Brake or Brakeless

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1/10/2016 6:13 PM

Just wanted to open a discussion as to what you like better.

Here's what I think:

I currently ride brakeless cause i like the freedom of not having a cable and I think the bike looks better,
but if you're new to bmx and/or you just got a new bike, don't take em off right away i would highly recommend keeping them on for at least a few months until you get comfortable controlling your speed and doing various maneuvers. If you like them, leave them on but only after you've been riding for a bit, I think then you can try taking them off.

Although if you plan on doing trails you need brakes. Like NEED brakes
Also if you go to parks regularly and go fast and do big airs, you're much better off with brakes.
Bottom line is, don't stress over it too much. Try riding with them on first, then off, and see which you like better.
What do you guys think

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1/10/2016 7:36 PM

Freedom of not having a cable , that's kind of a contradicting statement , see how far your freedom gets you on abubacus , fufanus and hurricanes on coping

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1/10/2016 8:00 PM

What about bar spins and having to adjusting the toe in and shit. Jk I'm too lazy and poor for brakes. Also my frame doesnt have mounts

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1/10/2016 8:30 PM

If i didn't run brakes i would be road kill. Plus i wear a helmet so i don't skid on my forehead? Use to ride with no brakes, to many close calls with cars.
Live to ride anorher day

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1/10/2016 8:45 PM

I rode brakeless for a while, ended up going back to brakes after I watched Anthem 2 lol. I fucked up some brake shit and went brakeless for like a week while waiting for the parts to come in, and I hated it. I've recently kinda wanted to go fuck around with being brakeless again, but then I remembered I could do that by just not pulling the brake.

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1/10/2016 9:02 PM

Probably whatever I answered in the last 20 brakes vs brakeless threads


I ride brakeless mostly because I don't want my painted rims to get fucked up. I like them fully colored without brake wear marks all over them. I'm sure someone will read this thinking it's a dumb reason but I don't care.

Another reason is because they get in the way. I already do sloppy barspins and just grab wherever I can, so 99% of the time I'm not catching just the grips. You ever do a barspin to fakie with brakes and accidentally grab your brake lever when you go to grab your grips instead of just your grips? Yeah, not fun.

Also, brake tricks aren't something I do frequently enough to justify having them. When I ran brakes again for awhile last year, they were fun as fuck sure. But they're not something I go out each day thinking "Man I wanna do a fufanu on that!" but occasionally there's a cool setup where an abubaca would be badass though. Most anything else like tire taps, hurricanes, 540 hurricanes, I can do with pedal pressure anyway.

Lastly, I can stop just fine without them. My reflexes with JAMMING my foot in my rear tire are very good. Even when I ran brakes, when I NEEDED to stop I'd instinctively jam my foot in the tire to stop because when you jam it, it stops just like if you had brakes. Rubbing your foot in your tire or dragging your feet to stop is idiotic and wears your shoes out faster, jamming or stomping them is what I do.

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1/10/2016 10:50 PM

I've been brakeless for about 10 years. I feel more confident without one which I know seems backward. I ran a brake for about a week a couple of years ago and was in constant fear of ripping my hand up on the lever so I didn't try anything. Riding brakeless has made me a lot more aware of everything that's going on around me , it makes me look and think a lot more than I did when I had a brake, and I've had less close calls. You just need to be more aware of what's going on and not be a twat.
However, I'm hoping to ride trails in the summer, I'll definitely be putting one on for that (haven't ridden trails for about 10years).
Being brakeless suits my riding style, and when I'm cruising, if there's any traffick or people around, I always coast and keep myself ready to use my foot.
Anyone that's new to riding should run a brake though. If you don't, and you take it off to be cool, you're an idiot.

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1/10/2016 11:22 PM

It's not about confidence or any of that crap. You can ride trails brakeless if you commit. Wanna do fufanus? Get brakes.

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1/10/2016 11:54 PM

Brakes are just too convenient to give up for me and I think the whole setup is attractive. Bikes without brakes look incomplete in my opinion, but I don't care whether others ride brakeless or not.

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1/11/2016 12:03 AM

Buzzbegone wrote:

Brakes are just too convenient to give up for me and I think the whole setup is attractive. Bikes without brakes look incomplete in my opinion, but I don't care whether others ride brakeless or not.

I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as, "too fast," and, "fast enough," is when you reach, "too fast," so the only reason I would ever want brakes is fufs, but to each their own. I was the kind of guy that didn't use brakes that were on my bike, and then when I built a new bike, I left them off and never noticed myself wishing for them. 6 years later, still brakeless.

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1/11/2016 12:11 AM

Skooter wrote:

It's not about confidence or any of that crap. You can ride trails brakeless if you commit. Wanna do fufanus? Get brakes.

Yeah you can. But I haven't ridden trails for 10 years. If you're new to trails, or being brakeless, you're going to eat shit hard. That's where confidence comes into it. If you're confident you can ride trails brakeless, fill your boots. If you're not confident, you're asking for trouble.

