Newbie question on knee problem
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  1. #1

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    Question Newbie question on knee problem

    Iíve started riding a fixed gear bike, a 3Rensho track frame, on the street about a week ago. The bike has no breaks, and here is my question.

    Some people (e.g. Sheldon Brown) say that slowing and stopping a fixed gear bike only with your legs would hurt your knees in a long run while others do not see it an issue if you donít do things like skipping and skidding a lot (e.g. Greg Goode, http://www.63xc.com/gregg/101_1.htm). Which advice should I listen to?

    I live in an area where I could avoid traffic and enjoy a long undisturbed ride, but we have many hills. I do find controlling the speed of my bike on down hills a bit of a challenge, so I mainly avoid them and find a flat route. I love the simplicity, beauty and the ride of the fixed gear bike, but I donít want to injure my knees. What is your idea? I've been riding geard bikes for about fifteen years.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Henry Chinaski's Avatar
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    Don't be a fashion victim. Get brakes, at least a front brake.

  3. #3

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    get a brake

    For heaven's sake, get a brake. I ride almost exclusively fixed, and I would never, ever ride without a front brake. It's just plain stupid. I've done experiments, and coming down a 5 or 6% grade, it took about 20 times longer to stop with just my legs than it did with a front brake, and it took overwhelming effort to do it. If a car pulls out in front of you, or you blow a tire, you need a brake. At worst, it adds maybe 300 grams to the bike.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougSloan
    For heaven's sake, get a brake. I ride almost exclusively fixed, and I would never, ever ride without a front brake. It's just plain stupid. I've done experiments, and coming down a 5 or 6% grade, it took about 20 times longer to stop with just my legs than it did with a front brake, and it took overwhelming effort to do it. If a car pulls out in front of you, or you blow a tire, you need a brake. At worst, it adds maybe 300 grams to the bike.
    Henry and Doug,

    Thanks for the advice. I will put a brake on. My front folk does not have a place to set a brake; however, my lbs has an add-on rear brake I could mount on the seat stay. Although it looks ugly and is not as powerful as the front brake, there is no choice unless I change the folk. Actually, I saw someone did exactly that on the fixed gear bike discussion boad. I guess that's the way to go.

    Thanks.

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