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.
but why?
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?


Too true… Personally I think the time has come for myself to get the brake back on, even after 6 months of brake less riding and a few locking ring issues (its dead I finally threaded the bugger right off, not a smidgen of thread left on the hub - luckily abbotsford cycles can replace just the rear hub and do it properly) I still don’t feel 100% confident. Only problem undrilled track forks which I dont want to drill and am struggling to find a replacement and cant afford to get one made up - any suggestions. I wont use it much hopefully but for the piece of mind

If you can’t find one second hand, Dan has new chrome forks for ~$75

Can you put a rear brake on instead? Probably a long shot - if it’s a track frame it almost certainly doesn;t have a drilled brake bridge.

I think your best bet is keeping an eye out for a secondhand road fork.

No there ain’t a brake hole on the rear either. Dan might have to be the option, Im off to Bendigo tonight and there is a bike shop up there with heaps of track stuff (some of it relatively cheap as well) ill see what they’ve got. The forks on the frame are straight, I assume putting on a road fork shouldn’t alter the geometry to much if the rake is pretty shallow

look for keirin brakes. there are front and rear that clamp on as opposed to bolt on.

i’d look for it, but one handed internet sucks dog’s balls.

Ive thought about the keirin brakes is a very good idea a) I dont have to ruin the look of thye bike and b) they’re removeable. A quick lock shows gets a $US42 set of Dia-Compe from trackstar. Which with todays exchange rate would probably only be about $AUD52+postage.

Anywhere in Australia sell them? I’m sure someone does, maybe kookie?

i got bored -

not the best solution - but one for the non drilled fork.

For me is a quite good solution I’m 50:50 on the brakes/san brakes and this gives a bit of freedom plus I don’t have to change forks when I want to go brake less and I get to keep the matching forks on the frame

I’m not reading that first post (sorry), but;

*if you have a vintage track bike with an undrilled fork, leave it as it is and ride brakeless
*if you want a townie-track bike, brakeless
*if you are an exceptional rider (both in general and in traffic), go brakeless

anyone else? brake. for your own good.

I ride brakeless…
fark knows what id do in an emergency
What if your chain breaks or your hub unthreads or something… then what

dude, you’ve already got trading access! stop rehashing old threads unless you have something decent to add to them!

yeh thanks for that… maybe i actually want a response on this…

Stick your foot on the rear tyre!

I hate this thread

Ok, you’re worried that you can’t stop in an emergency, or you’ll break a chain / strip your hub, here’s your response:

Install a brake.

Buy a brake.

I’m taking this thread back to the basement.