I have a brand-new bike with Sram i3 installed, which is a 3-speed gear hub with coaster brake. The coaster brake has a good feel of modulation, but in order for it to engage braking, I will need to freewheel (not pedalling) for a bit (single digit meters?), and then I can engage the braking with a little back kick. If I pause forward pedalling immediately without coasting a bit and try to brake, I noticed I will need to back press almost half-a-rev before the braking is in effect.

Is this to be expected? Or if there's anything I need to do to tune the coaster brake for the situation to improve? I don't know if I can always manage to find some distance to prepare for the brake.

There is a front rim brake available though.

  • I don't deal with many coaster brakes, but I do recall that having one improperly assembled (not screwed together tightly internally) can cause something resembling your symptom. Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 16:30
  • I have the same hub, and the same problem. After 6 years of no problems. Btw., these hubs don't need oil replacement.
    – Wes Green
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 22:10
  • @fizzytidus did you make any progress with this problem? If so, feel free to add and accept your own answer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 10:16
  • 2
    @Criggie Unfortunately no. The support team from my bike manufacturer insists on replacing the whole hub module on my own expense without bothering to look into it as they run customer support remotely. Nevertheless I can't believe it needs such a drastic measure to fix it. In the meantime I'm still looking for answers.
    – FizzyTidus
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 6:01
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? SRAM i3 coaster brake only activating after multiple turns backwards Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


I have used plenty of coaster brakes and you do not need to coast before you can brake.
Move your feet till one of them has enough leverage when you start braking, change direction of movement and the brake engages.

If you need more time your brake needs adjustments or even repairs.
Braking should be as instant as it is with any other type of brake.

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