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Discussion Starter #1
I became interested in single speed because I am in awe of my little son doing well in the trails with his BMX bike.

Now I am thinking about just using a rear brake like his BMX also.

Has anyone else done this?
 

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I rode with a guy recently that ran only a rear disc brake on a 1x9. He said he never really had a problem but i have tried that and on some of the steep stuff i like a front brake so i dont slide the rear down locked out. Depends on the trails i guess.
 

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It definitely depends on what you're doing, but I have a hard time relying on 1 single brake. I'm a computer technician, so I come from a background of having to back up important data on multiple locations since we all know hard drives can fail at any time (yes, even brand new ones). I take that mentality on when it comes to bikes.

I don't want to lose any data on my hard drive because I have pictures of people who are no longer with me.

[I don't want to rely on one brake because if that one brake fails my face is in a brick wall.]

But I'm also a hardtail lovin mountain biker, so two brakes makes sense for me. :p
 

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dd61999 said:
I became interested in single speed because I am in awe of my little son doing well in the trails with his BMX bike.

Now I am thinking about just using a rear brake like his BMX also.

Has anyone else done this?
Strange. I could see having only a front brake as that is what I use for the majority of my braking. However using only a rear brake would amount to either a pretty slow day on the trails or a broken something or other.
 

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Jacob 34:19
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70% of your stopping power comes from the front brake. That's why you see many riders running larger rotors in the front and many motorcycles run dual discs up front. For trials or pump tracks, you'd probably be fine. On your typical MTB trail that includes some hills and tight corners requiring some braking, you'd likely find yourself skidding quite a bit. Skidding is generally not good for the trails and pretty indicative of poor bike handling skills. :nono:
 

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808+909 = Party Good Time
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Front brake is easily the most important. If you scrap that you might as well scrap ya helmet cos it's probably not going to be able to save you at the speed you will be doing when you plow into a tree with only the rear brake.
 

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SSolo, on your left!
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JAKEtheDOG said:
70% of your stopping power comes from the front brake. That's why you see many riders running larger rotors in the front and many motorcycles run dual discs up front. For trials or pump tracks, you'd probably be fine. On your typical MTB trail that includes some hills and tight corners requiring some braking, you'd likely find yourself skidding quite a bit. Skidding is generally not good for the trails and pretty indicative of poor bike handling skills. :nono:
X2.......................and heck no! WIthout my front brake most of the trails wouldn't be rideable.

chumbox said:
Front brake is easily the most important. If you scrap that you might as well scrap ya helmet cos it's probably not going to be able to save you at the speed you will be doing when you plow into a tree with only the rear brake.

Yep.
 

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Natedogz said:
X2.......................and heck no! Without my front brake most of the trails wouldn't be ridable.
I snapped my rear hydraulic brake hose in the middle of an epic ride and it slowed me to considerably (you can only go as fast as you can reasonably slow yourself down). I've come to the conclusion that you need your front brake to stop and your rear brake to use your front brake. It's similar to a fixie vs singlespeed freewheel; if you try to stop with just a front brake on a singlespeed freewheel, you're constantly risking a high speed front-end wheelie. Add the rear brake or fixed gear and the braking calms down immediately. I don't know the physics behind it, but it is very noticeable.
 

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local trails rider
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chumbox said:
Front brake is easily the most important.
On the small hills that I ride, I have a few spots where I get up to around 30mph, just coasting.

I hate to imagine the distance (read: the length of the trench I'd create) I'd need to stop there, on rear brake only. I'd also hate to do those spots at grandmother speeds.

(sorry, I bet there's some grandmothers here. I mean the stereotypical one, not you)
 

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I suppose eliminating the front brake on a mountainbike is cheaper than the airfares to the Dignitas clinic in Geneva.

Meanwhile you make a lot of "friends" from the trail damage you cause by dragging the inefficient back brake.

Skidding ain't stopping.
 

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nothing to see here
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aka brad said:
I don't know the physics behind it, but it is very noticeable.
At a guess, I'd say that this is because when you apply the rear brake, the direction of force felt by the pads wants to rotate the bike down at the front, thereby giving you more load over the front wheel, which is usually translated as more grip, and therefore, increased front braking efficiency.

but that's just a guess;)
 

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ENDO!!!
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Stevob said:
At a guess, I'd say that this is because when you apply the rear brake, the direction of force felt by the pads wants to rotate the bike down at the front, thereby giving you more load over the front wheel, which is usually translated as more grip, and therefore, increased front braking efficiency.

but that's just a guess;)

Did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express?
 

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I'm just messing with you
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I'm all about learning by doing. Give it a shot and let us know how it works out for you.
 

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Front brake for stopping.

Rear brake for bike control.

When's the last time you saw a BMX barreling through steep, downhill singletrack? Exactly.
 

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Papa T
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I have a buddy who did that. He runs a a 1x9 Spesshy Enduro (04) with only the rear brake. It doesn't seem to hold him back as he has the fastest lap times at our local trail. I let him borrow my front brake for a race once and he almost crashed...wasn't used to that kind of stopping power. Anyway, it seems to me that once you are used to not having a front brake, you can ride and stop just fine without one. I have never seen him create any skids. From what he says, he never brakes anyway, just Balls TO the Wall! :madman:

Personally, I am a clyde and I need all of the braking power I can get...I run with front and rear with a larger disc up front.
 

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Numb Bum said:
I have a buddy who did that. He runs a a 1x9 Spesshy Enduro (04) with only the rear brake. It doesn't seem to hold him back as he has the fastest lap times at our local trail. I let him borrow my front brake for a race once and he almost crashed...wasn't used to that kind of stopping power. Anyway, it seems to me that once you are used to not having a front brake, you can ride and stop just fine without one. I have never seen him create any skids. From what he says, he never brakes anyway, just Balls TO the Wall! :madman:
Yeah, but that's just being irresponsible. Perhaps in a race, even going with no brakes could be okay. But when you're on a local trail with others around, running no or just one brake is irresponsible. And no, he does not "stop just fine" without a front brake. Physically impossible to stop just fine dragging the rear wheel for miles downhill. Not to mention the added trail destruction.
 

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p nut said:
Yeah, but that's just being irresponsible. Perhaps in a race, even going with no brakes could be okay. But when you're on a local trail with others around, running no or just one brake is irresponsible. And no, he does not "stop just fine" without a front brake. Physically impossible to stop just fine dragging the rear wheel for miles downhill. Not to mention the added trail destruction.

Well, lets not assume that he is dragging his rear wheel the whole way down. It could be possible that he happens to have the skill to weight his rear tire every time he pumps his rear brake which gives him enough stopping power.
 

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Skill or not, you can't defy physics. He can pump his weight all he wants, but his mass will still be in front of the rear wheel. When he brakes, the weight transfers to the front, which means crappy braking.
 

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Numb Bum said:
Personally, I am a clyde and I need all of the braking power I can get...I run with front and rear with a larger disc up front.
Not to hijack the thread, but am I alone in thinking that referring to yourself as a Clydesdale is about the gayest thing ever? Nothing personal as I have read it all over and understand it is widely accepted as bicycle terminology, but it's got to stop.

Oh and if you don't use a front brake, you aren't going very fast on any trail that I would consider fun. There is no argument here. Kind of silly that it has gone on as long as it has.

We should be talking about more important stuff, like whether heavy dudes should be referring to themselves as large horses or not.
 
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