Author Topic: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?  (Read 6695 times)

Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« on: August 06, 2012, 09:49:21 pm »
I bought an islabike cnoc 14 from Ebay for my 3 year old's birthday, but it's an older model with a coaster brake on the back wheel. She's been zipping around on her Rothan for a while, so she's probably capable of riding with pedals, but the coaster seems a bit weird. The new cnocs come with a V brake on the back wheel. Is there any way of disabling the coaster brake initially? Or is it a good thing as it will encourage her to pedal? ;)
Any advice gratefully appreciated!
Cheers
Duncan

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 10:07:25 pm »
Coaster brakes strike me as being more intuitive for a small child, lower maintenance than a rim brake, and better suited for people with tiny hands and fine motor skills that are still in development (like 3 year old children). Just my opinion, YMMV.

How does she like the bike?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 10:34:22 pm »
I don't think it's worth knobbling it.  Only disadvantage it's likely to give is that it's not teaching her to use an equivalent hand brake (which is probably the second least intuitive skill involved in riding a bicycle), which may come as a shock on her n+2.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 10:39:51 pm »
She's not tried it yet, her birthday is on Thursday. It does have a front V brake, so she can still learn proper braking. The only disadvantage is that you can't lift the pedal up to give you a power stroke to start off.

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 09:44:32 am »
Not sure I'd worry about that straight away.  Ours came via balance bikes and start the pedalbike by scooting.  Despite pedalling since 3 I'd say the oldest is only just starting to get the idea of a pedal lift for a 'proper' start now, at 5.  That's with hand brakes, not coaster.

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 09:37:39 pm »
She's a little bit too short for the cnoc at the moment. Will get her on it when she's grown another inch or 2. Thanks for the advice, I'll leave the back wheel alone and see how it goes...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 09:45:49 pm »
Kids' legs are stronger than their titchy hands. You know when a three year old has kicked you but many won't have the grip strength to squeeze a brake lever effectively.

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 04:24:05 pm »
I regard coaster brakes as a nightmare if a child has a bike with one on a Bikeability course because of the inability to set the pedals for a power stroke.  I cannot see a problem in teaching a 3 year old that she needs to brake using hand levers as opposed to back-pedalling.
Riding a Dahon Jetstream P9 folder, a Decathlon Fitness 3 flat-barred road bike, a Claud Butler Cape Wrath MTB, a Moulton-based tandem, a TW 'Bents recumbent trike, and a Scott CR1 Comp.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 04:33:47 pm »
My son had the same bike and the only problem was, as others have pointed out, the inability to move the pedal backward to put the power on. When he moved to his current bike he had no problems adapting to conventional brakes. 

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 04:59:32 pm »
You could probably take the brake cones or mantle out of it.  They are not difficult to strip down, having few parts and all being made to pretty much the same design.  I would rebuild the wheel onto a plain freewheel hub, probably, or just ask at the bike shop - they will often sell you a spare kids' bike wheel for not much.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 06:14:33 pm »
I grew up on bikes with coaster brakes and have bought my Pilen specifically because it has one and I've missed it.  It just feels so much more secure to me, braking with my legs-presumably because that's how I learned!

It's not at all difficult to move the bike backwards a step to get the pedal in the right position to start up, and it's something I learned to do quickly.  But I'm also heavily biased  ;)



LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Coaster brakes on first proper bike?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 06:26:43 pm »
Count me as a big fan of coaster brakes for small kids. Legs are a lot more powerful than little fingers and being bulletproof is a big advantage for maintenance.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...