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Rear braking, counter-pedaling, or whatever it's called...(12 posts)

Rear braking, counter-pedaling, or whatever it's called...PdxMark
May 18, 2003 12:51 PM
I finally got to ride the new Pista. What fun!! Here's a question about the rear braking with "counter-pedaling" - or whatever it's called...

It seems that I get most power in braking when the pedal is coming up from the rear and I can resist it's upward motion. Trying to resist the downward stroke seems to give alot less braking power. Does that seem right, or should the braking be balanced around the pedal stroke - to give smooth braking just like smooth pedaling?

This is going to be fun...
Board discussion about brake RIGHT HERE IMPUT NEEDED!Trevo
May 18, 2003 2:45 PM
What your talking about makes sense. The reason your experiencing this is because on cranks there is a "dead spot" In the rotation. If you have a freewheeling bike then youll notice this when your crank rotation is strain up and down. For me when I stop, I can really only get a good stop with my right foot forward. Have you tried skipping?

See I run brakeless for commuting. When I "skip" to slow down, I can only get a good skip with, again, my right foot forward. Also in harsh quick stops and I skid, I ahve my feet in the same place. The only thing that worrys me is the fact that only one place on my tire is going to wear from skidding, and possibly wear excessivly?

Your tire should be fine unless...OverStuffed
May 18, 2003 3:35 PM
you have 1:1 gearing. I wouldn't worry about it too much. When you check for cuts and holes, check for excessive wear as well.
re: Rear braking, counter-pedaling, or whatever it's called...trackmike
May 18, 2003 6:24 PM
it's better to apply pressure all the way around the stroke with both legs, if you get in a habit of only doing it on the upstroke there is alot of different disadvantages to that. your reaction time is slowed, braking takes longer.

when your first starting out on a fixed gear it can be good to run the chain a little loose so you can feel the gap between when you are pedaling the bike, and when the bike is pedaling you, make sure there is a clear distiction between the two.

as for skidding throw your weight all the way forward lean way out over the front tire (you have to unweight the rear wheel) then lock your legs in the opposite of how you would start in a standing start (if you like to start right foot forward then skid right foot back) if it's too hard to resist the pedals your probably not leaning far enough forward. put your crotch on the stem... literally.
Thanks for the tips nmPdxMark
May 19, 2003 7:21 AM
The maintenance man in our office showed me a good trickdzrider
May 19, 2003 5:43 AM
He rode "fixed wheel" bikes in Jamaica and pantomimed how to slow the bike down. Essentially you stand an rock the bike the opposite way you would rock it to sprint or accelerate. This method feels easier on my knees than the hard back-pedalling with each foot as it comes up. His one sentence description of fixed gear riding is one of the reasons I got the bike. "You just dance on de pedals, mon and feel dem legs get stronger."
You just dance on de pedals, mon and feel dem legs get strongerPdxMark
May 19, 2003 7:19 AM
That's bike poetry. Ok... something more for me to work on. I'm loving this fixie riding, though...
NICE! sweet tip trackmikeTrevo
May 20, 2003 7:58 AM
About throwing your body forward and literally putting you crotch into the stem works awsome!

NOw that I know how to do this, I feel way more comfortable riding faster cause I can stop faster.
do you have a front brake?DougSloan
May 20, 2003 9:24 AM
If you have a front brake, you'd rarely need to counter-pedal. At first I tried to be purist and slow only with the rear, but it wore me out. Now, I do that for long descents, but use the front brake for pulling up to stop signs.

I only resist on the up stroke, where your weight mostly does the work. Resisting on the downstroke seems to do funny things to my knees, which I think are better made for compression than being yanked apart.

do you have a front brake? - yupPdxMark
May 20, 2003 10:32 AM
I'm playing with the rear braking. I think I'm in the same early stage you passed through. Trying to do slowing with the rear wheel. On today's ride, it felt almost like cheating to use the front brake to complete a stop at an intersection... but it IS work... even though it's cheating, I wanted/needed that front brake.
my rulesDougSloan
May 20, 2003 2:33 PM
My rules are that I can use the brake to slow to a stop, for emergencies, and to slow the bike if I'm just going so fast down a hill that I'm about to lose control (around 35 mph with my usual gearing, and then only if it's a long hill). With the hills around here, and a few in Portland, I'd bet, if you don't brake you'd better be able to sustain around 200 rpms for several miles.

yeah, I dont use brakes. NMTrevo
May 20, 2003 7:40 PM