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Stopping a fixie(10 posts)

Stopping a fixieAndante
Mar 12, 2002 11:09 AM
What is the correct way of stopping a fixed gear without brakes. I am still running a front brake, since I have not figured this out. Do you try to resist your foot going down, or try to try to keep from it coming up? Do you stand when you try this (as the bike tries to kick you off when you do these maneuvers)? I know guys ride without brakes, but I think I would end up road pizza if I tried.

I also figure there is no shame in using the front brake when coming downhill at 34 miles an hour, feeling the rear wheel skipping sideways because I am not pedalling fast enough. Near death experience on a daily basis!
I run a full set of brakes, but...lonefrontranger
Mar 12, 2002 11:26 AM
If you're really looking for those near death experiences, I know plenty of messenger guys who ride fixed in traffic, all day long, uphill and down with no rim brakes.

1.) Make sure your lockring is on very securely.
2.) You should anticipate your stops, and just let your legs "lag" to slow down for a mellow stop - you'll be suprised at how quickly you can slow down by just sitting down and "weighting" the gear. I resist my foot going down, or "drag" my legs - it is easier on the knees and more stable than standing up on the gear as you described - and standing up can "launch" you over the handlebars if you're not careful.
3.) The fixed-gear version of the hockey-stop, and practice this one a lot before trying it in traffic! As you come into a stop, pop your back wheel up by doing a nose wheelie. You will be able to stop the gear much quicker without weight on the back wheel. This is dangerous to do in traffic unless you're really solid with it, as you can easily endo.

Any of these methods is hard on the knees, incidentally, so be aware of that.
Another variation...MrCelloBoy
Mar 12, 2002 11:36 AM
is to briefly unweight the rear wheel, stop pedaling, and then lay down a long patch of rubber as you skid to a stop.
Local legend has one of the former ibis employees doing a skid all the way through an stop signed intersection at the bottom of a hill in Occidental, CA.

These are professionals! Don't try this at home.
Keep the front brake...brider
Mar 12, 2002 12:34 PM
and add a rear if the frame allows. Doing the rear wheel hop is difficult at best. I've heard people talk trash about putting on a rear brake (NEVER!), but I've had no trouble, and aparently lonefrontranger hasn't either. As for where in the pedal stroke to resist, it's basically pedaling reverse circles -- resist all the way around (very hard on the knees resisting across the top).
Mar 12, 2002 12:51 PM
dropping the brakes will:

1. draw respect from a handful of people with messed-up knees.
2. mess up your knees.
re: Stopping a fixiefirstrax
Mar 12, 2002 12:50 PM
I watched a messenger in Toronto unclip his right foot, press it into the top of the front tire then when he was stopped turn front wheel sideways and work the wheel back and forth with his foot to stay balanced. This did not seem smart but he was really good at it and it looked cool.
Ah, the "Modified Fred Flintstone" method!Tig
Mar 12, 2002 1:28 PM
That advanced maneuver is usually seen in BMX freestyle. It sometimes precedes the Forward Goose-step Endo, which if a half twist is thrown in, can gain you extra difficulty points.

But seriously, if you use rim brakes, be sure to shift your weight rearward to the back of the seat while bracing your arms. Similar to downhill braking an MTB on a steep section.
there is also another way but you need a THICk chamois NMSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 12, 2002 1:51 PM
re: Stopping a fixiebent_sprocket
Mar 12, 2002 2:24 PM
brakes were invented for a reason, but you only need the front brake on a fixie, since you're legs are the back brake.

sure, you can do a skid, or something else, but the best way is to use a combination of "leg drag" and the front brake.

for just slowing down and/or stopping when i haven plenty of warning, i just use the "leg drag" method. just stop applying force to the pedals but allow the pedals to carry your legs around and around. the weight of your legs will slow the bike down smoothly, without you having to resist. i usually stay seated while doing this, since it seems like the easiest way to remove the force from the pedals is to transfer it to your posterior.

to slow down faster, just be a bit more active about not-pedalling, but not so active so that it's not smooth.

to slow down somewhat faster than that, use the front brake in combination with the leg drag.

if you really need to stop, NOW, you use the front brake to unweight the rear wheel slightly, and put down some serious, active leg drag at the same time. this is something that i reserve for emergency situations that cannot be solved by evasive action.

and remember, part of the fun of riding fixed, especially in traffic, is that you pay attention to the traffic, and strategize after into the future as you can. that way, most of your stopping situations aren't of the emergency type or even of the fast type.
I use both front and rear brakes.look271
Mar 12, 2002 5:08 PM
I have been trying to use them less and less, and have gotten fairly good at it. However, it's nice to know that if I need to stop NOW! I can. Coming up to red lights and intersections is just a matter of dragging the legs and gradually slowing down.