Adding brakes to a balance bike is nearly the same as adding brakes to normal bikes. However, in pedal bikes there are suitable ports to add brakes.
In many balance bikes there are not suitable ports to add brakes. In those cases you may have to do some extra tasks to prepare ports to install brakes.
- At first I will go through on how to install brakes on balance bikes when there are suitable ports for adding brakes. (With image)
- Then I will show you what can be done when the balance bike does not come with suitable ports. I will also provide you with a real life example to make it clear.
What you will need
- Brake tubing and cables.
- Brake levers.
- Brake (front or rear)
- Screw driver
Steps for installing brakes to balance bikes
Install the brake caliper
Step 1: Remove the nuts from the caliper so that the bolt is free.
Step 2: Insert the caliper nut into the fork port.
Step 3: The nut may not come out through the other end of the port and it is expected. Insert the bolt through the port on the other side and tighten it with a screwdriver.
Install the brake lever
Step 4: Open the bolt of the brake lever so that you may open the brake lever ring.
Step 5: Open the ring and set the lever on the handle bar.
Step 6: Tighten the bolt of the lever
Install brake cable
Step 7: Remove the cable from the cable cover
Step 8: Put the cable through the opening of the brake lever and pull the cable.
Step 9: Insert the cable cover through the other end of the cable.
Step 10: Insert the free part of the cable through the top opening of the caliper brake.
Step 11: Pull the cable further inside the caliper brake and pass it through the “internal port” of the caliper brake.
Step 12: punch the brake shoes and tighten the screw of the internal port to attach the cable to the caliper brake
Adjust brake shoes
Step 13: Center the brake shoes. Be sure the brake shoes are well centered on the brake track on the rim.
If they are not centered, adjust them and tighten the shoe bolt.
For more detailed understanding on how to install the brake, you may check these 2 videos.
What to do when there are no suitable port for installing the brake
Use drill machine an extra steel plate if needed
Unfortunately many balance bikes do not have suitable ports for installing the brakes.
In those cases you will have to use drill machines to create suitable ports.
Sometimes you may not find that there is no suitable place to drill so that the brake shoes may reach properly to the desired position of the wheel after installing the brake.
In that case you have to use steel plates. You have to attach the plates to the cycle to use as extending part of the balance bike.
However, keep in mind that the steel plate should not be attached to any movable part of the balance bike.
Real life scenario: How this guy used drill machine and steel plate to add front and rear brake to the “Strider 14x sports” balance bike for his son
Reason for adding extra brakes
His son was not strong enough to stop the bike as they live in a hilly area. However, the kid did really enjoy his balance bike. He could balance pretty well.
To make his child’s adventure safer, this great guy did his research and successfully installed 2 brakes (one front brake and one rear brake) on the “strider 14x sports balance bike”.
- Shimano brake tubing and cables.
- Tektro brake levers.
- Tektro 900A (front) for the front brake.
- Tektro 559 (rear) for the rear brake.
- One stick of 1/8″ thick steel from your local home center and
- good sharp drill bits to drill through it.
What he did
For installing the front brake he did not have to do any modification to the balance bike. Existing ports worked fine for him.
The installation process is more like the process that I have discussed in this article.
However, for adding the rear brake he could not find any suitable port. He collected ⅛ inch thick steel plates from a local shop. Also he had to buy sharp drill bits.
Under the footrest of the strider balance bike he attached the thick steel plates by using his drilling machine. Then he tightened the steel plate with the help of nuts and bolts.
On this extended steel plate he attached the brake caliper.
The process of adding the lever and the cable is the same as I have described in this article.
Adding a brake to a balance bike is nearly the same as adding a brake to a normal pedal bike.
However, on many balance bikes you may not find suitable ports for adding the brakes. In that case you may have to do some modifications to your existing balance bike to install the brakes. If needed you may have to use an extra drill machine and thick steel plates to extend the bike parts and add brakes to them.