Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Velo Fixe => Topic started by: rogerzilla on August 11, 2018, 11:30:14 am

Title: One brake or two?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 11, 2018, 11:30:14 am
We're talking road-legal bikes here, so no smart-arse "I only ride on the velodrome" answers  :P
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: zigzag on August 11, 2018, 11:44:57 am
it depends on the bike's use, for a local runabout one is enough. for more "serious" rides and hilly terrain having two brakes is much safer.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: hubner on August 11, 2018, 11:51:38 am
I would say 2 calipers and 2 levers, unless you were trying to build  the lightest bike you can.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 11, 2018, 12:16:48 pm
Two brake levers are good for fixed climbing on the road. Suit yourself whether you also fit a rear brake and cable.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Gattopardo on August 11, 2018, 12:54:21 pm
Can get one lever to do two brakes.

Road legal where, the UK?
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Kim on August 11, 2018, 12:56:53 pm
Can get one lever to do two brakes.

Road legal where, the UK?

Sure, as long as there's another independent braking system (eg. a fixed-wheel drivetrain).  Common on bike polo bikes.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Chris N on August 11, 2018, 01:28:44 pm
One on the commuter, two on the everything else bike.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: mzjo on August 11, 2018, 02:05:16 pm
Back in the 70's we used to do light touring (w/e stuff with just a saddlebag) with only one brake and didn't think twice about it (even in the Cotswolds!).
Now I am in France where the drive train doess not qualify as an independant braking system and so two brakes are obligatory (which is self-defeating as a lot of french fixies prefer the illegality of going brakeless rather than the slightly safer illegality of a front brake). If I manage to go back to fixed with my replacement knee joint it will be wih two brakes.

A single brake has the advantage that you can put the lever in the middle of the bars which gives a very short cable run for efficiency and it's where you want it for descending on the top of the bar which is usually more comfortable than being on the drops. You could do this with two levers but the arrangement doesn't seem as good.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: fuaran on August 11, 2018, 02:10:24 pm
For long rides (ie audax) it can be nice to drag the rear brake on big descents. Less tiring than high speed spinning.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Kim on August 11, 2018, 06:43:26 pm
A single brake has the advantage that you can put the lever in the middle of the bars which gives a very short cable run for efficiency and it's where you want it for descending on the top of the bar which is usually more comfortable than being on the drops. You could do this with two levers but the arrangement doesn't seem as good.

I think that's basically a variation on the argument against drop bar controls (ie. that the brake levers are crap and most of the time they're in the wrong place).

Did I imagine it or are brake levers designed for central mounting which have a lever on both sides a thing?
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: fuaran on August 11, 2018, 08:02:50 pm
Did I imagine it or are brake levers designed for central mounting which have a lever on both sides a thing?
The Dia Compe Gran Compe. ie a lever on each side, which both pull one brake. http://www.diacompe.com.tw/product/gran-compe-shot-lever/
Its a neat idea, though not sure how useful it actually is. Is there much advantage over a single lever, unless you want to indicate while turning left/right? And in an emergency you might grab both levers at once, which probably won't work.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: JonB on August 11, 2018, 08:24:25 pm
Front and rear brakes for me, never tried riding with just a front so can't comment on how effective but do prefer the idea of the rear brake for long rides when fatigued. As mentioned upthread 2 levers are good to hold onto for climbing.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 11, 2018, 09:54:31 pm
The Harry Quinn track bike can't take a rear brake anyway; there is a *tiny* rear seatstay bridge.  In fact, it can't even take a front brake as there is virtually no brake drop (although someone has drilled the crown).

Argos are bullding me a new fork for road use with 40mm brake drop.  It will lift the front end by about 15mm but that's unavoidable to get a brake in.

The Bob Griffin, formerly a singlespeed, is ruunning 42 x 16 fixed now.  It has two brakes as a singlespeed legacy.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: drossall on August 12, 2018, 12:09:54 am
I've got two. I once scared myself locking up the back wheel when I used fixed and caliper at the same time to brake. That made me think that one was better. However, I'm the kind of fixed rider, even after 40 years, who uses the calipers rather than the fixed for serious braking, so I've trained myself not to do both any more.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Ian H on August 12, 2018, 10:29:26 am
it depends on the bike's use, for a local runabout one is enough. for more "serious" rides and hilly terrain having two brakes is much safer.

