How do you stop a fixed gear bike?

Fixed Gear Bicycles have been around for ages but the scene has recently exploded.

For people that are unfamiliar with Fixed Gear Bikes that know that some fixed gear bikes don’t have brakes so a common question is:

“How do you stop a fixed gear bike?”

The simple answer is by using brakes.

“But fixed gear bikes don’t have brakes”

Most fixed gear bikes from the factory come with brakes. If it is a custom fixie then it is true that the bike may not have brakes.

“Well, how do you stop one then?”

Quite simply it takes a bit of practice to stop on a fixed gear bike but it can be done. To stop quickly you can do a fixie skid. Its done by basically pushing down on the pedals in the opposite direction to lock up the rear wheel. Leaning forward a bit and doing this will make the skid easier and weight can be pushed back over the rear wheel to increase the resistance.

To slow down all you need to do is slow your pedaling speed or cadence down. The faster you pedal the faster you go.

Quite honestly if your new to fixed gear bikes I would use the front brake to get used to it and for emergencies. Until you can stop adequately without one this is the safest thing to do. Lets say that your chain breaks while riding a fixed gear bike with no brakes, there is no way to really stop it other than coasting. If you were to be travelling down a large hill with an intersection at the bottom you would have two choices:

1) Eject the bike
2) Try to maneuver through the intersection.

Now, if this were a wall with spikes on it and you had no front break and you were trying to stop your fixed gear bike with a broken chain, you would only really have the one choice to avoid death and that would be to abort the bike some how.

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