I have recently bought a bike with a coaster brake. After over 50 years of cycling with brakes on both handlebars I am finding it difficult. Is it possible to change a coaster brake for a conventional back brake on the handlebar?


  • 1
    More practical is to add rim brakes (assuming the frame and rims are reasonably compatible). No need to disable the coaster brake. Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 15:51
  • Do you want to just add a handbrake, or disable the coaster brake as well ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 18:38
  • 1
    Embrace the coaster brake. They are fun. Lay down some mad-skidddz. Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 19:58
  • 1
    @DanielRHicks “no need to disable the coaster brake” – well, except to get rid of that horrible back-ratcheting preventer! Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


You can’t actuate a coaster brake with a brake leaver/cable, if that’s what you are asking.

You’ll have to install a normal, hand actuated brake and brake lever.

Apart from coaster brakes there are generally two types of brakes: Rim brakes and disc brakes. For rim brakes your frame will need rim brake mounting points and your wheel needs a rim with braking surface. For disc brakes you need a frame with disc brake mounting points and your wheel needs a disc brake hub.

For brakes with cables (i.e. not hydraulic), cable stops welded to the frame would be nice but a continuous cable housing works as well.

It’s quite likely your frame has mounting points for rim brakes. If you are lucky your wheel also has a rim with braking surfaces.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.