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Thread: No rear brake

  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Re: No rear brake

    Before you try this, have you ever tried actually going a whole ride without using your rear brake? You'll notice you have to plan your breaking way ahead, and basically ride a whole lot slower and more conservatively, defeating the purpose of having a light bike to begin with. And that's not even bringing in the obvious safety issue: your stopping distance will be dramatically greater in an emergency stop - hiker, oncoming biker around bend, etc.

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    Between you and this guy, we're in for some exciting cycling:
    Is it safe to use only the rear disc brake for trail riding ?

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  6. #6
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    No rear brake

    Are you riding on or off road?

  7. #7
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    No rear brake

    Who am I kidding....it doesn't matter. Both would be crazy unless you're sporting a fixie rear setup.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    Lol, actually I've never been on a MTB with a rear brake.
    Whoa! Subscribed.... You've NEVER ridden with a rear brake? You riding a Tri-cycle? Please post pics of this setup, I am interested.
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  9. #9
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    No rear brake

    Quote Originally Posted by sodak View Post
    Whoa! Subscribed.... You've NEVER ridden with a rear brake? You riding a Tri-cycle? Please post pics of this setup, I am interested.
    I looked; he's brand new to MTB. I think he said January.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    Yes, January. I've left the tabs on the frame and wave the centerlock rotor so its always an option. I just haven't needed one thus far and was amazed no one else uses this setup ESPECIALLY since there seems to be a no front brake cult following...
    tell me about this "no front brake cult" - I must have missed it
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
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    You can also ride without a helmet to save weight.

    With the exception that riding without a backup for your brake is even dumber than riding bare-headed: a helmet will never prevent an accident, just protect your head in case you get into one. A brake could very well prevent the crash to begin with.

    Brakes fail. Riding without a fail-safe (another brake) should mean you're riding more carefully (like with brakeless fixies), but if you ride a one-brake bike as fast as one with two brakes, you have a hole in your head.

    (Closed tracks are a different thing, like BMX and velodrome. My strong position for two means of stopping applies to traffic and open trails.)

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  15. #15
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    No rear brake

    I think riding without a rear brake is flawed logic. The whole point is to have a lighter bike? No offense but you're on a boat anchor of a bike. The logical way to lighten a bike is to upgrade to lighter parts or lighten yourself. The flip side is ride it how it is and actually get faster/better by riding instead of worrying about bike weight.

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  17. #17
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    No rear brake

    That's in the dirt jump bike section. Think of that as a big bmx bike. My DJ bike has no front brake but I'm also not barreling down trails at double digit speeds with trees everywhere; I'm in a controlled area.

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  19. #19
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    No rear brake

    You must not go very fast.

    I'd like to see a spec sheet on this revel. We sell revels and they're boat anchors of a bike

  20. #20
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    The short answer will be no, no one around here is going to have only a front brake with no rear, as we all kind of like being able to keep living. Dirt jump MTB's are the only bike that deliberately run one brake, but as mentioned, they are in controlled environment (most of the time).
    If you are riding on trails (or roads for that matter) and you have something unexpected happen, you are going to find it very very difficult to stop safely without causing yourself injury.
    As has been mentioned above, you have a very flawed idea of how to save weight on your bike.
    Put the rear brake back on your bike!
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  21. #21
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    Re: No rear brake

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    When I built my new MTB, I didn't get a rear brake, grinded of the rear rim brake mount/cable holders, and had the rear wheel built with a centerlock hub so I could also shave the weight of the 6 bolt flange as well as the centerlock lockring. Before I decided to do this I did TONS of research on pros and cons and didn't really find ANY info on the popularity of this light weight one brake setup. Obviously it's not an ideal setup for 99% of you, but is there seriously nobody else who favors this setup, or do my googling skills need work?
    IMO Nobody has been rude, and 99% are simply trying to grasp the concept of acceptable risk.

    By sharing your love of extreme sports, and wingsuit flying, it's become clear that your definition is a step beyond what most of us mere mtbr's would consider rational, let alone wise..

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  26. #26
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    No rear brake

    You have loads of places to drop weight and I find it more than a little stunning that you chose your rear brake.

    You have at least two people depending on your health. I don't get your rationale at all but let us know how it goes for you.

