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Brakeless Single Speed?

Old 02-04-19, 11:16 AM
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Brakeless Single Speed?

I saw the darndest thing on my ride to work today. So I was stopped at a light downtown and I saw this dude riding real slow on the sidewalk across the intersection from me. He appeared to be riding brakeless. Perfectly normal. That is, until I see this guy coast across the street and hop of the moving bike...

Here I am thinking riding brakeless fixed without foot retention is crazy but come on. Is this a thing that you guys have seen other people do? Has anyone tried it? Or is this guy just some weird unicorn?
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Old 02-04-19, 11:24 AM
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Maybe a coaster brake?
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Old 02-04-19, 11:25 AM
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Only homeless people.
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Old 02-04-19, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by subsage View Post
Maybe a coaster brake?
That thought crossed my mind but bike looked like one if those crappy $200 "fixies" so I kindof doubt someone would go to the trouble of putting a coaster brake on it. Also I didnt see any hint of backpedaling... I guess you never know with people though.

Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Only homeless people.
Then all I'm saying is that this guy had remarkable hygiene for a homeless person. (As best I could tell from across the street at least)
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Old 02-04-19, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PeopleAreIdiots View Post
That thought crossed my mind but bike looked like one if those crappy $200 "fixies" so I kindof doubt someone would go to the trouble of putting a coaster brake on it. Also I didnt see any hint of backpedaling... I guess you never know with people though.
Maybe it was a bike like this? https://www.amazon.com/Retrospec-Har.../dp/B07N1R96TH
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Old 02-04-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
huh... I should have known they would make something like that. It certainly could have been something like that. Dude definitely just hopped off the moving bike though
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Old 02-04-19, 01:01 PM
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2012 SE Draft Coaster
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Yeah, I have a bike like that. Itís an SE Draft Coaster that I put a front brake on. If you look closely, you can see the reaction arm on the left chainstay. Itís heavier than hell with a hiten steel frame with steel cranks and non-removable chainring. I use it as a lockup bike.

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Old 02-04-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post


2012 SE Draft Coaster


Yeah, I have a bike like that. Itís an SE Draft Coaster that I put a front brake on. If you look closely, you can see the reaction arm on the left chainstay. Itís heavier than hell with a hiten steel frame with steel cranks and non-removable chainring. I use it as a lockup bike.

I could see this being a decent choice for a kid's school commute bike.
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Old 02-04-19, 02:51 PM
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Iíve seen kids riding BMX bikes with a freewheel and no brakes. They stop by flipping the rear wheel around into a sideways skid.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:50 PM
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ted shred!
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Old 02-12-19, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by REDMASTA View Post
ted shred!


I knew I'd seen brakeless singlespeed somewhere before.
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Old 02-12-19, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by REDMASTA View Post
This hasnt popped up in ages. SO GOOD!
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Old 02-12-19, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by REDMASTA View Post
ted shred!
Lol. Wonder how many pairs of shoes he goes through. Doesnít look like much fun riding around like a cat with its ass in the air. To each their own hahaha
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Old 02-12-19, 06:43 PM
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Vans slip-ons early prototype
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Old 02-20-19, 11:50 PM
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I used to ride bmx brakeless. I took them off after dislocating a bone and tearing some ligaments because I tried adjusting my manual by pressing my brakes but I pressed a little too hard once and flipped over the bars VERY hard.

I also had lots of problems with adjusting them and they got in the way more than they helped. When they went out of adjustment (which was a lot because you were really using that bike), they would dangerously slow you down unpredictably while you were carving, doing a jump, or rolling up to a street trick. It was actually dangerous to have brakes in a lot of circumstances. They were also very non intuitive.

It was really hard for me to ride with them basically and they made me feel unsafe.

Back in those days, 990 brakes were (and probably still are) designed to lock your tire in place and hold all of your body weight while you did some kind of fancy thing. You barely touch those things and you were already skidding.

Most front forks did not have mounts, so you were stuck with just a rear. It was also a huge PITA to have a front brake.

You cooould adjust them to be a little lighter but then they didn't stop you well because they were in the rear.


Basically, it was no different from, and in many ways inferior to the old foot in the back tire trick.

Unlike road bikes, most BMX bikes back then had wishbone seatstays that would catch your shoe and insta-lock your rear tire just like a 990 would.

Because it got stuck between the tire and the wishbone, you actually didn't wear out your shoe very much because the tire was not rubbing against it, it was locked in place.


If you wanted too, you could also modulate your speed by moving your heel in and out.

It was waaaay more intuitive than a brake, and you felt like you were slowing and moving much more naturally (thus less random injury).
Because of how small the tires were, you could practically stand on them if you positioned your foot right and it would set you up for a bail much better than if you were to try and jump backwards off the pedals.

It wasn't much of a trend back then, like 70% of pros still rode with a brake, and if they were brakeless they were for sure street riders.

When you ride a sick solid well built bike when you're street riding, it stops feeling like a bicycle and feels more like an absolute unit that you can just mess around on.

Just imagine something that has absolutely no loose parts and weird creaks, that you could go as fast as possible with and hit like a 10 ft drop and it would feel exactly the same after you landed.

So it was basically just this "thing" that had a chain that could make you go faster.

Simple, solid, intuitive, fun.

The bike was basically an extension of you.


Nowadays it's a huge mega trend and you see kids powersliding and what not. Cool!

Anyways, the point of this post is that not all people ride brakeless because of hubris.
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Old 02-21-19, 12:03 AM
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I rode brakeless SS one summer. It was pretty fun. I jammed my foot behind the fork for braking needs.

I still ride a brakeless SS ocassionally. A month ago i rode my Ritchey Commando around like that while I was building it, figuring out what stem to use, and how much steerer to cut.
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Old 02-21-19, 12:45 AM
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Many bikes and scooters in China have brakes, they are either non-functional or not used very effectively, many still use the Fred Flintstone method of stopping.

I've only seen one or two bikes that were intentionally set up without brakes using a freewheel, just for the "look" I guess.
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Old 02-21-19, 07:23 AM
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Riding a bike with no means of stopping is like walking around in nothing but assless chaps.
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Old 02-21-19, 08:15 AM
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As a youth, I never had a single-speed bike with a brake on it. Skid to stop, shoe on the front wheel, ditch it into a hedge, whatever worked. Hooliganism did not require brakes. I got a 10-speed Univega when I was maybe 16, first bike with brakes.
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Old 02-21-19, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigpond View Post
Riding a bike with no means of stopping is like walking around in nothing but assless chaps.
Sounds fun!
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Old 02-22-19, 02:07 PM
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I only do this on my BMX bike.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigpond View Post
Riding a bike with no means of stopping is like walking around in nothing but assless chaps.
Originally Posted by mouse View Post


Sounds fun!
+1. The literal definition of party.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:38 PM
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[pedant] Chaps are by definition assless. If they had asses, they would be pants. [/pedant]
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Old 02-22-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
[pedant] Chaps are by definition assless. If they had asses, they would be pants. [/pedant]
Crowd: OHHHHH SHIIIIIIIIII.....

caloso: *drops mic*
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Old 02-23-19, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
[pedant] Chaps are by definition assless. If they had asses, they would be pants. [/pedant]
The whole joke revolves around the use of ass. You must be hysterical at parties,
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