Better braking

I have a Batribike 20 tricycle but am struggling to apply the rear brake effectively due to tenosynovitis in my left hand. This rarely causes trouble, except that I now live halfway up a steep hill and need to brake my trike fairly forcibly. In the last month, I have ridden the trike a lot in Holland where I had no trouble at all. Have you any helpful ideas?

Shelley Longhurst

The Batribike appears to have a V-brake on the front wheel and a drum on one of the two rear wheels. While it would be fairly easy to add a brake to the third wheel, it is not obvious that this would increase braking power – and hence reduce the force required at the lever – since at least one hand would have to operate two brakes. One option worth considering would be to have a second brake on the front wheel, which is a legal option on a tricycle. Cantilever brake bosses could be brazed to the back of the fork blades and a second V-brake installed, doubling the braking on the front wheel, which is in any case more effective at applying braking force to the road.

Richard Hallett

​​Cycle’s Technical Editor

This Q&A was published in 'Cycle' the magazine for members of Cycling UK. To contact the experts, email your technical, health, legal or policy questions to or write to Cycle Q&A, PO Box 313, Scarborough, YO12 6WZ

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