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View Poll Results: single front brake on non-fixie bike

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34. You may not vote on this poll
  • its okay - fine - whatever

    18 52.94%
  • bad idea - i wouldnt do it

    10 29.41%
  • yo that shizz is straight up stoopid!

    6 17.65%
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  1. #1
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    No rear brake w/ freewheel/freehub?

    i have an old bike... so I stripped most stuff from it.. not absolutely ready for fixed yet so im running a 1x7 drivetrain... it's got a center-pull brake on the front only...

    1.sheldon brown and car racing/physics background says front brake use is predominant
    2.can't be any worse than fixie guys w/ no brakes at all, right
    3.beater bike--not racer--1x7 (39t-12c) limits top speed somewhat

    so it's not that bad of an idea, right? or is it absolutely stupid?

  2. #2
    Spawn of Satan
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    How and where do you plan on using the bike. If you live someplace where there is no traffic or hills I would say go for it, but be careful. If you plan to ride in the city or a place that has any hills at all, your not going to have a long life span.

    Where and how you ride should dictate how you set your ride up.

  3. #3
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfooj
    i have an old bike... so I stripped most stuff from it.. not absolutely ready for fixed yet so im running a 1x7 drivetrain... it's got a center-pull brake on the front only...

    1.sheldon brown and car racing/physics background says front brake use is predominant
    2.can't be any worse than fixie guys w/ no brakes at all, right
    3.beater bike--not racer--1x7 (39t-12c) limits top speed somewhat

    so it's not that bad of an idea, right? or is it absolutely stupid?
    I'd have no qualms, assumming a decent, quality front brake setup. The nice thing about singlespeeders is you can always bail out with the Fred Flintstone foot drag.

  4. #4
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    Replace your brake cable so you know that it's good and let 'er rip.

  5. #5
    Danger is my middle name. lucklust's Avatar
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    Some people are going to say that 'if your brake fails, you're screwed, because you don't have a backup plan.' I don't think that it's that much different from running a fixie without a brake (if you're chain drops, you're screwed, too). If you're not confident enough in your mechanical ability, take the bike in to a shop regularly to maintain your brake, and you'll be fine. I ran my fully geared Peugeot with only one brake (I broke the other one) for about 500 miles with no problems.
    Yeah, I'm still pretty.

  6. #6
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    You'd probably be OK. But I don't understand the urge to cast off brakes on either freewheel or fixed. Really, when you think about it, the only thing more important than going is stopping.

    At least one poster claims to have busted several brake cables. I've busted several chains, which can be pretty ****ed up even with two working brakes. Doing the Fred Flintstone is not a viable option. Point is, minimizing braking ability when one clearly doesn't need to, seems pretty foolish.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dabern's Avatar
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    You know, seems to me if you're really in a panic stop situation, then something like 90-95% of braking power is on the front wheel anyway...this is due to weight transfer to the front since your center of gravity/mass is already ahead of the rear axle but behind the front axle. So likely no biggie not having a rear brake when running a freewheel. In Campy's newer Record/Chorus groups they offer the option of single pivot rear brake vice dual pivot because they know the rear does very little anyway. I think it would be an interesting test to have two bikes rollout at same speed and apply max pressure on brakes at same time - one bike using both, the other using just front. I would bet the front brake only version stops virtually even with the both brakes version. Sorry to ramble on...I say go for it and do a bit of practice with weight shifts to rear while applying brakes in a panic-type situation so that it becomes second nature to do so.
    Rock Lobster

  8. #8
    One knee is enough SchreiberBike's Avatar
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    People do a lot of stupider things.

    Of course that's about the worst excuse I've ever heard.

    I might do it if:
    ----I were attempting to break a world record,
    ----I had to get the antidote to my children right away,
    ----I knew nothing unexpected would happen,
    ----pigs could fly.

    Make your own decision, you choose the risks you take in life.
    "The more you tighten your grip . . . the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't run a freewheel with only a front brake unless I wanted my family to cash in on life insurance.

  10. #10
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    not on a freewheel...

  11. #11
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabern
    I would bet the front brake only version stops virtually even with the both brakes version.
    On a consistant basis, no. About a 5 - 10 foot difference. I've played this game with my nieghbor. I can get into 5 feet and under (at one point, a foot) with FG front brake. 5 feet is a long way though.
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  12. #12
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    Pedal really fast on a slight decline, hammer the brake. See what happens.
    When sadness fills my days
    It's time to turn away
    And then tomorrow's dreams
    Become reality to me

  13. #13
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Run a brake, don't run a brake. Wear pants, don't wear pants. It's all subjective
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  14. #14
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    Pedal really fast on a slight decline, hammer the brake. See what happens.
    Stupidity breeds it's own results.

    I use a front brake on slight declines all the time.
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  15. #15
    Not-so-Senior Member
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    I have no rear brake on my flip flop, but only becasue i have to (no hole y'see). But I don't think it's really a problem, especially if you're not going to be going crazy-fast. As with motorcycles (to a certain extent) the rear brake is used more for controlling the bike in turns than actually stopping (still quite useful though).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    Stupidity breeds it's own results.

    I use a front brake on slight declines all the time.
    Yes, that about sums it up.
    See you over the handlebars, buddy!

  17. #17
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swiss Hoser
    Yes, that about sums it up.
    See you over the handlebars, buddy!

    You'll be there and I'll be stopped. Nice pot shot asshat.
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  18. #18
    al5
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    ive been rocking freewheel sans rear break since 82 back when all the kids were into it

  19. #19
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    i didn't mean to make a derision of anybody's idealogy or creed...
    i'm new to biking so i just wanted to see if there is a particular that i'm overlooking

    -i think with the combined lower riding position and (lessened) leverage of these brakes, an endo is improbable (i can toss myself over my v-brake mtb with a finger, though )
    -i have new lines and pads (and a helmet )

    if the other point of note is braking effectiveness... ill go do a quick comparitive test with the mtb

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    just leave it on there...unless your too cool to stay alive.even if i was going fixed, i still would have both brakes. MAybe im just a pus*y

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    Pedal really fast on a slight decline, hammer the brake. See what happens.
    Even if you have a rear brake, doing this with your front brake is stupid. Use your brakes appropriately all the time, not just when you have one.
    I rode my mountain bike (very seldom off road) for over a year without a functional rear brake because the rear wheel was too bent and I was broke. The bike never failed to stop me in a timely fashon. I never broke a brake cable, I didn't die and I didn't go over the bars. I wouldn't hesitate to ride a bike with only one brake as long as I knew the maintence history of said brake. No different (to me) than riding a fixie wiht no brake. Be aware of your equipemnt and it's limitations and ride appropriately, what's so hard about that?

  22. #22
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by familyman
    what's so hard about that?
    What's so hard about it? Every ****in saftey dickhead with an asshat comes along, predicts doom, and post some drival about imment death. You're trying to put common sense into the arguement. Really, common sense doesn't apply with some people.
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  23. #23
    Not-so-Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    Nice pot shot asshat.
    Asshat? My new word of the week I think

  24. #24
    Danger is my middle name. lucklust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    asshat.
    I did not need that kind of image floating around in my head...
    Kind of a "Silence of the Lambs" thing... UGH!
    Yeah, I'm still pretty.

  25. #25
    Senior Member chumpslacker's Avatar
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    I've been riding with only front brake's on two of my bike's for 8 years now-hauling ass when I ride and have never had a problem--probably helps that I'am a big boy.
    surly take's care of surly

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