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Front brake?

Old 07-18-17, 05:48 PM
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jazzmanjm8
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Front brake?

In the BMX world a front brake tends to be not useful when riding. I am sure their is a complicated reason why this is true but for me I am curious as to why most folding bikes come with both? I rarely use the front brake and tend to be observant as to how much braking I am doing as to not "destroy" my rear brakes!

I am curious if anyone has experience in this and could shed some thoughts. The biggest one I can see is two is better than one!

I am not trying to shed weight or something that silly... just want to be as streamlined as can be!
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Old 07-18-17, 06:06 PM
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Umm... What? The rear brake is the least useful, it does almost no braking, the front does everything.

A bmx that doesn't have front brake, mine used to, isn't made for riding.
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Old 07-18-17, 06:10 PM
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Folding bikes come with front brakes because they are useful, accounting for at least half of braking power. The real question is not why folders have them, but why BMX bikes, if the claim is true, lack them.

Originally Posted by jazzmanjm8 View Post
In the BMX world a front brake tends to be not useful when riding. I am sure their is a complicated reason why this is true but for me I am curious as to why most folding bikes come with both? I rarely use the front brake and tend to be observant as to how much braking I am doing as to not "destroy" my rear brakes!

I am curious if anyone has experience in this and could shed some thoughts. The biggest one I can see is two is better than one!

I am not trying to shed weight or something that silly... just want to be as streamlined as can be!
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Old 07-18-17, 06:22 PM
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The trend now is no brakes! At least with pros! Maybe I brake the wrong way? LOL
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Old 07-18-17, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Folding bikes come with front brakes because they are useful, accounting for at least half of braking power. The real question is not why folders have them, but why BMX bikes, if the claim is true, lack them.
Not even close to 50%, even cars do about 70% of braking with the front, bikes with their centre of gravity being very high would be like 90%.

Just having a rear brake is crazy if you ride the bike normally. You throw away almost all of your braking potential.
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Old 07-18-17, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzmanjm8 View Post
The trend now is no brakes! At least with pros! Maybe I brake the wrong way? LOL
But pros in what?... Not normal riding or even normal racing.
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Old 07-18-17, 06:33 PM
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The only situation I can think of where a rear brake would be used as much as the front would be downhill, where too much front brake could endo you.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kidshibuya View Post
But pros in what?... Not normal riding or even normal racing.
Yeah pro BMX dirt and street and flatland. Definitely not normal riding.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:14 PM
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Again I am only curious about the topic since I am sure I am not the only one who has thought about it. Clearly it makes since in a normal riding world!
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Old 07-18-17, 07:22 PM
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Actually, the bmx riding world is the minority. A front brake is more common than not. The exception is on a coaster brake outfitted bike. A bmx biker is a sport specific niche,...
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Old 07-18-17, 07:25 PM
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I have come from a heavy BMX background so it makes sense. I use to ride with a dual front brake for flatland... yeah I was super nerdy for that stuff. My transition to "normal" riding is full of questions! Thanks again for the quick responses!
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Old 07-18-17, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzmanjm8 View Post
I have come from a heavy BMX background so it makes sense. I use to ride with a dual front brake for flatland... yeah I was super nerdy for that stuff. My transition to "normal" riding is full of questions! Thanks again for the quick responses!
Anytime!!! And welcome aboard!!!
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Old 07-18-17, 09:32 PM
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Thing is that bmx racing is so slow and the turns so easy they don't really need brakes. If there was a course with a 100m downhill into a concrete wall hairpin then every single bike would have a front brake. But when you never go fast enough to warrant brakes then you don't need them. They would only have them on the rear to aid turning by locking the rear, that is why they aren't on the front. They are more for turning than stopping.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:31 AM
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Here ya go:

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Old 07-19-17, 07:06 AM
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I use 70% front 30% rear. I imagine BMX guys use the rear brake on jumps to regulate the angle of landing ( I'm not sure ).

Thanks,
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Old 07-19-17, 03:23 PM
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i experimented with the "no brake" trend for a bit. i found that if i really needed to stop i could simply put my feet on the ground and the bike would eventually cease rolling forward. though marginally effective, this technique became expensive rather quickly as i was burning through the crepe soles of two pairs of clark's desert boots a week.

that's when i had the idea to graduate to a pair of converse platform high tops. i can attest to the fact that the braking power of these shoes is quite remarkable. however, incredible as they are, i found that i still needed to incorporate a secondary method of braking if i really needed to stop quickly. i call this method "immovable object braking": with 3" thick rubber and foam moon boots fully deployed and in contact with the ground, aim the front wheel of the bike directly at a car bumper, lamppost, building, or other stationary object. this method will bring the bike and you to a complete stop (though not necessarily at the same time or in precisely the same location).


