Fixed gear (or fixie) bikes typically don’t have brakes because they are most commonly used in velodrome competitions. As a result, there is little need to brake or slow the bike down. In a controlled environment like this, speeds are much higher than riders typically achieve on the roads. This is the main reason why fixed-gear bikes don’t have brakes.
What is a fixed-gear bike?
Why don’t fixed-gear bikes have brakes?
Why would anyone want a bike with no brakes?
Is it illegal to ride a fixie without brakes?
No. Riding a fixed-gear bicycle equipped with brakes is legal. However, you must have at least one brake-equipped in many states and countries.
What are the benefits of riding with brakes?
What are the benefits of riding without brakes?
How do you stop a bike with no brakes?
Do all fixed gear riders ride brakeless?
Should I ride with or without brakes?
Is it possible to add brakes to my fixie?
Yes. Fixie brakes are available for both the front and rear wheels. Furthermore, you can equip your fixed-gear bicycle with caliper or v-brakes. The front brake is used the most by the majority of cyclists.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Why do people ride brakeless fixed-gear bikes?
People ride brakeless fixed gear bikes for many reasons. First, the cyclist might be a velodrome racer, meaning they race their bikes on an indoor track where brakes are discouraged for safety reasons.
People also ride brake fixed gear bikes because they do tricks that require spinning the handlebar. Having brakes installed prevents you from spinning the handlebar.
Do fixie bikes have brakes?
Fixed gear bikes typically come with brakes from the manufacturer. However, a fixed bike can slow down by simply backpedaling, so sometimes, riders remove their brakes and only use their legs to stop or slow down. This is why you typically see these bikes without brakes.
Why do fixies only have front brakes?
Fixie cyclists typically tend to use only one front brake because the front brake is the most powerful brake on the bike. And they tend to want to keep the bike as minimalistic as possible to reduce weight and maintain the minimalistic aesthetic.
Do fixie bikes have back brakes?
Typically, no. A fixed-gear bike allows the rider to slow down the rear wheel via the pedals. As a result, having rear brakes on a fixie may seem redundant to some. On the other hand, a rear brake doesn’t hurt a fixie and makes it easier to stop.
How do you slow down a fixed-gear bike?
There are no front or rear brakes on a fixed-gear track bike. You can slow the bike down by resisting the direction of the wheels with your pedals. But you must be careful not to press too hard, as this can lock up the rear wheel and cause a skid.