I'd second that.  There'a also LW&B's point about the hoods position.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: IanDG on August 12, 2018, 10:41:12 am
I ticked 2 'cause that's what I ride. Riding TTs on fixed or riding out to the track (I think you call them velodromes now) were the only times I would use 1 brake.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 12, 2018, 11:57:40 am
Do people have any issues with rear brake pad position changing as the chain is tensioned or if you change the sprocket, or does the angle of the dropout compensate sufficiently?
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 12, 2018, 12:00:23 pm
The brake pads need to be moved vertically unless the rim braking surface is very deep compared to the brake pad depth or the frame is very big (near-vertical seatstays).
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: LEE on August 12, 2018, 12:13:21 pm
2.

Because that means you have 2 brakes (where 2>1).
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Ian H on August 12, 2018, 01:09:31 pm
The brake pads need to be moved vertically unless the rim braking surface is very deep compared to the brake pad depth or the frame is very big (near-vertical seatstays).

Or you have road drop-outs (which I specified on my current frame).
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Chris N on August 12, 2018, 01:35:45 pm
Do people have any issues with rear brake pad position changing as the chain is tensioned or if you change the sprocket, or does the angle of the dropout compensate sufficiently?

No. My fix with a rear brake has discs and adjustable dropouts so everything stays in the right place.  :smug:
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: grams on August 12, 2018, 10:05:10 pm
My commuter bike has two on drop levers, with the front having an interrupted lever too. The drop levers are essentially never used (except as bullhorns for climbing) so the rear brake is never used either.

I do try to brake mostly with my legs, so the front brake is acting as a backup.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: drossall on August 12, 2018, 10:11:18 pm
2.

Because that means you have 2 brakes (where 2>1).
Strictly, we are discussing whether to have two brakes or three. One is not an option under consideration. One of the disadvantages of having two brakes on the back is the tendency to lock up that I mentioned. However, I have said that it remains my preference.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: hubner on August 12, 2018, 10:46:58 pm
2.

Because that means you have 2 brakes (where 2>1).
Strictly, we are discussing whether to have two brakes or three. One is not an option under consideration. One of the disadvantages of having two brakes on the back is the tendency to lock up that I mentioned. However, I have said that it remains my preference.

I wouldn't call a fixed wheel a brake, just like I wouldn't say other methods of slowing down like putting your feet on the ground, or putting a foot or gloved hand on the tyre, were brakes.

Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Kim on August 12, 2018, 10:58:26 pm
2.

Because that means you have 2 brakes (where 2>1).
Strictly, we are discussing whether to have two brakes or three. One is not an option under consideration. One of the disadvantages of having two brakes on the back is the tendency to lock up that I mentioned. However, I have said that it remains my preference.

I wouldn't call a fixed wheel a brake

It's more of a retarder.


Quote
just like I wouldn't say other methods of slowing down like putting your feet on the ground, or putting a foot or gloved hand on the tyre, were brakes.

Those are part of the Tertiary Ablative Braking System™ as andygates once put it.   ;D
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Pingu on August 12, 2018, 11:03:04 pm
1. Short, flat commute perspective.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: hubner on August 12, 2018, 11:13:02 pm
The Harry Quinn track bike can't take a rear brake anyway; there is a *tiny* rear seatstay bridge.  In fact, it can't even take a front brake as there is virtually no brake drop (although someone has drilled the crown).

Argos are bullding me a new fork for road use with 40mm brake drop.  It will lift the front end by about 15mm but that's unavoidable to get a brake in.

Raising the front end by 15mm is huge, and will change the geometry, but maybe it''ll "impove" presumably a steep angled track bike.

40mm-15mm=25mm, is the original brake drop 25mm?! Even a 21mm tyre must be almost touching the fork crown.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: drossall on August 13, 2018, 12:01:25 am
I wouldn't call a fixed wheel a brake, just like I wouldn't say other methods of slowing down like putting your feet on the ground, or putting a foot or gloved hand on the tyre, were brakes.
But, unlike the other two, a fixed wheel is a brake in law. Because it's more effective than either of them, presumably...
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 13, 2018, 06:30:11 am
The Harry Quinn track bike can't take a rear brake anyway; there is a *tiny* rear seatstay bridge.  In fact, it can't even take a front brake as there is virtually no brake drop (although someone has drilled the crown).

Argos are bullding me a new fork for road use with 40mm brake drop.  It will lift the front end by about 15mm but that's unavoidable to get a brake in.

