Why are bike brakes important?

Bike brakes are an essential part to any bicycle, with the exception of a few models. Without brakes you do not have much of a bike. The brakes provide a safe way for the rider to stop their bicycle. Brakes normally use friction to the tire or rim to stop the bike. Simply put, brakes allow the rider to slow and stop. Without brakes you are not able to stop. It would be highly dangerous to ride a bike without a way or means to stop.

Types of bike brakes

There are a variety of bicycle brakes out there. It is important to find out which brake type is right for your bicycle. Also, keep in mind that some bicycles do not come with brakes. So, for your convenience, we will go through these types of brakes. This way you can best decide which one is best for you. There are three main, most common, types of bicycle brakes. These include, but are not limited to, rim brakes, disc brakes, and drum brakes.

Rim Brakes:

This break has pads by the tires that are connected to a handle located by the grips of the handle bars. When these grips are pulled, the front or the back pads are applied to the rim of the tire. Then friction causes the bike to slow. Typically the right grip slows the back tire and the left grip for the front tire. This type of brake is cheap, simple, and probably one of the most common. Rim brakes can normally be found on mountain bikes. There is a set back to affordability however. This brake system requires routine maintenance since they can easily clog with mud or other type of debris. Also, the brake pads wear down over time and need replacement. In the rain these brakes can also falter due to how slippery the surface of the rim can be. Aluminum rims is the best option when choosing this type of brake system.

Disc Brakes:

This type consists of a metal disc that is attached to the hub of bicycle wheel. This metallic disc spins along with the tire. When a person brakes, little calipers squeeze together on the disc. Thus, friction is the factor that stops the bike. This type of brake system works fairly well in all conditions. The only downside to this brake system is that the tires for this brake have to be made very durable. Disc brakes put a lot of force on the tire. So, normally a heavy tire would be accompanied with disc brakes. This brake system is normally found on off-road bicycle models.

Drum Brakes:

Drums brakes depend on their mechanical build to stop. This brake system consists of two brake shoes or pads, brake cylinder, a piston, mechanical adjuster, and an emergency brake switch. All these components are located in a drum on the hub of a bicycle wheel. When the rider steps on the brake pedal, the shoes or pads are pushed to the outside walls inside the brake drum. This then allows for friction to take over and slow the wheel. This brake system requires less routine maintenance and is protected from the elements. Replacement is rare. Although, this brake system is not as strong as the disc brake or rim brake, these are most commonly found on utility bikes, freight bicycles, and velomobiles.

How to choose the right bike brakes

Most bicycle models come with a brake system. But, if you are looking to replace or improve your current bike brake system, or even putting together your own model; then you need to ask yourself as a rider a simple question. Where do/would you ride your bicycle most? If you are planning on riding on muddy terrain or off-roading, it is recommended to get the drum brakes or disc brakes. Drum brakes are completely protected from the elements. So, this bike brake system would be ideal for wet conditions like water and mud. The disc brakes are also a good idea for off-road riding. They provide more protection from elements than rim brakes but do not provide as much protection as drum brakes. So, disc brakes would be good for riding in dirt, mud, and any other type of less wet terrain. If you are a casual rider, and do not need intense braking we would recommend the cheap but effective rim brakes. Now always remember that the type of bike brakes you get always depends on how much braking power you need. The bike brake that provides the most stopping power is the drum brake > disc brake > rim brake.