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Braking on a Fixed Gear Bike

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Skid Like a Pro

How To Skid On A Fixie

Fixie

The popularity of fixed gear bicycles is on the rise, and many riders are choosing to go brakeless. There's a good method to stop without relying on brakes, but it's tricky to master. This article will serve as a guide to anyone wanting to skid on a fixie. Remember it takes practice and patience, but you can get it if you follow these tips.


Be Courageous!

Learning How To Skid On A Fixie

The first thing to realize when learning how to skid on a fixie is this: skidding is difficult! There is a learning curve, and you probably won't get it right away. You need to trust in the process; if you do things properly, it will work. 

I need to mention that riding brakeless is not only difficult to master, but also dangerous. Particularly if you live in an area with hills and heavy traffic, brakeless might not be the best option for you. Make sure to check your local bylaws, as brakeless bicycles are actually illegal in many municipalities. 

I recommend when you're learning to skid on a fixed gear, do so with brakes installed, so you can stop in a hurry, just in case your skidding doesn't work right away. 


1) Lean Forward On Your Handlebars

How To Skid On A Fixed Gear

The first step in skidding a fixed gear bicycle is to lean forward! Really, in order for this to work you need to lean very far forward over your handlebars. The idea here is to move your weight away from the rear wheel and redistribute it onto the front. Skidding a fixie can't be done from a conventional riding position (unless you're light as a feather, which you're probably not). 

In order to be able to stop up your rear wheel and start a skid, there needs to be very little weight on it. So maybe practice riding comfortably while leaning way over the front bars. Once you get comfortable with this style of riding, you'll be ready for the next step.


2) Lock It Up

How To Skid On A Fixie Bike

Fixie Rider

Next, you need to lock up the drivetrain using your legs. Wait until the cranks are more or less horizontal with the ground, or until one pedal is to the front and the other is to the back of the bicycle. Refer to the picture above as an example. When learning how to skid on a fixie, it's pretty much impossible to do it unless the pedals are horizontal. 

Locking up the rear wheel has a lot to do with feel. Play around and experiment with the most comfortable way for you. Try first with one foot forward, then try the other. This will feel really difficult at first, as you'll be unprepared for the true amount of force required to get the wheels to lock up. 


Skidding On A Fixie

Additional Tips

-When practicing how to skid on a fixed gear bicycle, do so on a dirt road. You'll be able to skid much more easily, and it'll help you get a feel for skidding and how it works on pavement.

-Go for pedals with toe clips. They'll help you keep your grip on the pedals and make it much easier to lock up the rear wheel.

-Don't practice your skidding in traffic heavy area, or an area with many other bikers. Choose a nice, abandoned parking lot. If you fall, you don't want to be in the path of an oncoming vehicle.


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