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Using Front Side-Pull Caliper Brake on Rear Wheel

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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)

Using Front Side-Pull Caliper Brake on Rear Wheel

Old 05-24-11, 11:38 PM
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Using Front Side-Pull Caliper Brake on Rear Wheel

Hello Bikeforumers! before realizing my city's police are giving out tickets to cyclists who do not have a rear braking "system", I purchased a Tektro front road caliper brake for my new fixed gear ride, I am wondering if it's possible & safe to install this brake on my rear wheel (700c x 20)?
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Old 05-25-11, 12:13 AM
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muckybrake TM


short answer: no. put it on the front or get a rear.
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Old 05-25-11, 12:19 AM
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just install it to the front wheel. since thats where most of the braking power is from anyways.
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Old 05-25-11, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cc700
muckybrake TM


short answer: no. put it on the front or get a rear.
this, if you're running brakeless and only intend to avoid getting ticketed.

Originally Posted by polobreaka
just install it to the front wheel. since thats where most of the braking power is from anyways.
city police are ticketing bikes that do not have a brake which "allows the bike to skid to a stop", which is why you need a rear brake. legs dont count.
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Old 05-25-11, 04:53 AM
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If you were looking to put a rear brake on your bike, why did you buy a front caliper in the first place?
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Old 05-25-11, 05:24 AM
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Don't you typically run front and rear brakes anyways, Travis?
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Old 05-25-11, 06:47 AM
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Are you guys in the same town or something? My state has the same law but it's never (as far as I know) been interpreted to mean that front brakes don't count and fixed gear != rear brake.
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Old 05-25-11, 07:50 AM
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I am from Montreal, perhaps having a rear-brake only setup is better for the snowy weather we get here ?

Originally Posted by Scrodzilla
If you were looking to put a rear brake on your bike, why did you buy a front caliper in the first place?
I was intending to install a front brake only before I realized the law requiring rear brakes. (Radio debate btw Fixie Messenger & Traffic Cop)
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Old 05-25-11, 07:58 AM
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A lot of places have laws requiring that all bicycles must be equipped with at least one mechanical brake which can cause the rear wheel to skid on dry pavement.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla
A lot of places have laws requiring that all bicycles must be equipped with at least one mechanical brake which can cause the rear wheel to skid on dry pavement.
Yes, and they're asinine and not enforced (except in Davis and Montreal apparently, where the courts aren't interested in enforcing the intent of the law).

edit: it's worth pointing out that Massachusetts simply states the desired stopping distance and does not require the ability to skid. How progressive!

Last edited by chenghiz; 05-25-11 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:28 AM
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I just want to see one concrete example of someone with a front brake getting ticketed for not having a rear brake.
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Old 05-25-11, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hamish5178
I just want to see one concrete example of someone with a front brake getting ticketed for not having a rear brake.
I walked up to a street traffic cop today and asked the same question. The answer is negative.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:09 PM
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OP - To answer your specific question, yes, you can install a front brake caliper on the rear by adding a bunch of spacers on the pivot bolt. It won't be pretty, but it can be done. You will need to replace the recessed nut with a regular external hex nut.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by stillcovalent
I walked up to a street traffic cop today and asked the same question. The answer is negative.
I'm confused... You will get a ticket? Or you won't?
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Old 05-25-11, 08:18 PM
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Faux coaster-brake bracket plus your mad skiddzzz, in this situation.

But for real, just mount something there. Nothing more amazing than asserting your rights.

Last edited by rustybrown; 05-25-11 at 08:20 PM. Reason: c=x
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