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  1.  
    How many of you learned to ride fixed without brakes? Would you recommend new fixed riders have a brake till they no longer need one? Why?
  2.  
    I have a brake on mine, I'll be damned if i'm going to rely solely on skidding or back peddling to perform an emergency stop. It's extremely effective and barely weighs anything.

    I'd never recommend anyone try this w/o a brake starting out. I might as well beat them with a baseball bat myself.
  3.  
    Personally I wouldn’t want to learn to drive a new type of car without brakes, why would a bike be any different?
    • CommentAuthortangsuto
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    Go with brakes! Riding a fixed gear for the first time can be awkward enough, even with plenty of experience on other bicycles. If you want to take them off later so be it, but definitely get a front brake on your fixed gear. I don't know about where you're at, but I know the bike shop here that specializes in fixed gears pretty much won't let you leave without a brake on a bike if you have no experience. It's highly recommended.
    • CommentAuthorgiosSR215
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    i started riding without a brake but then again i was stupid and tried to lock up and went over the handlebars. so a brake is probably a good thing.
    • CommentAuthorAaron C
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    i think every one should start out riding on a fixed gear tall bike made out of touring frames.

    with bmx pedals. or pettels as many of you are fond of typing.
    • CommentAuthorAaron C
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    sorry pettals/petals/petels = rant
    • CommentAuthorlewis 123
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    i learned with brakes because i had platform pedals but once i got pedals with toe clips i took them right off then learned with out them
  4.  
    I rode brakeless BMX since Jesus was a boy (approximately 2004). So naturally I figured I didn't need brakes on my fixie. After about the second or third ride, I promptly installed brakes. A brake should be standard kit on any road-going bike. It's saved my ass many times, and they surely don't make you a pussy or a bad rider, it's just that Joe Hipster on his Bridgestone is no match for Mommy in her Ford Excursion.
    • CommentAuthorjam guy
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    Posted By: Aaron Csorry pettals/petals/petels = rant


    I have sick MKS double toe strap pretzels on my bike....
  5.  
    Posted By: RideEverydayI rode brakeless BMX since Jesus was a boy (approximately 2004). So naturally I figured I didn't need brakes on my fixie. After about the second or third ride, I promptly installed brakes. A brake should be standard kit on any road-going bike. It's saved my ass many times, and they surely don't make you a pussy or a bad rider, it's just that Joe Hipster on his Bridgestone is no match for Mommy in her Ford Excursion.


    I like to think of it as “Natural Selection”.
  6.  
    My first fixed gear bike was brakeless, and now I still have yet to put a brake on my bike and doubt I ever will. Even when riding a friend fixed gear with a brake, I feel I can stop much quicker and safer with my legs than with a little lever.

    I'm REALLY glad I started riding brakeless, because it really forced me to learn quickly how to control the bike, my riding and forced me to become even more observant when riding and quicken my reaction time.

    Back in the 90's, I rode a brakeless BMX bike, however that was different because we would just jam our foot into the back tire between the frame to stop.

    So, I say start out riding fixed brakeless, and you will really show yourself that a brake is not needed.
    • CommentAuthorscruggle
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009
     
    Posted By: terrible_one49Even when riding a friend fixed gear with a brake, I feel I can stop much quicker and safer with my legs than with a little lever.


    That's good for you, but it doesn't matter that it's a 'little lever'; the brake pedal in a car is pretty tiny - funny how it can stop 2 tons pretty quickly.

    So, I say start out riding fixed brakeless, and you will really show yourself that a brake is not needed.


    Or you might find out the hard way that a brake would have been pretty useful.
  7.  
    Posted By: scruggle
    Posted By: terrible_one49Even when riding a friend fixed gear with a brake, I feel I can stop much quicker and safer with my legs than with a little lever.


    That's good for you, but it doesn't matter that it's a 'little lever'; the brake pedal in a car is pretty tiny - funny how it can stop 2 tons pretty quickly.

    So, I say start out riding fixed brakeless, and you will really show yourself that a brake is not needed.


    Or you might find out the hard way that a brake would have been pretty useful.



    Ugggh, Christ. There is already treads on this brakes vs. brakeless topic. Lets not turn this into another one.

    How about we just leave it at this saying... 'It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
    • CommentAuthorcyrsir51
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009 edited
     
    No brakes= death wish your life isnt a mash video.
    I rode a break for a long time before i took mine off... but thats me and i live in philly and ridden in nyc before i thought about taking mine off.
  8.  
    when i first got my track bike i rode it around town for the summer and fall without a caliper brake, and while i didn't have any crashes i was a little nervous on occasion. the following season i put a brake on the front and that was that. "brakeless" at the vélodrome, a front brake everywhere else.

    it is irrefutable that a given rider, on a given bike, can stop that bike in a shorter distance by using a caliper brake AT THE SAME TIME as leg braking. sometimes a shorter distance is not what you need, but there are other times when a shorter distance is exactly what you need.

    the brake lever on a car can be short because cars have hydraulic assist.

    there are actually three levers at work when you use a caliper brake: the part on the handlebars, the calipers, and the bicycle wheel itself.

    personally i would not recommend to a "new fixie rider" that she or he ride with a caliper brake first, and then remove it...when, exactly? when you become stupid? just because you learn how to skid doesn't mean the caliper brake is no longer useful. i suppose that being able to skid demonstrates that you can apply considerable back pressure with your legs, but (as everyone should already know) skidding is actually the least efficient way to slow a bicycle down, because you no longer have full control over your bike; better you should apply back pressure just to the point of skidding, but instead take advantage of STATIC friction versus SLIDING friction.
    • CommentAuthorLyKqiD
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009
     
    I think that because you need to learn how to ride a fixed gear, you would need a brake on the bike. It is not immediately intuitive. As far as when someone should take off the brake?
    If you dont mind riding a little slower and a little more cautiously, it doesnt matter if/when the brake comes off. It is just like any other sports equipment, its not what you use, its how you use it.
    • CommentAuthorscruggle
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009
     
    Ugggh, Christ. There is already treads on this brakes vs. brakeless topic. Lets not turn this into another one.


    Hey, the guy asked for advice. You can't give your opinion then when someone offers an opposing one say "Oh come on, let's not have that debate."
    • CommentAuthorewurl
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009
     
    I learned with no brake. I still don't think its needed. It really comes down to your own comfort. For example, a friend of mine bought a rush hour. It came with brakes and he learned riding fixed with brakes. He has been riding for a year+ and still has no plans to remove the brakes (front and rear), he likes to adjust his speed with the brakes because that is what hes used to, and still skids if he feels like it. Another friend started riding w/o brakes. A few weeks in and he realized he would feel safer with a brake. Everyone is bound to have close calls while riding in the street. I have seen a kid riding his road bike lock both his brakes and still slide right into a car, not because brakes are bad, because he wasn't paying attention and was listening to his headphones looking at the ground 4 feet in front of him like a noob. Brakes do not magically take away the risk of riding, be smart, think ahead. In the end it all comes down to what you feel comfortable with. No one learns the same way or advances as quickly as anyone else. If you cant stop don't go fast.
    • CommentAuthoradriano
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2009
     
    look at both sides of the argument, and accordingly, act your age.
 
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