A stroller brake: the 4 types you need to know about

Here’s a guide to help find a stroller brake to suit your lifestyle

The parenting day presents many opportunities to adapt&survive and escape the nursery jail with baby in tow. Now that you’re in the market for a stroller, you have to work through the nitty-gritty details to navigate your way through the quagmire of strollerdom. Today we are going to learn about the major types of stroller brake.

There are four major types of stroller brake available:

A foot brake

stroller brake footThis is the most common type of brake. It usually sits on the rear wheel, by the gear tray, leaving it out of sight, and sometimes out of mind.

The benefits of this type of brake are:

  • Ease of use
  • They’re universally available

Here’s a scenario illustrating how you are going to benefit from having a foot brake:

It’s summer and you’re out enjoying the sun, shopping with your friends. You’ve got mid way up the centre street and you’re flustered because it’s been an uphill struggle. Shopping bags are dangling from the strollers handle bar and bubs is getting hungry. Just up ahead there’s a lovely cafe with seats available.

Before you sit down you engage the foot brake because you couldn’t possibly get to the handlebar if you tried; too much shopping! You turn around to take your order and have a moment of panic as you realise the stroller is on a slight incline on a busy street.

Thankfully you have already engaged the brake and can continue your conversation with the wait-staff. The footbrake is the day’s unsung hero and you can now enjoy your well deserved coffee.

stroller brake modHandle brakes

Handle brakes are rock solid for parents that want to use their phil&teds double kit. They are almost always located on the buggies handle, and are sometimes found right in the middle of the handle bar.

Handle brakes are most often on ‘cruiser’ and 4-wheel compact strollers like the phil&teds dash, voyager, smart and MOD.

Active hand brake

This type of handbrake works on a high performance running jogger. It is sensitive, giving you the ability to deliberately slow down if necessary to maintain good form. The brake is similar to a brake on a bicycle.

stroller brake sub4Picture this scenario: Your run is feeling good. It’s been straight and flat for most of the journey. You approach the decline section at speed and squeeze the brake to gradually slow down and easily manoeuvre around the corner.

If you had the handle brake it would be a little bit more like this: You approach the decline section of the run and start speeding up as the stroller gains momentum, you can’t engage the brake because you don’t want it to stop abruptly and you must pull on the stroller to slow it down, inhibiting your form.

stroller brake autostopAutostop

At the beginning of this article we mentioned that having a braking system is important because of what it prevents.

Autostop is the ultimate in braking technology because it automatically engages when you are not using the stroller.

As pictured on the right, autostop is engaged when no tension is on the handle. When you are pushing the stroller you hold the lever and toggle it to the handle bar allowing you to freely walk or stroll around wherever you choose to do so. As soon as you take your hand away from the handle bar and remove the wrist strap the brake engages, stopping your buggy from rolling away.

Autostop is PREVENTATIVE. Heaven forbid without autostop, the stroller could be rolling anywhere – all in a split second. View this video to see the benefits of autostop:

As you can see there are many types of stroller brake, and they all work to make your life easier. You just have to figure out which part it is that you will benefit the most from.

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