  27. #27
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    I suppose if you do not ride on any long, steep downhill runs, you'll be OK. I just hope you don't have to stop suddenly which could send you flying OTB.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    Thanks. Im done losing weight until something breaks, but just to be clear the decision had nothing to do with weight otherwise I would have bought a lighter front tire or something similar. That would stun me as we'll. even if the rear brake was weightless, I wouldn't buy something just to not use it. What I mean is I'm not choosing between the weight and the brake. I have just not had a problem stopping with my front and FAST. Something's being lost in translation here. Perhaps you guys are all hardcore and so far removed from the recreational type of riding I do that you can't fathom how its not an issue?
    We aren't riding what you are riding. No way I could ride my downhill runs w/o the help of a rear brake and if you saw it/rode it, you'd agree. This is coming from a semi-weight weenie on an XC bike.

  30. #30
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    Keith, I didn't say you have a hole in your head.

    I did say if someone rides a bike with a single stopping method as fast as a bike with two, they have a hole in their head.

    It's precisely the kind of risk assessment you mentioned: if you only have one brake, you need to adjust your riding style. It's not just about possibility of failure, but the physics of decelerating a bicycle. Sure, you can stop a bike really fast with just the front brake, but with help from a rear brake it'll be faster.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    The weight savings is a definite benefit, but I never bought a rear brake because I've never used my front brake and felt like I needed to be able to stop more, if you can understand what I mean.
    Does OTB mean anything to you? Seriously, running only a front brake is a sure cause for a severe Over The Bars experience.. Those can be career ending at speed. just sayin...
    Last edited by sodak; 03-23-2013 at 06:43 PM. Reason: spelling
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    When experimenting and intentionally using the front brake too hard too fast I still didn't go OTB. The front wheel locks up and slides sideways as I go down on my side before I can blink. Still not OTB. How do you manage that?
    Hmmm.... I'm done... spectating only now..
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  36. #36
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    Ok, Iíll try to offer my .02 without seeming like an a-hole. I have finished a ride without a rear brake before, and I gotta say that I did not enjoy it. Iíve also finished a ride with no front bike, and didnít like that either. I quite enjoy having both brakes at the speeds that I ride and for when there may be a mechanical or wreck induced problem with one of the brakes.

    No offense, but a 26 lb hardtail is a pig. My full suspension bike weighs just under 26. Iíve read your list of bike parts, and there are many places to trim weight other than eliminating the rear brake. Personally itís not something Iíd do, but to each their own.

    One point I will add, is that Iíd never ride without bar end plugs in place or atleast grips that completely cover the end of bars. I once watched a buddy take a ďcore sampleĒ of his leg with his handlebars in a fairly slow speed crash and it was very ugly.


    -RW

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    I don't understand how that happens. I can feel the weight shift and put my butt farther back as I feel the rear wheel get lighter. The front digs in very well and I stop very fast, especially going downhill. When experimenting and intentionally using the front brake too hard too fast I still didn't go OTB. The front wheel locks up and slides sideways as I go down on my side before I can blink. Still not OTB. How do you manage that?
    Find some grass so that if/when you go down, you won't get hurt. Ge up to speed, lots of speed. Hit the grass and lock the brakes. Squeeze the lever as hard as you can and as fast as you can. You will almost certainly crash, if not OTB, then you'll slide out to the side and roll. If you think this test is unrealistic, I got news for you, it is. Eventually, you will be in the same scenario but you'll be on hard or rough terrain and when you go down you're gonna get hurt.

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  40. #40
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    No rear brake

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    But you have more experience than me, so if you don't reply to my follow up questions how can I learn anything?
    Everybody is telling you the same thing: you need rear brakes mountain biking.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    Yep, you just reiterated the results of my experimenting (and quoted it). The front wheel locked up and slid out from under me sideways VERY fast, no OTB. Learned not to do that, lol.

    But you did crash or lose control, right? That's my point. With a rear brake as well as a front, you can control how your bike moves to a degree. What I am saying is that you are much more likely to lose control (when you experience a situation) when you have to hit the brakes hard and fast by only having one brake verse two. In a nutshell, you are more likely to get hurt on your one brake bike, than I am on my two brake bike. Sorry...

