Fixie bikes are all about simplicity. Besides just having one fixed gear with no associated derailleurs, shifters or freehubs, many of them don't even have brakes – instead, riders just stop them by stopping pedalling. Italian manufacturer OML, however, has introduced a braking system that may meet the minimalist standards of fixie riders. It's called Wire Brake, and it replaces two brake levels with a single plastic-housed wire.
Wire Brake is designed to work on bullhorn or drop bars, with its braking wire stretching across the gap between the two sides. Pulling or pushing on that wire at any location (with either or both hands) creates tension, activating the front and rear brakes simultaneously – or activating just one brake, if that's all the bike has.
Besides looking non-comformist and "urban," the Wire Brake's other claimed attributes include the facts that it has far fewer pieces than dual brake levers, it's lighter, cheaper, less prone to damage, and works with any type of cable-activated brakes.
Do-it-yourselfers, in fact, have made similar setups before – we saw a variation on the concept on Rasmus Gjesing's award-winning one-off bike at last year's NAHBS show.
If you'd like to give your bike the Wire Brake treatment, OML is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter. Pledge levels range from €16 (about US$18) for a 1-brake kit that you add to your own bars, to €133 ($146) for a set of bullhorn bars that are ready to work with two brakes. For bigger spenders, there are also bikes available with the system already built in.
More information is available in the pitch video below.