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1/11/2016 12:21 AM

I snapped my lever while riding one day back in highschool, so I just took the whole setup off so I could ride the rest of the day. I couldn't afford a new one right away, so I just rode like that and got used to not having brakes. Everyone thought I was crazy. That was 16 years ago. I tried a set of back brakes for about 3 days in 2003, but the lever kept jamming my knee on turndowns. I'm also very picky about having my bike dialed and I didn't like having to work on them. So I took them off, once again. I've never had an issue with being brakeless. I've never crashed into anyone, any cars or gotten scared because I had no brakes. Like sundaybmxRR said, once you're used to it, you can pretty much stop just as fast with your shoe as you can with a lever and brakes. But, as many have said, when you're just starting...it is so important to not take your brakes off right away. And, you can do fufanus an abubacas without brakes. Just jam your foot in the back tire and crank forward with your front foot.

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1/11/2016 3:14 AM

Brakes are a pain in the ass imo, and you don't need them to do fufanus or ride trails, or anything else for that matter(except tracks because they're mandatory. Lol). Like GrumpySteve said, once you've ridden without them long enough, you become alot more aware of what's going on around you and it's like second nature, and you also learn how to judge speed for whatever's in front of you. Just use your shoe or throw the back end sideways and skid to slow down if you need to. And brakes aren't going to save you from getting hit by a car if you're already in the street anyways. Last time I actually used brakes was when I raced as a kid roughly 15 years ago, and last time I had brakes on a bike was years ago when I got a ticket for not having them. Some dickhead ran a stop sign and almost hit me as I was crossing the street in the crosswalk, then dickhead cop that was right there and watched it happen decided to stop me and give me the ticket instead and say it was my fault. Ridiculous right? So I put brakes on that day, went to the police station to prove I had brakes, had the ticket dismissed, went home and took them off and haven't had them since. Lol

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1/11/2016 7:57 AM

Here's an interesting question for you all. It seems the majority of people on here are pro helmets. Do you think the need for a helmet would be lower if you had a brake?
The way I see it, if you think the chances of you falling off are so great that you wear a helmet, would the chances of you falling of be lower if you had a brake?
I'm not anti either. I don't use either because it's how I ride. If I wanted extra safety a brake would be my first call, if I was going nuts, I'd wear a lid. But I don't go fast or big so I'm happy with neither. Wether it holds me back or not I don't really care as I'm too old to push myself as hard as I used to

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1/11/2016 8:49 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Here's an interesting question for you all. It seems the majority of people on here are pro helmets. Do you think the need for a helmet would be lower if you had a brake?
The way I see it, if you think the chances of you falling off are so great that you wear a helmet, would the chances of you falling of be lower if you had a brake?
I'm not anti either. I don't use either because it's how I ride. If I wanted extra safety a brake would be my first call, if I was going nuts, I'd wear a lid. But I don't go fast or big so I'm happy with neither. Wether it holds me back or not I don't really care as I'm too old to push myself as hard as I used to

No. Being an 11 time concussion patient, and a sufferer of Migraine headaches, I would never blame not having brakes for the 3 concussions I've gotten from the bike. Nose casing and dumping backwards when your pants get caught in the chain are the ones I'm worried about.

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1/11/2016 10:48 AM

Brakes can be a shit ton of fun, i'd get behind some front brakes soon enough. But it just makes me way too annoyed most of the time. It's great being able to get around town faster without worry. But when i'm doing tricks, they get in the way. I like barspins and stuff too. And i'm not the Jesus Christ of them so it's kinda painful to keep smashing my hands on the lever.

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1/11/2016 11:27 AM

I would reccomend front brakes to anyone, they are so much fun. Two brakes opens up so much potential in spots and tricks. Trust me, the first time you do a flatland decade you will feel like a god.

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1/11/2016 11:28 AM

I have front and rear brakes, a gyro with dual upper and lower cables, a freecoaster and 2 pegs (for now).

I am 2 pegs away from a flatland bike circa 2004. Honestly all have advantages and disadvantages, and EVERYONE should try riding with different setups to see if something is more fun for them, rather than just falling into the groove of most other riders. SO many people have NEVER tried brakes or NEVER had a cassette (or coaster) and I think everyone should try them. But not just for an hour. Throw them on and commit to it for 5 sessions. If you like it, keep it, if not, don't. (Easier said than done, but a lot of older dudes have stuff laying around you could likely borrow for a bit like front brake stuff etc).

OR do what I did and fully commit to a full year of a different setup. I've got about 6 more months on a front brake before I will allow myself to remove it, and 11 on a coaster. The exception would be broken parts and alack of funds/availability. I did briefly go down to a front brake only for a short time, and that was OK. But that was due to a temporary frame swap.

