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Is brakeless better?

25 03 2010

Brakeless riding is prevalent in just about every area of freestyle bmx these days….especially street riding. While definitely not as widespread in the 24″ scene, it is starting to creep in.

High-profile guys like Jim Bauer have been riding their 24s brakeless for a while now and more and more cruiser builds are showing up without brakes.

Brakeless advocates argue that going without brakes makes them better riders: smoother and more committed to making the trick rather than braking at the last minute.

Do you agree?

Is brakeless better for 24″ freestyle riding?

Is riding brakeless the secret to Jim Bauer‘s style?

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19 responses

25 03 2010
Mike420lv

i don’t know about that. i need my brakes!!

25 03 2010
toar

I run my cruiser brakeless, it’s more fun, look good, and barspins and lookdowns feels better, but when I hit the trails brakes go on..
You should try it, bike changes from tool to toy;o)

25 03 2010
Steve

It was great to go brakeless for a period (I did it 20 years ago) as it made me smoother and took away the constant reliance on them. I don;t think I would do it again and don’t think I need to do it now that I ride a 24 as most only run back brakes now anyway.

Great way to get hit by a car or run over an old lady on the sidewalk if your not paying attention.

25 03 2010
Mike420lv

right! when i race bmx back in the 90’s i had no brakes but now i like to terrorize the streets and i’ve wrecked way too many times. There are alot of downhills by my house. As a matter of fact i spent the last 2 days getting my brakes perfectly dialed in. Put new odyssey pads on and my bike stops on a dime now.

25 03 2010
Jon Faure

I, of course, ride with brakes! Being 45 yo I am not interested in the challenge of riding brakeless. Plus, I spend most of my time riding dirt jumps. Even my 17 year old son thinks the trend is stupid and runs a gyro. All of his friends that he rides with go brakeless but he won’t have anyting to do with it. He even rides with his seat at a functional height. He has never been one to be swayed by the current trends.

25 03 2010
Steve

I was at Vans tonight and a kid flys out on the deck next to me and slams into the wall because he has no brakes. He then proceeds to sit on his seat with no post showing with his butt hanging over his rear tire and arched back complaining that his back hurts. He goes on for a bit and then asks me why I have my seat so high. Oh to be young and cool.

26 03 2010
cruiserrevolution

Ha Ha…at Joyride they make everyone ride brakes. Unfortunately the kids that are used to riding brakeless don’t think to pull their lever anymore..even when they are about to plow right into you because they weren’t looking where they were going.

26 03 2010
Plymouthfan

I live in the city, if my brakes don’t stop me, a bus will.

26 03 2010
Jason G

Brakes here too! But I believe this trend might even get bigger. In 5 or so years all young guys coming up will be brakless. Hell 70% of the bikes shown on Dans and other places are shown without brakes. It will even get tougher to brake the per pressure of using brakes in a few years for the younger crowd. It is pretty amazing how many young guys are actually really good riders without brakes though. Will this trend get bigger on the 24? who knows???

26 03 2010
Colin

I see the trend going the other way – that people will start running bigger bikes with the seats up a bit, and brakes – like a big man’s bike. I don’t know – skate wheels were real small for a while, but now people are at least running 50 mms!

27 03 2010
Dwight

On road, ride with the brakes. Off road, it will only make you a better rider if you go brakeless.

28 03 2010
Dave

My 20 is brakeless and my 24 has brakes. But i’ve switched between brakes and brakeless since probably ’04. But i’ll be putting my brakes back on soon for to ride trails. Even though I know you don’t really need them, I feel alot better having them on.

28 03 2010
Liquid Jeremy

I run brakeless occasionally. The thing I love most about it is how the bike feels… it just feels so simple and solid. There is also some truth about it affecting your riding in a good way. It does force you to think ahead and commit… you tend to “flow” a little better. And for trails, it forces you to learn how to bail safely, which is one of the most important things to learn if you’re going to have any longevity riding big, fast trails. But, I always make sure I have my brakes on when I’m learning a new spot (and try not skid, haha). I’m hoping the next trend is simple and light caliper brakes for easy removal and installation.

28 03 2010
Eric

I need brakes because I like to do dirt as well as park, and on dirt a tap of the brakes drops your nose down to maintain speed through jumps.

30 03 2010
Madmax

Pump track brakeless? Sure why not. Trails? mmmm. Street? Stupid stupid stupid. And the argument that it’ll make you a better rider? Valid. But you will eat sh*t more. Which means more injuries (like we need more of those!?!). Which means less riding. Which means…my 24 will be running at least one brake. Good riding is about control. Not just of the bike but your head too. If you have to remove your brakes to prevent your fear from stopping your progression…you’re working on the wrong skill set buddyboy… said the sage old fart.

2 04 2010
mattyjo

riding smooth and in control can be done with brakes on a bike… look at the flat landers.

hell i get laughed at because i run a front brake, but in the city it’s a must. i’d rather stop on my own than have something stop me….

13 04 2010
bwana

great thread, errr. comments. half the time my brakes are messed up becasue i am too lazy to dail them, been riding sorta brakeless for the past month and just using my foot jammer o nthe front. kinda retarded really but keeps me pretty alert on my 26

28 06 2010
Sometimes I miss front brakes « cruiser revolution

[…] rode front and rear brakes…now the pendulum has swung the other way with many riders seeing brakeless bikes as the new […]

21 03 2016
MegaRamp madness with Trent Brocker | cruiser revolution

[…] And, just to keep things interesting…Trent did it brakeless. […]

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