Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake on th

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Philip Benstead
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Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake on th

Postby Philip Benstead » 6 Oct 2011, 7:20am

Dear All

I hope the links are OK now


Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake on the Road?


Set the scene_ In the 1970’s when I was fit, I riding home at rush hour time along the Old Kent Road, a cycle passed me who I fail match their pace , I noticed they were riding a bike with a 5 speed block but configure with a single free, but they only had a front brake.

This rider cycled though a gap of a bus and a car who had stop at a crossing. The reason they had stopped a pedestrian was crossing, the result the cyclist hit the pedestrian who fell to the ground unconscious.

The police arrived, spotted the single free wheel, and was done for failure to have two brakes

THIS COURSE OF ACTION IS UNLAWFUL, STUPID AND BAD PR FOR CYCLING.

As a life long cyclist, daily cyclist in central London and a cycle instructor since 1998 I but not fail to notice the preponderance of persons (both male and female) riding a bicycle with the following configuration.

A bicycle with a fixed wheel with no additional brake on the front.

A bicycle with either single free wheel or with multi geared with only a front brake.

I now come to understand that some accredited cycle instructors are following the trend that was started in the USA.

According to Pedal Cycles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1983 [PCUR] cycles with a fixed must have a least a front brake

http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3804

From CTC Magazine –Cycle

How many brakes? – 2001.11
My grandson has been advised that BMX cycles with wheels of 20" or smaller are only required to have one brake. His parents checked with Brighton Police and were told this. If this is this true, then surely the law needs amending, as riders of BMX machines are not only small children. Please advise.

K M Wells

Local Police are not the best people to ask about detailed points of law and they are certainly in error here. The Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations require independent front and rear braking systems on almost all configurations of pedal cycle. One brake will suffice only in the following two circumstances:

(1) The cycle has a "fixed wheel" drive, i.e. no freewheel, i.e. to pedal backwards makes it go backwards. In that case one brake, acting on only the front wheel (or front two wheels if it has that many), will suffice. Resisting the forward rotation of the pedals, although nowhere near so effective as a proper back-pedal or coaster brake, is assumed adequate to slow down the back wheel.

(2) The cycle has its pedals fixed directly to one wheel, without any intervening gears or chain. In that case no proper brakes are needed at all. This exception allows the continued use of antique cycles such as “penny-farthings”.
It's possible that (1) might apply to a BMX, but I doubt it because a lot of BMX stunts and tricks are impossible without a freewheel. And as some of these tricks involve spinning the handlebars, that’s also the reason for omitting the back brake. The way to make a BMX street legal without cramping your style is to fit a hollow stem bolt for the front brake cable and a “gyro” for the rear cable. Or get a rear wheel with a coaster brake, which allows a few extra tricks too!

The Construction and Use Regulations are wonderfully convoluted however and do contain some weird stuff about wheel sizes that takes a bit of unravelling before you can tell it doesn’t apply to anything normal! One of these confusing clauses lets cycles with two rear wheels (i.e. tricycles and quadricycles) have a rear braking system that acts on only one of those rear wheels, provided that the machine was manufactured before August 1984 and that it has at least one wheel smaller than 460mm (i.e. 18 inches) diameter. Goodness only knows what that was all about: presumably the authorities wished to permit the continued use of some antiquated model of tricycle! And just to reassure our tricycling members, it is allowed to have both brakes on the single front or the single rear wheel (according to format: conventional or Newton-style respectively) provided that the tricycle is not designed or adapted for carrying goods.

The only other clause that mentions wheel size lets quadricycles with all four wheels smaller than 250mm (10in) have brakes that act on the tyres. I guess that's about pedal-cars. Otherwise these regulations don't count any brake that operates on a pneumatic tyre; but brakes that act on a solid tyre must be okay, which is another favour for the antiquarians.

It's also possible that the plods of Brighton are confusing wheel size with saddle height, since the Regulations make a general exemption for small bicycles and tricycles where the saddle cannot be raised above 635mm (25in) from the ground. That's the vertical distance to the highest part of the seating area with the seatpost fully extended and the tyres pumped up. Consider how low that actually is and it’s clear these must be very small cycles indeed: something that no child much over six years would be able to pedal efficiently. Of course, BMX kids are not too concerned about pedalling efficiency and tend to go about with their saddles ridiculously low — so as not to impede their tricks and stunts! However that alone won't get them off the regulatory hook. What matters is the potential height the saddle will safely extend to, not the actual height at which it's used. To evade the front & rear brakes rule these kids must not only keep their saddles right down, but also make it so they cannot safely be raised, i.e. by cutting down their seatposts, leaving only the 65mm minimum insertion length inside the frame. However I wouldn't advise that. Better get another brake!

