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Front Brake only

Old 09-20-20, 04:36 AM
  #1  
cumulo
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Front Brake only

Hello, I'm going to renovate an old folding bicycle with 20" wheels soon. It only has a front brake, the rear was rusty and scrapped. As it's just going to be an occasional use bike, folded up in a car trunk, and I'm not going for restoration I was wondering if I could get away with having only a front brake. As well as a "cleaner" custom look, It's a bit less weight and less cable and levers etc. to get in the way when folding. I'm not fitting mudguards either. I was wondering if anyone here has only a front brake on their bike. I'm a six foot chap and not light so I doubt I would be thrown over the handlebars if I braked hard, but maybe I'm fooling myself and I really should have front and rear no matter.
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Old 09-20-20, 05:55 AM
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I built a fixed gear bike a while ago with only a front brake. Some fixies are brakeless, but I wasn't about to go that route. I felt perfectly safe and was able to stop just about as fast as if there was a rear brake since it's possible to have enough weight transfer to the front wheel that the rear wheel is not doing any braking at all.

The only time I would really miss a rear brake would be downhill on a sketchy surface where inadvertently locking the rear wouldn't be nearly as unstable as locking the front. This was never an issue on my fixie, but it could be on my regular road bike.
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Old 09-20-20, 10:12 AM
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The front brake is 90 percent of your stopping power. If you know how to use it you will be fine.
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Old 09-21-20, 08:53 AM
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cumulo
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Ah, thanks chaps. I think I'll try it then. I can always fit a rear one later if I don't get on with only having a front brake.
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Old 09-26-20, 06:41 AM
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On my shopping folder I have a front brake and a coaster brake hub on the rear. Mostly I use the front brake but sometimes the hub brake is useful, especially when loaded or some oik tries to pull out in front of me.
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Old 09-26-20, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
I built a fixed gear bike a while ago with only a front brake. Some fixies are brakeless, but I wasn't about to go that route. I felt perfectly safe and was able to stop just about as fast as if there was a rear brake since it's possible to have enough weight transfer to the front wheel that the rear wheel is not doing any braking at all.

The only time I would really miss a rear brake would be downhill on a sketchy surface where inadvertently locking the rear wouldn't be nearly as unstable as locking the front. This was never an issue on my fixie, but it could be on my regular road bike.
I installed the front brake on all my fixed gear. But I always try to brake in such a way that I don't use the front brake. On the fix, this is braking with connecting rods in the opposite direction. Sometimes I even hit the other hand with one hand, which reaches for the front brake. so I get a smooth braking and adjusted to the millimeter.
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Old 10-09-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cumulo View Post
Hello, I'm going to renovate an old folding bicycle with 20" wheels soon. It only has a front brake, the rear was rusty and scrapped. As it's just going to be an occasional use bike, folded up in a car trunk, and I'm not going for restoration I was wondering if I could get away with having only a front brake. As well as a "cleaner" custom look, It's a bit less weight and less cable and levers etc. to get in the way when folding. I'm not fitting mudguards either. I was wondering if anyone here has only a front brake on their bike. I'm a six foot chap and not light so I doubt I would be thrown over the handlebars if I braked hard, but maybe I'm fooling myself and I really should have front and rear no matter.
,,,,,, don't know why you want brakes at all , all they do is slow you down ...
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Old 10-15-20, 05:23 PM
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If a cable breaks you will be walking (or hitting the bushes to stop)
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Old 10-18-20, 04:09 AM
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Walking is also a way of getting somewhere
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Old 10-21-20, 12:44 PM
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On fixed gear without brakes, there is another interesting way to brake - it's with a slipper.
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Old 10-21-20, 02:01 PM
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I used to have a fix / free that I only kept a front brake on. I mostly rode fixed and only needed the brake on downhills. It worked fine when using the freewheel, but I kept my speed reasonable on long hills just to be sure.
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