Author Topic: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland  (Read 2161 times)

Offline khe killah

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2020, 12:01:39 AM »
Yo Mal...

You need to check this guy out, the speed of the new school but the tricks of the mid school...

Lots of links I've never seen before, this section has truly blown my mind! Respect to Nick Watts, i would love to see more flatland riders like this.

Nick Watts - Landscapes 3 section
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 12:03:48 AM by khe killah »

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2020, 12:08:11 AM »
Hey mal, "I think that now,the average age of a flatlander is not below 30." That is sad somehow but you made me smile. I think it is true...
A riding friend of me who basically does not ride anymore because he was frustrated somehow once said to me that he thinks that in some way Kevin Jones killed flatland because he turned it into a very complex sport which is so difficult to learn. That might be one reason why hardly anyone starts... But on the other hand I see some new (or mid school) combos which are so beautiful and think this would not be possible without Kevin's contribution. So in the end I like it how it is.

Offline mal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2020, 03:13:49 AM »
Yo Mal...

You need to check this guy out, the speed of the new school but the tricks of the mid school...

Lots of links I've never seen before, this section has truly blown my mind! Respect to Nick Watts, i would love to see more flatland riders like this.

Nick Watts - Landscapes 3 section
yeah,i have seen him,he is very inventive!

Offline mal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2020, 03:16:33 AM »
Hey mal, "I think that now,the average age of a flatlander is not below 30." That is sad somehow but you made me smile. I think it is true...
A riding friend of me who basically does not ride anymore because he was frustrated somehow once said to me that he thinks that in some way Kevin Jones killed flatland because he turned it into a very complex sport which is so difficult to learn. That might be one reason why hardly anyone starts... But on the other hand I see some new (or mid school) combos which are so beautiful and think this would not be possible without Kevin's contribution. So in the end I like it how it is.
What can you say about Kevin Jones,there should be a statue of him somewhere in the flatland world..!

Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2020, 11:33:48 AM »
When I got back into riding, after a 10-year pause, I recovered all my tricks, many of which used brakes for rideouts and saving balance at the critical point. Then I took them off and, like others have said, I lost almost everything. It took me some years to actually do the same things without the brakes, and that was all my progress. Despite that, I'm glad I did it, because I feel I really gained more control, far beyond my previous level. On the other hand, some tricks are still very dangerous for me (pedal glides rolling backwards), because once you start to fall things happen very quick, and you are holding the bars with all your strength, so sometimes there's little chance to save yourself from a nasty crash. The weird thing is, I have practiced these tricks so much that I can to them without touching the brake at all, but if I remove it, then I tend to fail the trick. So, it must be a matter of mental discipline, and maybe some day I'll make it completely brakeless. The question is if it is worth it.

Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2020, 11:41:38 AM »
Another brakeless challenge for me is pinky squeaks. I can do many with brakes, but my absolute best without brakes is only four, and most of the time I manage only three, or even two. I also lose consistence, failling more than I pull off. Again, sometimes I wonder if it's worth it, and I just put the front brake back on.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 12:04:40 PM by Rufus »

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2020, 10:57:04 AM »
Hey Rufus, four pinky squeaks without a brake ist hard! I tried it some time ago but did not keep on practising because it was too hard. I stepped over the frame two times (so to say three rounds of the frame) here and there, but I needed endless tries for that. So props for doing four! This is one of the tricks that is about 10 times as hard without brakes.

Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2020, 11:35:42 AM »
It is not frequent to see someone doing those. A few years ago there was a pinky squeak contest in this forum, and someone did nine in the brakeless category, but they were fire hydrants, not really pinky squeaks (it was impressive, though).

For me, it is so frustrating to lose consistency due to the abscense of brakes, sometimes making me wonder what's the point of all that suffering. And yet, I keep coming back to the quest for trascendental balance, and take them off again. Maybe some day I will do them perfectly, in another ten years.

Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2020, 11:43:24 AM »
Another oldschool move that becomes interesting when done brakeless is the multiple boomerang without touching the frame. I have never seen anyone doing more than four, and that was Dennis McCoy in the late eighties. Beautiful trick.

Offline DaddyCool

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2020, 09:11:37 PM »
About the pinky squeaks: I really enjoyed this:
https://vimeo.com/94884276
About the multiple boomerang (some call it hangglider as far as I know): I am almost sure that Albert Retey did five in one of the super early videos from Marton from around 1994, but I am not sure if it was completely brakeless. Very stylish in any case! I think the video's name was "Steam Engine". Do you know it?

