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Old 03-09-10, 09:32 AM   #1
chandltp
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bmx brakes

My son has a 20" BMX style bike that we got at Toys R Us. Due to various issues with coordination, he's having a really hard time with the coaster brakes. There are holds where calipars would normally go. Is there an inexpensive option where I might be able to add hand brakes? I look on Amazon and found these, but I don't know how to tell if they would work or not. The price seems right.

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Old 03-09-10, 10:12 AM   #2
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I am not 100% sure, but those BMX brakes should work perfecly on a BMX.

Note that the Amazon ad seems to be for one brake (front or rear) but it is not clear how you select which end of the bike you get brakes for... and generally you need a much longer mounting bolt for front brakes.

The ad also gives a 'reach' of 69 to 97 mm - if the centre of the rim is between 69 and 97 mm vertically fromt eh brake mounting hole then these shoudl work... except for the front/rear mounting which I cannot explain.

I know that at Canadian Tire in Canada you can buy a set of bmx brakes for cheap... maybe check out some of the bike shops and box stores in your area and see what is availalbe.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:18 AM   #3
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The universal BMX brake I bought to put on a bike for my son had long and short mounting bolts included for front or rear applications. Worked fine for stopping a 40 lb boy on a 15 lb bike. Think it was made by Pyramid as well. Install it on the rear wheel. Not as much stopping power, but much less chance of him locking up the front wheel and going over the bars.

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Old 03-09-10, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks.. I'll probably go check out Wally World before I order from Amazon.. it just seemed like it was too easy
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Old 03-09-10, 10:49 AM   #5
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A few questions:

1. How old is your kid? Does he have the hand strength to operate hand brakes? As a general rule, kids take longer to learn to coordinate hand brakes than coaster brakes.
2. What kind of wheels does the bike have? Chromed steel wheels don't stop well with hand brakes. If they get a little wet they don't stop at all.
3. What does the bike look like otherwise? I'm thinking it probably doesn't have any fittings for the rear brake cable and housing. That's easily overcome by using zip ties.
4. Is this the king of job that you've done before? You will almost surely have to shorten the brake cables and housings.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:55 AM   #6
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one other factor worth noting: if you're going to have one brake, stick it on the front wheel, not the rear. that's where you have the majority of your braking power.
it's easy to lock up the rear wheel and make it skid (although I doubt your son has the hand strength for this). it's much harder to lock up the front wheel since it can't just skid being dragged behind the bike. people may worry about going over the handlebars, but in practice, this really is only a worry on a steep downhill with very impressive locking down on the brake - mainly for mountain bikers.

If you don't have experience working with this sort of problem, do it and have fun (but make sure to cover your bases), or take it to a local bike shop.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:19 AM   #7
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1. How old is your kid? Does he have the hand strength to operate hand brakes?
He's 8, so I'm not 100%, but I'm trying to get him back on the bike.

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2. What kind of wheels does the bike have? Chromed steel wheels don't stop well with hand brakes. If they get a little wet they don't stop at all.
They are chromed (much like my mountain bike). Anything he remembers to use is better than the one he forgets to use.

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3. What does the bike look like otherwise? I'm thinking it probably doesn't have any fittings for the rear brake cable and housing. That's easily overcome by using zip ties.
Yea, zip ties will be my friend I'm sure.

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4. Is this the king of job that you've done before? You will almost surely have to shorten the brake cables and housings.
I've never met a home / auto / bike project I couldn't figure out with proper research.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:50 AM   #8
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Just remember: The brakes are the most important component on any bike. If you have any doubt whatsoever on your installation, don't hesitate to take it to an expert for checking.

Happy Trails!
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