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Hand brakes for a fixie?

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Hand brakes for a fixie?

Old 02-21-21, 12:22 PM
  #26  
DiegoFrogs
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I've never gone without, but for years I ran with only one on the front.

I've gone the last 8 years with two. Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers (bought cheaply) controlling Paul's Components Racer centerpull brakes ($$$). If only for the symmetry and the hand positions, I highly recommend two brakes.
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Old 02-21-21, 12:38 PM
  #27  
79pmooney
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Originally Posted by RandomlyWest View Post
I would vote for brakes. At least front brakes, preferably front and rear brakes.
...
There are at least a few that rode without brakes who no longer vote.
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Old 02-23-21, 01:45 PM
  #28  
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Having a brake opens up more territory for you too. Living in the mountains I would never be able to go some places without a brake. Or maybe I should say it would not be fun doing so. A seven mile decent controlling a rear wheel is just too much.
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Old 03-26-21, 09:11 AM
  #29  
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I like to have a front brake just in case. That is just for your own safety and the safety of others. If you crash with someone without any breaks, you will get into trouble here in the USA. I would not like to face any legal consequences. But that is just my opinion. Someone else may think something else.
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Old 03-26-21, 10:47 AM
  #30  
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I just had a few days off work, rode over 200 miles in a wide range of conditions and never touched the brakes. Then this week, commuting only 2–3 miles each way, I've needed them twice because of the actions of other road users.
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Old 03-26-21, 11:06 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
Having a brake opens up more territory for you too. Living in the mountains I would never be able to go some places without a brake. Or maybe I should say it would not be fun doing so. A seven mile decent controlling a rear wheel is just too much.
The fun I've had in Portland more than a few times is flying past brakeless riders downhill. I ride downhill at close to geared bike speeds knowing that making the next corner or stopping at the light at the bottom is no big deal. And on Cycle Oregon, where I've brought multiple cogs, chainwhip and spanner, I've cruised very fast down glorious descents on gears like 42-12. Ear to ear grin fun.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:21 PM
  #32  
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Ursula,

If you're new to single/fixed gear bikes I'd recommend brakes. There's a lot to learn right out of the gate just getting used to your feet being fixed to the wheel. Dealing with no brakes on top of that is no bueno if you ask me. If you're self conscious about putting brakes on your bike, don't. Heck, do what I did, I searched for some Shimano Dura Ace brakes and put hose on my first fixed gear. Not only do they brake well, they look cool too and are also a conversation piece.
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Old 04-03-21, 09:08 AM
  #33  
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Riding fixie on the road without brakes is beautifully simple in components and stimulatingly complex in how you manage your speed, direction and alternates should something unexpected happen. I keep one bike built up like this and ride it on occasion for the uniqueness of it...but every other post on this thread is correct...too many unexpected things happen to not have (at minimum) a really solid front brake for any kind of daily riding.
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Old 04-03-21, 10:13 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
Ursula,

If you're new to single/fixed gear bikes I'd recommend brakes. There's a lot to learn right out of the gate just getting used to your feet being fixed to the wheel. Dealing with no brakes on top of that is no bueno if you ask me. If you're self conscious about putting brakes on your bike, don't. Heck, do what I did, I searched for some Shimano Dura Ace brakes and put hose on my first fixed gear. Not only do they brake well, they look cool too and are also a conversation piece.
Do you think the Dura Aces are worth the money? I am planning to upgrade my current front brake and looking for some options.
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Old 04-03-21, 03:02 PM
  #35  
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if you have to ask, you probably need them.
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Old 04-03-21, 03:41 PM
  #36  
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BikeEthics,

Do you think the Dura Aces are worth the money?
That's a challenging question to answer. Are they materially better than Ultegra's? Maybe not in braking performance, but the workmanship is better for sure. I love these brakes and they just make me smile when I look at them, so for me, they are worth every penny. I'm still looking for a pair of levers that are worthy of the calipers......






Last edited by drlogik; 04-03-21 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 04-03-21, 04:02 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
BikeEthics,



That's a challenging question to answer. Are they materially better than Ultegra's? Maybe not in braking performance, but the workmanship is better for sure. I love these brakes and they just make me smile when I look at them, so for me, they are worth every penny.





I get the chills thinking you might have dropped handlebars. That you might like riding in the drops as much as I do. I know I could never get back to interrupter levers quickly from the drops going downhill. That starting the slow with my legs (the first reflex when I see (say) those brake lights ahead of me) means my weight is shifting forward and getting back to the brake levers will be harder and slower.

A fellow on a forum I used to attend described his bike with interrupters only and drop bars. Came on later to tell us he'd had a run-in at an intersection at the bottom of a hill with a heavy truck. He lived and would ride again, but it was not minor. I refrained from asking if he was in the drops when this happened.
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Old 04-03-21, 07:18 PM
  #38  
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79pmooney,

I get the chills thinking you might have dropped handlebars.
They're bullhorns. I would never ride top-bar levers with drop bars. Ain't no way. Truth be told, as far as safety is concerned, this setup isn't all that "safe" either. In a true emergency stop situation, that extra split second to find the lever and apply the brake might be the difference between hitting something or being able to stop in time. I ride very cautiously on this bike. It's more my "neighborhood cruiser". My hands are usually on the rounded end of the bullhorn with the index finger on the brake lever.