If the law needs amending it’s because most recumbents also duck through the saddle height loophole, calling for an alternative definition of cycle size based upon the action of pedalling rather than standing over the machine.

Chris Juden

CTC Technical Officer

I SEE THAT

Looking at the Evans Cycle website there a number of fixed road cycles, many of them are without a front brake.

http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/b ... gear-bikes

Below is example of a fixed wheel road cycle display with no brakes

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/fuj ... e-ec024680

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cha ... e-ec025582

I would like to know if they would sell these cycles as display with no brake.

If yes they possibly breaking the law

If not they may be braking the law regarding the display of good act


Before any body say I have not used a fixed, I have:

Rode and completed:

Audax at 200, 300, and 400 km on fixed in Dorset

Ridden many miles off road (rough stuff) on a fixed

Ridden over the Romania Mountain on fixed

Riddern over DARTMOOR with some hill so steep that you had push back over the saddle to stop yourself from being push over the handalbars

Ridden in central London for many year on fixed


ALL THESE TIMES I RODE WITH TWO BRAKE PLUS A FIXED WHEEL


What is going on, Cycle Instructor should be riding cycles that are roadworthily and complies with the law.

The people who are using these cycle are they trying to be fashionable, a bit edgee, or is it because cycling is now cool they got push the envelop.

SO PLEASE

Ride bicycle with a fixed wheel with at least an additional working brake on the front.

A bicycle with either single free wheel or with multi geared with both working front and back brake.brakes.
Last edited by Philip Benstead on 6 Oct 2011, 8:17pm, edited 1 time in total.
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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meic
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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby meic » 6 Oct 2011, 8:58am

Very interesting from a legal point of view.

However from a scientific point of view, maximum braking can be achieved with a front brake alone.
So your single speed cyclist may be a very naughty boy for riding without a back brake but he still would have hit the pedestrian if he DID have one.

On the other hand if he had shown due observation and ridden at an appropriate speed for the circumstances he probably wouldnt have hit the pedestrian.
Yma o Hyd

AndyB
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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby AndyB » 6 Oct 2011, 9:39am

Two thoughts:

Presumably it is reasonable to sell bikes for use on the track, where brakes are not needed (I think they may be disallowed).

Having looked at a couple of bikes on the Evans page, I think this is a marketing issue: while the photos show some elegant bikes with uncluttered lines, the specs include front and rear brakes. Your example actually shows a front brake in the photo, but specifies front and rear brakes.

(I have front and rear brakes on my fixed wheel bike. I couldn't agree more about the need for at least a front brake.)

John Holiday
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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby John Holiday » 6 Oct 2011, 11:05am

Interesting summary!
We often have children on our Training Courses who turn up with BMX cycles that are totally unsuited to road use.
Despite parents signing a sheet which states that their child's cycle is 'road worthy',we even had one child on a BMX with no brakes & only one pedal! He did manage to show us how he rode it & stopped by jamming his foot between fork & tyre!
We said we were impressed by his skills, but to borrow another bike as he was not coming out with us on his bike!

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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby keepontriking » 6 Oct 2011, 1:03pm

Only last Sunday I came across someone who had been sold a 'Dutch' bike with only a back pedaling brake. - clearly a bike for use on the road, not on on an Olympic velodrome!
This came from a well-known dealer in a major town on the south coast.

Brakes are perhaps the most common issue that causes me to refuse to take riders on training courses.
At one session a bike had no brakes at all. When I asked why, the child said his Dad (who was standing next to me) had taken them off because they were making a noise.
When I said I could not allow it on the road, the Dad became very indignant telling me it was fine as his son had a helmet.

Some people just don't get it. :roll:

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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby Vorpal » 6 Oct 2011, 9:30pm

Philip Benstead wrote:I would like to know if they would sell these cycles as display with no brake.

If yes they possibly breaking the law

If not they may be braking the law regarding the display of good act


There are perfectly legitimate reasons to sell or buy those bikes without brakes. They look like track bikes to me. Or maybe grass track bikes. How can Evans know what the customer is going to do with it? Ultimately, it is the cyclist's responsibility to ensure that his/her cycle is safe and legal to ride. It would be reasonable for the folks at Evans to inform their customers that they need brakes if they are going to ride on the road.

