The place for fixies and other rides without gears
I'd agree with the post above. Most of my braking comes from the front. From higher speeds, I think the front works better because in such circumstances your weight tends to shift forward on braking. This has the effect of unloading the rear wheel, which can start to skid instead of gripping the road surface to slow you down.
You might also be seeing fixies too, which don't really need a back brake as much as a single speed/geared bike as you can control the rear braking with the pedals. A front brake is still very important though.
What about one in the middle??
http://manilafixedgear.blogspot.com.au/ ... -bike.html
Santa Cruz Blur TRc XTR
Volagi Liscio Ultegra
Stupid! The bike will be brakeless if the chain snaps. And the rider can receive inside calf skin burns.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
If the bike is a track frame there is no holes for brakes ( unless it is quite old as track cyclists in the early days used their bikes for primary transport as well, brakes were removed for the track) It is pretty simple to put on a new front fork that is drilled for brakes. As above front braking is the most efficient.
I've ridden my track bike along a bike path and it was horrible to ride, no vertical compliance at all. Do not recommend modern track bikes be used as fixies
Fixie riders never freewheel
Mostly it is fixed riders using a front brake with foot retention (removing the need for a back brake). But there are a lot of singlespeed riders out there using only a front.
For the singlespeeders, as far as I can tell it is mostly out of (a) ignorance, (b) a misguided belief that all they need is the front, (c) general hipsterdom and fixie-aesthetics, or (d) (and rarely, from what I have seen) because they don't have a drilled rear brake bridge, but generally (d) falls under (c) because if you want to ride singlespeed then don't ride an undrilled track frame!
I commute on a fixed gear with a front brake. My commute is only about 3km through the Melbourne CBD, and I love riding track geometry and fixed through the city. Makes a fast, fun ride that is easy to zip around traffic (especially with 38cm bars!). I also like the absolute minimum maintenance, riding everyday all weather. With good foot retention you can stop very fast on a fixed gear with a front brake. In fact, I feel far more secure on my fixed than on my roadie when riding in the city, and especially in the wet when you have direct control to your back wheel.
But as for a front brake only singlespeed, it is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. Sure most of the braking power comes from the front, but you get control from the back. Unless you are an experience rider and know how to properly position your weight, it is very easy to throw yourself over the handlebars, especially when taking evasive action. This can also happen to a newbie riding a fixed gear, but being connected to the rear wheel means you have a lot more control (unless you don't have foot retention). And, as a city or commuting bike, it is good to stay in control!
Maybe not modern track bikes, but a good 1980s-1990s steel track frame can be a whole lot of fun.
25 years ago I use to blast around a BMX track and the local streets with only a rear brake because it looked cool and you only wanted to lock up the rear for impressing your mates with skids. I've ridden single speed for commuting for the last couple of years (single speed, not fixed/track etc) and I would always have front and rear brakes on a bike. I mostly use the front to wipe off 80% of my speed and the rear helps with the remaining 20% and stops me going over the bars.
I am currently looking at building a new bike and the first thing I am researching is which brakes would be best for it!
Merida Ride Lite 93 2012
Mojo Urban fixed
1984 Christoff R.I.P
Generally speaking I tend to use the rear brake to control my speed and then the front to make the stop.
In the days when shearers got around by bicycle it was usual yo have a rear coaster brake only and leave off the front mudguard so you could jam your foot between the front wheel and the downtube. I tried this a few times - works quite well, but takes quick thinking and is not something you want to have to depend on!
I've also seen quite a few bicycles with a rear cable-operated brake only, but I wouldn't want to be riding real fast on one of those.
Polo bikes tend to have brakes to the rear. Not sure what the primary reason for this is, but I suspect it is to allow riders to flip their handlebars around 360 degrees. They also tend to have pretty low gears anyway - I'm lead to believe about 52 to 60 gear inches.
It really doesn't matter which brake one uses at 10-15km/h...
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
In polo, your right hand is always holding the club, so there is little use for a brake on the right. Lots of low speed maneuvering means a rear brake is a smoother option, anyone who has done a motorbike license test knows the value of a rear brake at low speeds.
Most pro's use a single "dual control" lever mounted on the left which actuates front and rear simultaneously.
Believe it or not, I do ride faster than this quite often on my tourer. One thing I also noticed in Europe was that most people tended to ride much slower - at what I would call a "comfortable pace", than we do here.
on my commuter fixed gear.. . two brakes. its a hilly, quick ride 80% on streets'
for my other europa conversion around the lake at Ballarat, just the front, for aesthetics and 'just because'
would like the leg muscles and foresight to run no brakes... just for sh1ts and giggles, but feels far too risky at this stage.
front brake on a steel bike often seems to bend the front fork under load excessively. might be totally fine, but wouldnt like to test that flex under extreme load
First I've heard of this. If I saw my steel fork bending under excessive load, I'd throw it in the bin.
I would expect that from a carbon fork or a bike made out of recycled coke cans (either of which I wouldn't ride if the fork was prone to flexing).
That means its time to get rid of the rust bucket kerbside frame with no structural integrity left and find a nice stiff steel track frame. No issues with mine brake or no brakes.
And FWIW if you are going to run a brake, on a fixed gear a front will suffice, SS, front is borderline ok but I'd run both. No point trying to make it look like something it's not.
I agree, I'm sure the the coefficient of friction between the tyre and the road is not that high
Yes, after some further riding today... with rim brakes it doesn't seem to affect the fork that much. i have another steel framed bike with disk brakes, and must have been overlaying that experience... definitely wouldnt use just the front brake only on that bike. I must just have poorer brakes on my fixed gear, as i seem to need all that the front and rear can offer while getting around town. Or perhaps its the reverse, because i have both brakes, i tend to go faster, and think about braking later than i normally would if i only had front.... or none.
As far as i know it is only kids bikes with a front brake only?
All other bikes have two brakes for two reasons:
More braking power
There is no chance of the bike flipping forward with a swift stop.
Edited for clarity
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
What about us lefties eh? Also, making the brake lever on you bike pull the front or back by putting the cable into either brake. Just Front brake isn't bad either, just need to learn not to go over the bars suddenly
N+1 is nowhere near enough!
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