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How do you stop quickly on a fixed gear?(25 posts)

How do you stop quickly on a fixed gear?JohnIV
Sep 24, 2002 10:11 AM
I know everyone says not to ride a fixed gear on the road without a front brake. But for those that ride brakeless, how do you stop quickly?
I have a front brake. I would never ride without it. (nm)onespeed
Sep 24, 2002 10:15 AM
Sep 24, 2002 10:16 AM
I though about practicing an instant dismount(including clipless pedals),but thought better of it. You can skid the back but if youre at high speeds I wouldnt call it a quick stop. I now use a brake, the cool factor of brakeless is outweighted by the ability to go faster and not worry.
Sep 24, 2002 10:23 AM
I ride two brakes.
re: How do you stop quickly on a fixed gear?MrCelloBoy
Sep 24, 2002 10:17 AM
Emergency stop...Light application of the front brake while unweighting the rear wheel enough to completely stop it. Leave sizeable patch of rubber if chain doesn't break or derail.
The same way you stop quickly on a car without brakesSteve_0
Sep 24, 2002 10:24 AM
you dont.
pretty hairy without a brake ......Spirito
Sep 24, 2002 10:35 AM
but if your gonna ride a fixie with no brakes always keep a good distance and ride at a (slower) pace where you can swerve, jump or dodge around as its better than trying to lock the rear wheel.

the guys i know that ride without brakes all have scars to show for their vanity. i think your mad to ride without at least a front brake but then again i dont always wear a helmet. even with both front and rear brakes a car can stop better than a bicycle.

really think about it ...

not sure about the car....Steve_0
Sep 24, 2002 10:39 AM
A bike traveling on any given roadway at 25 mph can certainly stop faster than a car on the same roadway doing 55mph.

Makes me wonder, though, when both vehicles are the same speed; practical experience with the mcycle makes me beleive the bike will stop much faster; but then again, my motorcycle has hydrolics.

Guess i'll be running a little experiment tonight!!
i have a fork that resemble's spaghetti ....Spirito
Sep 24, 2002 11:01 AM
riding alongside/behind a cab that decide to pull accross to the kerb for a fare quite sharply. i reacted fast and have dual pivot calipers front and back but with nowhere to go i met with his bumper. i was ok apart from a little less skin but my fork and frame are now for display only.

around a circuit a F1 racecar is quicker than an F1 racebike - the difference being in braking as the car has a greater contact patch (rubber on the road) than a bike.
cornering speeds are also slightly higher for the car but a bikes acceleration out of corners is slightly better so this is equaled out. for general road driving m/bikes are more performance oreintated than cars and superior.

if you want to experiment between bicycle and car do it the safe way - choose an empty road with a marker or sign post and emergency brake from 25mph in a car and then on a bicycle. unless its an SUV or an older model car ill wager a car will stop faster than a bicycle.

i have a fork that resemble's spaghetti ....Steve_0
Sep 24, 2002 11:26 AM
I'm not a big fan of racing, so Im not sure of what im talking about here.... but i'd imagine the weight of an F1 much more closely approximates the weight of a bike than does the common car vs common bike; i.e., the energy (masS) of the vehicle overcomes the advantages of the increased contact patch (admittingly, though, as you implied the 'common' bike is much more sport oriented than the common car)

anyway, using the ol standard of x(**2**)/20 for stopping distances of a 4-braked car on level, dry pavement, I find it hard to believe it would take me as long to stop on my bicycle (given identical reaction time - your minimal (nonexistant) reaction time due to your following distance could have been a critical factor.

anway, if i have time tonight i'll satisfy my curiosity.
Sep 24, 2002 12:03 PM
On one hand the weight of a person on a bike vs. a car is significantly less. But at the same time the contact area / lbs may be more in a car.


Don't forget thattz
Sep 24, 2002 12:16 PM
Force of friction also proportional to vehicle's mass. That is why F1 cars have those inverted wings - to press the car into the ground.
I strongly believe that a passenger car with ABS (most of them have this feature now) stops much, much faster than a bicycle.
When I ride a bike/motorcycle, I always stay to the side of the lane, so I can get in between cars, if they stop quicker than I can handle it.
Sep 24, 2002 2:19 PM
Its no secret F1 cars have mass ammounts of downforce... so much so they can drive upside down. However, it is very important to remember at lower speeds this becomes less and less of a factor. I'm still interested to know what stops faster a bike or a car over 25 mph though.

You're forgetting something very important...timfire
Sep 24, 2002 5:25 PM
You're forgetting that a driver in a car is (hopefully) buckled to the seat, and the car has a low and stable center of gravity. A cyclist is only losely sitting on the saddle, with a relatively high and unstable center of gravity. If a cyclist stops *too* quickly they're going over the handlebars. A car can jam on the brakes as hard as they want without fear of flipping over. With a cyclist it's another story.

--Tim Kleinert
I think the fear of 'flipping over'Steve_0
Sep 25, 2002 3:18 AM
in experienced hands on level ground is overrated. More to do with bike-handling skills than physics, IMO.

anyhoo, My wife wasnt around last night so i couldnt perform my little experiment (dont have a computer on my bike so i need a car to measure speed).

keep you posted.
Very very difficultPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 24, 2002 10:35 AM
I race on the track and its next to impossible to stop quickly. Worse yet stopping quickly can be hard on your knees especially if your backpedalling down a hill. So use a brake! I believe it was the junior Italian road team who's coach got them to climb a mountain on their track bikes then come down the mountain to work on leg speed... all of them blew out their knees.

re: How do you stop quickly on a fixed gear?Bike Fool
Sep 24, 2002 10:40 AM
Do a Kevin Bacon, pop-a-wheelie and land on your feet. (Not recommended with cleated shoes)
2nd the "crash" responselonefrontranger
Sep 24, 2002 10:45 AM
Second ishmael's reply and Nick's assessment. I'm a safety gal (and my knees ain't getting any younger) so I run a full set of rim brakes on my fixie.

Some messenger types I know have learned (after numerous endos and the resulting scars) to do the "emergency" rear wheel-hop style stop, but this requires having a front brake to begin with. I'd give this a pass unless (like my messenger friends) you are stoned enough to tolerate the learning curve.

Brakeless bikes are generally unsafe on the open road and really should be limited to the somewhat controlled environment of the velodrome. For what it's worth, although you may race a fixed-gear in a USCF time trial, they will refuse your entry unless it wears a front brake.
Sep 24, 2002 10:49 AM
tri rules specifically stipulate front AND rear brake.

(actually, the rules also specifically forbid fixed-gears, but the wording indicates it to be an obvious attempt (by the uneducated) to mandate front and rear brakes. Never had a problem.
Well...Tronracer just uses pedestrians :-)biknben
Sep 24, 2002 11:00 AM
They are a perfect way to slow down quickly.

Sorry, Tron. That story about you nailing that ped still lingers in my head. :-)
squishy fat people are best nmishmael
Sep 24, 2002 11:38 AM
see, being the fattest nation on earth is not that bad nmtz
Sep 24, 2002 12:30 PM
powerslide...dude! nm128
Sep 24, 2002 12:55 PM
EJECT EJECT EJECT!!!!!!!!merckx56
Sep 24, 2002 1:13 PM
You don't. (Unless you hit something). I use a front brake.(nm)look271
Sep 24, 2002 3:28 PM