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Brake lever?

Grovsie29Grovsie29 Posts: 116
Hi everyone, first post.

Ive got a balance bike for my 4 year old son. Now he's small for his age, infact very small lol, and his hand is so small he cannot use the 1 brake lever to operate the brake. It bugs me because he obviously can't use it properly and he has to stop with his feet.

It's just a Halfords one, the yellow one, is there anything I can do? Any brake lever out there that has a much smaller gap or something?

Posts

  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Hi Grovsie29,

    I'm not familiar with the runbike in question, but does the lever have a 'reach adjustment screw' like this?
    mtbbrakelever.jpg
    This, essentially, limits the amount the lever can move - so you can 'set' it at small-chubby-finger access.

    Seeing how it's actually bringing the lever in part way, you may have to adjust the cable at the other end accordingly, so it's not dragging on the brake.

    And for what it's worth, previously I never used to see the point of brakes on a runbike - the kid can slow their speed with their feet - it's a natural thing to do when it's also your means of propulsion. However, I think in hilly terrain it's great so they can keep speeds in check - and especially with runbikes that have 'footrests'. Having gone through two daughters transitioning from run bikes to pedals, and countless others I've helped, I also see their value in teaching the 'concept' of a brake before they go to a bike where they have to use them.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Grovsie29Grovsie29 Posts: 116
    Yeah it has a screw there mate. I had a fiddle with it, but couldn't seem to change it, ill have another go. Thanks.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Islabikes' Rothan comes with a Tektro child-sized lever with a very short reach - try Googl-ing something like "Tektro child brake lever" and see what comes up
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • Grovsie29Grovsie29 Posts: 116
    Bump. This is becoming a bit more of a problem as my son is getting better and faster all the time.

    I managed to adust the brake lever so he can reach it, its just to stiff and to be honest the brake is very poor when I try it myself. its a drum brake to the rear wheel.

    is there any upgrade I can do to the bike, can I install some v block brakes
  • macbikesmacbikes Posts: 58
    I saw a tip somewhere that said to use a cable-tie to bring the lever closer.

    Ah just saw your update that he can reach it now.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Grovsie29 wrote:
    I managed to adust the brake lever so he can reach it, its just to stiff and to be honest the brake is very poor when I try it myself. its a drum brake to the rear wheel.

    Little fingers aren't long, nor are they strong.

    Adult fingers are both, and so can squeeze a lever both further, and harder, thereby more-effectively actuating whatever braking mechanism is in place.

    So, for kids, you have a trade off. Make it so they can actually use the brake, and it doesn't do much. Or make it so it does much, but they don't have the reach/pull nor strength for it to work*. This is one of the major reasons I like coaster (back-pedal) brakes on kid's bikes. They can put their whole weight into it.

    For runbikes, as I've stated, neither of my daughters' had brakes, and they were fine. But, they were also just that healthily risk-averse. Given, though....Plenty of other riders I've seen are not. Still, my only suggestion is to encourage using the feet to brake as well - and not expecting adult-like braking performance out of what's fitted.

    Ensure the cable and the lever are well lubed. I'm not familiar with the bike in question, but if it's the type of brake which I think it is, it's only of limited power anyway.

    *Time and time again I've seen kids' pedal bikes set up in bike shops so they are perfect for an adult rider... which makes them next to useless for the kid. I think as part of the fit, they should ask the parent about reach vs braking power, and then adjust that reach adjustment screw in accordingly. Best that the brakes have 'some' effectiveness than, in the hands of a child, no effectiveness whatsoever IMHO.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • muscleflexmuscleflex Posts: 12
    replace the standard brake pads as well with a soft brake shoe! I did it for my son and it's so much better! I bought the Clarks C4 or something soft pads from CRC - was only less than £4 for the pair
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