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?