Ebike without rear brake.

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Robocog   100 W

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Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Robocog » Feb 07 2017 1:48pm

I am considering not running a rear brake. I will be using bike mostly to ride road/paved, and light offroad.

So, I am a motorcyclist and own a ROADRACE R1. It has a PUNY noneffective rear caliper. ONLY used for slowing when cops are watching.

This suits me fine. If I worry about the traction, capability of pavement, I slow. If I am offroad, I don't go fast, and only apply reasonable front brake.


So, are there any REAL drawbacks to a front only brake setup? I will be installing a BBSHD, and taking weight off, has its plusses.

I can run rear shock air lower, and less rebound, and less compression, and get PLUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH action out of rear suspension.

It is a trance, and the maestro susp is not effected by braking or power. So, I theorize that a full suspension bike, with lots of power, and plush, reactive

susp, would be a comfy cruise.

I was thinking a RIM BRAKE nexus 3 speed, with no brake. that way, it would be as light, actually much lighter, than the stock de and cass.

I have a 36 fox talas in front, so, flexing and tweaking are not a concern.

Further, for best modulation, would I be better off, to use a two piston caliper? For best skid point dancing?

What say you guys?


To add, My roadracer, has a white bros rear racing shock, CUSTOM setup softish, and the front fork has OHLINS internals, and is set up soft. This is allowed, as the bike has 645 lbs removed, and the rims are forged racing rims, with racing tires. So, it rides like a well controlled racing bike, with semi Goldwing comfort.

This is NOT how most people do bikes, mostly due to costs. I think I can emulate it on a mountainbike.

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by amberwolf » Feb 07 2017 1:57pm

removed unwanted text
Last edited by amberwolf on Feb 26 2017 2:26am, edited 1 time in total.

WoodlandHills   10 kW

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by WoodlandHills » Feb 07 2017 3:32pm

If you ride off road, the rear brake gets most of the use since it is very easy to washout the front on loose surfaces when braking the front tire. In another life I was a suspension tech and chassis tuner for AMA road race bikes, if you have expectations of having a similarly sophisticated suspension you are in for a huge surprise! Simply put bicycle suspension is about as crude as it gets. :shock:

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Chalo » Feb 07 2017 4:08pm

The Nexus 3 rim brake model is too narrow for your frame by about 20mm. However, there is a model of the Nexus 3 that's spaced 135mm and has a disc rotor mount, model SG-3D55. I'd recommend that one.

I rode both bicycles and motorcycles for many years without using the rear brake much, but there were always plenty of moments I was glad to have it. Having only a front brake is making assumptions about traction conditions that often don't hold up in the real world.

These days, I tend to use both brakes to distribute wear and stress more evenly. My bikes flex too much for comfort when I brake hard on the front alone. Long travel suspension surely disguises that effect, but doesn't reduce it.
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Robocog   100 W

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Robocog » Feb 07 2017 5:04pm

Chalo wrote:The Nexus 3 rim brake model is too narrow for your frame by about 20mm. However, there is a model of the Nexus 3 that's spaced 135mm and has a disc rotor mount, model SG-3D55. I'd recommend that one.

I rode both bicycles and motorcycles for many years without using the rear brake much, but there were always plenty of moments I was glad to have it. Having only a front brake is making assumptions about traction conditions that often don't hold up in the real world.

These days, I tend to use both brakes to distribute wear and stress more evenly. My bikes flex too much for comfort when I brake hard on the front alone. Long travel suspension surely disguises that effect, but doesn't reduce it.

My bike will be a giant trance. NON fat. I think it is regular spread.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Chalo » Feb 07 2017 5:39pm

Robocog wrote:
Chalo wrote:The Nexus 3 rim brake model is too narrow for your frame by about 20mm. However, there is a model of the Nexus 3 that's spaced 135mm and has a disc rotor mount, model SG-3D55. I'd recommend that one.
My bike will be a giant trance. NON fat. I think it is regular spread.
Right. Normal for MTB, touring, hybrid, and city bikes is 135mm. The rim brake Nexus 3 is something under 120mm.
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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by WoodlandHills » Feb 07 2017 6:03pm

Just lace a disc brake Nexus3 to your rim and don't install the disc....... BTW a fat bike is 197mm.........

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by MadRhino » Feb 07 2017 8:14pm

Offroad is one thing, mountain is another. In steep, technical mountain trails, or just speeding downhill on a nice trail, you can't go safely without a rear brake. I would even say a very precise rear brake, to feel very neatly the lever travel between bite point and locking point. Off course rear brake is only 15 to 25 % of total braking power of a bike, but in some situations it does make the difference between shearing dirt and kissing a tree. A rim brake on the rear is all right, there are some very good ones.

For someone who doesn't take any risk overspeeding the trail conditions, on relatively flat offroad, riding without a rear brake is not dramatic. Ideally, this would be with a very good front brake and regen on the rear.

