Why do you need a brake for muni???

Hey I was wondering why you need a brake for muni???You can stop just my not pedaling.



on really big and steep downhills it helps to have the brake to slow the wheel down. or for long rides with bunch of downhill it help conserve energy.

A brake is not required, but it saves your legs on long rides, because you’re spending less energy slowing down and more energy just controlling. It also makes super-steep hills more doable because you can apply back pressure more evenly.

Kris has said that when he’s going over a drop, he’ll use his brake while rolling off the edge of the drop; it effectively reduces the height of each drop by a few inches, which adds up over the course of a ride. That’s part of the reason he can ride seemingly forever without fatigue. (The other part of the reason is his nuclear power source).

I used to really like riding without a brake. But I found downhills very tough on my knees and they began ‘clicking’ on every revolution which didnt feel good. So I decided it was best to get one. I can now ride much steeper hills with much more control and hopefully i wont damage my knees too much.

For sure you do no “need” a brake but I find myself using mine more and more especially at the end of my rides. The thing about having a brake is it is just like riding if you don’t use it often it can become less and less effective because when you need it you don’t have the control it is intended to provide. In other words you need to practice using it just like any other skill.


yea brakes are handy

If you live in Ontario you probably don’t need a brake. :slight_smile:

In addition to what others have said, i’ve found that on steep and rough ground having the brake on gives you a better feel for controlling the wheel over bostacles. If you’re not having to put a big backforce through the pedals then the relatively small forces required to finely control the uni are easy to control.

I want to get one, when going down a real steep hill you always feel like you could lose control and to stop that is hard on your legs.

I felt like that for my first few muni rides and steep decents, but now I dont.

I wont be using a brake.

Jerrick (funny, that’s my roommate’s nickname), you just don’t have steep enough hills around.

Not to rip on anyone in particular, but I think it’s funny how it’s always those from flat areas that think a brake is a crutch for muni. It’s certainly optional for most muni, but at least around here, if you want to attack the steepest, longest descents, you won’t last long without a break. Mind you, i rode those trails without a break for 2 years. The brake simply made it so I could do even harder stuff.

That said, something most riders don’t notice is that a brake can also be a hindrance. Mine rubbed on uphills (you have no idea how frustrating that is). For super technical muni, I got to the point where on any downhill at all, I used my brake by default. For some of the rockier descents, some of my best descents were without using the break. When it’s balance and fine wheel control, not stopping power that makes the line difficult, not using a break is a huge plus. I’ve also found not using a break (my hs-33 is broken right now) made me slightly more aggressive on some ultra steep downhills. Instead of stopping at light flats mid trail, I just went for the next section of the descent, barely in control. A helluva lot more fun.

In regards to what Kris said about using the brake on drops, I agree somewhat, but getting to the point where you can control a brake that finely is extremely difficult. After riding a brake for almost 2 years, I found that it took intense focus and caution to be able to engage my brake while landing a drop. The drop also had to be at least around 18" tall, otherwise I just didn’t have the time to do the right setup.

it makes going uphill so much easier if you set your maguras to work as a drag brake.

I do alot of steep hills, I’m describing realy steep ones (if it wet there hard to ride)

Lol, you live in Guilford, the kind of long steep hills we’re talking about here do not exist in that part of the country. I’ve never managed to descend a short step hill with a brake that I couldn’t do without it, once you have enough strength to lock the wheel your grip becomes the limiting factor. It’s useful only on long steep hills where fatigure sets in.