Disc brakes on a uni

Has anyone tried putting a disc brake hub on a uni and rocked that? If so, how well did it work? It would be optimal in muddy conditions and could be easily routed on the frame.

It’s been done before successfully, you have to alter the hub, frame and do all sorts of machining and welding. If you’re a confident metal craftsman you should have no problems. Use the search feature to find pics of some that have been done in the past.

It has been done on the Red Menace, here’s a link Red Menace 36 update . I’ve seen another uni with this, but I cant remember where.

Seems like a bad idea for unicycles. Hit your disk and your pretty much done.

I was thinking about this though. Have to have a disc protector. That would be balla’.

I don’t see why it’d be any different to having disk brakes on bikes. We’re not likely to need a disk brake on a 20", maybe even a 24", and we’re not likely to be doing tricks on 26" uni’s and upwards. Any damage would be similar, possibly not as bad as that from mountain bikes due to our lower speeds.

Agreed. And also, if a unicycle wheel (or bike wheel for that matter) gets buckled badly, it will cause problems for a conventional rim brake.


A disc brake is an overkill and could be too much braking that would lead to a crash, esp off road.

I find that at times even the hydraulic rim brake is too strong, esp if I’m riding a rough DH and find my tire losing traction as I brake, which causes me to be all jerky down the hill.

If it ain’t broke…

disc brake

i would love a disc brake for muni ,hope hyraulic brakes discs on a moutain bike are so good over any other brake the feed back everything is better

In the Peaks in the UK, it rains about 10% of the time so the trails are muddy nearly 1/4 of the time. Rim brakes, even hydraulic, are a poor second to a disc in these conditions. I personally think that these are long overdue on muni’s but also realise I am in a minority and so will shut up now :slight_smile:

I think a nice spongy cable disc brake would be better than Magura rim brakes. If the parts became available to put a disc on a uni it would only make sense that a new pad designed for control, and not stopping would be part of the deal. There used to be felt brake pads for steel rims. Something like that would be a possibility for a uni disc brake.

I kind of agree. The lumpy braking thing that nurse ben is talking about - i think it is due to rim imperfections, stuff on the rim, or just uneven braking / pedalling - a disc wouldn’t have any more of a problem. It’d also allow for more precise braking because the pads have to move less far.

P.s. Where in the Peak District do you ride? I’m often riding down at the Matlock end.

I don’t know that I’d want less stopping power than my Magura brake gives me, and I can see how a disc brake could be better in very wet conditions. There are times when I’ve put enough pressure on the brake to squeal the rim going down steep downhill. And being able to lock the wheel is good for making really tight turns on a downhill. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to feathering the brake in most cases–the Spooner seems to have made a huge difference.

Id have to say that i can’t wait till discs become available on unis. even though the hydro rimmies have heaps of power at slow speeds, great for slow controlled descents on steep sections, as soon as you start going fast they don’t seem to stop you anywhere near as well as discs, im thinking this has something to do with the rubber in the pads heating up detracting from its performance which doesn’t seem to affect the ceramics used in disc brake pads as much.

As for damage to the discs its no more of a hassle than braking the stupid plastic hydro lines. If you stack spectacularly enough chances are something will get broken, regardless of what type of brake you’re running

And yes discs give much smoother braking and you don’t have to constantly worry about keeping your rims true just to use the brakes properly

but that’s just my 2cents

When I started riding (bike) trials, disc brakes were just starting to be used for front brakes. Everyone howled on about how easy they are to damage etc. Now it is unusual to see trials bikes with out them and even rear discs are very common now. It is surprisingly hard (but certainly not impossible) to bend a disk rotor. A number of times i ended up with my full weight on them after botched sidehops or slipping off of skinnys and i never even bent one. I put a slight dent into one on my jump bike after I managed to do an eight foot feeble grind that somehow landed on my rear disk instead of my pedal. The bend was slight enough that it is only noticable by sound as i ride. it doesn’t even drag. I also weigh in at 100kg (220lb) so its not like i’m a lightweight.

The only concern I have with disks on unis is the required dish to the wheel. Uni’s are notoriously hard on wheels anyway. It may be enough to weaken wheels for hard freeriders (ie on 24inch) and may destabilise 36 inch wheels as already they need to be as wide at the hub as possible. Some people may be prepared to accept wider frames to reduce this problem. I would, But I am bigger than most people.

I’m from Sheffield so I ride around up near here, around Strines/Ladybower way when I get the chance. Mostly I do street around town these days.

I saw pics of a yellow Muni a guy made to accommodate a disk. He was in a MTB race w/ Andrew Carter. The only real problem for him is he couldn’t pedal grab to that side anymore (which is why he put it on his non preferable grab side).

IMO a lot of it has to do w/ the pads staying cool since disks are drilled, allowing the disk and pads to cool off when the wheel spins quickly.

But if you did break a disk it may seize the wheel, whereas w/ rim breaks, at least you could still ride out. Although w/ a disk it may be possible to remove it from the wheel on the trail if it breaks.

Another thing a new disk is a more expensive repair than cables. For road and XC damage would be unlikely IMO.

I’d get one, but I’d want to see how it holds up to abuse by aggressive riders, and probably wait for it to be a production option.