Coaster Brake Love

Single speed Globe Live 1 with coaster brake

For some, it’s all about stopping power. Endos, skids, POWER! However, if you’re just taking your bicycle around town, running errands, getting to work, do you really need fancy expensive disc or super-powered v-brakes?


The coaster brake is something you’ll find on bicycles for children and on many vintage city cruisers. This simple braking mechanism is gaining popularity again as upright city cruisers and daily use bicycles are becoming the bike of choice for many urbanites. My girlfriend’s Globe Live 1 has a rear coaster brake and she loves it. You simply pedal backwards and your rear hub becomes your brake. I don’t really understand the mechanism behind coaster brakes, but on a regularly maintained bicycle then can keep on slowing you down even when the roads get wet and the temperature drops (otherwise challenging conditions for low-end v-brakes).

There’s a fantastic post on Lovely Bicycle! with all the reasons to love coaster brakes:

Why I love coaster brakes:
. I find that coaster brakes deliver softer (no sudden jolts), smoother, and more consistent stopping power in city traffic
. I like to have one hand free in traffic, so that I can signal while braking
. I find it easier to modulate coaster brakes at finer increments without totally losing momentum
. I have problems with the nerves in my hands, and find it painful to use hand-operated brake levers frequently (like in stop-and-go traffic)
. I find coaster brakes intuitive and stress-free to use: it makes sense to both accelerate and slow down with my feet
. I like it that coaster brakes require virtually zero maintenance or adjustments

What about you? Do you have coaster brake love?

Read the full Lovely Bicycle! Coaster Brakes: Yay or Nay! post here.


  1. I’ve rediscovered my love for them. We have them (and a front hand brake – always a good idea in case the chain falls off) on the tandem. Funny to see that though my last time using coaster brakes was likely sometime approaching 25 or maybe even 30 years ago, it became second nature all over again within a few minutes…

  2. Best skids in the world! You DO know that I WAS the best?

  3. While friends of mine tried to really go as long as they could in a skid, I preferred to go for showmanship. Anyone can skid straight or put a little curve in it, but I’m talking about full out 180 skids. Leave that perfect half-moon and then bring your friends back later to admire it!

  4. Loved doing those. Of course I lived on a dirt road. Much easier there ;-)

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