Best BMX Brakes 2020 Review

There’s a trend these days of BMX bikes going brakeless. Though it removes any chances of cables twisting, this is a dangerous situation. Could you imagine relying on your foot to stop a moving bike? It is important to have the right brakes on your bike. If you purchased a BMX bike whether for your daily commute or to do tricks in your local skate park, having the best BMX brakes can make a huge difference.

The right BMX brakes can give you peace of mind that the bike is going to make a full stop when it has to. But there are different types of BMX brakes in the market. Which one should you be going for?

Best BMX Brakes Review

Odyssey Springfield U-Brake Kit

The Odyssey Springfield U-Brake Kit is a simple and easy to install option that beginners and intermediate would love to have on their bike. It weighs approximately 190 grams which you won’t even feel once installed on your bike. This U-brake is made specifically for rear use.

It makes use of Odyssey’s ghost pads and a hinged medium lever. This is perfect for tire size ranging from 18” to 29”.

If you are planning to use this for doing tricks, you have to anticipate that it wasn’t designed for this purpose. For starters, that the Odyssey Springfield U-Brake Kit isn’t compatible with a Gyro. Some users complained about parts giving out after bailing out. You also have to account for the pads that don’t perform as well as other brakes.

It is also hard to adjust which makes it quite frustrating especially for those who plan on doing a few tweaks. If you are a beginner or someone who will just use this for your daily commute, then this could work. But for freestyle, you might want to skip this one.

Pros: 

  • Easy to install
  • Reliable for daily use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Good price

Cons: 

  • Not compatible with gyro
  • Hard to adjust

Tektro 930AL BMX V-Brake with Lever

If you are looking for an ergonomically designed brake kit, the Tektro 930AL BMX V-Brake with lever gives you a good grip to ensure that your BMX is going to make a full stop when it needs to. Easy to install for those who don’t want to pay a visit to their local bike shop, it is highly suggested for those who have their tools at home. In just 15 to20 minutes, you can get this brake working.

This option is also something that budget-conscious riders could enjoy. The feel and comfort are things at a level above its price. But of course, it isn’t a perfect product. The brake handle doesn’t open and goes around the handlebar of the bike. Instead, you will have to slide it.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to adjust
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Can stop the bike well

Cons:

  • The brake handle doesn’t go around the handlebar

1999 BMX Brake Set & Lever

Odyssey BMX brakes have been widely popular for seasoned riders over the years. The 1999 BMX Brake Set and Lever is no different. Regardless if you prefer to do rear or front brake, this brake set can be installed without any problem. It comes with hardware for both front and rear which makes it a good solution for many riders.

The cable that comes with this brake set needs to be cut according to your bike’s specifications. When it comes to installation, you will need to have simple tools such as a wire cutter, a 5mm Allen wrench, and diagonal cutters to name a few. If not, you want to visit your local bike shop just to be sure. Cutting the cable according to your needs can be a bit tricky especially if you are someone who just started with BMX.

Some find it difficult to install on the left side which makes it unfavorable for left-handed individuals. In addition to this, the lever is made of cast iron which is not preferred by a lot of users who want a durable option.

Pros:

  • Has hardware for both rear and front brake setup
  • The cable is long enough to most BMX Bikes
  • Simple to install

Cons:

  • The design is mostly for right-handed individuals

CURB DOG MUSCLE BOUND BMX BRAKE SET

Curb Dog Muscle Bound BMX Brake Set is a good option if you plan on using your BMX bike for freestyle or your daily commute. It can be used both for the rear and front brakes. It comes with a straightforward installation. Though it is a bit pricier compared to other products of the same quality, it performs well in different scenarios.

The cable is also perfect when it comes to length. Most buyers didn’t have to cut the cable anymore, which is something that can lessen the work for a lot of users. However, if there’s any problem that you have to anticipate, that will be the mounting bolt that is a bit too short. And also, some complained that the steel is not that strong.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • The cable is long enough for most bikes and doesn’t need any cutting
  • Decent stopping power
  • Works on both front and rear
  • Can be used for freestyle and other purposes

Cons:

  • A bit expensive than other products
  • Mounting bolt is a bit short

Odyssey Springfield BMX U-Brake Caliper Set

Made of forged aluminum that is both lightweight and durable, the Odyssey Springfield BMX U-Brake Caliper Set is a good option if you plan on having something easy to install and low maintenance.

Customers can expect all the necessary mounting hardware with the Odyssey Springfield BMX U-Brake Caliper Set. It also comes with the Odyssey Ghost Brake Pads. This makes it useful for different terrains.

Compared with other BMX caliper brake options, it gives extra tire clearance which makes it a good fit for those who use larger tires. Unfortunately, this product isn’t highly suggested if you use your bike heavily especially if you prefer to do tricks with your BMX. The aluminum material starts to show signs of wear and tear just after a few bumps and bailouts.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance
  • Decent stopping power

Cons:

  • Durability in question for rough usage

DiaTech Hombre AD996TW Front or Rear Black U-Brake

DiaTech Hombre AD996TW Front or Rear Black U-Brake is a standard-sized brake set. This bicycle brake kit comes with all the hardware that you need that makes it compatible with both front and rear. This is also the reason why a lot of people love the DiaTech Hombre U-Brake set. However, compared with other BMX bike kits, it is a bit difficult to install which could turn off a lot of beginners or those who don’t have the time to install the BMX brake set on their own. However, when installed, the DiaTech Hombre AD996TW U-brake works well.

In terms of performance, it does a good job of stopping the BMX bike. Unfortunately, you will notice that the pads will easily wear off.

Pros:

  • Good for front and rear
  • Works well for most instances
  • Most parts are durable

Cons: 

  • Hard to install

Cycle Group PX-BK14EXTEN-BK Promax BE-1 Brake Post Extender

When you buy the Cycle Group PX-BK14EXTEN-BK Promax BE-1 Brake Post Extender, you get all the necessary hardware needed for your bike. It is well made considering the materials used by the manufacturer. For instance, it made use of CNC-Machined aluminum material.

This BMX brake can easily be mounted on different frames. It also gives you an additional 16mm for brake arm positioning. This makes it highly suited for those who need extra reach for their brakes. However, if you own an older bike, there is a chance that this brake set isn’t going to be compatible.

A lot of people invest in this brake set if they need an extra bit of brake pad without going for another frame.

Pros:

  • Good allowance those who need extra reach
  • Can be mounted on different frames
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • May not be compatible with older bikes

BOX COMPONENTS Two Brake Post Extender

BOX Components Two Brake Post Extender is made of premium materials that are meant to give users the peace of mind that they need whenever they are riding their BMX. For instance, it is made of 6061-T6 aluminum material known for its durability. These are lightweight which gives you the edge especially if you don’t want that extra weight.

Who should be getting the Two Brake Post Extender? A lot of people who don’t want to switch frames but need extra brake pad tend to go for this. It fits most frames in the market plus it offers an additional 16mm for brake arm positioning.

However, other bikes are not compatible with this especially if you have an old bike with you.

Pros: 

  • Durable materials
  • Lightweight design
  • Gives extra brake arm positioning

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t work with all frames

Salt Plus Echo Rear U-Brake

If you need something that is durable and could keep up with heavy use, then the Salt Pus Echo Rear U-Brake is a good option. This is also a lightweight option for those who want to keep their BMX bike lightweight. It is a great choice for those looking for a dependable BMX front and rear brake kit. However, if you are going to use it as a front brake, the angled brake arms are designed only for the rear. When in use, the Salt Plus Echo Rear U-Brake performs well.

Pros:

  • Durable material
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with both front and rear

Cons:

  • Bias for rear brake set up

Black Ops DefendR BMX Brake Cable Kit

The Black OPS DefendR BMX Brake Cable Kit is made of durable stainless steel inner wire. In addition to this, it is teslon coated. Measuring 60 inches long, you have enough to fit a rear brake. However, most people need to cut the cable to fit their needs. However, if you are going to buy this cable, might as well add $9 and it is already enough to have the complete kit with pad arms and all.

The installation process is also easy. You can do everything in just 15 to 20 minutes. However, don’t cut the cable too short or else this becomes useless.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Made of high-quality material
  • Teslon covered
  • Available in different colors

Cons:

  • A bit too long for most bikes

How to Choose Good BMX Brakes

There are a lot of considerations that you will have to make in case you are looking to buy a BMX bike. One important consideration is whether to go brakeless or invest in good BMX brakes. A lot of advanced BMX riders forego a bike brake kit in favor of doing tricks and just relying on their foot. However, not everyone is a pro.

What are the things that you have to consider before buying BMX brake? The mechanics of modern BMX brakes differ from one BMX bike to the next. Here are some of the most useful tips on how to choose the right BMX Brake kit for you.

Types of BMX Brakes

There are three different types of BMX brakes. Regardless if you have a front, rear, or front and rear brake system, these are the options that you can go for.

  • U-Brakes

U-Brake is the most common type of BMX brake system available. You can call this the “standard issue” brake system for most BMX bikes. It is mounted directly to the fork of the bike. The difference with cantilever brakes is that it has bosses above the rim rather below.

  • Cantilever/V-Brake 

Known also as the “v-brake kit”, it has two brake arms. The cable pulls from the side rather than the top like what you have with u-brakes.

  • Caliper brakes

Caliper brakes are attached mainly to the frame and forks using a single bolt found in the center and above the tires. One thing about calipers is that it is considered less effective than U-brakes and V-brakes. This is also the reason why it is typically seen in budget-friendly BMX bikes and children’s bikes.

Given all these brakes, what is exactly is the most ideal? U brakes are known for their great pull plus these are lightweight. However, if you intend to use it daily and you are running on dirt roads, you will encounter more clogging with u-brake systems. As for V-brakes, one advantage is that the parts such as the pads are easy to replace. However, it is not as dependable as U-brakes, especially in a muddy environment.

Where do you want to place the BMX Brakes?

There are two locations where you can place your brakes. You can have it either in front or in the back of the BMX bike. The popularity of front brakes on BMX bikes was at its peak during the 80s. Mostly the function of front brakes is to help users with some of their tricks more than anything. Nowadays though, it is far more common to see BMX rear brakes.

Regardless, you will need to have a mount. For front brakes, the mount is going to be located right on the fork. On the other hand, rear brakes use mounts on the frame to make the BMX brake system to work.

The shape of your blade

When it comes to figuring out the shape of the blade for your BMX brake system, always make sure that you consider comfort and ergonomics.

The shape of your blade is important because it gives you the ability to hit the brakes according to your preference. Some riders prefer to use one finger on the brake while others prefer to have two. The shape of the blade will dictate if you are allowed to get two fingers on the brake.

Force of the pull

You want the BMX bike brake system to be responsive. It means that you don’t want to go an extra few feet after you were able to hit the brakes. Before we go into detail, here’s how BMX with brakes work.

The BMX brake pads are the ones that will cause friction making the wheel to make a stop. If you are riding your BMX bike, you’d want to have the freedom to make a full stop. You want to get a BMX brakes kit that can generate sufficient pull enough to bring the bike to a complete stop. Without sufficient pull, you might also find yourself in an accident.

Adjustable brakes

Every bike needs a different setup. And also, different riders will have a different preference for how they want their brakes. The brakes must be easy to tweak. This can give you the ability to make the bike truly your own. It should be easy to fix as well especially when it needs maintenance.

Easy to replace parts

The more that you use your brakes, the faster it is to deteriorate. Some parts are going to fail faster than others. However, it doesn’t mean that you will have to buy an entirely new BMX brake kit.

To ensure that the brakes are running properly, you will need to have the worn out parts replaced regularly. What are the parts that will most likely need replacement after how many years? It will include cables and pads.

Budget

You will also have to check your budget. However, just like any other product, this shouldn’t be the only thing that you have to consider. Some products are meant to be expensive. For instance, if the product is highly dependable then this could be worth it. To get the best deal, it is highly suggested to check at least five other products and compare their prices. There are those beginner-friendly brakes meant especially for those who are just starting the hobby.

Durability

The quality of the entire brake system is another important consideration that has to go with your budget. You want to check the materials used on the BMX brake system. Does it have parts that are lightweight and could take a decent amount of wear and tear? The last thing that you want is to have a brake system that would give out when you needed it the most.

Purpose of using the BMX Bike

You also need to consider the purpose of getting a BMX bike. Are you simply going to use it for your daily commute? If so, then you want to make sure that you get powerful brakes that you can rely on for quite a long time. In addition to this, you also need to know what type of road you will be taking daily. U-brakes and V-brakes are ideal even in muddy roads.

On the other hand, if you are going to do some tricks, you can try to use a gyro brake kit. Also known as a detangler, the BMX bike gyro brakes are designed to stop the cables from getting tangled allowing your handlebar to spin 360 without any worry. This is important for those who are doing freestyle BMX. However, a bike gyro is mostly applied to a BMX rear brake cable.

Apart from stopping the cable from getting entangled, this can also help lessen the mechanical friction in case you are using a dual-cable setup. However, you also need to consider more parts to lubricate.

Conclusion

A lot of BMX riders today prefer to go brakeless. Unfortunately, it isn’t suggested especially if you are only a beginner. In most cases, you will need to invest in dependable brakes for BMX bikes. What most beginners don’t know is that brake set up for BMX is quite different from mountain bikes. BMX bikes are used not only for daily commute but also for extreme sports.

Because of this, it is equally important to finding the right brakes that can help match your lifestyle. If you are into extreme sports and doing freestyle, you’d want to have a BMX brakes setup that is compatible with a gyro or a detangler. Also, you want to decide if you prefer to stick to a front or a rear brake setup. Once you’ve considered all these options, it becomes easier to pick the right one for your needs.

 

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