There is some debate at the moment that is appearing on a lot of forums about either running brakes or running brakeless.
Now I personally ride with brakes, purely because I feel safer riding with them on. (even if they don’t work all that well).
When I used to ride BMX I always used to ride brakeless. A simple foot in the tyre was enough to slow me down and come to a complete stop. (eventually). I then bought a new bike which came with a rear brake, used it for a couple of weeks and then thought it would take it off again, just to try it out again…. I hated it.
Because I had become so used to braking again I was constantly moving my fingers to where the leaver should be. That was the turning point for me personally, I wanted to have brakes again.
But that is just my personal view, and I intend to stick with it.
I do however have a huge respect for the riders that are pulling off, and committing 110% to tricks with no brakes. I showed a friend of mine the ‘Proper city series’ videos, and I will admit that the riding has that extra edge of skill, on the basis that they don’t run brakes. Pulling off nose manuals without a brake, and simply just relying on your weight to stop you going over the bars, rather than just feathering a brake is amazing.
Another prime example is Rowan Jones. A UK trials rider, who rely on their brakes, was recently taking part in RedBull Street light session with no brakes. He has also produced a video recently which you can see here showing off what can be done on a trials bike, with no brakes.
Its not just the BMX scene where riders are removing their brakes, MTB Street riders are also riding without brakes. Bike manufactures such as NS bikes are producing frames with out brake mounts now, so it is catching on.
Down our local park, the trend seems to be catching on too. A few weeks ago riders were all using brakes, then one evening one rider turned up with no brakes, and everyone else seemed to follow in his footsteps.
Now I totally understand why he took his brakes off for him personally. He said he “wanted to stop bailing out of moves and start to commit to more tricks“. Which I get. If your going for a gap, transfer, or what ever you simply must be committed to the move, if you have brakes you can stop quickly but if you are going flat out towards a gap or a set of stairs with no brakes, you wont.
Another case for riding with no brakes, is its one less thing to break. Hydraulic brakes are a pain to repair when you bail and the lever snaps, we’ve all been there. So if riders are running brakes, they tend be simple V-brakes or cable discs.
If you’re into your 360 truck drivers or bar spins, running brakes without a Giro can make the trick a lot easier, but again it preference. Riders who do spin tricks without brakes say its easier without brakes, and street riders who use Giros say the same.
So to kind of some up and be totally honest, I love watching riders who don’t run brakes, but I defiantly feel comfortable riding my bike with brakes. But what do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, and what you are running.