If I remove the coaster brake shoes to disable the brake, will it make the gear loose or malfunction?

  • Depends on the hub design. There are several different schemes. Aug 9, 2019 at 21:09
  • @kevin what kind of gearing does your bike have now? It can't possibly be a derailleur gear because back-pedalling brakes don't work with derailleurs. So your gears has to be some sort of Internal Gearbox Hub. Or do you only have one gear and your bike is single speed and you're asking if that one gear ratio is altered by disabling the brake? Bike can't be fixed gear either cos then the coaster brake could not be applied.
    – Criggie
    Aug 10, 2019 at 11:16
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    Regardless of the law, common sense requires two independent braking systems. OK, I've never had a brake fail, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to find out what that's like by having my only brake fail. Aug 10, 2019 at 12:17
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    @Criggie Good point -- I'd forgotten about the possibility of screwing up the brakes during maintenance. Aug 10, 2019 at 12:59
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    @DavidRicherby If you don't do periodic maintenance on the brake cables to check for broken strands, sometime, someplace those brake cables will snap when you need them most. I've had that happen several times already, and every time my coaster brake saved the day. So, I'm in full support of having two independent brake systems, and coasters brakes are great to be the little-used fallback when the main brake fails: As long as you can ride your bike (drivetrain intact), you can also brake. Dec 24, 2019 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


If your coaster brake system is anything like the one seen in these videos:

You might risk unscrewing the 'çlutch cone' from it's threads on the 'driver' (see image below for which parts are which) when you backpedal (too many turns) with the brake shoes removed. If you could somehow limit the movement of the clutch cone such that it will always stay on the driver you might be good. you could perhaps consider drilling through the driver and installing a bolt which will prevent the clutch cone from screwing off of the driver. maybe alternatively you could think of a way to use a locknut with a big flange or two shallow nuts interlocked with a ring together on the hub axle (part 10) such that the ring/flange sits approximately where part 11 is located (such that the ring/flange prevents the clutch cone from running off the driver's threads), but it might be difficult to achieve that in the limited space.

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