Does Kris Holm?

Use a brake when he does MUni? Do you guys think it is necessary? Has it REALLY helped out or not. Just wondering because I dont know if i want a brake or not. Thanks

The age old answer is: If you have to ask if you need a brake then you probably don’t. Seriously though a brake is very useful on very steep terrain where you need to be concentrating more on line choice than controlling your speed with your legs. A brake is also very useful on very long, sustained downhill grades (perhaps less steep) where using your legs to brake can tire you out; especially on a really long MUni ride.

Yes, Kris uses a brake on his MUni.

I spent my first three years of riding MUni without a brake. A brake is not necessary, but it definitely helps, assuming you’re skilled enough to take advantage of it. I’ve found that it not only helps on really steep trails but also for bigger drops. With the brake it’s easier to control my speed as I’m approaching a drop, and then I can also use the brake to slow my momentum just after I land the drop. Also, it seems to be less scary to ride fast with a brake because I don’t have to worry about if I can stop with my leg power alone.

At my age … 51 years old … a brake helps immeasurably. I don’t think I could do MUni without it!
The skill is quick to learn and makes those steep down-hills doable for me.

Having a brake helps on steep downhill like most have said or will say. I use one but don’t think i need it, it does help but i’ve found fast MUni is sooo much more fun then slowish downhill (I’m not saying slowish Muni isnt fun it is :D) I have also found that it has improved my downhill riding on more tenchial areas

To me this depends on crank length. With the 165s I won’t need a brake, with the 150s it is optional and with 137s it is necessary (talking about downhill only)

yes you have to take crank length into considertion. I use 137/165mm double hole

My knees require them. They are pretty stiff after I ride but before I had brakes, they were plain sore! I miss youth.

I’ve always ridden muni without a brake until very recently. I had a brake on my 36er for long downhills (lets you ride faster without bouncing than if you brake with your legs, as well as saving energy), but never bothered on the muni because I ride mostly xc rather than super steep DH. A few months ago I got hold of a cheap HS33 and put it on the muni (26x3" with 150s). I still don’t use it a huge amount, but I find it’s really useful on loose descents - you can control the speed much more smoothly with the brake and are far less likely to lose traction than when you’re leg braking.

So, like the others said, you don’t NEED a brake unless you ride super steep downhills all the time, but if you’ve got one it’s nice even if you don’t use it that much.

You can pick up an HS33 or HS22 pretty cheaply if you look around on ebay. I bought a set off a bike, then sold one brake and all the bike mounting brackets and boosters. The brake I kept ended up costing me £6 :slight_smile:
Of course, I still needed to buy 4-bolt clamps and a lever bracket, but overall it didn’t work out expensive, so I don’t mind if I don’t use it too much.


I find it depends a lot where you ride.

Here, I live at the bottom of a valley, so I have steepish hills on most of the rides I do, and it is pretty handy. I also have some long, a bit rocky but very fast descents where I use them. It is nice to have a brake here.

Recently we went to Cannock Chase, which is a fun place to ride, and very fast riding, with some nice little technical challenges, but is mainly relatively flat, probably 30m of difference in height between the toppest and the bottomest bits and I found I hardly used the brake at all, maybe on a couple of sharp little drop bits, and on some of the switchbacks.

I’ve also ridden lift assisted downhill in the Alps. I couldn’t do that without a brake, a whole week of 3000m+ descent days without a brake would have left me completely broken.

So it kind of depends on where you ride.

The main reason brakes are neat is because you can really push the speed on the downhills with them and the steepness of stuff you ride. They let you ride downhill a lot more like a bike would, fast and smooth, rather than having to keep it in check with your legs, which inevitably has a bit of jerkyness on steep and sustained downhills.

If I was buying a first muni, I’d not bother buying a brake, but I’d make sure that it had brake fittings on the frame, so I could fit one if I wanted.


Ahhhh … to have youth back!!!

I’m getting a brake for my Muni, I’ve found some really technical and steep trails and I can’t do them without brake. I never tried a brake before, I hope it’s not gonna be too hard to get used to it :slight_smile:

Haha no it only took me like 10min to use it nicly on downhills:D

Cool! I hope it’s gonna be as fast to learn as you did!:stuck_out_tongue: I’ll have to built my own custom spooner because I’m gonna have a HS-22 witch is not compatible with the KH spooner.
Anyone got an idea with what I could built it?

You just need something that makes the end wider and flatter. You could probably hack something together with a couple of small bits of wood and some bolts or something. It wouldn’t be as good as a spooner but it might just do the job.

If you can get hold of one, these:
are quite good. Make sure you get the right one for your handle hand.


Thanks for the link, buy sadly my friend ordered yesterday and I ordered a week ago, I only order when I need more than one thing. And normaly only when it’s somthing that is really needed. I’ll try to make a spooner with some plastic little plates and ducktape.

Yes I have the Delta and its great but I got the wrong side :smiley: but I just turned it round.

I pretty much put mine on found a small but long hill and just went for it. I use mine more as adrag brack on long descents. Soo just dont pull it up heaps and you’ll be fine (by that I mean not face plant:D)

Not only does KH use a brake, he’s a master of feathering it on super steep DH runs. It’s very much an acquired art, and very helpful for some (me). It also results in much smoother pedal action on step terrain since back-pressuring is not the only means of limiting speed - the entire point of using a brake.

That much said, you should learn to ride sans brake, otherwise you’re back-pressuring skills (essential for all hard Muni) will never get deveolped.


I didn’t like it when I first started doing muni, now I use it for long downhills and steep descents. It takes some skill to feather to the brake so it doesn’t dump you, esp if the track is rough. I won’t ride without one, but there are days when I don’t use it much.

I like it enough that I’m getting my son one :astonished: