Jamming through the gears, bombing down the hills, and smashing your personal bests is always fun, but unless you can get that bike back to 0, you're going to have a bad time. Bicycle brakes have come a long way since we were kids, kickin' back on the pedals to bust a sweet skid stop. In today's post we'll look at the different braking options out there, so you can choose the stopping power that's right for you!

Coaster Brakes

Also known as a kick-back brake, these are the stoppers most of us grew up with on our bikes. Pushing back on the pedals (like trying to pedal in reverse) engages the brake inside the rear hub, slowing the bike and bringing you to a stop. The upside to coaster brakes is they're simple, cable-free, and leg-activated so they're perfect for younger riders' weaker hands and anybody that's riding with a cup of coffee or a yoga mat. That's why we use them on our Beach Cruisers and Coaster Series. Slow rolls on the boardwalk with your morning cuppa in one hand are the perfect time for a little foot-activated slowing. But, because they only stop the rear wheel, they're less ideal for faster modes of two-wheeled transport.

Rim Brakes

That's where rim brakes come in! While there are several varieties (cantilever, dual-pull, etc...) they all follow the same principles: pulling the brake lever applies a brake pad to each side of the rim, slowing the wheels with friction and bringing you to a stop.

The upside to rim brakes is their ubiquity (you can get pads, cables, etc... from any bike shop and you'll never find a shop that hasn't serviced a thousand brakes just like yours before). You can also run them on the front and rear which gives you more stopping power and better braking performance than the coaster options. That's what makes rim brakes perfect for our Original, Premium, Classic, Step Through, and Road Series!

Disc Brakes

But what about some stopping power that's a bit more state-of-the-art? Disc brakes have been taking the two-wheeled world by storm over the last couple years, offering incredible wet-weather braking, better modulation and feel, and just being super cool to look at. Big old race car rotors?! Yes please!

If you're often riding in the rain or just love top-of-the-line tech, disc brakes are the ones for you. They were the perfect fit for our Urban Commuter Series, because when you ride every day, you want your brakes to be up for the grind too.

What kind of brakes do you run? If it's rims, read up on swapping pads right here. If you're interested in discs, here's a bit more in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons. And if it's a coaster, just kick back, stop, and enjoy the show.

We'll see you out there.