There are two main types of brakes which can be used on our trikes; drum brakes and disc brakes. Both brake types will stop the trike well and have advantages and disadvantages, which brakes are right for you depends on you and how you intend to ride the trike.
Drum brakes are reliable, low maintenance and aerodynamic with very little of the brakes mechanism out in the wind as it is all encased in the hub shell. Drum brakes are available in two sizes, 70mm and 90mm.
70mm drum brakes are powerful enough for most users and are lighter than their 90mm cousins. The long lasting brake shoes can go tens of thousands of miles between replacement and require very little maintenance other than some cable adjustment as they slowly wear down.
90mm drum brakes are bigger and more powerful than their 70mm cousins; the trade-off for this extra power is that the 90mm drums are significantly heavier than the 70mm version. We recommend the 90mm drum brakes for heavier riders and for people looking to do a lot of touring with heavy camping loads.
Disc brakes have more outright power than drum brakes and are lighter weight. The trade-off for this extra power and lower weight is more frequent maintenance and slightly worse aerodynamics. The pads will need to be replaced more often than the drum brake pads with a life of 2-5 thousand miles being expected depending on riding conditions. We recommend disk brakes for riders who like to go fast.
Mechanical BB7 brakes
The Sram BB7 mechanical disc brake has long been a mainstay of trike braking, they are simple, powerful, reliable and easy to set up and work on with only simple tools. BB7’s fit all ICE trikes without front suspension.
Hydraulic Tektro brakes
The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes we fit are lighter than the BB7 brakes and can be fitted to the front suspension trikes as well as rigid front ends. The hydraulic brake system gives a different feel at the lever compared to the cable operated mechanical discs, which gives a bit more feedback which lots of riders prefer. The main downside of the hydraulic brakes compared to the mechanical kind is in maintenance, if they need work it is usually out of the depth of the home mechanic.