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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)

rear brake?

Old 08-09-10, 06:41 PM
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rear brake?

I just ordered my first FG bike. I ride a lot, but a normal road bike...gears..brakes...etc.

The bike I ordered has a Front Brake but no rear, I am about to order a rear brake but thought I'd ask if it is worth bothering. I'm new to fixed gear, as in New...Should I order a rear brake or just go with a front only?

For reference, my new bike starts with a K and ends with pro....but that is not the point of this thread.
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Old 08-09-10, 06:43 PM
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not necessary unless you REALLY think you'll need one. front brake is good most of the time, and you'll learn to modulate speed/lock up the rear wheel soon enough.
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Old 08-09-10, 06:46 PM
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Tried running a rear brake when I very first rode a fixed gear, and it resulted in me locking up the rear wheel a lot and falling. Front brake has a lot of stopping power, so its fine by itself.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by CrockerCock
Tried running a rear brake when I very first rode a fixed gear, and it resulted in me locking up the rear wheel a lot and falling. Front brake has a lot of stopping power, so its fine by itself.
That was my concern, it seems most FG riders don't use a rear brake and I was wondering if there was a reason not too.

Forgot to mention in my first post that I ride 100% in the city....
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Old 08-09-10, 07:04 PM
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I have two brakes and I use them both. I leave my rear brake on because I use my freewheel side occasionally; I hardly ever use it when it's on the fixed side though, unless my legs were really tired.

The reason why most of us don't use a rear brake because most of us just lock up the rear wheel to check our speeds, rear brake is not necessary on a fixed wheel.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:13 PM
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Read this >>>> https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html

Rear brakes are unnecessary on fixed gear bikes and only necessary under certain conditions on bikes with freewheels.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rob999
That was my concern, it seems most FG riders don't use a rear brake and I was wondering if there was a reason not too.

Forgot to mention in my first post that I ride 100% in the city....
Lots of roadies don't use the rear brake either unless it's needed. I too ride 100% in the city and have gone though multiple sets of brake pads for the front over the last two years, but only one for the rear.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
Lots of roadies don't use the rear brake either unless it's needed. I too ride 100% in the city and have gone though multiple sets of brake pads for the front over the last two years, but only one for the rear.
Agreed. I tend to use both brakes but more of my rear. Same goes for my motorcycle, it is almost all front, rear is kinda useless.

Think I'll go with Front only for now and be careful, I'll get a rear if I feel necessary.
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Old 08-10-10, 11:17 AM
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One of the few reasons for a rear brake on a fixed gear bike (at least in my opinion) is for long descents. Modulating between front and rear can keep rim temps down and prevent blowout.

I've had one incident where I did a 300' decent in about .4 miles and had a tube fail when the rim got way, way too hot.

Other than extremes like that, a functional front brake and a bit of modulation from your legs will keep you safe. Learn how to stop with your legs tho, never know when a cable will break
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Old 08-10-10, 12:51 PM
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^^^^ ooph, been there. Didn't expect the ride to head up into the Hollywood Hills so I took my fixed gear. I didn't bust a tube but the rim was on fire when I got to the bottom of the descent.
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Old 08-10-10, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
^^^^ ooph, been there. Didn't expect the ride to head up into the Hollywood Hills so I took my fixed gear. I didn't bust a tube but the rim was on fire when I got to the bottom of the descent.
I actually melted the rubber rim strip and gum sidewalls of my crappy tires to the rim.

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...,0.016544&z=16

^^^^^what killed it.
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Old 08-10-10, 01:25 PM
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The other reason to have a rear brake, if you're using drop handlebars, you can have hoods. The real reason I have a rear brake on my fixed gear is for the hand position the brake lever offers.
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Old 08-10-10, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050
The other reason to have a rear brake, if you're using drop handlebars, you can have hoods. The real reason I have a rear brake on my fixed gear is for the hand position the brake lever offers.
Or just run a dummy hood.
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Old 08-10-10, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050
The other reason to have a rear brake, if you're using drop handlebars, you can have hoods. The real reason I have a rear brake on my fixed gear is for the hand position the brake lever offers.
lol you don't need a brake to run a hood.

Reminds me of a friend whose mother named her "Margaret" because she liked the name "Peggy" and wanted to call her daughter that. For some reason she didn't know she could just name her "Peggy."
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Old 08-10-10, 06:12 PM
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never used a brake on my fixed gears, occasionally use it with my geared roadies, use it on the MTB's (but still front brake more).
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Old 08-10-10, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by vw addict
never used a brake on my fixed gears, occasionally use it with my geared roadies, use it on the MTB's (but still front brake more).
i would never use brakes with gears, not even occasionally, poseur.
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Old 08-10-10, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by adriano
i would never use brakes with gears, not even occasionally, poseur.
Flintstone it!
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Old 08-10-10, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by adriano
i would never use brakes with gears, not even occasionally, poseur.
siiiiiiiigh
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Old 08-10-10, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Flintstone it!
I believe the hip term is Ted Shred, get on the ball TT!
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Old 08-10-10, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ianjk
I actually melted the rubber rim strip and gum sidewalls of my crappy tires to the rim.

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...,0.016544&z=16

^^^^^what killed it.
Did you eat ****?

heh usually I pedal down without braking, but I unclipped(one sided pedals) before going down so I kind of screwed myself. I managed to clip back in a while after realizing how stupid I was, but my rim was burning by then.


Originally Posted by adriano
i would never use brakes with gears, not even occasionally, poseur.
there's a video on Youtube showing some old footage of an Italian guy going down these switchbacks on a road bike without holding the handlebars and using his foot to brake. Too bad I don't remember what it's called.

Last edited by hairnet; 08-10-10 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
Lots of roadies don't use the rear brake either unless it's needed. I too ride 100% in the city and have gone though multiple sets of brake pads for the front over the last two years, but only one for the rear.
+1 Just replaced my front pads on my road bike, rear looks barely used.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:47 PM
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the only time i wish i had a rear brake is when i bomb some crazy steep or long descents, especially after i've already got a good number of miles in. but usually on rides with those kinds of descents, i bring the roadie.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:56 PM
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wolfpack?
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Old 08-10-10, 08:01 PM
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and trfkas
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Old 08-10-10, 08:05 PM
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I think I'm done with WP for a while. I can't take it starting at 10pm and riding till 2 or 3am
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