Brakes on the Coker???

I recently started riding a coker in the trails. I’ve been thinking about riggin up some brakes, and I was hoping for some insight from others.

What has been your experiences?

Some love their brakes and some don’t, I think it partly depends on the terrain you usually ride on - if it’s in Florida (too flat for brakes) or if you are in really good shape and not used to having them, then brakes are not much use. I think if you use brakes on trails without the Coker, then you’ll probably like them (even more) on a Coker. I found I like mine (but then, I’m a wimp on New England roads) after I put brakes on my Coker and posted this thread about them. Still, I’m planning a trip to the C&O canal and believe that I will remove them prior to the trip - after all, the C&O has only 600 feet of elevation in 184 miles - to save the weight.

I find that I actually go faster :astonished: :slight_smile: down any hill with the brakes because I have more control.

I recently added a standard BMX caliper brake to mine with the hole drilled into the frame right above the tire. I like it a lot. It makes downhills smoother and much easier on the knees, especially with shorter cranks.

Oh, and you don’t need “brakes”. Just one brake should suffice.

I’ve got a brake on my Schlumpf and it is nice to have. Never bothered on the coker, cos I only ride it on the road, but there have been a few times when one would be nice, like when you’re 3/4 of the way round an 80 mile road ride and there’s a massive downhill.

There are instructions and pictures for fitting a caliper brake* in uni magazine (issue 1), although apparently it’s pretty straightforward.

If you’re using it on technical offroad you’ll probably want a normal brake, for road use some people set it up as a drag brake, which you can just leave slightly on when you’re doing a big road downhill.


*which is probably the type of brake you want for a coker.

I have a brake on my Coker. The brake is very useful for the kind of riding I do with it.

I’ve been riding a loop around Port Townsend that includes a short downhill XC trail section that I would not be able to ride without the brake. Walking that section wouldn’t be a big deal, but being able to ride it is nice (and a bit hairy). There are some other XC trails where the brake is useful as well.

A brake is also nice for long downhill descents. When I climb Hurricane Ridge it is nice to have the brake to save the legs on the way down. It’s 17 miles of downhill that loses a mile of elevation. You can do descents like that without a brake but you have to a lot of training to get your legs in shape for the abuse so you’ll be able to walk normally after the ride is done. I can do the ride up fine, but the ride down would kill my legs without the brake.

There are some short steep downhill road (paved) sections where the brake is nice for a controlled ride down the hill.

Downside is that the brake makes it more important to keep the wheel in true. A little wheel wobble will rub the brake pads (I have a Magura brake on the Coker). A caliper brake can be set up to float a bit so wheel wobble is less of an issue.

What is a caliper brake?

It’s a cable actuated brake.
Some of them can be mounted such that they float so they can handle wobbles in the rim.

Here’s an example of one style of caliper brake that would float. It’s not what looks like a quality brake (found it with a quick Google image search). There are better ones out there that would do the job.

Thanks for the tips guys. I think I will try “a brake”.

if you’re doing somewhat rocky trails, I wouldn’t suggest a brake. Pulling the break while going through or over rocks can cause you to endo (I don’t know if that’s the term you use in unicycling, it is for biking) But if you’re just doing fire roads then absolutely.

i disagree. the technical rocky sections would also be a great place to have a brake, especially on long downhill technical ride. you don’t have to spend as much energy trying to slow yourself down, you can save all your efforts for the obstacles. You’ll only endo once :slight_smile:

I don’t currently use a brake. Most of the trails I ride are flat - not many hills in this part of the UK - which makes a brake fairly redundant.

Steep downward slopes can sometimes simply be spun out of at high speed on a Coker. For longer slopes, I sometimes wish I had a brake to hold back the large wheel, but I’m generally finding that this perceived need goes away with practice…

I’ve heard that having a brake can be used to assist in mounting on the trails, which might be nice.

I’m tempted to fit a brake at some point. It’s worth noting that a caliper brake is a fairly cheap bit of kit and quite easy to install - not much lost if you don’t like it (other than having a hole in your frame!). If you decide to try it, just make sure you don’t mess up your frame, and be careful when using it for the first time :wink:

not many hills round where you live??? come try living where i live LOL

ahaha mind you my parents are moving to cambridge next year… so maybe i’ll experience abit of flat land when i come back from uni…