It’s so simple; you wonder why no one else has thought of it before now.
It’s just a tiny odd-shaped rubber band, but it relieves one of those little annoyances that comes with cycling. The Bike Brake is a wee gem of practicality. When placed around the handlebar and front brake lever (road or mountain bike), the rubber band stops the front wheel from moving.
Who cares? I do!
The patent-pending product from California is self-described as “the parking brake for your bike.” And it works.
If you’re like me and don’t have a kickstand on your road bike (I won’t go into the reasons unless someone asks), the Bike Brake keeps your bike where you put it. I’m always leaning my bike against a wall her inside or outside the house or in the garage or store front, and the bike always rolls forward until it falls over. Sometimes that leaves dirty tire marks on the wall or, worse still, it scrapes off bits of my nicely wrapped bar tape or frame. Bike Brake stabilizes the bike upright against most supporting places—and makes the bike stay there! With the Bike Brake on, the wheel can’t slide forward or pitch out at an odd angle. It simply keeps the bike upright.
I recently tried the Bike Brake on a five-hour ride. I stopped at three convenience stores, a garage sale and a picnic table. I made a point of using the band each time. It worked quickly and simply. Kendall Kelsen, president of Bike Brake, says that “it takes less time to apply the Bike Brake than to attempt a good bike balance.”
It also comes in handy when trying to do quick cable adjustments, pumping up the tires, or repairs. The manufacturer says the Bike Brake also works as a sports money clip, so you can carry your ID, Health card, credit card and some paper money with minimal hassle and weight.
When not in use, it simply sits barely noticeable on your handlebar. Cool.
So why not make your own? Some people have tried using a cut-up inner tube, but it was too thin, ripped easily and was fussy to handle. The wee Bike Brake costs $2.99 US. Introduced in 2009, it now comes in a bunch of colours to match your bike or bar tape. It is distributed through Paceline Products or you can buy it on line at www.bikebrake.com