Do Track Bikes Have Brakes?

Track bikes, also known as fixed-gear or fixie bikes, have become increasingly popular in recent years for their simplicity and efficiency. While many people assume that these bikes don’t have brakes, this is not the case. In fact, most track bikes come equipped with a brake, but the use of this brake is optional for the rider.

Why Track Bikes Have Brakes

The main reason track bikes have brakes is for safety reasons. While riding a fixie can be a fun and efficient way to get around, it can also be dangerous if the rider is not experienced. In the event of an emergency, having a brake can mean the difference between stopping in time or having a crash.

In addition, many places have laws that require all bikes to have a working brake. This helps to ensure that all riders can safely operate their bikes and protect themselves and others on the road.

Why Track Bikes Have Brakes

Types of Brakes on Track Bikes

There are two main types of brakes that are commonly found on track bikes: rim brakes and coaster brakes. Rim brakes are similar to the brakes found on many road bikes, and work by using friction pads to stop the bike when the brake lever is pulled. Coaster brakes, on the other hand, are located inside the rear hub and are activated by pedaling backwards.

Rim Brakes

Rim brakes are the most common type of brake found on track bikes. These brakes work by using friction pads to stop the bike when the brake lever is pulled. The pads press against the rim of the wheel, creating friction and slowing down the bike.

Rim brakes are relatively simple and easy to use, and they can be very effective in stopping a bike quickly. However, they do have some disadvantages, such as the need to regularly replace the brake pads, and they can be affected by weather conditions such as rain or snow.

Coaster Brakes

Coaster brakes are another option for track bikes, and they are located inside the rear hub of the bike. These brakes work by pedaling backwards, which activates the brake and stops the bike. Coaster brakes are simple and efficient, and they are often preferred by riders who want a more streamlined look for their bike.

However, coaster brakes can be less effective than rim brakes in certain situations, such as when riding down a steep hill. They can also be less reliable than rim brakes, as they may not work as well in wet or muddy conditions.

Do You Need a Brake on a Track Bike?

While track bikes are often ridden without a brake, it is still recommended to have one for safety reasons. Many riders choose to ride without a brake as a personal choice, but it is important to remember that having a brake can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation.

In addition, many places have laws that require all bikes to have a working brake. If you are riding a track bike without a brake, you could be breaking the law and putting yourself at risk.

Why Don’t Track Bikes Have Brakes?


Track bikes do have brakes, and it is important to have one for safety reasons. Whether you choose a rim brake or a coaster brake, it is important to make sure that your brake is in good working condition and that you are comfortable using it in emergency situations. Remember to always follow the law and wear appropriate safety gear, and you will be able to enjoy riding your track bike safely and responsibly.