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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)

View Poll Results: single front brake on non-fixie bike
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%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-24-04, 03:53 AM   #1
redfooj
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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?
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Old 03-24-04, 07:04 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 07:12 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 07:47 AM   #4
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Replace your brake cable so you know that it's good and let 'er rip.
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Old 03-24-04, 10:11 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 10:36 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 10:53 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 10:54 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-24-04, 11:15 AM   #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.
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Old 03-24-04, 11:19 AM   #10
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not on a freewheel...
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Old 03-24-04, 11:33 AM   #11
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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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Old 03-24-04, 11:48 AM   #12
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Pedal really fast on a slight decline, hammer the brake. See what happens.
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Old 03-24-04, 12:36 PM   #13
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Run a brake, don't run a brake. Wear pants, don't wear pants. It's all subjective
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Old 03-24-04, 01:03 PM   #14
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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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Old 03-24-04, 01:41 PM   #15
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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).
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Old 03-24-04, 02:00 PM   #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!
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Old 03-24-04, 02:06 PM   #17
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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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Old 03-24-04, 02:07 PM   #18
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ive been rocking freewheel sans rear break since 82 back when all the kids were into it
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Old 03-24-04, 02:27 PM   #19
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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
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Old 03-24-04, 03:32 PM   #20
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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
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Old 03-24-04, 05:23 PM   #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?
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Old 03-24-04, 05:36 PM   #22
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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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Old 03-24-04, 05:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Karsten
Nice pot shot asshat.
Asshat? My new word of the week I think
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Old 03-24-04, 06:02 PM   #24
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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!
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Old 03-24-04, 07:51 PM   #25
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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.
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