Re: [CR] riding fixed without brakes

(Example: Framebuilders:Masi)

From: "Charles Andrews" <chasds@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 07:39:00 -0700
Subject: Re: [CR] riding fixed without brakes


Kevin McCaul wrote:

"As for brakes, well all I can say is if you feel the need for them, then you probably shouldn't be riding fixed. I've seen firsthand and heard numerous stories of guys flying over the handlebars using them.

Then again I'm sure there is a place for brakes in certain circumstances, but I can't think of one that applies to me. Let me know! You ride on the sidewalk only maybe?"

************

I'd be interested to know just how many drivers and pedestrians you've terrified in all those years because of what you had to do because you had no brakes. I've seen it many times: fixed riders without brakes doing stuff that should have got them killed, solely because they have no brakes. And scaring the bejesus out of everyone around them in the process.

The real tough-guy riders from 50 years ago always had brakes. Purpose-made path-racer bikes from the time nearly always had front brakes. They knew riding without brakes in traffic was simply an irresponsible affectation. Had I not seen the results with my own eyes many times in downtown LA, and elsewhere, I would not post about this, but people riding without brakes give a bad name to all cyclists, regardless of the sort of bike you might ride.

I've ridden fixed with brakes many times; I've never even come close to going over the bars. I wouldn't do it any other way, out in traffic.

Just as being the only rider with brakes in a group on the track is irresponsible and dangerous--and would never be allowed--so is riding fixed without brakes out in traffic. Same concept. If you're not using brakes out in traffic, you shouldn't be riding fixed.

Charles Andrews Los Angeles

"everyone has elites; the important thing is to change them from time to time."

--Joseph Schumpeter, via Simon Johnson