Fixed with no brakes. How do you stop?

Had a go on a fixed w/o brakes at the w/e. How do you stop? Going down a hill with a junction at the bottom, I was terrified, I thought my number was up, I could slow down somewhat but as for stopping - forget it. How come you see all these guys skidding to stops? I nearly ruptured my triceps.

Does the gearing have owt to do with it? It was 48x17 I think which seemed overgeared for the road.


New Member
Have you tried walls? I find they have excellent stopping properties.


(apparently) To skid, you hop the back wheel up ever so slightly, then, when the weight is off the wheel, you stop it spinning with your legs so that when it touches back down again, you're skidding it to a stop. I have never even wanted to try to make this happen. :smile:


Well-Known Member
lean forward to unweight the back wheel, try locking up the cranks when your preferred leg is in about the 8 or 9pm position (ie, just below pointing straight back). Skid to a halt.
When it doeesn't work, practise some more. Repeat as required. When you've mastered the art, purchase and install the new tyre you'll undoubtedly need.


Are you not supposed to have at least one brake if you are on the road? ;)


Legendary Member
domtyler said:
Yes, it is a legal requirement to have two brakes. the fixed rear wheel counts as one.
I had this out with two coppers on the marylebone road. they pulled me over cos basically they were pissed off I'd overtaken them

first they tried to have a go at me for not having a helmet, then for riding 'no hands', then finally for having no rear brake.

They trolled out something about a change in the law just for fixed bikes, but i knew they were wrong. but to stop them going on i walked the bike away and took some back streets.

lucky they didn't catch me on the way home, had gone out to pick up a dimebag!


New Member
Braking on a fixie is okay, as long as you don't need to stop *quickly*. Well it is for me anyhow. But I'm not safe to let loose on a fixie on road: on track is fien for me, and fun. The best way I can describe braking is that istead of pedalling forward you effectively start to resist the forward motion of the pedals by sort of pushing against them, to slow the rate of rotation. You feel it in you thighs: well, I do. But I'm cr4p on fixies!


Rare Migrant
The trick with skid-stopping is to unweight the back wheel and simultaneously push down with your back leg whilst pulling up with the front leg.

Or you could just use normal brakes! They work for me!
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