Raising the front end by 15mm is huge, and will change the geometry, but maybe it''ll "impove" presumably a steep angled track bike.

40mm-15mm=25mm, is the original brake drop 25mm?! Even a 21mm tyre must be almost touching the fork crown.
A 23mm tyre is in the fork crown!  Luckily it's grooved.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1741/41449223875_003d7e0980_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX)20180525_215206 (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX) by rogerzilla (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41286375@N07/), on Flickr
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: bobb on August 13, 2018, 08:42:30 am
Both for me. When the shit hits the white van - give it enough miles and it will happen - I want to be able to stop. Sharp. And you need front, rear and legs for that.....
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Greenbank on August 13, 2018, 09:35:02 am
Two for me, always.

When the shit hits the fan (even on a pan flat commute) on a wet road, I don't want just a front brake and leg braking.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 13, 2018, 10:04:21 am
For long rides (ie audax) it can be nice to drag the rear brake on big descents. Less tiring than high speed spinning.
This. I used to ride a fixed as my sole bike and it was exhausting on long descents. I longed to have a second brake.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Nelson Longflap on August 17, 2018, 08:47:38 pm
it depends on the bike's use, for a local runabout one is enough. for more "serious" rides and hilly terrain having two brakes is much safer.
^ Agree completely.

My 1 brake fixed (an Orbit track bike with a new fork) isn't used for anything super-steep, and with no redundancy I pay a lot of attention to brake maintenance.

The way the single brake performs is also important; it's very helpful to have a powerful, but progressive, brake that rarely causes surprises. A grippy front tyre helps too. The Orbit is a delight to ride around town, or anywhere else apart from steep descents, and I don't feel any lack of stopping power.

My Genesis fixed has two brakes (necessary as it also gets used on freewheel). The single brake on the Orbit is much nicer to use than the vee brakes on the Genesis which while powerful enough somehow lack the feel of the Shimano brake on the Orbit.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: hubner on August 18, 2018, 09:49:48 pm
The Harry Quinn track bike can't take a rear brake anyway; there is a *tiny* rear seatstay bridge.  In fact, it can't even take a front brake as there is virtually no brake drop (although someone has drilled the crown).

Argos are bullding me a new fork for road use with 40mm brake drop.  It will lift the front end by about 15mm but that's unavoidable to get a brake in.

Raising the front end by 15mm is huge, and will change the geometry, but maybe it''ll "impove" presumably a steep angled track bike.

40mm-15mm=25mm, is the original brake drop 25mm?! Even a 21mm tyre must be almost touching the fork crown.
A 23mm tyre is in the fork crown!  Luckily it's grooved.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1741/41449223875_003d7e0980_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX)20180525_215206 (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX) by rogerzilla (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41286375@N07/), on Flickr

I would have thought those holes must weaken the crown. And the bottom of the crown must have been filed off, by the frame builder of a previous owner, surely it wouldn't have been manufactured like that.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: dave r on August 18, 2018, 10:02:21 pm
My fixed is my winter bike, I have two brakes on it as it sometimes gets used when its slippery, I prefer to stay away from the front brake in slippery conditions and combine the use of the back brake with leg braking.
 



Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Ian H on August 18, 2018, 10:10:25 pm


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1741/41449223875_003d7e0980_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX)20180525_215206 (https://flic.kr/p/269J7bX) by rogerzilla (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41286375@N07/), on Flickr

I would have thought those holes must weaken the crown. And the bottom of the crown must have been filed off, by the frame builder of a previous owner, surely it wouldn't have been manufactured like that.

I wouldn't worry.  The wheel will hold the fork blades together.
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: rogerzilla on August 22, 2018, 09:55:22 pm
Also, it will only ever be used on a velodrome, where a prang is unlikely to be particularly serious (no road rash, no hard kerbs and no cars).  The curve will be original since otherwise you'd never get a tub in there.  Not sure about the hole, but it's been enamelled over so must be pretty old.  There is more metal inside the crown than the photo shows.

Here's a new track crown from the catalogue:
(http://www.framebuilding.com/NEWPARTSPAGES/NEWIMAGES/Cast%20F22.jpg)
Title: Re: One brake or two?
Post by: Fast Bill on September 23, 2018, 09:34:56 am
Two. If it comes to stopping urgently I’m happy to spread the wear!