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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 04-18-08, 03:43 AM   #1
Robotronik
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Brakes

So I've been riding fixie for about a month now...

About 1am Wednesday morning I was flying down a nearby, slightly downhill, street at approx 30-35mph with no brakes. A car pulled up to the light about 500 ft ahead of me and it looked as though the light would change and we would be in the intersection at about the same time (i.e. me slam into the side of this nice Lexus). I tried slowing down the pedaling but eventually had to start skidding. I slid for about 200 feet before the car rolled safely away. I go home without any problems.

So today I finally got around to putting a front brake on. I suddenly feel much safer! (go figure!)

And I can stop in a much shorter distance! (go figure again!)

I also feel like a total dumbarse for not having a brake on since day one. I really didn't use it today (about 20 miles of biking) but it's there, and it makes me feel safe. I can also bomb excellent hills without getting the **** scared out of me.

Maybe one day it will come off. You know, for that Zen thing....

I just wanted to share this experience with you guys and all of the other obvious noobs. If you don't know what you're doing (and believe me, you don't), get a brake. You don't have to use it, and probably wont, but it's still there.
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Old 04-18-08, 07:27 AM   #2
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You know, for that Zen thing....

There is no zen thing.

Thank you for having a front brake, and being smart enough to know when you need one.
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Old 04-18-08, 07:39 AM   #3
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If you live where there are hills, your knees will thank you.

Also, if you've ever dropped a chain descending a large hill your face, teeth, body, soul will thank you for having a brake on your bicycle.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:10 AM   #4
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30-35mph
53x12?
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Old 04-18-08, 08:13 AM   #5
bonechilling
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53x12?
I'd except the kind of person who doesn't think he needs a brake to also be the kind of person who over-estimates his abilities.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:24 AM   #6
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So I've been riding fixie for about a month now...

About 1am Wednesday morning I was flying down a nearby, slightly downhill, street at approx 30-35mph with no brakes.
...
Maybe one day it will come off. You know, for that Zen thing....
Part of the "Zen thing" is not going downhill at 30-35 mph when there are intersections or cars pulling out. The way to deal with situations like that is to not get into them.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:25 AM   #7
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i use my brake once a week.
that one time a week makes me smile every single time.

the thing i like about having a brake is that i can take more "chances".
you always know that you can get out of a situation without a brake, but having a backup plan gives you a bit of an extra edge when doing dumb sh;t.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:32 AM   #8
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When I'm coming up to an unknown intersection, my hand is always on my brake, even though it is begging to completely **** my poor non machined rims
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Old 04-18-08, 08:37 AM   #9
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lol... that's actually how i started learning to ignore my brake. the first week after riding my ellipses, my leg strength tripled.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:10 AM   #10
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If you are riding 20 miles per day, I would suggest getting a bike that allows you to coast. Your body would thank you in the long run.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:48 AM   #11
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You know, for that Zen thing....
That obviously went over some heads. I might as well said so the hipsters stop teasing me. Or so I can be cool like in that MASH DVD.

PS I calculated it out and it's closer to 20-25. It seemed pretty fast at the time.

Last edited by Robotronik; 04-18-08 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:03 PM   #12
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Well, something like the Zen thing does exist, although a Zen Master might call it something else.

I ride with a front brake.

Many years ago I told myself I would ride with a front brake until a month went by without me using my front brake.

Presently, I don't remember the last time I used my front brake, but I have decided to keep my front brake nonetheless, at least on this bike.

Oh, I just now remembered the last time I used my front brake.

A car passed me and turned right, in front of me, almost clipping the curb and not leaving enough room for me to follow his turn.

I used my brake.

Close.

Despite my Zen state, I didn't see that coming.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:14 PM   #13
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I like to ride without having to think ahead, so I use a brake. So much easier on the mind.


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Old 04-18-08, 01:46 PM   #14
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If you are riding 20 miles per day, I would suggest getting a bike that allows you to coast. Your body would thank you in the long run.
don't believe the hype
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Old 04-18-08, 01:54 PM   #15
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53x12?
I can/have hit 37 with 48x17 on more than a few occasions. Top speed on a flat is 32. Not that hard to do 30-35 on a downhill.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:03 PM   #16
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If you are riding 20 miles per day, I would suggest getting a bike that allows you to coast. Your body would thank you in the long run.
I would have to disagree. If you know how to properly slow down/stop and have the right gear for the terrain, it is probably better for you in the long run.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:22 PM   #17
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don't believe the hype
+1 20 miles isn't so bad, not to mention we've no idea of the terrain/conditions.

Also, 30-35mph doesn't imply a crazy ratio, I've hit 35 (35.0 according to my computer) when running a 76GI ratio, sure I was spinning like a very very spinny thing, but it's possible.

I've been running brakeless this week (carefully, I might add) and will be fitting the brake tomorrow - only reason I've not got it done yet is that I've not got to a bike store to actually buy the brake and lever, as they all close at 6 and I'm not back into Toronto until 6:30 usually.
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Old 04-18-08, 03:02 PM   #18
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I ****ing love braking. I ride with front AND rear on my Rob Roy and use both every time I stop.

I'm totally into the Zen of braking.
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Old 04-18-08, 03:13 PM   #19
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I confess I haven't been running a brake for awhile now... but one I live someplace completely flat with wide roads and very little traffic, two I've geared it so stopping, or slowing down anyway, isn't a huge issue, and three have been riding fixed for a relatively long time (12 years or so? But mostly with a front brake)...

Having a brake rules... I'd much rather go back to my old gearing with a brake, which is my plan for the future.
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Old 04-18-08, 03:49 PM   #20
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If you are riding 20 miles per day, I would suggest getting a bike that allows you to coast. Your body would thank you in the long run.
lols, this guy.
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