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  43. #43
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    RE: No rear brake

    I think the feeling of light weight is in your head.
    Sent from my Lumia 800 using Board Express

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    Lost control is an understatement! I was on the ground a split second after I felt the tire lose traction, but before I even had a chance to let off the brake lever. Obviously it's safer to have 2 brakes. That's just simple physics. But It still amazes me that there's not a vocal group that don't use a rear when some are pro no front (DJ, fixie), and none at all (BMX) since the front is better at stopping. Thanks for the replies, and I'll post the video the first time I wipe out from no rear (I record everything in 1080p 30fps wearing my skydiving helmet/cam when we're MTBing)
    Well, I hope you don't get hurt!

    BTW, since nobody is speaking up about also using only a front brake, you are most likely the only mountain biker on planet Earth who does so.

  45. #45
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Bwahahahaha Keithy, great thread mate, for a new member id say this is one of the better piss takes/threads ive seen, cheers mate, i actually think it deserves some +rep, comin your way bro....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  46. #46
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwiplague View Post
    The short answer will be no, no one around here is going to have only a front brake with no rear, as we all kind of like being able to keep living.
    don't be so sure...







    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  47. #47
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Medlock View Post
    I don't know what qualifies as a boat anchor. Mine weighs 26lbs right now.

    Giant Revel 3 frame with a lot of crap grinded off
    Continental vertical 2.3 wire bead front tire
    Cheap Alex single wall wheel
    Cheap sram 6 bolt hub with disk
    Rockshox xc28 with green spring and rim brake mounts ground off
    Shimano hydraulic brake with BMW hydraulic fluid
    Cheap thick aluminum handlebars with ends filed and beveled to eliminate need for end plugs (I would have to modify the end plugs to get them to fit the ID because the bars are so thick!
    Shimano 9spf lever shifter
    ESI racers edge grips
    Cheap seatpost sawed off an inch below the top tube's bottom weld
    Cheap, light seat with Ti rails
    Shimano 11-34 cassette cs-hg20-9
    Shimano long derailleur
    Shimano 9spd chain
    Mrp bb mount front chain guide
    Mrp 32t podium chainring
    Shimano un-55 73x107 bb
    Shimano crankset m361 ground and modified to us single ring
    Cheap light aluminum cage platform pedals
    Velocity aero heat rear wheel with velo plugs
    Qtubes ultralight
    Ritchie's zmax intuition pro 2 rear tire
    Shimano m629 centerlock rear hub
    it's the BMW hydraulic brake fluid that makes it so light. every hard core rider knows that you can save quite a bit of weight here as the BMW fluid is easily 2lbs. lighter than other brands in the front brake system and you've removed the rear brake entirely. you can shave off about 4 more lbs. by replacing the oil in your fork with the BMW fluid as well. the stuff that rockshox uses weighs a TON.

    you could easily get this bike under 20 lbs by removing your saddle, seat post and clamp, every 2nd pair of spokes on your wheels, removing the wire beadS from your tyres, and drilling multiple holes in your frame/cranks/bars.

    keep us updated on your project!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  48. #48
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  49. #49
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    If it's really about the preference to ride without one even if it weighed nothing, I think "Weight weenies" is the wrong area for the discussion. People instantly think you just want to shave weight and draw quick conclusions: save elsewhere, not worth it etc.

    The bikes in the pics posted above could be fixed gear. It counts as one stopping method. I sometimes flip the rear wheel of my MTB and replace the disc with a bolt-on sprocket. The result is front brake + fixed gear as my stopping methods.

    In defense of the front brake I think a lot of OTBs are incorrectly attributed to it. Most of the time it's more about incorrect weight shifting on part of the rider: they weren't low and back enough. Of course if you shift your weight too far back or too soon (before braking), you won't have enough traction in front and will slip the front wheel. The perfect balance is to put enough weight on the front wheel to keep traction but also avoid the rear from unweighing too much. If you get to a point where the rear tire lifts off the ground, your center of gravity moves up and forwards: you are not stopping as effectively as you could.

  50. #50
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    No rear brake

    Yeah. This thread was probably posted in the wrong sub forum as the op has stated his objective was not weight savings.

    Can't wait for the videos. Especially as you become a better biker.

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