I do remember when I used to bike to school and back, living in the countryside in the flatlands of the Fens, brakes were never anything I needed that much. I would hop onto my bike at home, and then hop off as I arrived at school. I am pretty sure for years, brakes just didn’t feature as a working entity on my bike, and it was never a problem. Similar when biking to work for years, going in a straight line along the flat seafront, braking at the odd junction at either end.
Times change, I now have hills to go down which require a lot of slowing down, especially as it includes a number of junctions of which I have seen two people on bikes being cut up by cars crossing and due to their speed unable to stop in a dignified manner (flying across the bonnet does not class as such) – so you really do have to be in control. The ride is longer too, covers some city roads, some main roads, some hills. Pedestrians on the cycle path with little notice, other people on bikes on front of you doing random things….
A bit surprised that the Fairfax, only three weeks old, 300 miles done, rear brake blocks gone and front ones not much left. Cheap rubber, made of butter? Out of interest, I had a look back and I noticed after around the first 300 mile on the Royal I had the same problem, it seems brakes are an after thought on new bikes.
I’ve used Clarkes brake blocks before with their three different colour/type of rubber, and haven’t had a problem on performance and price. It only took 5 minutes to fit and I just only have to remember on Monday morning when I first use them…. try to remember and not launch myself over the handlebars….