Fixed-gear Brake Saga
Special Coverage of the Fixed-gear Brake Saga
Portland courts and law enforcement officials are in a state of confusion about whether or not fixed-gear bicycles should be required to have a separate hand brake.
Judges have come down on both sides of the issue but some Portland police officers continue to issue citations.
A change in the law was sought by local bike lawyer Mark Ginsberg and southern Oregon Senator Jason Atkinson in 2007. Senate Bill 729 would have clarified the existing bicycle brake equipment requirement so that fixed-gear bicycles would not have needed an additional brake (as long as they meet the performance standard).
Unfortunately, the fixed-gear language was stripped from the bill by one pivotal lawmaker (Senator Ginny Burdick) at the 11th hour and the issue persists.