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I remember when I was a kid, I had a bike with the brakes where you press backward on the pedal and it would lock up the rear tire. Was great for doing little skids, and it did slow me down when I need to.
So, my question is: If people like fixies for low cost of maintenance and simplicity. Why not have a single speed, with the type of brake I had on my old bike? You get to free wheel, and you can stop without having to worry about levers, lines, etc.
Can you get the type of brakes I'm talking about on a 700c wheel/hub?