I have a second Wabi (a Special) with drop bars and that bike has standard levers with Ultegra brakes. That's my go-to workout bike.


--

Last edited by drlogik; 04-03-21 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 04-03-21, 07:38 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
79pmooney,



They're bullhorns. I would never ride top-bar levers with drop bars. Ain't no way. Truth be told, as far as safety is concerned, this setup isn't all that "safe" either. In a true emergency stop situation, that extra split second to find the lever and apply the brake might be the difference between hitting something or being able to stop in time. I ride very cautiously on this bike. It's more my "neighborhood cruiser". My hands are usually on the rounded end of the bullhorn with the index finger on the brake lever.

I have a second Wabi (a Special) with drop bars and that bike has standard levers with Ultegra brakes. That's my go-to workout bike.


--
Good. Thanks for replying. I saw quite a few bullhorns and interrupters on Portland hipster bikes when fix gears were the thing and kept wondering how many crashes they didn't prevent. Kept my mouth shut because those who know they are immortal don't listen.
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Old 04-04-21, 06:04 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
...I'm still looking for a pair of levers that are worthy of the calipers......
I have found that Barend/TT levers are ideal on my bullhorns - and there are plenty of nice ones...
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Old 04-13-21, 02:22 PM
  #41  
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No brakes = velodrome or circus.
Roads, streets, hills, trails with people (especially children) = must have at least one on the front.
If you go with the drop bars, two brake hoods do give another place to rest your hands, as someone has pointed out.
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Old 04-21-21, 07:39 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by BikeEthics View Post
Do you think the Dura Aces are worth the money? I am planning to upgrade my current front brake and looking for some options.
drlogik nice Wabi, I run mine with Dura Ace brakes as well.

BikeEthics I run Dura-Ace on one Wabi and 6800 Ultegra on the other Wabi. I need 2mm extra of reach on the Ultegra bike which they're perfect for. The 9000 DA are prettier than the 6800 Ultegra IMO. They both function the exact same though.

OP: always good to run two brakes of some kind on the street. You might trust your abilities. Don't trust other people.

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Old 04-22-21, 10:18 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by sdimattia View Post
drlogik nice Wabi, I run mine with Dura Ace brakes as well.

BikeEthics I run Dura-Ace on one Wabi and 6800 Ultegra on the other Wabi. I need 2mm extra of reach on the Ultegra bike which they're perfect for. The 9000 DA are prettier than the 6800 Ultegra IMO. They both function the exact same though.

OP: always good to run two brakes of some kind on the street. You might trust your abilities. Don't trust other people.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-23-21, 05:03 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
If you ride on roads, you should have brakes (at least on the front). 99% of the time, you wont need it and you can slow yourself with the pedals for the full fixie vibe. For the other 1%....
I agree. I have a a front brake installed on my fixed gear bikes, and I usually don't need it. But when I do need it, I REALLY need it.
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Old 04-26-21, 09:38 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Roche View Post
I agree. I have a a front brake installed on my fixed gear bikes, and I usually don't need it. But when I do need it, I REALLY need it.
I needed my front brake yesterday. I would have get hurt without it.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:18 AM
  #46  
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I was heading down a hill on a country road the other day when my chain came off. I was grateful to have brakes.
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Old 04-30-21, 08:59 AM
  #47  
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Anyone still remember when the chain would come off when we were kids with only a coaster brake and all you could do was grit your teeth, hop onto the top tube and drag your feet? A lot more gravel roads back then, I guess. Still....an experience like that once in awhile did us good....prepared us for married life...
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Old 04-30-21, 12:22 PM
  #48  
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Here's another argument in favour of brakes. I was out on a ride this afternoon when I spotted a wild hare on the edge of a field right next to the road: a splendid specimen , almost the size of a fox. Although I try never to use the brakes on a leisure ride, I instinctively braked hard and was rewarded by coming almost silently to a halt so close to the hare I could see every whisker. It locked eyes with me for a moment then turned and zig-zagged across a dusty field, with little puffs of dust coming up from its feet.

It's a bit niche, perhaps, but it made me glad I had brakes. It was the only time I used them in just over an hour's brisk and enjoyable ride on a mixture of roads, lanes, bridle paths, single track, and restricted byways.
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Old 04-30-21, 02:21 PM
  #49  
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Do your knees a favor, get a brake. You still get the full fixie feeling but you won't spend your retirement in a wheelchair!
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Old 05-03-21, 02:09 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Dubinthedam View Post
Do your knees a favor, get a brake. You still get the full fixie feeling but you won't spend your retirement in a wheelchair!
^ this ^
Well, I guess it depends on everyone's knees, but even though I wasn't really using my brakes since I got into Fixed, if I was riding a lot on the streets with traffic my knees were killing me at night. I got my the same weak knees as my father, so it was expected.
If you're going to ride where there's no traffic, like the countryside or a bike path you should be fine
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