What's your preference with (disc) brakes

What brake attachment do you prefer (in your ideal setup)
  • Attach disc to hub and have it on the left side
  • Attach disc to right crank and have it on right side
  • No preference, either is AOK, whatever the manufacturer/seller sets it up as default
  • Rim brake baby!
  • No brakes!!!

0 voters

I am just wondering if you had the choice, how would you choose to have your brakes on your unis (ignore 24" and under sizes!)…

I have one of each setup on your poll and find disc on crank/hub doesn’t really make a difference to riding for me. I prefer disc brakes but I’ve been using magura rims for so long now I’m quite comfortable with them now so I don’t really have a preference to any setup at the moment. They all do the job they’re meant to do but I think disc brakes are a little smoother.

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I guess being one of the first to have made my own muni disc hubs I have to say I find them best on the hub left side caliper

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I have all three types and couldn’t yet decide what I prefer. The rim brakes require more force but apart from this I couldn’t tell them apart from disk brakes. I never noticed less smoothness with Magura rim brakes than with discs. But maybe I’m just not very demanding.

To a certain extent it depends on wheel size, my 26, 29 & 36 have brakes, none of my smaller wheels do.

I also have three different brake setups on three differently braked unis. My 26er is a KH with the outboard disc. My 29er is an older KH with a rim brake and my 36er is a Nimbus with a disc attached to the hub on the left.

My personal preference of the three is the rim brake because it’s the least efficient. What I don’t want from my uni brakes is to come to a dead stop when braking, but rather for the speed to be scrubbed off in a manageable fashion, and the rim brake does this perfectly.

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You should be able to make your disc brakes do this - they should have some strength adjustment.


I know, but I’ve never found the adjustments to be brilliant.

I have both inboard and outboard disks. Both are just fine.

Having a symmetrical wheel is nice, as is being able to change the disk without a bearing puller, but equally putting all of the disk force through the ISIS interface is not ideal and I think it’s caused slightly more premature wear of my 36ers cranks (203mm disk and I stop on a dime pretty regularly).

The fact that to get cranks shorter than 110mm on a KH you have to get them custom drilled for you is frustrating - the choices are clearly superior with an inboard disk.


Another big reason for disk brake on muni, is not walking home cause the out of true bashed rim won’t rotate through the rim brake.


Made me chuckle

I keep enough tools on my uni that I would be able to detach the brake and still ride or some rim brake designs don’t even need tools to detach the cable. I’ve found that even a single walled rim can stand all the abuse I throw it’s way and still be within a millimeter or two of true. That’s on a 24” though so maybe the wheel is just stronger because it’s smaller.


The only way I can see someone with rim brakes saying that they prefer rim brakes is if they’ve either never tried a disk brake, or only ever tried one that wasn’t working correctly.

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To expand on this, what are peoples preferences when it comes to brands and disc size?

I haven’t noticed that larger or more powerful brakes are as much of an advantage on a unicycle as on a bicycle. I actually suspect that 160mm rotors may be better for unicycling as they should deliver better modulation.

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I have owned several Avid and Shimano brakes in the past on my two wheelers but for Uni I really like the Magura disc brakes. Even the cheapest model the MT Sport (on my 36") offers good modulation and a slim lever housing with reach adjust which makes ergonomic setup on a Uni easier. I also have MT4 (on my 27.5") and the 4-piston MT5 (on a two wheeler).

I run 160mm on my 27.5" and have only one steep downhill section near me where I would like to have just slightly more bite.
I guess it’s all a compromise between modulation and maximum power.

I have a 160mm with a lower end Deore brake on my 27.5, a 180mm with a 4 piston Deore Xt on my 24” and a 203mm with a Saint on my 36er. Even on the steepest slopes where I would not be able to ride brakeless I haven’t found the 160mm and two piston brake to be a problem. I think it’s actually trickier to modulate the more powerful brake on the 24”.

I’m still a beginner though so there might be a whole lot that I’m missing.

So far I’ve mostly used Shimano and Formula brakes - both with 180 mm rotors. After getting used to each, I haven’t noticed much difference in how well you can modulate them.
I think for Muni the big question is always how well you can separate pulling on the seat and pulling on the brake. If both of that get’s mixed up, you might feel like you want a weaker brake because you “accidentally” pull it to hard. If you can isolate your braking finger well, I don’t think there is much disadvantage to more powerful brakes, our fingers can be so gentle that using less force on the lever is always an option. On the other hand, I think when you are near max strength, it gets a lot harder to modulate the force. So I don’t think a compromise between max power and modulation exists for me, at least not in rotor size and brake model.
Brake pads - maybe, I think they are an overlooked part anyway, I’d tend to argue that those can change the way a brake feels much more than the rest of your brakes design.


I’ve always rather liked Shimano’s 2-pot offerings for being mineral oil, budget friendly and pretty reliable.
When I first went to a disk brake I had a Magura MT2, and the ball and socket joint that the lever went into failed within a few weeks so that kind of put me off Magura…

In terms of size, I’ve got a 160mm on my RGB and it doesn’t feel enough but I’ve not got it bedded in properly yet. Otherwise I run 180mm brakes pretty happily.

I run a 203mm on my 36er and it’s fantastic. No issues with modulation on a larger disk. If anything I’d say the opposite is true. Larger disks allow you to get more modulation as there’s more disk moving through the pads.


I used Magura hydrolic rim brakes early on in muni, while practicing drops. Bent rim and untrued the wheel so bad that the tire hit the bracket on the frame. carried it home and developed my first uni disc hub in the late 90’s, then suspension sort of. The other reason was that square taper cranks regularly broke off, so I had to increase that too and went to the Primo brand bmx 3/4" square axle cranks, much stronger. rejoice the ISIS

Well, you must be doing bigger drops than I am! I also don’t run brakes because I don’t have any room to install 990 bmx style brakes on my 29 because of the water bottle holder situation but maybe one day I change things around and squeeze out a little more room. I could probably run maguras and just leave the hose long to have a gradual bend in it but 990s are far cheaper so I’d rather mess around a bit and try to finagle those.

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