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 Post subject: Single Speed Conversion?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:50 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
I bet you never though you would see my name next to a question like that!
Don't worry though, I'm not going all SS on you. The question is more one of braking.
I have a fixed bike I never use. The feeble pipe cleaners that connect my arse to the floor (me legs) give my bike the soet of stopping distance usually equated to bulk oil tankers.
It has a front brake only. I wouldn't mind converting to a freewheel so that my poor elderly knees don't explode. Will the extra speed be a problem with only a front brake? How much trouble would fitting a rear brake be? Could I use bolt on cable guides and run one long length of outer cable?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:13 pm 
Onnnne Huuuunnnndrreeed and Eigggghhhhty

Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 180
Location: North Yorkshire
Ask yourself how you'd feel about riding any other freewheel-type bike without a back brake and there's your answer. Personally, I'd definitely go with two brakes.

As for mounting a rear, is there a brace/bridge between the seatstays for mounting a caliper? Assuming there is, then it shouldn't be too much of a job to sort - could route the cable with bolt-on guides or even tie-wraps.

Apologies if they're daft questions...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:06 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8202
Location: New Forest, UK
All older bikes use a full length of cable outer from front to back, so no problems.

It's pretty daft to run without a back brake, almost as bad as a fixie with no brakes at all - not least because if you do hit someone, and IF they notice the absence of a brake, then technically you are open to getting sued.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:32 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
It's also illegal on the road with only one brake and a freewheel.

Mind you, I don't know how bike shops get away with selling BMX's these days with only a back brake as standard - or none at all!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:17 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:37 am
Posts: 3976
Old Ned wrote:
It's also illegal on the road with only one brake and a freewheel.

Mind you, I don't know how bike shops get away with selling BMX's these days with only a back brake as standard - or none at all!


scarily they just either have to say "off road use only" or they dont supply any pedals to get round the law :shock:

a friend of mine was parked in his transit at the bottom of a very steep hill. he noticed some bmx'ers flying down the hill. one only had one brake. now the kid only has one tooth but 4 bits of jaw. apparently you cant win a 20mph head butting contest with a transit rear door hinge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:05 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
jamabikes wrote:
Old Ned wrote:
It's also illegal on the road with only one brake and a freewheel.

Mind you, I don't know how bike shops get away with selling BMX's these days with only a back brake as standard - or none at all!


scarily they just either have to say "off road use only" or they dont supply any pedals to get round the law :shock:

a friend of mine was parked in his transit at the bottom of a very steep hill. he noticed some bmx'ers flying down the hill. one only had one brake. now the kid only has one tooth but 4 bits of jaw. apparently you cant win a 20mph head butting contest with a transit rear door hinge.


Many points:

The law states that you need two separate brakes front and rear. The CTC reckon that fixed at the rear is enough to comply with the law, but that is only CTC advice. Until that has been tested in the courts (and AFAIK is hasn't) then it's not strictly legal, nor is it strictly illegal. Doncha just love the law?

Track bikes are sold without brakes and plenty of people buy those for road use. BMX race regulations only call for a single brake, so why should a BMX bike be any different to a track bike? Or what if you fancy a cycle speedway bike?

AFAIK it is not strictly illegal to sell a bike without brakes, but it would be illegal to sell it as complying with BS whatever it is. I bought a BMX bike a while ago and it came with only a rear brake fitted, but came with a box containing the front brake, reflectors and a bell. Apparently this is enough to comply with the BS certification.

Most of the kids round here remove the brakes from their BMX bikes anyway.

A few years ago the nanny government announced plans that all motorcycles sold must comply with construction and use regulations and be capable of passing an MOT. This was apparently the usual new labour over reaction to the use of mini motos on public roads. Of course this never got past the discussion stage. It would be completely ridiculous to make, say, a motocross bike comply with C&U regs. It's very doubtful that any manufacturer would bother to bring their off road bikes up to C&U standards just to meet the needs of the British market. Likewise you can't force shops, manufacturers and importers sell track and BMX bikes that comply with the laws for road use when they are not selling them for road use. If somebody buys one for road use that is not the retailler's problem.

Last point (honest) I bet most of you use bikes that don't comply with the law. Yes every new bike has to come with refelectors and a bell. Do you have them fitted to your bikes when you ride on the road?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:03 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:18 am
Posts: 63
Location: Cheddar
The British standard 6102 says that a bike must have two independent braking systems, one on each wheel. A fixed wheel is counted as an acceptable brake. I wouldn't want to ride with only one brake just in case there is a problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:24 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Personally I cant see all the fascination with single speeds/fixed....

As I am aware the bike must have two independent braking systems.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:33 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
Spokesmann wrote:
Personally I cant see all the fascination with single speeds/fixed....

As I am aware the bike must have two independent braking systems.


Me neither. In my defence it has been built (ie the frame has) as a single/fixed.
Also as a Devonian Exile myself, I wouldn't want on if I lived down there still (if only). Up here though it is as flat as a fart and I don't change gear more than a few times on a road ride.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:24 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 380
Converting from fixed to single speed will not result in more speed. But I would definitely run a rear brake on a single speed bike, Dia Compe sells these nice anodised cable clamps (seen on their website which is in Japanese, but haven't found a retailer yet)

Image


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