Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
...
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I converted my 1FG to fixed and went out riding on my local trails. It is a definitely different thing, but I've been enjoying it more than expected. Still trying to get the timing/technique down for bigger logs.

Reading some of the posts in here I got the bright idea of removing the rear brake. Didn't like that much. Found that the front end pushed/washed out quite a bit. Makes sense since that is where just about all the braking was done. Yeah, I tried applying braking forces with my legs, but that was just not all that effective and soon made my knees cry.

I'm just wondering why some folks would go without the rear brake (other than it looks nice and clean)? Also how do you handle those emergency, steep downhill, oh-**** stopping manuevers?

For context, I'm in Southeast Pennsylvania. That means lots of relatively short/steep up and down with rocks and roots. Lots of logs as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
you probably want a rear brake till you build up the muscles to stop yourself with your legs.

from my expereince, your legs will build the strength to brake quite effectively; but at first you have absolutely none of this. i was also baffled at first, and relied almost exclusively on my brake to stop; but the leg braking thing will come in time. keep trying.

i too ride in SE PA but keep my fixed riding to the roads. at first i wasn't able to slow myself at all with my legs but now i hardly use my brake at all and nejoy skipping and skidding and can keep it under control on som fairly decent hills with no brake.

this summer i vow to fix my singlespeed for at least a day and take it down to fair hill to see what thats like. that would be a great non-technical; place to try it out.

where are you riding?
 

·
Harrumph
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
I'n my fixie experience I have never had a knee problem, and I have pretty bad knees. I think that if you are really having sore knees you have other issues that are just made more apparent by the fixie riding. Like riding position or if you have giant cyclist-quads and underdeveloped hamstrings. But I'm not sports medicine expert, that's just what I've observed. On to the braking thing, you should be able to apply all the braking forces that a rear wheel can take with your legs. Especially if you are going down hill and using the front brake, there just isn't much traction left for the rear. And you really can't get going fast enough if you are running a reasonable gear. With the 34-16 I run I top out at around 16 mph, an 8 in disc isn't really required. My advise is to keep your rear brake as you are starting, and when you realize you don't need it get rid of it. If that never happens, so be it. Ride your bike.
 

·
...
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ride primarily in the Downingtown area. Have done Fair Hill fixed, but that is not the kind of place that concerns me. It is places like Miller's Point at French Creek that give me problems with not having the rear brake.

I understand what you say about building up that particular kind of strength. However, given the pain that "backpedalling" causes to my knees, I'll probably just put the back brake on. I suppose those that do this off road either have sturdier knees than me or don't ride the rocky/technical downhills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,077 Posts
yeah knee problems and fixed don't really go together anymore than singlespeeds and knee problems (no real link in my experience). assuming your bike fits, i think the sore knee thing is coming from overuse. put the brake on but just try not to use it.

oh and i think your freakin nutz (in the best possible way of course) to ride millers point fixed. that place puts a serious hurting on me everytime i take the singlepseed out there. i can't even imagine going down red/white with no ability to coast.

good luck! no harm in keeping 2 brakes forever btw...

if i ever see someone not coasting at FC i'll just assume it's you and say hi... ;)
 

·
...
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven't had knee problems in 5+ years of singlespeeding. However, as soon as I start to "backpedal" on the fixie, I feel it. Think I'll just stay rear brake for a while.

Miller's Point was much slower fixed than freewheeling, but still doable. Somewhat more rattling (if that's even possible).

If you see a fixie at FC, it may or may not be me. Since I started doing this, a couple other guys have gotten interested. Might end up being 2 or three of us out there.

If you ride out in this area, you might be interested in our mail group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dtownmtb/
 

·
I am the owl
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
dtownmtb said:
I'm just wondering why some folks would go without the rear brake (other than it looks nice and clean)?
Because using the rear brake "jacks you up". I run my MTBs w/ fixed/free flip-flops so I keep my rear brake on. When I'm running fixed and accidently use the rear brake things get weird since I'm also braking with my legs. Not sure exactly how to describe it but when you experience it you'll probably know.
 

·
...
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Joe,
I do know what you mean about the "brake jacking". I just chalked it up with all the other different sensations that riding fixed brings. Think I'll just go with the back brake until I feel a bit more comfortable with the whole fixed gear riding thing.

Thanks all for your input.

--Jeff
 

·
Dr Gadget is IN
Joined
·
2,395 Posts
Ratios

If you're having problems with resisting, you might try a lower gear - slows your speed down a bit and gives you more "braking" leverage as well.

I kept both brakes on my fix - but I'm a lot more likely to use the back one. I only use brakes in "oh-****" situations where the front brake might be a bad idea anyways.
 

·
---
Joined
·
76 Posts
Try to keep your rpm's down and don't let the gear get on top of you. Maybe even some quick skip stops to scrub some speed. I've never run a rear brake on my crosscheck and don't feel the need. It takes time though to get used to it.

I think I'd be moving pretty slow at FC anyway just trying to avoid peddle strike. I did the whole Blue Marsh loop before without any real problems, didn't clear all the climbs but the downhills were fine.

If you can get some fixed miles on the road that would help too. You use different muscles braking with your legs and your joints can take a beating if your form isn't smoothe yet.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top