Riding a bicycle without brakes

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Taffy
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Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby Taffy » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:21 pm

When reading the recent case about the death of Kim Biggs i kept seeing references to the fact that Charlie Alliston's bike had no front brake. I was horrified when I realised that he had no rear brake either, but that because he was riding a bike with a fixed wheel, he only required a front brake to be legal. A fixed wheel appears to be regarded as a brake? I rode a bike with a fixed wheel as a teenager, and there was no way I could have slowed that bike down in any meaningful way without using brakes. Surely a change in the law is called for?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08 ... ans-death/

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jont-
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby jont- » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:03 pm

For what reason? His bike was already illegal for not having a front brake :?:

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby GTR1400MAN » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:07 pm

Isn't a fixed wheel bike the ultimate in acceleration sense?
Mike Roberts

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akirk
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby akirk » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:11 pm

back-pedalling, or stopping pedalling will brake the back wheel quite significantly...
so yes the main issue was lack of front-brake, not rear...

actually I guess the main issue was lack of care / attention / and lots of arrogance...
if you believe as a cyclist / driver / any road user that you don't have time to respond to 'idiots' (his wording) who step into the road, then surely your responsibility is to slow down to give yourself that time - you don't just mow them down!

Alasdair

Taffy
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby Taffy » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:38 pm

akirk wrote:back-pedalling, or stopping pedalling will brake the back wheel quite significantly...
so yes the main issue was lack of front-brake, not rear...

There's no way you can back pedal with a fixed wheel. So even if you have a front brake, I would argue that there are often situations where you cannot brake safely using the front brake alone.

It takes a velodrome cyclist a huge distance to stop using just the fixed wheel, which I think shoes that they effectively have no brakes at all.
Last edited by Taffy on Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Strangely Brown
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby Strangely Brown » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:44 pm

It strikes me that some people may be confusing fixed wheel track bikes (no brakes) with an old style of bike with a "back-pedal brake". They are completely different things.

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby jcochrane » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:02 am

I've ridden quite a bit with "fixes" with just a front brake. My experience was you could slow the bike quite quickly, without the risk of skidding, by merely pushing backward and down on the pedal upstroke. Useful when braking might risk skidding. Many riders advocate no use of the rear brake even when fitted to the bike. I used to favour initial and main braking on the front and only light or no braking of the rear as it is very easy to lock up the rear wheel.

My main dislike of using a fixed wheel was that fast cornering was not possible without the inside pedal striking the ground which resulted in uncomfortable "road rash" from coming off the bike. :cry:

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:36 am

Err, fixed or not, corner with the pedal on the inside of the turn at the top of its rotation.

Balancing braking on a push bike is no different to on a motorcycle. Even more so now many push bike have front suspension which increases the likelihood of the rear wheel lifting. Getting a nice balance between front/rear is the key. 70/30 60/40 etc.
Mike Roberts

ancient
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby ancient » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:34 am

GTR1400MAN wrote:Err, fixed or not, corner with the pedal on the inside of the turn at the top of its rotation.

This would result in skidding on a fixie as the back wheel would not be turning whilst you hold the inside pedal at the top of the rotation. To do as you suggest requires a free-wheel mechanism of some kind.

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jcochrane
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Re: Riding a bicycle without brakes

Postby jcochrane » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 am

GTR1400MAN wrote:Err, fixed or not, corner with the pedal on the inside of the turn at the top of its rotation.


Maybe you're thinking of a single speed with freewheel? Freewheeling is not possible on a single speed fixed gear bike, at all times, forward or backward, if the rear wheel is rotating so do the pedals.

A single speed fixed gear is typically found on a track bike but requires a front brake fitted if used on the road. Single or multiple speed freewheel bikes are required to have front and rear brakes fitted when used on the road. It does not matter which brake operates on which wheel. The convention is that UK bikes have the rear brake on the left side of the handlebars but continental bikes have them on the right. Legally it does not matter.

At one time a fixed wheel was the choice for time trials for most riders, like myself, would have a single fixed speed gear on one side of the rear hub and a cassette set of gears on the other. That way we could have one bike, flip the wheel round and change the chain when competing in a time trial and reverse the process for day to day riding or when competing in a "massed start" (now known as "road race").

One way to spot a fixie bike rider is that you will notice that when stopped at traffic lights the rider lifts the rear wheel off the ground to rotate a pedal a little forward of top dead centre in order to prepare to push off.

Edited..Sorry "ancient" our posts crossed. You had already answered the point.


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