Crackdown on Brakeless Bikes

Jun 9, 2011
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#2
from the article it looks like the crackdown isn't limited to brakeless bikes, but also includes bikes with only one brake in the same category. no mention of penalties, though, so maybe the worst you'll get is a stern "put some brakes on your bike!" from your bored local policeman.

i'd really like to see some deeper data to justify the crackdown like the relationship between total riders and number of accidents or number of accidents compared to other types of bikes, including track bikes with 2 brakes.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#3
Does it matter what the accident statistics are? It's against the law to ride a bike without brakes on a public road. So if a rider does so and gets caught they are liable to be fined.

Also if such a bike is involved in an accident the lack of brakes will count against the rider in any subsequent prosecutions and insurance claims.

That's the way it is. Ya pays ya money and takes ya choice.
 
Jun 9, 2011
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tokyo
#4
thing is, the rider on a fixed gear bike doubles as a rear wheel brake. add a front brake and you've got the required 2 brakes for being out on the road. the statics cited in the article aren't enough to say whether track bikes are more dangerous than other types or bikes or if they're are simply more of them on the road compared to last year.

the basis for the new crackdown is the assertion that track bikes are inherently more dangerous than other bikes. one reason for the danger cited by the article is that the bikes are more fashionable, which is a stupid reason for saying they are dangerous, which calls the overall logic for the crackdown in to question.
 

bird

Speeding Up
Nov 30, 2010
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Kawasaki
#5
At least they don't ban the fixie itself, just the brakeless ones.
Because rules are sometimes made for reasons beyond any logic (or is it
logic beyond any reasons??), I was afraid they might ban the fixie altogether.

Btw, Patrick, I was so impressed by your riding up & down Kazahari-toge
that I'm interested in introducing a fixed gear bike for myself someday.
I feel like I'm missing a significant (& probably fun) part of cycling.
Thanks for the inspiration :)
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,659
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#6
the basis for the new crackdown is the assertion that track bikes are inherently more dangerous than other bikes. one reason for the danger cited by the article is that the bikes are more fashionable, which is a stupid reason for saying they are dangerous, which calls the overall logic for the crackdown in to question.
Reading the article I think it made sense, on a public road where cars have brakes but fixies have only the riders leg resistance as a brake the number of accidents has increased. The problem is as things become fashionable their will be an average lowering of the skill level doing that activity and thus regulations are put in place to ensure safety for the less experienced participants. No problem in making hipsters need front and rear brakes. My track bike has both when I ride on the road.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#7
Fashion is dangerous. It encourages more people to ride on roads that are poorly designed and being monitored by twit headed police and driven on by even more twit headed taxis on shabu and obasans carrying umbrellas going up the road the wrong way.

I put 2 brakes on my bike - but have them adjusted so they don't touch my rims. Thus I meet the letter of the law. My bike looks like warmed over with brakes and I'm none too happy - however - the 50,000 yen possible fine and endless interview sessions is a reasonable deterrent.

No matter how stupid they are - you can't push a rope.

the basis for the new crackdown is the assertion that track bikes are inherently more dangerous than other bikes. one reason for the danger cited by the article is that the bikes are more fashionable, which is a stupid reason for saying they are dangerous, which calls the overall logic for the crackdown in to question.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,659
477
103
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#8
i'd really like to see some deeper data to justify the crackdown like the relationship between total riders and number of accidents or number of accidents compared to other types of bikes, including track bikes with 2 brakes.
Yeah, but logically a twin braked fixie will avoid more accidents than the brakeless one. Accident data doesn't prove the safety of all bicycle only the accident rates of those involved in accidents.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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#9
Agreed , but this is so lame. If their goal is to reduce accidents - then revamp the roadway laws, create proper cycling strips, educate both drivers and riders and ban ALL mamacharis instead.

Also exactly where are they drawing these stats? I have NEVER seen or encountered a police officer taking a real report regarding a fixed gear rider failing to stop in time. Even myself - I've been stopped a dozen times - they don't write anything down - they just bitch about me not having a brake. So - my guess is they are making this up. Unless actual stats are cited with the corresponding data acquisition - it means nothing. No more credence than articles in 'The Onion'.


Reading the article I think it made sense, on a public road where cars have brakes but fixies have only the riders leg resistance as a brake the number of accidents has increased. The problem is as things become fashionable their will be an average lowering of the skill level doing that activity and thus regulations are put in place to ensure safety for the less experienced participants. No problem in making hipsters need front and rear brakes. My track bike has both when I ride on the road.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
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Chiba City
#10
I see the pic of the bicycle on the left side.

