Upgrading Brakes on Child's Bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Stephen Thomas, Feb 7, 2003.

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  1. My 5yr-old daughter has a 16" Giant bicycle which has a standard coaster break. I'm considering
    adding handbrakes, perhaps even removing the coaster brake entirely. Any comments or suggestions?
    Her bike doesn't have any braze-ons, but it does have bolt holes front and rear that look like they
    could take caliper brakes.

    TIA,

    Stephen
     
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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 13:41:53 -0500, "Stephen Thomas" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >My 5yr-old daughter has a 16" Giant bicycle which has a standard coaster break. I'm considering
    >adding handbrakes, perhaps even removing the coaster brake entirely. Any comments or suggestions?
    >Her bike doesn't have any braze-ons, but it does have bolt holes front and rear that look like they
    >could take caliper brakes.

    I'd be inclined to leave the coaster for now but add a good quality front brake. Once she's
    confident with that it's not unlikely she'll be ready for a bigger bike anyway - they grow
    so fast :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
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  3. "Stephen Thomas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > My 5yr-old daughter has a 16" Giant bicycle which has a standard coaster break. I'm considering
    > adding handbrakes, perhaps even removing the coaster brake entirely. Any comments or suggestions?
    > Her bike doesn't have any braze-ons, but it does have bolt holes front and rear that look like
    > they could take caliper brakes.
    >
    > TIA,
    >
    > Stephen

    Keep the coaster brake as is. Young children don't have very powerful hands, so hand braking isn't
    too reliable. On the other hand, you could easily add a front brake which she could learn to use
    gradually.

    On my daughter's bike, I have found an old sidepull brake, which I installed on the front wheel...
    with the lever on the right side like I have on my bike. Don't ask me why, but she always brakes
    with the coaster brake, but in downhills, she slows down with the hand brake.

    Regards,

    Michel Gagnon
     
  4. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    I'd second this. Kids have a hard time with the rear brake, especially if the cable has outer
    housing all the way from the lever to the caliper. Get a front caliper with a good quality teflon
    housing/wire combo for minimal resistance and leave the coaster as-is. I've built cheap kids bikes
    with rear brakes that even I couldn't manipulate satisfactorily! Probably one of the poorest areas
    for kids bikes frankly.

    Cheers,

    Scott..
    --
    Scott Anderson

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I'd be inclined to leave the coaster for now but add a good quality front brake. Once she's
    > confident with that it's not unlikely she'll be ready for a bigger bike anyway - they grow so
    > fast :)
    >
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    > dynamic DNS permitting)
    > NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    > work. Apologies.
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 8 Feb 2003 19:06:59 -0800, [email protected] (Michel Gagnon) wrote:

    >On my daughter's bike, I have found an old sidepull brake, which I installed on the front wheel...
    >with the lever on the right side like I have on my bike.

    The plus side here is that she'll be learning good habits for later. The more she uses the hand
    brake the more she'll become accustomed to using the front brake as the primary means of braking
    when you actually want to stop. Right hand = front brake is a good setup for me, because I am very
    right-handed due to a childhood injury to the left hand. My bike came with the brakes the wrong way
    round, but I've had them switched (get me - "had them switched!" - I would do it myself, but they're
    hydraulic ad I haven't got the refilling kit).

    >Don't ask me why, but she always brakes with the coaster brake, but in downhills, she slows down
    >with the hand brake.

    See, she's learning already! :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
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