I have a bike with the so-called back-pedal brake, but since it's for someone who's learning I think that it's more an obstacle than an advantage.

Since the bike also has hand-actioned brakes, can I remove the back-pedal braking effect without replacing the wheel?

  • Is there a WIRE activating the brake? Shouldn't the very backpedalling activate the brake, without need of a wire and a lever? Confusing... Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:39
  • @heltonbiker sorry, actually I still have to receive the bike and I just supposed there was a wire because I waw the lever...I'll correct
    – clabacchio
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:36
  • 5
    I would think that the coaster brake (or back pedal brake) would be easier for someone new to biking to get the hang of. They are often found on children's bikes. I don't see how the coaster brake can be much of an obstacle for the new rider.
    – Kibbee
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:41
  • +1 good question, I'd be interested to know how these brakes work. I rode one in Holland last year and it took a bit of getting used to.
    – PeteH
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:42
  • 2
    @Kibbee the obstacle IMO is more related to starting, where you can't put the pedals in the right position for the best "push"
    – clabacchio
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


What you most likely have is an old-fashioned coaster brake, along with a hand brake. In reality the coaster brake is probably more "natural" for someone learning -- the hand brake is mostly an affectation designed to make the bike appeal more to boys (of all ages).

But it is possible to disassemble the rear hub and disable the brake in most cases. There are 3-4 different mechanisms used, so it's impossible to give you detailed instructions, but it would be apparent to anyone with sufficient mechanical aptitude. (But note that the rear hub, in addition to being very greasy inside, contains lots of little parts, and reassembly requires some skill.)

  • 9
    OK, I have to ask how hand brakes are an affectation designed to appeal to boys. That statement just demands substantiation. Commented May 9, 2013 at 4:41
  • @CareyGregory easier to skid?
    – will
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 14:46
  • 4
    I don't buy the skidding argument. It's much easier to skid a coaster brake bike than hand brakes. Coaster brakes are easier to put a lot of pressure on, and can accept much more pressure without damage. Years of experience skidding coaster bikes and snapping several hand brake cables have taught me that. :-) Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:09
  • 2
    @NeilFein - I can't recall coaster brakes ever needing adjustment. Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:53
  • 1
    I think the coaster breaks and internal hubs work amazingly and are hassle free right up until they fail. After that, adjustments or fixing can be a big chore. While cable brakes and gears will require more frequent adjustments, but are easily fixed by anybody with a little mechanical aptitude.
    – Kibbee
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 14:00

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