Mounting Brake on Pi Bar

I’d like to move the brake forward toward the handles on my Coker Pi Bar. I find the brake being so far back makes it awkward to use–especially since I have to grab it from the side due to the handle bar obstructing a front grab. Does anyone have advice on the best way to do this?

I ordered a hinged brake handle at my LBS today (this one). This will let me attach the brake to the forward section of the parallel bars on the Pi Bar, which I think will be okay. But ideally I’d like to mount the brake on the cross bar that holds the two handles, which would put the brake directly in the center of the handles (the LBS didn’t know of any brake mounts that would allow for this). The way I’m planning to do it will put the brake off-center to either the left or right side, making it difficult to reach with one of my hands.

If anyone has experience fiddling with brakes on a Pi Bar, I’d like to hear how you did it and how it worked out.

I mounted mine all the way out on the left bar. Used a short lever, and twisted it inwards toward the center so a UPD can’t get to it. Left hand operation only tho. I haven’t seen a lever assy. that would mount to a cross bar.

Be easy enough to weld a stub between your bars to mount your brake on.

Several years ago, I purchased a Coker V2 with a brake. I installed the brake on a T7 handle roughly where you are intending to install on your pi bar. Shortly thereafter, I went on a ride and hit a bump that I didn’t see and went to grab my handle. Unfortunately, I grabbed the brake instead. I went down like a hammer and I broke my elbow. Wherever you are intending to install your brake, make sure it is placed somewhere that you will not accidentally grab.

I originally had a strap on brake lever mounted to one of the long tubes on my Pi Bar. It was angled so that the blad was centered between the two handles, and was a little reach, but I could comfortably get to it from either side. I then realized that I only used it for a drag brake and switched it out for an old school thumb shifter mounted between the two tubes. The thumb shifter made it easy to set a drag for a long descent, and made it so I didn’t have to continually monitor it.

One idea I had, that I never got around to trying, was to put a cross style inline lever behnind the thumb shifter so that I could still have an intermittent brake if I wanted. I still think it is a cool idea, but I guess I never found the need for an intermittent brake. I also ran 140’s for cranks, so I had plenty of leverage to control speed on the flats.

Sage advice that has me triple-thinking the whole thing. Thanks.

Really good idea…an option if I can’t find a comfortable fit with available hardware.

So many good ideas here…just googled this and found that this technique is used by some guys riding fixies. The thought of limited pressure control is a bit scary, but it looks like some people have even fitted the thumb shifters with springs to make them work more like standard brake.

Wow, this is the coolest idea I’ve heard in a while. I think I might have to give it a try. I have a regular brake lever mounted on my shadow handle, but I like the idea of ‘lock and leave’ braking if you will. I could see it working with grip shifters as well. I gotta do this…

Please, if you have any tips on setting this up I’d love to hear them. I read something about using index shifters and running shifter cable down to your brake.

My arm will actually get sore from holding my brake lever so long, this seems perfect!

Wow, this is the coolest idea I’ve heard in a while. I think I might have to give it a try. I have a regular brake lever mounted on my shadow handle, but I like the idea of ‘lock and leave’ braking if you will.

Please, if you have any tips on setting this up I’d love to hear them. I read something about using index shifters and running shifter cable down to your brake.

My arm will actually get sore from holding my brake lever so long, this seems perfect!

I’m not sure I understand what you mean about “limited pressure control.” Unless you are using an index shifter you have a full range of pressure control. I was using a friction thumb shifter. If you were to rig it with a spring return you would have to have a hand on it all of the time to monitor the pressure. The whole point of using a shifter was to eliminate the need for constant hands on braking on long descents. The other thing about the shifter is that it pulls much less cable than a brake lever, and so you have a lot of lever travel to fine tune the brake pressure. With a standard brake lever the pull ratio is so much higher that even subtle adjustments are significant. Here’s a shot of my Nightrider with the Pi-Bar and the shifter.

What shifter were you using? Did you just run shifter cable down to the break? Was it a PITA to set up?

Thanks.

It’s an old Shimano Deore thumb shifter. Like the front one in the photo. Notice that only the rear one is indexing. You can pick up thumb shifters super cheap used, and even pretty cheap new.

Setup was super simple. The band on the shifter bends enough to strap it onto the bar, and the cable goes between the two pi-bar tubes to the brake. I used about $5 worth of hardware store parts to attach the v-brake to the maggie mounts, and the brake worked like a charm.

Awesome, I found a similar rear SunRace friction shifter in 8 or 9 speed that I may try using. There’s some other Sram and Shimano ones that’d work as well I think.

I’m going to draw a very high-detail diagram to show you an idea I’ve got in my head… But I’ll try and explain it :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve never put a brake on any uni so feel free to tell me this is stupid, but I’m just rolling round the forums and thought I’d throw in my 2 pence :smiley:

So, you said putting it at the handle-end would mean you’d put it slightly off-centre… Why don’t you put a second ‘dummy’ lever at the same position on the opposite side, and just bolt a lump of metal to join them together? diagram coming up

uni brake idea.png

Piece Maker - If there were a Unicyclist.com award for Best Schematic, I’d nominate you for sure. And that’s a good idea too…I wonder if there would be too much play and not enough rigidity while pulling the real brake lever with the dummy lever. I guess it depends on how well it’s rigged. In any event, I think my next band will be called Metal Lump.

Both of my 2-wheelers have indexed shift controls, so it didn’t even occur to me that they come any other way.

So stupid question, with a friction shifter, are you still able to set the brake and leave it as a drag? Or do you need an indexed shifter? I’ve never done that much with bikes and don’t really even know the difference between the two.

I’m looking at these:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=24369&category=770

Thanks for the info Jtrops.

i’ll nicely request you guys make this a new thread about using shifters for no hold drag brakes or something like that. Might make it easier for searching in the future considering I don’t have a uni yet that deserves brakes but soon will and this seems like a great option

That shifter looks like it would do the trick.

Friction shifters have friction that stops them wherever you put them, as opposed to indexing which has no friction between clicks, and limits you only to the positions that click.