Offline Hugo @ Portugal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2020, 10:32:43 PM »
Not being exactly a good rider, personally I quit brakes because I couldn't withstand no more the need to be constantly adjusting them and even then sometimes they failed on me which was very frustrating. That being said, I don't even remember making the switch to brakeless, I know that it was with my first true flatland setup but I don't remember how hard it was to live with it on the weeks that came.

One thing I believe though, as hard as flatland is, having a brake on the end you specialised in, either the front or the rear wheel, does help a lot I am sure, hell some tricks may not even be doable without it or at least a lot of pain will be required to achieve it.

Brakeless in my humble opinion offers a much smoother, all around more beautiful flow, brakes on the other hand easily cut the flow down and for as much as I love the now classic videos that everyone has in great regard, I enjoy a lot more the modern riders style and their (mostly) brakeless riding.


Regarding kids quitting soon after they try it.
I don't think brakes are to blame for. Laziness and youth probably! It is much cooler to bunnyhop off/onto a garden seat or to manual out of one. It looks dangerous and so it gets extra points. In short terms, there is much more to gain in "style points" learning bunnyhops and manuals and being able to link them than to learn a steamroller or an hang5.
Kids quit because it is much easier to find another guy with a street bike than a lone dude on a parking lot doing backpackers.
After knowing how to pull Hang5, Steamrollers and maybe hitchhikers, I cant recall, I tried to teach two kids. Guess what, they never went past the barspin, they learned it but for reasons I can't understand I never saw them practicing without me and they simple vanished. Personal issues? Lack of interest? Lifes tough i guess, not everyone can afford to lear flatland.

I always, always, rode alone, there are no flatlanders where I live and very few are active in Portugal at all that I know of. Sure, I never put any effort in meeting the few that are still riding or that rode in the past, but locally I have always been "doomed" to learning everything on my own by watching videos and I can imagine that it must be better if you have someone to guide you, challenge you and progress with you. Flatland does not give you that, not in most of Europe at least, not in the 21st century.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 10:43:31 PM by Hugo @ Portugal »




Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2020, 01:26:09 PM »
Wow, thanks for that video...!! I'm going to try them like that. If I manage to pull even a just few, I might never put the brakes back again. Yes, the handglider. I think I remember that video your're talking about. I think he had brakes, though.

Offline jerky

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2020, 10:43:45 PM »
The bike I built last summer to return to riding has brakes since my goals are pretty low and just wanted to have some fun relearning stuff I had in the 90s. One thing I never mastered back then was multiple whiplashes so that has become one of my goals for this year. A lot of the conversation has focused on "to brake or not to brake" but is there anyone that took the approach of building two rigs one with brakes and one without? I was able to pick up an identical used frame to what I'm currently riding over the winter with the aim to build an identical brakeless counterpart allowing the luxury of not needing to dismantle or disconnect anything if I want to work on something without the safety net of brakes. Am I alone in this (possibly mad and admittedly luxurious) line of thinking?

Offline mal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2020, 10:17:24 AM »
The bike I built last summer to return to riding has brakes since my goals are pretty low and just wanted to have some fun relearning stuff I had in the 90s. One thing I never mastered back then was multiple whiplashes so that has become one of my goals for this year. A lot of the conversation has focused on "to brake or not to brake" but is there anyone that took the approach of building two rigs one with brakes and one without? I was able to pick up an identical used frame to what I'm currently riding over the winter with the aim to build an identical brakeless counterpart allowing the luxury of not needing to dismantle or disconnect anything if I want to work on something without the safety net of brakes. Am I alone in this (possibly mad and admittedly luxurious) line of thinking?
i would do it for sure if i had the money

Offline Rufus

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2020, 10:31:24 AM »
I have done that, too. Two identical bikes, one with brakes and one without. In truth, I started doing that because I constantly moved between two cities, and always travelling with the bike was a hassle. But it is a great training method.

I have found that, if the brake is there, I tend to use it, and I also tend to avoid brakeless tricks that can lead to painful crashes. So, at the end, it is a good practice method to get the feeling for some brakeless tricks, but at some point you really have to let them go if you want to make progress.
As Hugo said, I enjoy riding brakeless much more. It feels like a "purer", more essential form of riding to me. And, as has been said in another thread, I see my riding as meditation. I don't do it to be seen, or to socialize, but to concentrate, and to keep fit. I cant afford to get hurt, though, and that's when brakes come back, albeit temporarily.