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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mainly concerning road riding, but off-roaders are welcome to pipe up.

When descending, are you a brake-dragger or a back-pedaler? I've been a brake-dragger, but on my way home yesterday, I made the commitment that I wasn't going to use the brakes and, well, it worked out. Had to concentrate on easing up as I crested a hill so I would'nt start the descent already spun out. As long as I eased into the descent, I could use back pedal force to control my speed. Otherwise, the descent is steep enough that by the time you get to the bottom, you could easily be spun out at 35-40mph (that's the speed on my geared road bike).
 

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riding

ssmike said:
Mainly concerning road riding, but off-roaders are welcome to pipe up.

When descending, are you a brake-dragger or a back-pedaler? I've been a brake-dragger, but on my way home yesterday, I made the commitment that I wasn't going to use the brakes and, well, it worked out. Had to concentrate on easing up as I crested a hill so I would'nt start the descent already spun out. As long as I eased into the descent, I could use back pedal force to control my speed. Otherwise, the descent is steep enough that by the time you get to the bottom, you could easily be spun out at 35-40mph (that's the speed on my geared road bike).
I do a little of both. There's some steep descents on my commute to work and I pump the brake as I put tension against the pedals.
Fixies suck for that, but I like them A LOT!
 

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ssmike said:
Mainly concerning road riding, but off-roaders are welcome to pipe up.

When descending, are you a brake-dragger or a back-pedaler? I've been a brake-dragger, but on my way home yesterday, I made the commitment that I wasn't going to use the brakes and, well, it worked out. Had to concentrate on easing up as I crested a hill so I would'nt start the descent already spun out. As long as I eased into the descent, I could use back pedal force to control my speed. Otherwise, the descent is steep enough that by the time you get to the bottom, you could easily be spun out at 35-40mph (that's the speed on my geared road bike).
depends on the hill. on shorter hills i resist or just spin out, but on longer hills i usually hit the brakes a few times on the way down to keep my speed in check.
 

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No brakes

I don't have one any more so I don't have a choice. You learn to kinda tack a little on the way down and control your speed to be set-up for whatever is at the bottom of the hill(stop sign, intersection, climb). I really thought it would be worse than it is, but it hasn't been a problem.
I used to be a brake dragger though.
 

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I do a bit of both. I recently built up a brakeless fixie (and broke my collarbone before getting to ride it on the road), so I have been trying more and more to use my brake less and less (on the other bike). I will often skid-brake with the rear in little spurts, but that's hard when you start getting spun out at high cadence.

I still prefer to run a front brake, whether on or off road, just for those emergency times.
 

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ssmike said:
you could easily be spun out at 35-40mph
I'm pretty sure your legs would come apart at the knees before this.

I don't really ride down anything bigger than an overpass, but you're right. If I'm careful to control my speed from the top, I can usually get by without using the brakes.
 

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brakes

I use my legs as much as is comfortable. Otherwise, I'm not afraid to crank on the front brake. The front brake is a beautiful thing.

And, I would never ride the fast, 40 mile loops I do WITHOUT a front brake. The tradeoff of being safer in case of cars is worth the coolness sacrifice. Love my front brake!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fast Eddy said:
I'm pretty sure your legs would come apart at the knees before this.

I don't really ride down anything bigger than an overpass, but you're right. If I'm careful to control my speed from the top, I can usually get by without using the brakes.
Unless you are a track pro. But then those guys are changing their gearing all the time so they can be on top of the right gear.

I've got a couple of 6% hills on my way to work and I've hit the bottom of them sometimes and thought, "oh crap, this is it, I'm going down hard now" but have relaxed my legs and let them spin while maintaining a constant pressure on the brakes (I've got two). But you have to hit the bottom charging pretty hard so you can carry your momentum back up the next hill - it's really just a monster dip.

Thanks for the info.
 

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There is a 7.5 mile climb that I do once a week or so. You gain around 2000 feet and it has some steep moments. It took me a while, but after climbing it I can descend the whole thing without using a brake. Unless I need to stop really quickly or the grade is over 10% I don't really use the brake. If I do it's a short tap, never anything sustained, just to get the speed in check.

It takes some time to work up to, but you can do most grades without a front brake. However I would not suggest getting rid of the front brake if you are using the bike for road training. There are some 18% grades I've gone down that I think I would die on without a front brake to help me, at the most I would have some very inflamed knees.

The Ito aka back pedaler
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ito said:
There is a 7.5 mile climb that I do once a week or so. You gain around 2000 feet and it has some steep moments. It took me a while, but after climbing it I can descend the whole thing without using a brake. Unless I need to stop really quickly or the grade is over 10% I don't really use the brake. If I do it's a short tap, never anything sustained, just to get the speed in check.

It takes some time to work up to, but you can do most grades without a front brake. However I would not suggest getting rid of the front brake if you are using the bike for road training. There are some 18% grades I've gone down that I think I would die on without a front brake to help me, at the most I would have some very inflamed knees.

The Ito aka back pedaler
Steep grades aren't a problem - as long as I'm all over the brakes. And, hey, didn't I see somewhere here that you're some 20 year old kid? My old knees got almost a quarter century on yours - jeez that sounds like a long durn time.
 

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mostly brake

I use mostly brake. My knees don't like braking on the hills arround my house. I have both brakes for safety.
 
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