The store says "Your bike would require drilling through the crown of the front fork in order to mount the brake caliper. This procedure would compromise the structural integrity of the fork, and isn't recommended."

Considering I think having only a coaster brake is maybe 7/10 safe, and my lack of muscle memory/confidence with it reduces to probably 4/10... how unsafe will that compromised fork structural integrity be? i.e. would I be better or worse off?

This is a 'ride to the shops' bike riden very sedately and doesn't get banged about in storage.

Edited to add photo (I can't take any more as I dropped the bike off with the store today - this was their emailed response after they'd looked at it) front frame above wheel

  • 1
    Can you post a photo of the bike? Specifically the area just above the front wheel, when viewed from in front of the bike?
    – Criggie
    Jun 28, 2020 at 23:12
  • If you could also post a photo of the frame above the rear wheel.It is possible there may be a mount there. While it won't be as effective as a front brake it would be better than none at all
    – mikes
    Jun 28, 2020 at 23:29
  • If you don't ride it hard or in extreme conditions, just do nothing. Coaster only is fine for those situations. Jun 29, 2020 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


This is common practice and many DIY types do that.

The problem for the shop is that by doing to work they become liable for the result, and if something does go wrong the general result is that your face hits the road, hard. That's expensive almost regardless of the details, and no bike shop wants to take the rsik.

Partly because a replacement fork already drilled is cheap compared to the labour cost of pulling the fork out drilling the hole/prepping a new fork, then reinstalling it. You're looking at about 30 minutes labour ($50?) and probably $20-$30 for a new fork. I'm disappointed that the shop didn't quote you for that option, which may mean they don't do that level of bike mechanicing.

  • Thank you! It's a Dutch bike but I'm in Canada so it may be they can't get a fork (I'll give them the benefit of the doubt!) Since I'm sure my face will hit the road at some point if I only have the coaster brake - either due to it failing or me being incompetent... sounds like I'm good to go ahead with the caliper brake addition.
    – helen
    Jun 28, 2020 at 23:06

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