Poll

How many brakes do you like on a fixie?

One, redundancy is anathema to the cyclist
Two, I need an extra heatsink on descents or I don't like single points of failure

Author Topic: One brake or two?  (Read 2169 times)

One brake or two?
« 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
Never tell me the odds.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #1 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #2 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.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #3 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.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2018, 12:54:21 pm »
Can get one lever to do two brakes.

Road legal where, the UK?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #5 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2018, 01:28:44 pm »
One on the commuter, two on the everything else bike.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #7 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.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #8 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.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #9 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?
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #10 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.

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #11 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #12 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.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #13 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #14 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.

windy

  • Sitting on a bog in the North Atlantic
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Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #15 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #16 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?
Never tell me the odds.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #17 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).
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2018, 12:13:21 pm »
2.

Because that means you have 2 brakes (where 2>1).
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #19 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).

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #20 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:

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #21 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #22 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.

Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #23 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.


Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: One brake or two?
« Reply #24 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 Systemâ„¢ as andygates once put it.   ;D
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...