OK, I'm gonna weigh in on the side of brakes on fixed-gear bikes riding on the road. In the early 1970s my acqauaintance Michael Frye, an ardent and talented track rider, was nearly killed, riding a fixy without brakes. He was doing 30+ mph and an inattentive driver pulled out immediately in front of him. He went through the side window of the car, was knocked unconscious, and nearly lost an ear, which was dangling by a shred of skin. Bike was wrecked. His racing season was wrecked. He was in the hospital for several days and in bandages for several weeks. All this theoretical stuff about how to stop a fixy without brakes is all very fine, but the real road is full of just such inattentive drivers. It's dangerous enough among them even on a bike with brakes. Use brakes. Bandages and coffins seriously lack mojo. --- David Faulkner in Sacramento, checking my brake cables to make sure they're not frayed.