Anyone Else Add A Brake To Their Fixed Gear Bike?



sylvia_louise

New Member
Mar 27, 2015
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My daughter has one of these bikes. When she got it, I really wanted to try it out, and she was like NO mom, you are going to fall off and hurt yourself. lol I have to admit, it was very different experience having to continue to pedal, instead of just gliding along. Yes, I am a leisurely coaster.

For years, she left the bike alone without any brakes. Finally, when she went away for summer vacation last year to do some biking with some friends, she put on some front brakes. Thank goodness, she has the fore-site to know the terrain was filled with steep, windy, long inclines.

Anyone else add some brakes, or have you kept your bike, as is, without brakes?
 

vespid49

Member
Apr 11, 2015
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I added a front brake on my fixie just as an extra measure, so that if my locked back wheel did not stop me in enough time, I could also use the front brake to come to a complete stop quicker. I've never had to use it so far, which is good, but I like the peace of mind that it provides me. However, if you are a hard-core single speed cycler, I wouldn't expect to find a brake on your bike. I think it's good that your daughter has a brake on her bike as she's probably not experienced enough yet to fully depend on locking the back wheel to brake. I'm sure, when the time comes, she will eventually take off the brake.
 

sylvia_louise

New Member
Mar 27, 2015
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vespid49 said:
I added a front brake on my fixie just as an extra measure, so that if my locked back wheel did not stop me in enough time, I could also use the front brake to come to a complete stop quicker. I've never had to use it so far, which is good, but I like the peace of mind that it provides me. However, if you are a hard-core single speed cycler, I wouldn't expect to find a brake on your bike. I think it's good that your daughter has a brake on her bike as she's probably not experienced enough yet to fully depend on locking the back wheel to brake. I'm sure, when the time comes, she will eventually take off the brake.
Being a hard core skateboarder for years, she takes a lot of risks. Same thing on her bike, which she has had for a few years now. This is why I was so surprised she ordered some brakes and hooked it up. I am not sure, if she used or uses them, but it gives "me" peace of mind for sure. So yeah, she has the braking down. Sounds like you have the same frame of mind! :)
 

gavinfree

Active Member
Feb 19, 2015
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Maybe she's just trying to make you comfortable with the brakes there, but she has no intention of using them! Still, it's always better to have at least one brake to stop you in dangerous situations. I couldn't imagine riding on anything but flat, level ground without brakes. I like to be able to stop myself from crashing or flying into traffic, depending upon where I'm cycling.
 

sylvia_louise

New Member
Mar 27, 2015
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gavinfree said:
Maybe she's just trying to make you comfortable with the brakes there, but she has no intention of using them! Still, it's always better to have at least one brake to stop you in dangerous situations. I couldn't imagine riding on anything but flat, level ground without brakes. I like to be able to stop myself from crashing or flying into traffic, depending upon where I'm cycling.
Huh! I would like to think she was just trying to please me. Pretty certain this is not the case. She is a bit of a rebel. Yes, a good kid, but choosing to take a course of action just to give me peace of mind, not happening. This skill of stopping without brakes is beyond my skills! So, I am with you on keeping to flat surfaces, but, regardless, I have seen her do it plenty of times as when stop quickly at an intersection (which I try to stay away from, like my bike trails), and on hills, too. This is why I was so surprised she hooked her bike up. Just wondered, if anyone else had done this.
 

vespid49

Member
Apr 11, 2015
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@gavinfree, I think you bring up an excellent point. Maybe the feeling of comfort is not for her but rather her father! I never thought of this...
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
265
22
18
I always had back brakes. My parent wouldn't allow us to have bikes without them. My friends on the other hand did whatever they want. They had bikes without brakes or they would attach only front hand brakes so they could do special tricks to impress the girls.
 

kylerlittle

Member
Apr 25, 2015
331
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I've had front and back brakes because it's important. The reason you need both brakes is because when you're in a down hill, if you use the front brakes you might fall over, same thing with a hill going up, if you use the back brakes you would fall backwards. It's very important to have both and they both are working well.
 

adfnio

Member
Apr 18, 2015
92
8
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I had a cheap bike as a kid for my birthday. There was bake breaks but my friends had some old left over parts that they said I could salvage off of. I didn't need front hand brakes, but it was there for the taking. So I had my dad help me install it. It was really strong and you could crash if you pulled on it too hard. I never really used it. My friends that it was cool.
 

vennycash

New Member
May 6, 2015
7
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0
For me, having brake levers on the bars is my signal that I'm riding a coaster (I ride both fixed and freewheel) so I can't ride fixed with brakes anymore. The last time I did, I tried to coast and almost fell off the bike.
 

BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
510
104
28
I have rode both braked and brake-less fixies and /I like a break better. Sure you can stop without the brake but if you are going to ride on a busy street you need a brake. It's just that much safer.
 

kylerlittle

Member
Apr 25, 2015
331
12
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I have breaks on both wheels as it is a must, I don't think I would extra as I don't really need it, I have reliable ones, if not, I have my feet to do the breaking.
 

welshdude3

Member
Jul 6, 2015
126
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pittsburgh
Well, my fg has 48x15 gearing. Sacrifice start-up for top end. I ride in traffic alot. Dual-sidsd clipless require brakes. Not using the brakes when slowing or decending is good for overall muscle use. Having brakes is a good option to go to if faced w/an emergecy.
 
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igasmurfa

New Member
Nov 28, 2015
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I used to have an old super heavy beach cruiser that I actually used for my first few BMX races. Didn't work all that well because it weighed twice as much as everyone else and the fixed gear was a pain lol
 

goldenmaine

Member
Feb 16, 2015
110
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I've had brakes ever since for safety and precaution. I ride at high speeds sometimes so front brakes are essential for these situations. It is also useful in busy streets when there is traffic and for emergency purposes.
 

rEEzytheKiD

Member
Jan 19, 2016
17
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I'm a pretty decent rider and I ride through the city whether rain or shine. But my abilities aren't enough to stay safe so I definitely added a front brake to my fixie. I was more confident because of this and made better time on deliveries because I didn't have to worry that I wouldn't skid in time. I know way too many people who have said confidently that they are great riders and still got hit.
 

welshdude3

Member
Jul 6, 2015
126
20
18
pittsburgh
Another thing brakes do is save on rear tires. If locking up is your go to you might want to think about 25mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus. lol Also, it's much easier to 'back pedal' w/a lower gear ratio. Back pedal being a term used for resisting the forward motion of the crankset. 39x22 for example is probably good for urban use. Quick starts, lower resistance.

Though I ride in traffic frequently it's not enough to swap to a lower ratio. I do some charity rides. The terrain is usually tailored to the lowest common denominator so the climbs are fairly mild. If one is 10-12% I'll go to switchbacks...my senior discount. lol No shame in my game. I'm usually the only rider on fixed. My fixed is my go-to workout bike, too.

Btw, if anyone can tell me how to flip the pictures upright shoot me a PM. I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
 

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sharkantropo

Active Member
Apr 11, 2016
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Added front brakes just as an aditional measure In circunstances when my locked back wheel did not stop my built up momentum in time. I've used it several times, even in moments when I don't really needed, only just to be prepared. One never have enough safety measures.