Brake Dilemma

Hi All, new to the forum.
So finally finished my build after a month, pictures posted below.

Took it for it’s first real ride to work today along Anzac Pde. to Surry Hills. On they way down Foveaux (which was the first real steep slope) lost control, nearly died trying to stop the bike.

So dilemma is, should I get a clamp-on break, or should i just get a lower gear ratio and learn to lock up the back wheel (supposingly its less about strength than it is about technique?)? I’d love to roll breakless, but i don’t wanna die.


Goddamn that is one sweet looking bike btw, what frame is it?
Anyhow, I notice that you bike is a white seat away from being a ‘ghost bike’

If you continue to ride around brakeless, this is the kind of bike your loved ones will erect at the site where you went under that semi-trailer/off a cliff and died because you didn’t have any brakes

Get a brake please, and a clamp on if you don’t want to ruin those lovely forks


that is all

Ha! Thanks Oxy,

The frame is a custom Hillbrick with Columbus Thron tubing. Got it from ebay and cleaned it up.

Any idea where i can get a decently priced Dia Compe Clamp-On breakset (preferably with shot lever)? I know Tracksupermarket has it, but that place is always slightly overpriced.

get a front brake if you can’t stop your bike without one. get some toe clips while you’re at it…

get a front brake if you can’t stop your bike without one. get some toe clips while you’re at it…

See, I think you should get a front brake regardless of how well you can stop your bike without.

If you’re going to be bombing hills and need to stop if a hurry you are pretty much going to skid every time
High speed + slope^(weight shifting) = long ineffective stopping skid = bad news

skidding isn’t possible without foot retention. you can’t ride brakeless without skidding.
how are you still alive after bombing foveaux st?

I have one of the dia compe clamp-on brakes, I got it from but i think the price was the same as from Japan. i’d recommend one of them, either that or drill those forks (possible?) or swap your forks for some drilled ones.

what gear are you riding? looks fairly hefty in the photos. see the threads on gear ratios - you’ll probably want something about 70 gi.

you can skid without foot retention, it’s harder, though.

also, as etomato mentioned, looks like you’re running a pretty high gear, consider going lower.

Nice pony! :-o We have a ‘Post Your Ride’ section which this definitely belongs in!

^^What they said. It takes a fair bit of practice to pull up comfortably without brakes, so a clamp on number can be easily removed if you want down the track. Sounds like you’re in Sydders, a more forgiving gear ratio may be beneficial going up the hills as well as down. :wink:

as above:

lower yr gearing for sydney. and don’t do foveaux again until you get a brake. has the clamp on brakes for like $130 or something. you can also get double straps and clips for about $45 all up. do yourself a favour and live.

nice bike btw. are you really short? cos that saddle is low. if you want to get rid of the frame let me know :evil: I’m trying to corner the market on white hillbricks.

Thanks all. Will order brakes today! Is velogear always on sale, or am i special?
I got some straps already, but don’t have clips. Will get some soon.

Im running a 49/18 which is 72.8". Is that too high?
I already bumped down from 19t.

And I am pretty short, the frame is a 50cm. The seatpost can probably go higher, but im gonna get a new one soon, and this one doesn’t hold when it goes up.

p.s. does the clamp-on set from velogear fit oval forks?
They don’t seem to have a choice.

put the 19 back on. im running 49/19, its just under 70 and will make stopping and hills easier.

if yr ordering from velogear, get clips at the same time, theyve got them real cheap. i dont know about oval forks, might be worth shooting them an email.

also, your seatpost may be the wrong diameter if it doesnt hold.

Foveaux St is a big hill even with brakes. :-o
I wouldn’t want to have one of those taxi’s pull out of the servo in front of me and not be able to stop.

I think velogear may only have the round fork clamp-ons – or at least the one that I got was for round forks. Send them an email, but you might have to go ebay or tracksupermarket.

you could consider running a rear brake instead, not as efficient as a front brake. would require drilling through the bridge though.

build this one up yourself or a mate? looks nicely done.

near fox studios on anzac is a large grass area and flat surface bball courts which are good for practicing skids. might need to ride with a brake for a while to pick up the strength too.

This might be cheaper…

I’ve got new oval clamps if you need them. Actually, I need round, so if you buy round I’ll swap with you. The metal clamp pieces are shaped out of the same piece of metal to you could just tap them into shape with a hammer. Happy for you to try out mine if you want to see if it fits. PM, I’m in Redfern

Yeah and you can skid in your undies too. You can’t stop effectively without retention.

Erik at Gear Brisbane has some for $100 (all clamp sizes). That’s where I just got mine for my Corex.

I don’t want to sound critical, but WTF did you expect?

You’ve spent all this money on a track bike, you don’t have a brake, and surprise surprise, you have no clue how to ride it and almost kill yourself. :expressionless:

Brake dilemma? It’s a track bike FFS.

Sweet build up :smiley: I love that front wheel.

I know Foveaux, can’t ride up it myself… Need a lower gearing and some quads like Hoy. But down it without a brake is a bit nuts.