after a couple of months using the above method and a brief hospital stay later, i relented and installed a front brake. i quickly discovered that a device designed specifically for bicycle braking is much more effective than platform shoes in bringing a bike to a stop.

in my particular case, installing the brake was quite easy given that the bike i was using at the time already had a brake lever mounted on the side of one its tubes. incidentally, if you have a bike with this type of break lever you may want to hang on to it because it's probably quite rare and valuable. when i took the bike to a bicycle shop to have the wheel balloons re-filled (they were out of helium - had to settle for standard air) the owner called all the employees to gather round and have a look. seems they were all very happy to see this rare bike.

that being said, although i enjoyed that brake for awhile, i came to find it tedious having to raise my foot up to press the lever every time i wanted to stop or simply slow down. frankly, i can understand why it went out of fashion.




after reading this forum and coming to understand that rear brakes are practically useless, instead of installing a brake in the back as i was tempted to do, i've decided to install two brakes up front for the ultimate in stopping power. i like to call this "immediate stopping". let me tell, it really works.



now that i've got the brakes sorted i can move on to other necessary gear.







thanks!
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Old 07-19-17, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
i experimented with the "no brake" trend for a bit. i found that if i really needed to stop i could simply put my feet on the ground and the bike would eventually cease rolling forward. though marginally effective, this technique became expensive rather quickly as i was burning through the crepe soles of two pairs of clark's desert boots a week.

that's when i had the idea to graduate to a pair of converse platform high tops. i can attest to the fact that the braking power of these shoes is quite remarkable. however, incredible as they are, i found that i still needed to incorporate a secondary method of braking if i really needed to stop quickly. i call this method "immovable object braking": with 3" thick rubber and foam moon boots fully deployed and in contact with the ground, aim the front wheel of the bike directly at a car bumper, lamppost, building, or other stationary object. this method will bring the bike and you to a complete stop (though not necessarily at the same time or in precisely the same location).


after a couple of months using the above method and a brief hospital stay later, i relented and installed a front brake. i quickly discovered that a device designed specifically for bicycle braking is much more effective than platform shoes in bringing a bike to a stop.

in my particular case, installing the brake was quite easy given that the bike i was using at the time already had a brake lever mounted on the side of one its tubes. incidentally, if you have a bike with this type of break lever you may want to hang on to it because it's probably quite rare and valuable. when i took the bike to a bicycle shop to have the wheel balloons re-filled (they were out of helium - had to settle for standard air) the owner called all the employees to gather round and have a look. seems they were all very happy to see this rare bike.

that being said, although i enjoyed that brake for awhile, i came to find it tedious having to raise my foot up to press the lever every time i wanted to stop or simply slow down. frankly, i can understand why it went out of fashion.




after reading this forum and coming to understand that rear brakes are practically useless, instead of installing a brake in the back as i was tempted to do, i've decided to install two brakes up front for the ultimate in stopping power. i like to call this "immediate stopping". let me tell, it really works.



now that i've got the brakes sorted i can move on to other necessary gear.







thanks!
Wow... (slow motion clapping)
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Old 07-20-17, 05:08 AM
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Why do I have the suspicion that the yellow bike with the downtube shifter brake is a fixie and is owned by a kid in skinny jeans?
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Old 07-20-17, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzmanjm8 View Post
In the BMX world a front brake tends to be not useful when riding. I am sure their is a complicated reason why this is true but for me I am curious as to why most folding bikes come with both?

I am curious if anyone has experience in this and could shed some thoughts. The biggest one I can see is two is better than one!
If both brakes are applied, the front brake actually contributes more to braking power than the rear brake, due to weight transfer and the physics of stopping a bike in motion. So you get more braking out of your front brake than your rear. This assumes traction -- on loose surfaces, since the front wheel is also used to steer, use of the front brake should be modulated...

Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
in my particular case, installing the brake was quite easy given that the bike i was using at the time already had a brake lever mounted on the side of one its tubes. incidentally, if you have a bike with this type of break lever you may want to hang on to it because it's probably quite rare and valuable. when i took the bike to a bicycle shop to have the wheel balloons re-filled (they were out of helium - had to settle for standard air) the owner called all the employees to gather round and have a look. seems they were all very happy to see this rare bike.



So this one time? On BikeForums? There was a thread about how you couldn't use a twist shifter as a brake lever. Of course I then had to rig up v-brakes to a SRAM grip shifter to prove them wrong. It worked. Kind of. Not recommended for other than novelty use...
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