These days i'm down to one bike without brakes.At one time it was the other way around(getting old i guess).I have to say that i don't ride as fast or aggressive when brakeless but it's fun,including moments like throwing a chain before a intersection It's one of those things you do just because you can.Kinda like building a chopper with suicide clutch,handshift and rear drumbrake only.
I run a front brake, but only because I haven't mastered skidding yet. And despite my alertness, I still have had to slam on the brake countless times due to unaware drivers, and this is a main reason I still fear taking it off.. However, I do love the look of a cable-less bike
i havent skidded in a long while, and that time was panic grabbing my rear brake on a descent.
I really really really like the concept of Brakeless bikes. I'm a ***** for bike aesthetics, and I would love to rid my bike of the front brake/cable/lever.
That said. I'll never ride brakeless except on the track. I can skid to a stop pretty quick, but there have been times where I would have ate car bumper without the front brake.
Front brakes slow you down quicker, and are more reliable. And in the city, where cars and people often make bad calls (myself included), it's necessary.
I know some people who ride brakeless, and they're cool, intelligent people, and I don't preach to them to put on a front brake, but personally, I think everyone should have one, for safety of yourself and others.
No matter how bad things get, they can't get any better, and they can't get any worse, things are what they are, so you better get used to it Nancy, quit your B*tchin'
i don't have brakes on my fixed gear. don't need em. i also don't ride down looooong super steep hills on my fixed gear bicycle.
I've ridden fixed gear exclusively for about five years.
The third year I did not use my brake, although I had a brake on both my bikes.
The fourth year I had a custom frame made without a brake.
I ride a very low gear ratio, 44 X 19, for a little less than 63 gear inches with 28 mm tires, and I don't skid.
I average about 15 mph around town, like clockwork.
If one rides at 72 gear inches or higher, I think a front brake makes more sense than skidding.
Additionally, I would advise against riding brakeless unless you have ridden easily for a year without using your front brake.
Two of my three fixed gear bikes have a brake, and the other day when I rode one of them, I approached an intersection at warp nine and had to use my brake.
I definitely ride much more conservatively when I ride without a brake, and, if speed means everything to you, use a front brake.
Used to do this all day as a messenger and the only guy who ran brake less was also slow as fark and had been in more accidents that he could remember... could have been the head injuries as he also eschewed helmets.
Running a brake had nothing to do with my level of responsibility or skills... but was there to make up for the lack of skills of cagers.
Started riding fixed while living in Washington Heights - anyone who rides around there knows what the hills are like, especially going down to the Hudson River bike path from 181st. I've had a couple close calls where that front brake came through, including a toddler that ran right in front of me on the bike path near 72nd.
Now that I live in Queens and the commute is relatively flat, I definitely use the brake a lot less, but it's saved me enough times to warrant keeping it on. Maybe on a lower-geared bike (currently running 46/17).
I'd like to say that if my fork was drilled for a brake, I'd use one. I prefer to have it...riding without is a little stressful.
I've considered getting a road fork, a level stem, more upright bars, and a brake, in order to make my bike more enjoyable to ride on a daily basis.
Def more enjoyable...after 20 miles or so I really don't won't to be bothered with having to skid stop...
Brakeless but gotta put it on back on as I got a ticket in socal. sucks.
I built my FG at a local co-op. I was originally planning to put a front brake on as it was my first ever riding fixed, but the co-op didnt have the best selection of parts, and I was too impatient, so once I threw the front wheel on it was out the door with no brakes for me. I rode about 5 miles back to campus through LA traffic. There were a couple hills and I had just learned how to skid stop, but I made it back with no incidents or close calls. After a while of riding brakeless i got used to it and forgot about getting a front brake.
So far Ive had no events were having a brake would have helped me. Anything bad that has happened since getting the bike could not have been averted with a brake. Most situations it seems its easier to just quickly maneuver onto an alternate path and dodge whatever is in the way. I would definitely feel a little more comfortable when going really, really fast, so I'm still considering getting one. The only times I've really panicked is when my chain jumps off - but then I just jam my foot in between the rear tire and the seat stays.
And if i ride on the street I always have a helmet. Ive never had any problems with law enforcement - when they see I have lights and a helmet I think they ignore my brakelessness.
I don't use a brake, not to look cool, its just my second hand bike didn't have one so just went along with it.
When your riding, do you use your brake much or do your legs do the work? Try moving your brake lever to a more difficult position to get at or just try not to use it and see how it changes your riding style.
If i was setting up from scratch i would go for a brake.
I need to be able to stop. I used to ride without brakes thinking I was cool, but I got doored. Now I only ride with them.
2010 Motobecane Team Track
1997 GT Edge
2012 Kilo TT Stripper
I do wish that people would keep their brakes, even just as backup, but if you insist on riding brakeless, fine. If you pretend that there is no difference in risk though, then you're just being naive.
First took my brake off because I got new bars and the clamp didnt fit. Pretty much just rode to class the next day down the same hill I always do and prayed. Then I got into barspins and never went back. I mostly just enjoy skipping and skids stops. Plus I live in a very flat area with low traffic and I ride very responsibly.
Last edited by Shrox; 07-28-10 at 03:17 PM. Reason: edited for needed clarity