Advice on good 29er with brakes?

I’m looking for my next uni. I want to be able to ride fairly long distances (1-20 miles) , mainly on (not so nice) roads with lots of steep sections, some very steep. So far, I’ve been riding a 24," and I feel that I really want a brake on my next uni (though I’ve never tried one).
How are brakes for descending long, steep hills? Do they work like I’m imagining (enjoyably cruising down the hill)?
I’m thinking of buying a used Yuni 29er w/ Big Apple. Has anyone mounted a brake to a Yuni 29er?
The other option I’m considering is a refurbished Coker from, but the brakes they offer for it are out of stock. Does anyone know how they mount brakes to these Cokers? I have read long threads about the difficulty (impossibility) of mounting brakes to stock coker frames.
I would also appreciate any other recommendations as to other 29er’s that would work well with a brake.


I had brakes added to my 29er by Dave Stockton. Below is link to a picture.

I found the braking somewhat poor with this brake set up. It does slow you down on descents, however, I really wanted more braking power. I got spoiled with my Magura Hs33s on my MUni so that’s what I expected. If you go to the album here
, it will show you a profile of the lever set up. It was designed with a drag brake. The lever was a shifter lever that ratcheted from position to position. It worked okay, but I later replaced it with a stock brake lever and shortened the cable. This helped a bit, but the flex in the stock miyata seat base reduced it’s efficiency. When I pulled up hard on the brake lever, the seat would flex downward negating the leverage that was needed. In one last effort to modify this set up, I will replace inexpensive brake pads with something more expensive that would have a better compound. Hopefully that will help out.

Dave, while working with Ben Plotkin Swing, recently, came up with a very suitable set up. This is a far better setup than mine. The thread is here
I would suggest going that route.

dont waste you money on a hydralic Magura brake for a 28/29er. Pitbull and V-brakes are plenty strong and clear a fat 29er tyre easy.

so either drill a hole through the crown for a Pitbull or weld on some bosses for a V-brake. dont settle for a side pull brake,they suck when you have only one wheel.

Hey, I’m after exactly the same thing in a 29er and I am currently saving up for the Dave Stockton Endurance 29er in the thread above. Dave is very VERY friendly and helpful and has answered many of my silly questions with full in depth answers from everything on price and shipping to functionality and asthetics and getting the unicycle to suit me.

I definately recommend asking him.

Thanks for the advice.

Teachndad, what’s the big advantage with Magura brakes? The only reason I think I want brakes is for long, steep descents. I don’t want to make this a thread about Magura vs. V brakes, but I didn’t think I needed Mag’s, so I want to hear more about why you’re not satisfied with your setup (as that looks like what I wanted! although I would definately want a Big Apple tire)

Also, why did you originally leave that long coil of brake cable like that? I haven’t yet messed with installing brakes; is cutting the brake cable to the right length going to be a problem?

How is this so? You didn’t mount the brake handle to that bar where you mounted the original shift lever? (shown in your pic)

How much is Dave charging for his Endurance 29er? Is he basically adding a brake and handle to any 29er frame you want? Or what exactly is he selling?


I was estimated that the Endurance 29er as shown would cost around US$999. It’s not just the brake, but the custom airseat and wheel etc. He can do the Sem XL frame shown or Hunter or GB4 frames too. Pretty much anything I think, there’s so much choice!

It’s best to ask him tho, I contacted and got everything I needed to know very quickly- he is very nice. I’m definately getting the uni- I’m sooo tempted by the Hunter frame!

Yes. Anyone have pic/experience with a Hunter 29er?


“Teachndad, what’s the big advantage with Magura brakes? The only reason I think I want brakes is for long, steep descents.”

Originally, when I wanted to buy the 29er, I wanted to use it off road for cross country riding - fire roads and the like. I wanted some brakes for the descents, which could be steep. So, in my ignorance, I assumed that the braking would be similar to the Maguras on my Muni. I’m not recommmending them for the 29er, I just mentioned it as a reference for stopping power. The current set up on the 29er probably reduced leg braking by 25 percent. It’s noticeble, but you still have to pedal with back pressure.

You only need a drill press to drill into the frame and then the brake mounting hardware.

I still want to try different pads, but I am afraid, that might not happen for a while. So, I can’t give you any feedback on that. Ask Dave what he thinks.

“Also, why did you originally leave that long coil of brake cable like that?”

I left it long like that only because, I never got around to it. At the time I took the picture, I was busy and figured I would get to it someday. Sadly, it hangs in the garage most of the time. I probably have only ridden it 6 - 8 times. One of which was off road.

“is cutting the brake cable to the right length going to be a problem?”

I actually didn’t cut the cable, I had an old pile of junk MTB frame lying around and took the cable housings off that. I found a piece that was just long enough.

“How is this so? You didn’t mount the brake handle to that bar where you mounted the original shift lever?” (shown in your pic)

I ended up cutting that bar(bar end extender) shorter. I took one of the brake levers off the old mtb and mounted it on the shortened bar extender.

I will post a photo of the revised brake handle set up so you can see what I mean. That should happen in the next few days - sorry for the delay. We are traveling this weekend.

Dave built the wheel also and recommended the rim, and spokes. Thats a WTB motoraptor tire. Originally, it was a 28er, but I went to the 29"tire to get more support for offroad.

Hope that helps.


Here is the revised brake lever set up image

Thanks for all those answers.

I just ordered my new Yuni w/ Big Apple from Can’t wait!

I’m impressed with what Dave is doing to 29ers, but I can’t spend a grand on one.

I really do still want a brake, but I’ll have to see what I can do myself. The
Rad V Brake Mount looks doable, too bad it’s out of stock.

I guess I’ll just be riding brakeless for now, I’m super stoked about trying this new uni though, esp with the BA.

A lot of bike shops will braze on brake mounts for you. I’ve seen a yuni frame with the mounts brazed on and it looked fine. I think it costs about £20 or so if you only want the brazed on bits for standard v-brakes and don’t want painting or anything else doing to it. Tell them you want v-brake mounts brazed on to a front fork.