View Full Version : front brakes necessary?

11-08-2013, 02:43 PM
Hello all...I'm in the planning stages of my first trike project and was wondering if anyone has built a street fox style trike with only a rear break. I would like to keep this, my first build, as simple as possible. Any significant disadvantages to not having front brakes?


11-08-2013, 03:00 PM
There is a quirk of law in the uk where bikes /trike with a fixwd seat below a certain height can get away without front brakes , BUT ( another one ) the streetfox or any other trike would be DOWN RIGHT DANGEROUS to ride at speeds over 8 mph as the FRONT BRAKES do stop you whereas the rear brake just locks ups . BE CAREFUL or you might not be a dadof3 any more
a dual brake diy mod kit is available on ebay , for 4 gbp an it make front brakes easy to fit on a single lever

regards emma

11-08-2013, 03:21 PM
Hi there

I think the law states you must have 2 independent braking systems on a bike , however they can be both on the same wheel.

if you look at the adult deltas that have big wheels 99% of them have 2 brakes on the front wheel only.

As Emma has said a rear brake is dangerous , especially if it is the only brake , if you look at most commercial tadpole trike's [ recumbent ] they do not sell them with a rear brake.

There are 2 uses for a rear brake however :)

a) parking brake , usual applied with a friction gear lever under the seat somewhere , also an effective yoof deterrent
b) when touring with camping gear etc. it can be used to bleed off speed on long descents especially if the front has hub brakes which can fade due to over heating.

regards Paul

11-08-2013, 04:41 PM
Dad of 3

Come on, it is not just about you, but three others given your handle.
There is a law of redundancy with brakes, if one goes suddenly, there is always a second.
Do not skimp on brakes, seems like a good cost saving, but no, seriously fit at least two brakes.

On an up wrong mtb there are studies that show 75% of braking goes to front wheels, look at cheap mtb there is a reason disc on front

11-08-2013, 05:57 PM
An extract from the CTC website on bicycle construction and use shows that the recumbent has become an exception because of a badly worded and written piece of legislation

Brakes In the case of a pure pedal cycle (no electrical assistance) these regulations are so simple, that the only parts that matter are the brakes.
The basic requirement is for two efficient braking systems, by which the front wheel (or wheels) can be braked independently of the rear wheel (or wheels). This means that if there are two wheels at the front and/or the rear, the relevant system must act on the pair. It also means that the combined operation of front and rear brakes from one lever is not allowed - except as an extra braking system: additional to the two independent front and rear braking systems required by this law.
Each braking system is required to be in efficient working order, but apart from saying that a brake that bears directly upon a pneumatic tyre in not efficient, these regulations do not define how the brakes work or how they are operated. So back-pedal brakes are just as legal as the usual hand-levers. (You could even brake with your teeth if you could invent a way to do it efficiently!)
A lot of words are nevertheless devoted to wheels that cannot rotate independently of the pedals (i.e. no freewheel), the upshot of which is very simply that a fixed wheel drive counts as a braking system – on that wheel or wheels.
Exceptions Tricycles and quadricycles are allowed many and various deviations from the above requirements, depending on age, purpose and wheel size.
The most important exception applies to any normal tricycle, with at least one wheel bigger than 460mm diameter and 'not constructed or adapted for the carriage of goods'. (By goods they mean unusual heavy loads, not ordinary shopping or touring luggage.) A normal tricycle, with two rear wheels, is allowed to have both braking systems acting upon the single front wheel, or if the tricycle has two front wheels: on the single rear wheel.
And a normal tricycle manufactured before 1st August 1984, with two rear wheels, is allowed to have its rear braking system acting upon just one of those wheels.
If the highest part of the 'seating area' of a bicycle or tricycle cannot be raised above 635mm from the road surface, the minimum requirement falls to just one efficient braking system. This is clearly intended for (very) small children's cycles, but inadvertently lets most recumbents under the bar!

regards emma

11-08-2013, 06:00 PM
Simple as possible skip the Rear brake and keep the front brakes- As a mod you can use drum brakes instead of rim or disc. With any of the Tapole style bike you really need the front over the rear. On the Deltas you can use one in back and one in the rear. But do not skimp on brakes like everyone says.

11-08-2013, 08:26 PM
....I run a coaster brake only, and am perfectly happy with it. Flat area where I live, and cycle on sparsely trafficked roads and lanes. May not be the same where you are, and it's a safety call, but it's your decision at the end of the day......