Fixie bikes are starting to become increasingly popular due to their design. As they increase in popularity, many new cyclists are starting to pick them up. That’s why for safety reasons, it’s essential to answer questions like how to stop a fixie bike?
How to Stop Fixie Bike?
Unlike other bikes, to effectively bring a fixie bike to a stop, you’re going to need to slow down your pedaling speed first. Once the pedaling speed is slow enough, slowly start applying the brakes.
Fixie bikes tend to feature front-wheel brakes. So, if you brake suddenly without slowing down your pedaling speed, you can find yourself thrown over the handlebars.
While it sounds simple enough, there’s a lot of little complications that can make matters much more difficult. The instructions above apply only to fixie bikes that run a single front brake setup.
With people running a front and rear brake setup, while others are opting for a no brakes setup. Due to all these differences, there’s a lot more that you need to know to successfully learn how to stop a fixie bike.
Keep reading to find out more!
Why Go for a Brakeless Fixie Bike
As is the case with a BMX bike, many people also choose to run a brakeless fixie bike setup.
One of the main reasons why people choose to go for a brakeless fixie bike is the fun that comes with the style. Essentially, riding a brakeless fixie bike will cause you to improve your overall bicycle control.
Aside from helping you with bike control and focusing you to ride in a more engaging manner, a brakeless fixie bike also looks very cool.
As there are no brakes on the bike, you don’t have to worry about brake cables cluttering up the visual aesthetics of the bike. A brakeless fixie bike gives off a minimalist vibe and will appeal to people who want a simple but eye-catching bike!
Are Fixie Bikes Without Brakes Legal?
In almost every state, manufacturers must legally attach a brake along with their bike to sell. If you want to take a bike on the road, it needs brakes. Otherwise, you’re going to be breaking the law.
These rules also mean that anyone who does run a fixie bike build without brakes will have to take the brakes off themselves.
There are no rules regarding riding a bike without brakes on off-road trails or specifically designed bike parks. If you’re going for a fixie bike without brakes, it’s essential that you know where you can ride the bike without getting in trouble.
Most people that enjoy riding a fixie bike without brakes will also invest in a bike rack to help them carry their bike to different locations.
How to Stop on a Fixie Bike with Brakes
With so many different types of fixie bike builds that cyclists are running, it’s important to address how to stop every kind.
We’ll start with fixie bikes with a front and rear brake setup.
Front and Rear Brake
It’s straightforward to bring a front and rear brake fixie bike to a stop. The stopping process is similar to what you’d expect from a standard bike.
When you’re looking to stop the bike, simply start pressing on the rear brakes. The harder you press on the lever, the more braking force you’ll be able to generate. If you want to bring your bike to a quick stop, using the rear brakes is a good option.
These are the fixie bikes that are the easiest to stop!
On fixie bikes running a front brake only setup, stopping the bike is slightly more complex. If you apply the brakes immediately without breaking your pedaling cadence, you’ll put yourself in a lot of trouble.
The braking force can potentially cause you to lose your positioning and fly over the handlebars. That’s why to effectively stop a front brake fixie bike; cyclists need to first break their pedaling cadence.
Once you slow down your pedaling speed, you can slowly start applying the front brakes to bring the fixie bike to a stop.
To bring a front brake fixie bike to an immediate stop safely, you’re going to have to develop your cycling skills. Essentially, what you’ll need to learn is how to stop a bike by locking out the back wheel.
We’ll explain this in further detail when we discuss the process of how to stop a fixie bike without brakes.
How to Stop a Fixie Bike without Brakes
For most cyclists, the real challenge is learning how to stop a fixie bike without brakes. When you’re running a brakeless setup, you’ll need to rely on your bike control solely to come to an effective stop.
If there’s enough available distance, then you can attempt to come to a stop by slowing down your pedaling speed. Keep slowing down, and eventually, you’ll come to a complete stop.
Aside from slowing down the pedaling speed, you can bring yourself to a stop by touching the sole of your shoe against the front wheel. It might cause the sole of your shoe to wear, but it’s an effective technique for helping a brakeless fixie bike to come to a stop.
Another technique that’ll help brakeless fixie bike riders come to a stop is sticking their shoe in between the tire and the fender. The friction that’ll result from the contact will help you slow down. If you want to slow down quicker, you’ll just need to press harder on the tire!
Alternatively, if you need to come to a more immediate stop while riding a fixie bike without brakes, you’ll need to skid the rear tire.
To effectively skid the rear tire, you’re going to need to create pressure by pedaling. As you pedal backward, you should lean forward and skid out the rear tire. The more you practice, the more effectively you’ll be able to bring your bike to a stop.
How to Control a Fixie Bike
Unlike other bikes, riding a fixie is completely different. They operate in a fixed gear setup, so the cyclist needs to pedal continuously. If a cyclist stops pedaling immediately, then the fixie bike will come to an abrupt halt and throw the cyclist over the handlebars.
That makes it even more important for fixie bike riders to develop proper bike control. While that’s not challenging while you ride on a flat surface, it can create a lot of trouble on hilly terrains.
When you ride a fixie downhill, that’s when controlling the bike becomes especially daunting. If you’re just starting with your riding, it’s a good idea to start with a fixie bike that at least features a front brake.
You can then use a combination of slowing your pedaling speed and using the front brakes to help control the speed of your descent. If you stop pedaling while you’re riding a fixie bike, the most likely outcome is that you’ll be thrown off the bike.
While riding a fixie bike downhill another thing to keep in mind is the gear ratio you select. If you don’t pick the correct gear ratio according to your cycling experience, you’ll struggle to control your fixie bike.
By going through this article, you’ll have learned about all the necessary essentials to help stop a fixie bike.
Whether you’re running a brakeless setup or just relying on the front brake, there are ways you can effectively bring your fixie bike to a stop. By effectively following these techniques, you’ll be able to significantly improve your fixie bike riding abilities.