I've got a bit of a dilemma with regards to brakes on my fixed wheel bike. Currently I've got both brakes on, as standard road levers on the hoods of the drops, but now I'm running fixed instead of free, I've got no need for the rear brake. I'm looking to get a single lever on the top of the drops, similar to a standard mountain/hybrid bike lever. However this seems problematic as I only need one lever, and most come in pairs, but more importantly, the diameter of the bars is odd - 25.4 mm where the stem clamps and 24.8mm (not the more standard 23.8mm) at the top of the drop.

What's the best way to proceed?

  • Voting to close - Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.
    – Batman
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 13:39
  • 1
    Anyway, it seems like you're just looking for an interrupter lever. Go to your LBS and find a pair you like and throw the one you don't use into your parts bin.
    – Batman
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 13:42
  • I'm voting to keep it open. The product rec part is secondary to the main question. @tomandco If these question does get closed, then remove and any recommendations of products. Or do it now, to avoid that issue.
    – andy256
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 1:59

3 Answers 3


I have a fixed gear and I don't find the rear brake useless. I actually Find it quite hard to skid the rear wheel with just the pedals unless I'm riding on wet roads. Personally, I also really like riding on the hoods, and I would leave the brakes they way they are. I would also leave on the drop bar levers because getting to a mountain bike style brake from the drops might be difficult in an emergency stop situation. I'd rather just use brakes for braking and allow myself to run a higher gear so I don't have to worry about stopping with my legs. Plus is you skid a lot, it wears out your tire prematurely.

  • Skidding has a lot to do with bike geometry. I had a "conversion" fixie that it was near impossible to skid with. I later switched to an actual IRO fixed-gear frame and found it to be much, much easier. Shifting your weight forward is key, and older frames have too relaxed of a geometry to properly unweight the rear wheel. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 18:17
  • I would also add that if you keep a rear brake, you can easily use a "flip-flop" hub if you ever want to run with a freewheel for a while. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 18:17

A Diatech Dirty harry lever will fit - most bmx brake levers can be used. Dirty harry lever has got good cable pull and it's hard wearing as it was originally designed for bmx.

I've seen lots of people riding fixed using this lever

Dirty Harry BMX lever


BMX levers work well. Tektro makes some decent ones, too. Just buy a pair and have a spare, or try and sell the second one on Craigslist if you really don't want to hold onto it.

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