Running frame backwards

I snagged my magura brake line on my pads/ankle brace and cracked a line while riding technical singletrack today so I’ll be doing another replacement and re-bleed. The uni is a standard Nimbus 24" muni.

So I got to thinking that it would be a lot smarter to run the brake on the forward-facing part of the frame thus protecting my brakes. This means I’d have to turn the frame around, flip the seat 180, and probably swap the cranks to keep the left- and right-handed threads going in the “correct” direction.

So, collective wisdom of the unicycling internet - what’s wrong with my plan?

The only possible problem I can think of is that the bolts that fasten the brake to the frame will be working in tension but it seems to me that bolts of that size will be able to withstand many hundreds of pounds of force each and it will be a non-issue.

I agree with your assessment. Running the brakes in front of the frame would also seem to protect them from getting gopped up with mud if you ride in muddy/dirty conditions. Though the brake pads would be pulling away from the frame, if it’s built right I don’t think this should be a big deal.

Just take the frame off the wheel and turn it around, then turn around the seatpost. Check cable routing to make sure you don’t mess that up. You don’t have to do anything with your cranks. Did I miss anything?

Yeah, it occurred to me later that I could just flip the wheel and not have to mess with the cranks. ha!

Directional tire tread? …But that’s likely easier to change than switching cranks.

Would it not be more likely to damage a front-mounted bridge line as the wheel gets packed? Pushing the line into the frame seems harmless enough, but pulling the line in the direction of wheel travel would be a bigger problem as once it’s pulled a little it will catch on the tire tread (thinking of my 3" Duro tread) and it’s game over.

only thing is they might get in the way of your knees more other than that I see no problem.

Bike forks have the brakes in front.

With the collective wisdom of this group and a thumbs-up from UDC, I got my brake line fixed and frame turned around. I really like the simple straight-down routing of the brake line that takes out a bend that wanted to kink in the stock configuration. I’ll add a couple small zip ties just to keep the line where I want it.

Thanks for the input, all! And thanks to Brycer for the brake parts - I’m glad I ordered extra of everything last time.

Might be worth putting some loctight on the threads of the brake mounts to stop them working loose??? :thinking:

so hows is it working out for ya running frame backwards?

I haven’t had a chance to ride it yet, leaving tomorrow for Zion NP in Utah for the solar eclipse on Sunday :sunglasses: but will have the whole family with me packed into a small-ish car so no riding, unfortunately. :frowning:

EDIT: Well, I should say that I did ride it around the front yard a bit and it felt fine. :wink:


I did some technical muni riding and found that I still clip the brakes with my pads but now more on the downstroke than the upstroke so it’s closer to my knee than my ankle and is thus easier to move it away rather then get caught and UPD. Also on the upside, when I do clip the brake, it’s the body of the brake and not the brake lines which was the major issue.

So it’s an improvement but not a total solution. The real solution will be to get pads that do not have clipping points on them. I’m currently using Fox Launch pads which I already owned from MTB’ing. They are not ideal as they are open-back and are hard-cover pads so there’s a somewhat protruding edge.

Any recommendations for pads specifically for people who tend to brush the uni frame with their legs and/or ankle?