On the street it is a matter of riding conditions and rider's behaviour. If you do ride aggressively, or on extreme surface conditions, you want a rear brake. I can't imaginine myself riding fr brake only on a day like today, that was snow slush on patches of ice. Even with 2 perfect brakes and 50 yrs riding experience, it was freakin dangerous in the trafic.
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Baron   100 W

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Baron » Feb 07 2017 8:58pm

I can only recommend it if you have regen braking to replace rear brakes. A lot of people do that here. I suspect it's because of how difficult it is to get a disc brake caliper mounted perfectly along side a hub motor, and a true rotor without rubbing.

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Voltron » Feb 07 2017 10:47pm

I had one of my fastest, sliding on the pavement for a long distance crashes by riding with no back brake on a test ride with a new motor. A slight rain started between going to work and coming back, and was just damp enough that the front hit a patch of leaves in a turn, slid a foot or so and then hooked back up. Without the drag at the back from the normal amount of rear brake, the whole back end just wanted to swap ends to being out in front of the suddenly slowing front end. It made it about 80% of the way around before dumping me... :( I realize now how much in a turn even a light drag back there keeps the back end where it should be when you start hitting the front brake...

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by LewTwo » Feb 07 2017 10:53pm

The two worst motorcycle accidents I ever had were because I lost the rear brake: one due to burnt hydraulic line and the other to a mechanical failure. I walked limped away from both accidents and rode the bikes home home afterwards without the rear brake (very carefully). Given a choice of one or the other I would ALWAYS go for the rear brake. You can control a rear skid but the only way to control a front lockup/jack knife is to release the brake.
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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by WoodlandHills » Feb 08 2017 2:42am

I know of a racer that was so good with the rear brake that he was able to alter his chassis geometry entering corners by using the back brake to control how much the front dove on entry. In fact, his team built him a 600SS bike with subtly curved fork tubes to allow him to alter his rake and thus his trail and his front grip by how far the rear brake forced the front end down entering corners. If they got caught his team, a major Japanese factory, intended to blame it, the bent tubes, on "crash damage". :shock: He was Supersport Champion as well as winner of the Daytona 200 that year.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by dogman dan » Feb 08 2017 7:09am

I'll keep it simpler. NO. You need a rear brake if you have just one. Off road, you absolutely need two, even if not in the mountains.

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by dingoEsride » Feb 08 2017 8:13am

there is not much more to add here because Madrhino and others have covered it all very well but even on my old road beemer I still sometimes use only rear brakes when there may be a chance of loosing front wheel grip and down loose MTB tracks mostly rear brake would be applied because it's easier to recover a lost rear traction over a front wheel
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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Mikelob » Feb 09 2017 2:30am

I've ridden motorcycles for over 10 years myself. In my experience, the rear brake plays a big role while cornering. Feathering the rear gives more stability to the rear end. On bicycles, i tend to do the same. Brakes do more then brake alone. I'd never go without.

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Robocog » Feb 09 2017 11:22am

This being the case, I wish there was an equivalent to my caliper. A PM tiny, meant for a chopper.

I wish there could be a HALF size caliper, and 120 rotors.

OR, a mechanism, that engaged a clutch, when you pedal backwards, that tripped the master cylinder.

But really, I like the HEAVY regen path, as I use that on my electric Skateboard, to run the dogs, and CONTROL, their pace.

Anyone know of a half size REALLY light bogus caliper?

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Re: Ebike without rear brake.

Post by Robocog » Feb 09 2017 11:32am

Must relay my best excuse for rear brake.

My uncle came visiting, with a hod rod Harley. Said, take it. I did. So, on a road that curved broadly, I nailed it. I had never been on anything bigger than an Elsinore 125.

I went that way thru first, second, and as I shifted into third, the cop passed the other way. He did a ROCKFORD, and tried to catch me. Before he could flip his lights, I rounded the bend. Going maybe 80. Couldn't stay out in the open, so, just as I lost his image in my mirror, I saw his lights go on. I came to the side street, and so nailed the brakes.

I was flying SOOOOOOOOO fast, that no way I could make the turn, BUT, I had to, OR GET CAUGHT. So, I let off the front brake, and started bringing the front around. Skidding the rear.

Then, when the bike made it to the halfway point, I knew I would highside, or lowside soon. So, I revved that bi^ch for all she was worth. And POPPED the clutch. The rear tire slid, and luckily JUSt enough, for me to fishtail the way around. In a MIRACULOUSLY SMOOOOTH motion.

I pulled in, and threw the keys to my uncle. My father says, wanna go for a ride? I said, sure, afraid to say anything other. So, he dumps the clutch. I have to kick the damn thing, and, it floods.

Cops are at end of street, now watching us. They pull towards us ever so FRICKEN slowly. When they get upon us, the cop asks, that your bike? My father answers, NO, my brother in laws. Cops pull away slowly.

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