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Old 05-22-10, 07:11 PM   #1
gec5741
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Can you cange a free style bike from hand break to pedal break?

I just got my kid a new bike for his birthday. He is four and is pretty tall for his age. He has been riding around on a small 12 inch bike and wanted to get him something that he could grow into. Well I got him a mongoose from toys R us. He dosn't need anything really fancy. However I didn't realize until I got it put together that it was a free style type bike and had hand breaks only. My son's hands can't really pull the brakes yet. Is there anything I can get that will make the pedals be able to brake? I don't know what to do. I hate to get hims something else but may have to. It may be a while till he can make the hand brakes work.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-22-10, 07:23 PM   #2
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You should be able to buy a wheel with a coaster brake from your lbs. Your best option is probably returning the bike and getting something that works for him.

BTW, it's brakes not breaks.
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Old 05-23-10, 06:26 AM   #3
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You should be able to buy a wheel with a coaster brake from your lbs. Your best option is probably returning the bike and getting something that works for him.

BTW, it's brakes not breaks.
That's what I think too. You'll have to buy a whole new rear wheel with a coaster brake hub and that will likely cost almost as much as a whole new bike.
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Old 05-23-10, 12:53 PM   #4
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Not a good idea for kids to "..grow into.." a bike, if that means that it starts out too big.
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Old 05-23-10, 06:00 PM   #5
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Part of the problem is that those big box store bikes have really awful brakes to begin with. After Pacific Cycles bought those companies, they backdated a lot of the technology on them. Every one I've seen recently has 80s style calipers, and they're usually cheap steel construction. I suspect that an adult would have trouble getting good braking out of them.

Modern freestyle bikes should aluminum U brakes. Modern BMX (race) bikes should have aluminum linear pull brakes (V brakes)
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Old 05-25-10, 07:48 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your input everyone.

I've taken the bike back to the store and got one with coaster breaks. It's still an 18 inch bike. It's not really to big for him. If I got him a 16 inch bike he'd of out grown it by next year. This one should last him a while. He likes it alot. We went for a nice long ride last night!
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Old 05-25-10, 08:37 AM   #7
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He likes it alot. We went for a nice long ride last night!
That's the most important thing.

Here's the first bike my Dad got for me. It was just a little big for me as you can see.

I had already taught myself to ride a 20" inch bike, but this thing required learning all over again.

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