As AndyB said, teh specs show both front & rear brakes. I think maybe the person who put together the marketing stuff for that bike couldn't be bothered doing two pictures; one for the track version & one for the road version.

All that said, I have seen some kids on bikes that are in an awful state. I've rejected a few for Bikeability courses recently; mostly for brakes or tyres.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby Philip Benstead » 6 Oct 2011, 9:38pm

Vorpal wrote:
Philip Benstead wrote:I would like to know if they would sell these cycles as display with no brake.

If yes they possibly breaking the law

If not they may be braking the law regarding the display of good act


There are perfectly legitimate reasons to sell or buy those bikes without brakes. They look like track bikes to me. Or maybe grass track bikes. How can Evans know what the customer is going to do with it? Ultimately, it is the cyclist's responsibility to ensure that his/her cycle is safe and legal to ride. It would be reasonable for the folks at Evans to inform their customers that they need brakes if they are going to ride on the road.

Come on, I telephone Evans at their place in Crawley and the guy at the other end said it was OK to ride on the road with just a fixed wheel with no brakes and he said he did. They either are ignorant of the law or decided to just provide for the fashion
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby Philip Benstead » 7 Oct 2011, 7:09pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ycles.html


Blow for Japan's hipsters as police crack down on fixed-wheel bicycles
Tokyo's cool crowd may have to find a new way to get around after police moved to clamp down on the proliferation of brakeless, or fixed-wheel, bicycles.

Downtown Tokyo Photo: Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo
7:00AM BST 04 Oct 2011
1 Comment
The bikes, which are popular with the image-conscious Japanese youth, have been blamed for a number of serious accidents, including at least one fatality.
Fixed-wheel bicycles are designed for track racing but transforming a regular bike into a "fixie" - or "piste bike," as they are known in Japan - is a straightforward operation and allows the rider to stop by resisting the rotation of the pedals.
However, critics say that doing away with the brakes means the bicycle takes longer to come to a halt and, under Japanese law, riding a piste bike on a public road is illegal.
Police in Tokyo issued cautions to two cyclists with faulty brakes in 2009, but the number soared to 661 incidents in 2010, according to the Yomiuri newspaper. In the first eight months of this year, the number of cautions came to 614.
In late September, stand-up comedian Mitsunori Fukuda was stopped for riding a bike with only one brake in the capital.
RELATED ARTICLES
Then, in February 2010, a 69-year-old woman was hit by a man riding a piste bike in Tokyo and hit her head as she fell. The woman later died and the cyclist's case was sent to prosecutors on suspicion of serious negligent homicide and violation of the Road Traffic Law.
In May of the same year, a woman aged 92 was struck by a brakeless bicycle and suffered a broken collar bone.
"Such accidents are caused partly because of over-confidence in the part of the riders that they have the skill to avoid collisions with pedestrians," a senior police officer told the Yomiuri.
The Metropolitan Police Department has filed a request with the association of Bicycle Dealers of Tokyo to instruct customers that it is illegal to ride a bicycle without brakes on public roads and that they are liable for a fine of up to Y50,000 (£422).
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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Re: Fixed Wheel - No Brakes or Single Free Wheel One Brake o

Postby Vorpal » 8 Oct 2011, 10:34am

Philip Benstead wrote:Come on, I telephone Evans at their place in Crawley and the guy at the other end said it was OK to ride on the road with just a fixed wheel with no brakes and he said he did. They either are ignorant of the law or decided to just provide for the fashion


Either is possible. It's still the responsibility of the cyclist to ensure his/her bicycle is safe and legal to use on the road. And I think it would be difficult to make a case against Evans. It may be unethical to tell a customer that s/he can ride the bike on the road, as sold, but selling it without brakes, when there are legitimate reasons to do so, is probably not an offence.

It can be an offence to cause or permit someone to ride on the road without brakes (i.e. parental responsibility for a child's bike; employer responsibility for an employee's), but it would have to be proven that Evans knew the customer intended to ride on the road without brakes (and that liability should be applied in the particular case). In all likelihood, even if it could be proven that an individual sold a bicycle, knowing that the customer intended to ride it on the road, Evans, as a company would not be held liable. A judge who gives it sufficient thought may require Evans to train their staff, or something.

The maximum penalty is £1000. It's probably worth the (very small) risk to Evans. The chances that the CPS would prosecute them knowing the above are probably minute.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom