Cyclopedia: Types of Brakes on Bikes

There are four types of bicycle brakes used today.

A linear pull brake is the most common style. They can be found on mountain bikes, comfort bikes, hybrids, and others. They are a good, versatile brake, provide good stopping power and are easy to service.

Many mountain and other styles of bikes utilize disc brakes. They are basically a scaled down version of a motorcycle brake and provide the very strongest braking performance in all conditions, wet and dry.

Road bikes primarily use caliper brakes. They are perfect for the powerful braking performance needed for the fast conditions of road racing and training.

And, last, coaster brakes, or foot brakes, are found on your fun, classic cruiser bike. They are the simplest brake out there—easy to operate (just pedal backwards) and usually very familiar. The first bike you ever rode probably had coaster brakes!

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  1. Are there And Cruiser Bikes(foot brakes) with automatic speeds??

    I have written a bike on the road for a decade and I would like to start back. I am 54.

  2. Bicycle South has been stocking the Raleigh Coasting model which does feature a coaster brake and 3 speed automatic shifting. We’re currently sold out of the women’s frame and there is a ddelay in getting more from Raleigh. Come on by the shop and check out the men’s version. If the idea is appealing, we can call when they do arrive.