fixed gear with two brakes. If you're going to have the lever there for comfort anyway, it might as well work.
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  15. #15
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    Run a rear brake, disassemble the lever and turn it into a dummy lever, or rig it up to actuate something fun.

    I don't realize how much I miss hoods until I take a ride on my geared bike.

  16. #16
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    Install two pre-aero levers (cable comes up out of hood) operating just a front caliper. They are in series like a road lever and an auxilliary top lever. Cable goes normally out the top of one lever, over to top of other lever, out the bottom of lever handle (one little zip tie there through a drillium hole), to front caliper.

    (I plan to post a photo someday.)
    Last edited by dogsridewith; 02-20-08 at 06:56 AM. Reason: add

  17. #17
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    I think I'm just going to run a rear brake though. There's no real downside to it here for me. I'm riding a fix for fun and training and care about my knees, and I plan to use it for longer rides, not commuting-around-town stuff anyway.

    If I were to run just one brake I'd see about removing the lever from one of the hoods, or using something gummy or rubbery to dampen any vibration.

    On an old fixie build, I used pre-aero levers (the kind without even rubber hoods) and simply removing the lever from one of the hoods. But the ones I was using didn't give a very comfortable or secure sport for my hands. Here's a picture.

  18. #18
    ... thelung's Avatar
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    JB weld the lever so it doesnt move

  19. #19
    A little North of Hell
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    XXXI

  20. #20
    Are we not men?
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    It feels gross and weird to use a rear brake while backpedaling.

  21. #21
    Senior Member abeyance's Avatar
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    I have done the zip-tie idea, it works well. You can also use a rubberband creatively tied as if it was the cable to prevent the lever moving.
    not banned anymore

  22. #22
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Not looking for expensive options myself, but someone reading this thread in the future may be, and for them the Cane Creek dummy hood may be a good option. As I noted earlier in the thread, I find that the Cane Creek (made by Tektro) levers don't offer as positive/secure of a grip for torquing out-of-the-saddle with hands on the brake hoods, as do the Shimano levers. But I find the Tektro levers a bit more comfortable, though. I have really big hands so your mileage may vary on this issue.

    I want to keep the lever functional even if I don't run a rear brake, in case I use the lever on a normal bike eventually, or want to add a rear brake, so no JB Weld for me. But that would be a good option for some.

    Finally, I probably wouldn't be doing much backpedal-braking anyway, so a rear brake won't feel weird to me on that count. But for people who like backpedaling it's an issue to consider.

  23. #23
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    Put the brake on and ride the hoods.

  24. #24
    Senior Member doughboy's Avatar
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    It's interesting that some people will "destroy" the right brake lever just to have a purist looking FG bike.

    I agree with the OP's decision to run a rear brake. More stopping power is always good. If you choose not to use it, disregard the right lever. As for weight penalty, lots of people here are running 20lbs entry level FG steel bikes, so unless you have a 13lbs bike, I don't see brake calipers as being a weight penalty.

  25. #25
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Why the hell are the dummy levers more expensive than the real thing?

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