MountainUni brake discussion

To all disk brakers

Do you have a MtnUni disk brake system, or some other type of disk-brake?
Which of your uni(s) have MtnUni Disks?

I’ve used a MountainUni disk brake with UCM (Unicycle Caliper Mount) all spring and summer, first on my KH29g, then on the KH24. MountainUni’s UCM, in combo with the spider-crank mounted disk is an ingenious and simple way to rig up a disk brake on a uni. I’m not advertising for MountainUni, I will say they have nice products and impeccable customer service. I truly love the system, and I’ll probably put it on my Coker, next.

I’m not an expert “braker” on a uni. On pavement I’m alright, but on steep, uneven terrain, applying the brake often finds me UPDing in the near future. Bearing that in mind, here are a couple thoughts I have about this system…

  • I’d like to have more ability to modulate the hydraulic brake - it’s VERY sensitive, with only a tiny bit of “squeeze” distance. Any slight waver on the squeezing hand, caused by bumpy trails, or whatever, can be disastrous.

  • I’ve bent two of the rotor-disks since I switched it to the KH24. First time, I failed to clear a rock-pile, and the uni fell, rotor-side-down, on rocks, bent. Second time the uni and I both fell trying to clear a log-stack, and the disk hit a log, bent. Since the pads of a disk brake are no more than a couple mm apart, it doesn’t take much of a bend to make riding impossible.

Again, I’m no expert, just that I fall too much doing hard muni to prevent this drop-n-bend behavior. I think MountainUni system is the best aftermarket brake set up available for unicycles, but, for me, the outboard disk set up is not great for technical muni.


I don’t have an outboard disc brake yet, but I do have an inboard disc brake on my Oregon. Looking at how it is situated, though it is an inch further inboard from potential impacts than the MountainUni rotor, it’s still vulnerable to damage. To date the only problem I’ve had was a damaged lever due to a UPD.

That said, I have broken three Magura rim brakes in the three years due to UPD’s, two levers (fatally) and one slave fitting (temporary), so brakes in general are the most fragile component on a uni.

In terms of sensitivety, your options are to try a different pad (organic), shorten the lever (less leverage), adjust the caliper so you have less pad contacting the disc, or run a smaller disc (not sure if that’s an option). Other than that, you could try and find a “weaker” caliper if you can figure out how to determine strength or calipers.

Practice would help, I certainly wasn’t very safe braking when I got my first maguras, but now I use my brake quite often and feel lost without it. Try riding with a wet brake, try some sustained downhills where you glide the brake while pedaling with moderate pressure, use a single finger or remove your spooner and just work with a bare lever.

Have you been able to straighten the rotor once it’s bent?

I think this is an issue with disc brakes in general, one that effects bikes as well, but of course they don’t crash as much as we do :wink:

Trials and BMX/trick riders often forgo disc brakes for the very reason you stated, instead choosing rim brakes.

Maybe try not to crash in rock piles?

Having used both Maguras and disc brakes, I prefer disc brakes for secure braking in all conditions, but for feel I prefer Maguras except when I need more stopping power; maguras are kinda weak at times.

I have my MU brake set up with a Hayes Ryde brake and mostly I really like it.

Part of the reason I chose the Ryde is because It had a few good reviews saying that it had good modulation and a lot of negative reviews from people saying that it lacked stopping power.

I guessed that lack of stopping power meant that it wouldn’t be “grabby” and I was right. It works quite well for me and is easier to control than a Magura.

As Ben has stated before the weak point in the system at the moment is the cranks. I like dual (or try) hole cranks and went ahead and drilled some extra holes in a few pairs of SINZ cranks. Unfortunately the ones with the extra holes are a bit more flexible and I didn’t really like the feel for MUni. I bought some new cranks and left them undrilled and they feel fine but I would love to have some dual hole cranks that I could abuse with confidence.

I have some Shimano brakes on the way which I will hopefully be able to test out at CMW.

EDIT: I never bent one riding but one of the disks got bent in transit. It was easy enough to fix with a crescent wrench. They have since improved their shipping materials.

i have a MU brake system with an avid juicy 3 caliper. works great, but it feels like it adds a little drag even when the brake isnt being applied. overall its smooth as butter

Inboard disc

Hi All,
I’ve been using inboard disc brakes since 2004. Presently I’m using a 210mm disc on a 24" rim, a 160mm on a 26" rim. I’ve used a lot of different caliper combinations. I have settled on the old Cannondale “CODA” caliper. They are well made, light, but myself and everyone else who has raced bikes offroad has taken them off for a more solid stopping power. Sorry “Skooks” Coda brakes are just too spongy for mountain bikes. They are cheep, still made, and alot of new take offs are available on e-Bay, Bad but good for this aplication. Never had a bent disc yet on my muni, yes I have crashed. The worst that happened so far has been the hose pulling out because I ran it the wrong way over the suspension leg. Othewise I find disc a much better and control enhancing option. It is more out of the way when you fall than rippin rim brake mounts.

                                 Just My thoughts, LobbyBopster