I’ve been riding a 24" torker DX for a while and one of my friends noticed the mount for a brake and asked if I was going to get brakes for it (hes the kind of guy who would buy them even if he didn’t need them just so he had them) I really have no idea why I would need brakes, im kind of new to the uni world so ya if any one could tell me what brakes would be usefull for and why I would need them please let me know.
And one extra part to break or need maintenance. It is not uncommon for a brake lever handle to break off when the unicycle takes a fall. So you have to be prepared to pay for replacement brake lever handles. You also have to be prepared for the maintenance requirements (bleeding the brake for a hydraulic style brake and the necessary equipment to do so).
Agreed, that on a coker, they can have a point. However, on a 24" DX, I think they’re mostly pointless. Very rarely will you be doing smooth enough (as opposed to rocky, as this isn’t very “brake”-able terrain) and steep enough descents for brakes to be helpful.
A lot of the top MUni riders, including KH, use brakes for MUni; it reduces the amount of energy required quite a bit. I’ve ridden with one briefly, and I could see the benefit even in just a few minutes of use, but personally I prefer the simplicity of the brakeless uni, so I’m not going out and buying one.
If you’re not sure, you probably don’t need them (yet).
If you already know what they’re good for, you probably know if you’ll need them yourself. For example, if you live in Florida you don’t need brakes. If you live in Santa Cruz and like to ride in De Laveaga every day, you can ride more with brakes. They’re great for really steep stuff, allowing you to ride some places you couldn’t ride without them. Basically they’re good for long hills or steep hills.
And you can always get by without them, though there may be a few spots you can’t ride. That’s where I am now. Nothing in my local area is impossible for me if I work at it, but I’ve been to De Laveaga and seen where a brake can make a huge difference.
Also I consider having one essential on my Coker. Again, if you live in Florida you don’t need one on the Coker either!
I would confirm that brakes are almost necessary in certain cases - typically when riding down very steep tracks.
Personally I have mounted a Magura brake on my KH24, my KH29 and my Nimbus 36.
Having it on my 24" Muni is useful because of the steepness of downhill tracks => brakes will help me keeping control on the speed / in those cases, without brake, I feel like there is nothing much to do to prevent the Muni from going crazy. To give you an idea of the kind of braking I am talking about: once the Magura brake pads have been pre-pressed using the little red wheel on the lever, the wheel will be very difficult to roll by hands, almost impossible to move, actually. Only the steepness of the track plus the weight of the unicyclist will make the wheel rolling.
As a comparison, on my Nimbus 36, the brake will primarily be used to help my legs in long down roads. In this case, the brake is “just” a comfort, while on my Muni I do not see it so much as a comfort but rather as an “enabler”.
Pretty obviously, the brake on my KH29 (XC Muni) will equally serve both purposes.
Note that I live in Grenoble, in the French Alps - i.e. there are very steep tracks around there.
To make a long story short I pretty like John Foss’ statement: “if you’re not sure, you probably don’t need them”.
If you’re a flatlander, then I couldn’t even imagine trying to imagine them. I live in the glacial region, and we have steep hills everywhere. To me, there’s nuthin’ cooler than hauliin’ a$$ down a super steep incline with a hand on the brakes. Average people on bikes wouldn’t do it, and any spectators can’t believe what they’re seeing. Plus they look REALLY impressive and intimidating on a MUni.