Do you have brakes on your unicycle?

If your answer is yes do you find them helpful?

Under what conditions or riding locations do your find brakes help?
Example: Prolonged downhill riding, or long distance commuting

Answer: Yes
I love my brake on my KH24, I find I can ride twice as long, as all the trails around me are extremelly hilly and take a certain brake finesse. Getting used to it was easy and now I think it’s the 2nd best tool for increasing my riding distance, second only to my camelbak.

Are brakes pretty expencive to get and put on a uni? I kinda wanna get one for my muni…

Seach ebay and you can get whole setups pretty cheaply, mine cost $30 and are unscratched.

Yes. Maguras on my Muni, and V brakes on my 36er. For DH MUni, they are the diference between control and becoming a “runaway train!”

Case in point:

I’d be interested in adding a brake to my '06 KH24. It’s got all the magura mounts…but suppose I wanted to get one of the cheaper $30 brakes on eBay referenced above? Would they fit, too? Is everything standardized?

$179 seems like an awful lot for a magura from UDC at this point in my financial situation.

Any way I could get off for a lot less and still have a decent brake?

I paid $30 for the same brake listed on UDC, seach ebay for “Magura HS-33” and you can usually pick 'em up pretty cheap, sometimes you still have to get the brake mounts, but they’re only like 15 bucks.

Do I have brakes? Sometimes

Do I find them helpful? Yes. Very much.

I don’t use brakes on my daily commute as there’s not a lot of hills, so they’re not normally fitted to my uni. For things like the 24 hour muni race this summer, or the tour I did through Wales[1], they were fitted and pretty much essential.


[1] Wales is an annagram for 'king hilly place

When I’m big wheel commuting / touring I don’t usually feel the need for brakes because I don’t live in a very hilly area. Hills took some getting used to on the big wheel, and there are certainly hills that I would once have found difficult to ride down in a controlled fashion that I now think nothing of. Being used to the funny technique of holding a big wheel back on a downhill is important (and it’s sensible to get that technique nailed down before riding hills amongst traffic! I had a bad experience due to lack of experience in this area).

My first experiences bigwheeling down paved hills were on a 29er; since then I’ve also been down some much steeper stuff offroad. In the past few months I’ve fitted a cheap calliper brake, which I have been experimenting with occasionally. I find now that a brake can improve control on those very steep hills, particularly if I’m running shorter cranks. For touring a brake can also be useful to take some pressure off your leg during long, steep onroad descents (for this, it may be appropriate to set up a drag brake rather than a normal lever). There’s nothing that I ride where I really need this though; it’s ridiculously flat here :wink:

You can fit a calliper brake by drilling a single hole through the crown of the fork. I got my LBS to do it; they also added some reinforcement to the crown, although I’m not really sure it was necessary. Calliper brakes can be configured as normal grab brakes, or as drag brakes. I’ve heard that folks have had success with using a unindexed gear shifter to control the brake to create an adjustable drag brake (but a gear shifter won’t be able to take such high forces as a brake lever, so possibly you shouldn’t try to brake really hard with one!).

Calliper brakes are dead cheap and just use a normal brake cable. Lots of folks also use maguras, particularly muni-ers. Maguras are hydraulic brakes. The Nimbus 36 has mounts available for maguras - that said, Roger at (who designed the N36 frame) has said that he still thinks a calliper brake is better on a 36".

Hope that helps!

You could buy brake adapters, 4 Bolt Magura to V-Brake conversion.

Those happen to be expensive ones at $45… but you can find cheaper ones I believe as low as $10-$15.

yes, I have them on my KH 24 with 150s

yes I love them, but they are only nice for smooth steep long downhills, because you can’t really use them on rocky bumpy stuff.

so my opinion is that on a coker they are practically mandatory for long rides, and on a muni they are nice.

you can probably get a set of two off ebay for around $80, and then your set for both unis.

No, I only have one brake per unicycle? :stuck_out_tongue:

I have one of my KH29 MUni and one on my N36. Sometimes I’d like one on my KH24, but I usually don’t ride it far enough to reap the “saving the knees” benefit on downhills.

A brake can be quite difficult to use on rough downhills, but there are times when it can really help, especially for larger wheel MUni.

The more I ride my N36, the less I feel a need for a brake on the road. Except for the steepest of roads, I find that I often feather the brake as a precautionary measure more than out of necessity. Smooth pedaling technique can go a long way.

My frame has no mounting for brakes

Since my frame has no mounting brackets for brakes how do I attach them.

Kinda leary about drilling holes into frame.

Any links to how to do this.

if you want maguras you’ll need to get mounts brazed on to your frame, i’m not sure this option is even aviable for v-brakes. Unfortunately frames with brake mounts are expensive as they are high-end pieces of kit so just swapping the frame out will cost a lot.

and to answer your previous questions, I have brakes on my KH24 and N36, on the KH they save leg wear and make rough downhill much more easy, as you can rely on the brakes to keep your speed down, so be light on the pedals for the fine control needed to ride rough terrain. With no brakes you have to be very heavy on the back pedal and lose that fine control. Less important on the N36, but nice to have for the odd serious hill i run in to.

It depends on what kind of brake you want, and how you plan to use it.

If it’s for your 29" just to make steep hills a bit shallower, then a caliper brake would be fine. You will need to drill a hole in the crown though, but that isn’t really too complicated.

There was a detailed write up on how to do this in the first edition of Uni magazine, and there’s some photos to look at here too;


after doing a 2km downhill on the road to get to my offroad trails I decided I would like to try some brakes.Being a stubborn scrooge with scottish ancestry I scrounged around my collection of discarded bike bits and came up with this.I generally use my brakes as a drag down hills it is controlled by an old racer gear changer so it has a friction lever ,you just set it to match the hill and cruise down the hill like it is flat.Only very occasionally do I use it while muniing.

The details of this are:-

Magura mounts cost £20 / $40.

Mine cost me £3/6$ to get them brazed on by the local welding shop. What you need to do to get it cheap is prepare it a bit, then it’s only a 5 minute job for the welder (bike shops will sometimes do magura mounts, but typically for more like another £20):

1)Work out where the mounts need to go on the frame.
2)Sand off the top layer of chrome from where the tabs on the brake mounts touch the frame.
3)Clamp the mounts onto the frame using hose clamps (I needed a small block of wood and a hose clamp for the size clamps I had hanging around). The hose clamps cost 50p each from a hardware shop.
4)Make sure it’s all in the right place. Having a bolt in the mount helps here as you can see how straight it is. The specifications for where it has to be compared to the rim are on
5)Make really really sure it’s all in the right place
6)Take it to the welding shop, say any chance you can weld the tabs on these mounts on, and how much.

You can alternatively get v-brake mounts put on, cost something like £10-£20 2 of our local bike shops can do it, so I guess it’s just a matter of asking round your local bike shops until you find one that can.


v-brake (drilled):

That’s a caliper brake, not a v-brake.