i replied to a post in anouther thread.
it turned into some sort of monsteras it left my head via my fingers. somewhere between random firing of neurons i am conceited enough to call thought and the actual screen, it acquired a life of it’s own and became the post from hell.
and as with all great sinners i am sure to burn in flames.
probably flamed by those i know and admire. or at least like. well ok, tolerate with only occasional thoughts of killing, but that’s pretty good for me.
so i have decided to cut and past the post, and start it off as a new thread on the age old topic, and cause of moie fist fights and spilled beer than any other topic in fixiedom except maybe chain width.
here is the place, and now is the time!
flame, burninate, vilify, denegrate, or possibly even agree.
lets have an open and frank discussion.
i’d like to suggest that we try and not degenerate instantly into a form of childish tourette’s but if that’s where it goes, so be it.
so read the following if you can be bothered, reply if you would like to, and hopfully enlightenment will be ours.
original post from other thread
i’ve always wondered about the whole brakeless thing.
i’ve ridden brakeless, and with a front brake, and with front and rear.
fastest you can ride a fixie is with both a front and a rear brake. next fastest is front brake only, and slowest is brakeless.
now, don’t get me wrong. i like riding brakeless. it’s a purer, cleaner form of riding, and it does change your perspective of the ride. any ride. just like everyone says it does.
but it isn’t really very practicle sometimes.
not when you think about it.
then again, and lets be brutally honest, fixies are not an effiecient, easy form of cycling in the first place. and still we love them.
yes, for some of us it’s the cool factor. that feeling that you are in the hipster exclusive club. hopefully that’s a minority.
yes, for some of us it’s a harkening back to our youth. the longing for days gone. that’s probably a minority too, given the average age of us.
yes, for some of us it’s the belief that it gives us preternatural powers of biking awesomeness. the whole use the force luke thing to avoid dying a messy death. again, probably a minority as usually the first REALLY close call invests us with an avareness of our own mortality, and the frailness of the flesh.
yes, for most of us it is a mix of all of the above, and much much more.
and yet perhaps the biggest thing that continues to draw people to this ineffiecient, hard, and sometimes dangerous form of cycling is the connectivity that comes with it.
connected to the bike. you are constantly aware of the bike and what it is doing.
connected to the other road users. constantly aware of every other person and what idiocy they are about to commit.
and most importantly, connected to the other people who ride fixed.
i have never, not once, failed to get a hello and a smile out of a fixie rider i see on the street. and it’s rare that that is the least you get. more likely you will get a conversation, including details of the build, the last ride, the next problem, and when all is said and done, an offer of a drink and ride when next you can.
i’ve riden and raced cross country, downhill, road, weekend hack MTB, club roadie, you name it, and fixies are the freindliest, most helpfull of them all.
i’ve literally been lying on the side of the road bleeding from the head and had a pack of roadies race past, a herd of peds walk on by, and a clump of cars not even notice and yet the lone fixie stopped, helped me up, gave me his last tube, the use of his cell phone, and a can of coke. the only reason he didn’t give me the shirt off his back is because i’m a fat bastard and it wouldn’t fit.
now somewhere in all of this should be a return to the original point of this post, so i’d better get on with it.
riding brakeless is a specialised, demanding skill, and one that is in many cases dying out. and honestly, as much as i love riding brakeless, i do believe that it has had it’s time.
with the increase in an american style litigation culture in this country it is only a matter of time until someone gets sued for hitting someone while riding brakeless and the wheels start rolling on the “track bikes for the track only” bandwagon.
now i know that this is going to start a whole mess of argument, just as it does every time you get 3 fixies together, but 20 years ago i use to ride a modified triumph chopper with only a rear brake, girder springer forks,no indicators, no speedo, and no helmet(i have yet to find out what i was thinking, or what i was on)
as much as i hated and still hate the legislation and interferance that lead to the demise of my cherished ride, i have to admit it was a death trap, no matter how cool or how much work i had put into it.
please don’t take off the brake just because you hardly ever use it, and you think it looks sort of stupid.
please don’t become the person who runs mother teressa over on a cross walk (and you know it will be her, and not a poster child for birthcontrol).
try a nice little shorty lever next to the stem and a nice unobtrusive line for the brake cable.
if it’s hardly noticible, maybe you can curb the inclination to remove it for no real reason.
hopefully we can get over the whole divid between people who ride brakeless and those who don’t. it’s not about who’s cooler, or more skilled, or has the largest amount of midiclorians in their blood, it’s about being part of a minority community who really do get on together.
and i challenge anyone to prove to me that they are faster riding brakeless than with a front brake. anyone, anywhere, any country. you can push a higher gear, run faster downhills, and shorten your stopping distance by 60%+ running a brake, all of which adds up to faster riding. say you like the simplicity, or the look, or the cool factor, or anything you want, but never use the line that it makes you faster. it doesn’t.
umm, wow, it’s really late and i only meant to put up a short post mentioning a couple of points. this sort of hit a nerve i guess. i am aware that no-one in this thread mentioned that riding brakeless made them quicker, and that most of this post is a bile filled rant against… something.
in my defence i just finished a 90 minute arguement on a chat with some muppet who swore that the reason he rode brakeless was because (a) he woz so up wit skilz that he didn’t need one, and (b) not having one made him a quicker rider. all of this dispite the fact that king knobjockey is currently on crutches with a broken leg from turning himself into a hood ornament because he couldn’t stop in time to avoid a light that turned red at the bottom of the hill.
if you like riding brakeless, ride brakeless. if you don’t don’t.
but if you currently have a brake fitted to your bike, why remove something that may cure you of a life shortening problem one day.
after all, it really only needs to do it once doesn’t it?