Says if the saddle is high and the handle bars are low (which they call 'fashion') then the bike is set up for speed (is that bad?). Something
about the pedals too- is it clips?

Will they be checking all bikes for this?
Does Mr./Mrs. (inc the NMBs) Police person know the difference (without stopping) bikes with brakes and without?
Coaster brakes have no cables, I guess only beach cruisers have them though.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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#11
What is so lame about this is everything. In fact the bike they are showing is a TRACK BIKE - yet they blob into a RACE BIKE. I agree, Lawrence, this is exactly how you initiate social mind and culture control. Start lumping irrelevant 'facts' into the public taxonomy. Nobody does ththis better than the Japanese. The nail that sticks up syndrome at its lowest level of maximum Peter Principalian behavior.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#12
Yep, now all bikers may look bad (because the public, or whoever reads this article, will think we all are track racers).

Hopefully not many people read it.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#13
The thing is... track bikes without brakes have always been illegal on public byways and highways in Japan and countries in the British Common Wealth.

Other strange laws include LED's not counting as not sufficient lighting on a bike, while a naked flare is or the recent ban on cyclists using earphones yet a motorcycle helmet is probably more limiting to hearing or in car stereos.

As others have pointed out a fixed gear bike needs a higher level of skill to be able to brake suffiently in time to come to a stop. Yes there are some amazing fixed geared riders in our community, James F, Tim and Mikio and I've been very impressed with thier skill.....but to be perfectly honest I've seen the majority of fixed gear riders as idiots with very little skill on the bike and even less road sense and unfortunately the skilled riders including the professional Keirin riders are going to be pasted with the same brush.

The thing is the Keirin riders have all converted their bikes for road training already and they aren't screaming and shouting about it....and lets face it probably have a lot more political sway than the majority.

As for stats....well that’s the thing they are all subjective.

In regards to dealing with the police I always carry my UCI International license and Japan UCI license as it allows me to argue that I know a lot more about the subject of bikes and what is legal than they do. Although I've only ever been pulled over for riding at night without a front light.... which is rightly so!
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#14
Can you imagine a driver being stopped and fined for overtaking a cyclist less than 1.5 m from the cyclist's offside?

Technically it could happen. :D

But all the news (which is what sells newspapers and advertising) is about how naughty and irresponsible the cyclists are; never about how miserably and selfishly we treated by many motorists. It's curious, because almost all the motorists are also or have been at some point cyclists themselves.

The way the police operate is bizarre. They are assigned to a specific task and won't do anything else even under extreme provocation. e.g., "Your duty today is to stand on this junction for two hours and blow your whistle in time with the traffic light changes." "Your duty today is to wait at this junction and ticket scooter riders making incorrect right turns." "Don't let anything actually illegal or dangerous distract you from your task." Very zen, I don't think. Then if they're found to be incapable of attaining the required level of single-minded, blinkered pig-ignorance, they are assigned koban duty where they can be rubbish at several tasks simultaneously.

It is these people, and their retired amakudari kyokai colleagues who staff the profligate 'safety associations', who advise the lawmakers. Can we reasonably expect the law to make any sort of sense?

</rant>
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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#15
Mike - you've hit the nail square on the head! Now go pound it down! We can argue relative safety mechanicals, skills, etc as much as politics and religion - it will not change a bloody thing. As humans, we are drawn to anarchy and freedom - at least some of us - in short we all want to do what we want. Finding reasonable compromise democratically is the key. Unfortunately there is no democracy here. Let alone reason.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#16
Mike - you've hit the nail square on the head! Now go pound it down! We can argue relative safety mechanicals, skills, etc as much as politics and religion - it will not change a bloody thing. As humans, we are drawn to anarchy and freedom - at least some of us - in short we all want to do what we want. Finding reasonable compromise democratically is the key. Unfortunately there is no democracy here. Let alone reason.
Where do beginners learn to ride these brake less bikes?
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#17
Agreed , but this is so lame. If their goal is to reduce accidents - then revamp the roadway laws, create proper cycling strips, educate both drivers and riders and ban ALL mamacharis instead.

Also exactly where are they drawing these stats? I have NEVER seen or encountered a police officer taking a real report regarding a fixed gear rider failing to stop in time. Even myself - I've been stopped a dozen times - they don't write anything down - they just bitch about me not having a brake. So - my guess is they are making this up. Unless actual stats are cited with the corresponding data acquisition - it means nothing. No more credence than articles in 'The Onion'.
Geez Tim, I know you are POed but no reason to smear The Onion..... :D