I HATE the front brake lever when it comes to barspins (haven't fully gotten used to it being there with barspins).
I LOVE having the rear lever there for bar to tire taps.
I HATE having all the cables BUT they make things work more to my liking.
I LOVE doing nosepicks
I SOMETIMES miss the simplicity of no brakes, but not enough to take them off.
I LOVE having a different setup than anyone else.
I HATE the ignorant bashing I have gotten for brakes "hurr hurr they slow you down"-THAT'S THE POINT.
I LOVE using them to do abubacas, hurricanes on stuff and manuals where I can come to a stop and hop in fakie on stuff.
I LOVE having more control over my fakie speed. Coaster + no brakes is terrifying to me in some cases.


Unrelated but meh For my coaster:
I LOVE doing super long fakies
I HATE the lack of pedal pressure for a few things (I never realized how much I use it)
I LOVE the silence sometimes
I HATE the silence sometimes

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1/11/2016 11:53 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Here's an interesting question for you all. It seems the majority of people on here are pro helmets. Do you think the need for a helmet would be lower if you had a brake?
The way I see it, if you think the chances of you falling off are so great that you wear a helmet, would the chances of you falling of be lower if you had a brake?
I'm not anti either. I don't use either because it's how I ride. If I wanted extra safety a brake would be my first call, if I was going nuts, I'd wear a lid. But I don't go fast or big so I'm happy with neither. Wether it holds me back or not I don't really care as I'm too old to push myself as hard as I used to

No, I think a helmet should be something the majority of us wear to be safe, brakes don't prevent head injuries. They likely can reduce the bail from a loop out to hospital into a loop out to sore ass though.

I rock both and I think people SHOULD make the choice to be safe, BUT I can't tell them what to do. After watching my buddy have a seizure induced by railing his head on the ground from a flat 180 to pedal slip and having to call 911 and watch him fight off 5 EMTs because and his family, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. So yea, you are taking your own life etc into your hands, BUT you will change the lives of those who are around when it happens and even those who aren't. I NEVER want to get a phone call like I had to make from my son's friends, or anyone for that matter.

Again, do what you do, but keep in mind that you aren't just changing your life if you eat it super bad.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

1/11/2016 12:33 PM

Mychaylo wrote:

I would reccomend front brakes to anyone, they are so much fun. Two brakes opens up so much potential in spots and tricks. Trust me, the first time you do a flatland decade you will feel like a god.

OH MY GOD THIS.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

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1/11/2016 12:57 PM

I rode brakes for a lot of years (started riding in the 80s when EVERYONE had brakes). True they are a lot of fun, especially for doing old school tricks. And I prefer them if I'm commuting through a lot of traffic with hills. But my current ride is brakeless and I love it. I like the simplicity and the way you have to think ahead and channel the energy instead of just stopping it. But again, brakes are fun too...just two different ways to ride a bike.

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1/11/2016 1:30 PM

love brakes. hate maintenance. only reason i don't run them is I always fuck my hand up on the lever no matter what mods i come up with.

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1/11/2016 8:21 PM

I will only ever ride with brakes on. Tried once without, but didn't like it. Prefer to have full control of my bike.

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1/12/2016 12:16 PM

ticaleb wrote:

love brakes. hate maintenance. only reason i don't run them is I always fuck my hand up on the lever no matter what mods i come up with.

Seth Peterson was in the works of tinkering with a grip-shifter without the indexing to be a brake lever of sorts a bunch of years ago, I don't think anything came from it though. If you ran basically a full grip and then the shifter you could get it to work I'd bet.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

1/12/2016 1:15 PM

love brakes only reason I don't have any is because they broke just havnt ordered anyway yet .

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1/12/2016 1:58 PM

I tried brakes before.

But i realized i don't "need" brakes riding 3mph and grinding 12 inch ledges.

I used helmets before.
i might get one again.

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1/12/2016 4:39 PM

i dont run them becuase it saves me a lb...
i stop almost as fast
also it causes me to wear down the tread on my sidewalls so my tires end up weighing less as well, haha

I have a set of springfields in my truck that i throw on when i feel like it

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1/12/2016 10:29 PM

one try kid wrote:

I tried brakes before.

But i realized i don't "need" brakes riding 3mph and grinding 12 inch ledges.

I used helmets before.
i might get one again.

Uh you most certainly do! 3mph is wayyy too fast to be grinding foot high ledges.

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1/12/2016 10:32 PM

dave lawrence wrote:

Seth Peterson was in the works of tinkering with a grip-shifter without the indexing to be a brake lever of sorts a bunch of years ago, I don't think anything came from it though. If you ran basically a full grip and then the shifter you could get it to work I'd bet.

So what are your guys thoughts on @lam_107_rp brake setup? Personally id rock it

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1/13/2016 12:58 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/13/2016 12:59 AM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

Uh you most certainly do! 3mph is wayyy too fast to be grinding foot high ledges.

Live everyday like it's your last.


If i put a SKVR sticker i'd probably drop to a safer speed of 1.57mph.

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