Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Best method for stopping with your legs

Notices
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)

Best method for stopping with your legs

Old 10-01-10, 01:29 PM
  #1  
ppc
Senile Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best method for stopping with your legs

Alright, so what started as a quick ride of my old bike for *****s and giggles is turning into a serious re-discovery of riding fixed. I had forgotten I actually like the bike, even if it kills my butt, back, neck and wrist. I even bought it a proper chainring (one that runs true) and a nice BMX chain, and installed my old Brooks saddle on it.

Back when I rode this bike as a teen, I used to slow down essentially by honking backward. For stopping in a hurry, there's the brakes, but being a tightwad, if I just have to slow down on a safe road, I tend to use my legs to save the pads. Never in my wildest dreams did I think of skidding back then, as tires are expensive when you're a penniless teenager.

But since I keep reading about skid stops in this here forum, I decided to give it a whirl on my local cycle path. After an hour practicing, I could do it pretty good. I could even load the rear wheel hard enough to make a convincing stop.

Trouble is, it's not all that convincing: I stop faster with the normal method of honking in reverse, hard but nice and round, and keep the rear wheel turning. This sounds logical to me: if you try to backpedal with as much gusto as you can manage, you exert the maximum deceleration force your muscles can muster. If you skid, you exert less than the maximum deceleration force, else the rear wheel would regain traction and start spinning again. Not to mention, the rear-end fishtails all over the place. Finally, it's a surefire way to kill my knees, which are already shot and really don't need that.

So, is there more to skidding than just style? I admit it looks pretty damn fancy, but I fail to see how this is a better way of slowing down without using the brakes. Am I missing something here?
ppc is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:33 PM
  #2  
motobeCarnage 
rue the whirl
 
motobeCarnage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
nope you're exactly right. It is not a better way of slowing down.
__________________
Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
i prefer anal beads
motobeCarnage is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:34 PM
  #3  
ichitz
N-Fred
 
ichitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: Torelli Tipo Uno (stolen), Peugeot Nice, Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
skidding is not better than brakes. u're not missing anything.

/thread
ichitz is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:35 PM
  #4  
polobreaka
Senior Member
 
polobreaka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 282

Bikes: Leader 722ts

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
it is quite clear that skidding is not the efficient way of stopping quickly. there is no better way of slowing down/stopping than using a brake. if you must get into skid stop, SKIP stop is better. works like ABS on a car.
polobreaka is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:43 PM
  #5  
ppc
Senile Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No no, I didn't compare stopping with your legs and stopping with brakes. Nothing stops better than brakes. I was comparing slowing down by trying to reverse the rear wheel hard but letting it spin, and skidding. My conclusion is that skidding slows you down less - and more dangerously - than honking in reverse.
ppc is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:46 PM
  #6  
motobeCarnage 
rue the whirl
 
motobeCarnage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
definitely agreed. Skidding and stopping are two very different things.
__________________
Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
i prefer anal beads
motobeCarnage is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 01:55 PM
  #7  
nealjoslyn
We haven't located us yet
 
nealjoslyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 168

Bikes: Hong Fu, Mercier Kilo tt, Cannondale 2.8, Takara Grand Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I think I can stop a lot faster by skidding (than just resisting forward motion with legs). When I try to slow down fast with resisting, it just makes me bounce all over the place and hurts my knees more than initiating a skid.

Think about it like a back brake on a bike. The rear wheel only skids when maximum braking force is applied. If you apply less than maximum, the wheel doesn't skid.

I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it makes sense to me.
nealjoslyn is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 02:10 PM
  #8  
ppc
Senile Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by nealjoslyn View Post
I think I can stop a lot faster by skidding (than just resisting forward motion with legs). When I try to slow down fast with resisting, it just makes me bounce all over the place and hurts my knees more than initiating a skid.
I follow the pedals and pedal round in reverse, so to speak, if that makes sense, and I don't bounce, even at high RPM.

Originally Posted by nealjoslyn View Post
Think about it like a back brake on a bike. The rear wheel only skids when maximum braking force is applied. If you apply less than maximum, the wheel doesn't skid.
Actually once a tire starts skidding, the braking force decreases considerably. That's why ABS was invented, to keep the wheel spinning and braking right at the edge of locking up.

Also, since your legs are a lot weaker than a brake, you have to unload the rear wheel to initiate the skid. The only way you could get the maximum braking force out of a skidding tire is if you reloaded the wheel just enough to keep skidding, right at the edge before the tire would regain traction, which is almost impossible.
ppc is offline  
Old 10-01-10, 02:59 PM
  #9  
ichitz
N-Fred
 
ichitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: Torelli Tipo Uno (stolen), Peugeot Nice, Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
skids are just for fun. You know how u wear socks and run across a room with smoooooth floors and stop running and slides? (well i do, don't judge ) it's like that. For fun.
ichitz is offline  
Old 10-02-10, 12:12 AM
  #10  
ppc
Senile Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah it sure is fun - albeit expensive in tire rubber - but the problem is that some people rely solely on that to stop. Scary...
ppc is offline  
Old 10-02-10, 02:39 PM
  #11  
robotphood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's pretty easy to stop well enough at cruising speed ~15 with proper technique. But I think most of the time people will be regulating their speed from point A to B rather than relying on skidding to stop on a dime. It's a difference experience, similar to snowboarding. If you want to haul ass than get a brake or a roadie
robotphood is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:04 AM
  #12  
ppc
Senile Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I tend to do that too (regulate my speed, anticipate), but sometimes when you gotta stop, you gotta stop. Even if you're careful, it just takes a dog crossing the road out of nowhere, or that kid you're carefully trying to overtake who suddenly looks behind and veers off in your path. Just for that, riding brakeless would scare me to death.
ppc is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:24 AM
  #13  
evilcryalotmore
モㄥ工匕モ 爪モ爪乃モ尺
 
evilcryalotmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LA San Gabriel, California
Posts: 2,135

Bikes: Custom frame

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You get your toes, wrap it around the brake lever. SQUEEZ
evilcryalotmore is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:27 AM
  #14  
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,952
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 73 Posts
Originally Posted by nealjoslyn View Post
Think about it like a back brake on a bike. The rear wheel only skids when maximum braking force is applied. If you apply less than maximum, the wheel doesn't skid.
Sorry, that's incorrect. Take a physics class and you'll understand. Sliding friction is less than static friction. The maximum braking you can achieve with the rear wheel is when it is on the threshold of skidding (but not actually skidding.) Less relevant but more important: the maximum braking you can achieve on an upright bicycle is when the front brake is applied enough that you're on the threshold of lifting the rear wheel (this only applies to clean dry pavement.) A front brake alone will stop you about twice as fast as a rear brake alone.
FastJake is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:30 AM
  #15  
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nope, you're wrong, Jake.

He's right.

Ignorance is bliss.
Squirrelli is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:43 AM
  #16  
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,952
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 73 Posts
Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
Nope, you're wrong, Jake.
Thanks a lot Vixtor! Now I feel stoopid Haha
FastJake is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 07:16 AM
  #17  
xavier853
.
 
xavier853's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus
Posts: 2,027

Bikes: Pegueot UO8, Tommaso Augusta

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't skid very often. I find that if I can't reduce my speed with my legs in time, skid hopping does the trick.
xavier853 is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 10:55 AM
  #18  
Higher Class
soft pedal zen
 
Higher Class's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 529

Bikes: Absolutely

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 2 Posts
I like to compare skidding on a fixed gear to power sliding on a skateboard, if anyone knows what that means. If you do it long enough, you will stop. But especially at high speeds, it is an ineffective way of slowing down, and is mainly done because it's fun and looks kewl.
Higher Class is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:02 PM
  #19  
AerosSaga
The Dude Abides
 
AerosSaga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
power sliding, haven't thought about that in a while...good analogy...
AerosSaga is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:13 PM
  #20  
AerosSaga
The Dude Abides
 
AerosSaga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It also reminds me of skiing seeing the guys from MASH going down the SF hills skidding back and forth.

PSA: "If you pizza when you should french fry you're gonna have a bad time!!"
AerosSaga is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 12:16 PM
  #21  
hairnet
Fresh Garbage
 
hairnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 13,198

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by AerosSaga View Post

PSA: "If you pizza when you should french fry you're gonna have a bad time!!"
you've never had fried dough with powdered sugar on top?
hairnet is offline  
Old 10-03-10, 01:38 PM
  #22  
NinetiesKid
Senior Member
 
NinetiesKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AerosSaga View Post
power sliding, haven't thought about that in a while...good analogy...
It reminds me of Super Mario Kart
NinetiesKid is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 04:48 PM
  #23  
robotphood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AerosSaga View Post
It also reminds me of skiing seeing the guys from MASH going down the SF hills skidding back and forth.

PSA: "If you pizza when you should french fry you're gonna have a bad time!!"
Snowboarding. 2 plankers don't look nearly as kewl.
robotphood is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 05:13 PM
  #24  
evilcryalotmore
モㄥ工匕モ 爪モ爪乃モ尺
 
evilcryalotmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LA San Gabriel, California
Posts: 2,135

Bikes: Custom frame

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If your going to waste the time to stop with your feet everyday. Waste your time atleast putting on a brake.

Let me guess. You dont think brakes are cool.
evilcryalotmore is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 05:16 PM
  #25  
BryantTheTyrant
Galactic Soothsayer
 
BryantTheTyrant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Downtown Providence
Posts: 56

Bikes: 2010 Motobecane Track.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Higher Class View Post
I like to compare skidding on a fixed gear to power sliding on a skateboard, if anyone knows what that means. If you do it long enough, you will stop. But especially at high speeds, it is an ineffective way of slowing down, and is mainly done because it's fun and looks kewl.
^^^Well put.

I haven't been riding fixed for too long. I rode my bike for a month without a brake (before I learned to skid). Regulating speed from a distance is what most worked for me, but at the end of the day theres no more alternatives than these, and that's it.

Riding fixed with a front brake has enabled me to haul @$$ and stop on the dime when I need to. And I must add that I don't use my brake much. Skids are cool as hell, though.

I only skid to whip my fancy bike around.
BryantTheTyrant is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.