Coaster Brake to Freehub

Eureka! Here is an easy way to turn a coaster brake hub into a free hub!

Coaster brakes are a pain when trying to teach someone to ride a bike. Hand brakes are much better because then it is easy to turn a kids bike into a balance bike by removing the pedals and still allowing kids to stop their bike. With the pedals on it is better to allow new bicyclists to pedal backwards without causing a brake to engage. Coaster brakes make it harder for kids to learn, are not as effective as hand brakes, tend to cause more falls, and are also dangerous on bigger hills because they can overheat and fail.

Disabling a coaster brake hub so it is a free hub (no braking action) is pretty easy for just about anyone (and super easy for anyone who knows how to use a cone wrench). Warning: there is a lot of grease inside a coaster brake hub!

Before or as part of disabling the rear coaster brake, make sure you add a functional rear hand operated brake to the bike. Adding a rear hand brake may take a bit more skill to find brake levers that are good for kids as well as a rear caliper brake that works with your particular brake.

Simple steps to disable your coaster brake and turn it into a freehub:

Voila! You can now pedal forward as usual as well as pedal backwards without worrying about any braking action!

The best video I have seen of how to do this is at They bent the 2 prongs out of the way but I found it easy to snip them off with diagonal cutters. Googling “coaster brake to freehub” will locate other videos and instructions as well.

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