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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 04-25-14, 04:57 PM   #1
Colorado Kid
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Rear Brake As A Drag Brake

I've heard that in a hilly area that it's good to have rear brake ( to use as a drag brake) then just having a front brake. What is this list real world experience about that? Does adding a rear brake make a Fixie stop better in places where there is a lot of hills?
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Old 04-25-14, 04:58 PM   #2
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Old 04-25-14, 09:51 PM   #3
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If you're riding a lot of hills, two brakes are good for a variety of reasons. The obvious one is that a certain amount of redundancy is nice when the alternative is careening out of control down a mountain.

But moreover, having two brakes means you can alternate them on a long descent and not overheat your front rim. It also means that you can distribute the work between both hands/arms, which is nice on long rides. I've done up to a hilly 400k with only a front brake, and my left arm was MUCH happier when I put a rear brake on as well after that.

Simply controlling your speed down a long descent isn't a scenario of absolute maximum stopping power (which is the usual argument for a front brake over no brakes at all on a fixie); you can scrub of some speed using either brake. But there are good reasons for having both if you ride in hills.
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