Parking Brake

If your bike doesn’t have a kickstand, the best way to keep it from falling over when it’s leaning against something is to lock the front wheel. A simple and effective parking brake is an elastic hair band – get a pack of 20 for $1 at Target. Store it in front of the grip when not in use.

15 Responses to “Parking Brake”

  • Righteous Metal Broad says:

    Really?! I have a habit of keeping elastic hair ties on my handlebars just to keep them handy as I’m always looking for elastic hair ties. I’ll have to try this, thanks!

  • andy parmentier says:

    now would be a good time to thank the proprietors of this site for covering my FAUX PAS. because when i mention the words “curvy” and “hips” it’s not always about a WOMAN. you know, i really DO appreciate MOTHER NATURE’S “curves”-and i HAVE ridden along the old sacramento river on a junker mountain bike, and eaten oranges off trees there, and ridden along the roads in the bay delta where the eucalyptus grows..

  • Roland Smith says:

    An even better way is to get a ring lock on one of the wheels (usually fitted to the back wheel. (see e.g.

    This prevents the bike form moving and offers some protection against theft. Most modern locks can also hold a cable or chain to actually fasten the bike to a rack or lamppost.

  • torrilin says:

    Wheel locks are neat. I’ve got one on my bike and I love it. Not *quite* as much as I love my basket, but close.

  • Eric Vann says:

    Let’s hear it for simple solutions.

  • Tom says:

    Great idea… except I went out and bought a kickstand. I don’t notice the extra weight and they are really convient!

  • Alan says:


    I too like kickstands. I’m still working out the details on mounting my double-leg Pletscher on my LHT. It fits, but I have to tighten it down beyond what I think is healthy for my frame to keep it from twisting. I’m looking into rubber shims as a possible solution. Fortunately, my Pashley has a kickstand built right into the rear rack (clever Brits)!


  • Tim Guthrie says:

    Alan, thanks for the good, cost effective (cheap )idea. It love it.


  • Roland Smith says:


    Why not use some pieces of an old inner tube as shims?

  • Alan says:


    Sure, that would work too, or even a rubber band. The elastic hair bands are nice in that they roll on the grip when a rubber strip would be a little less cooperative, but it’s a minor point.

  • Doftya says:

    I have been enjoying your blog for some time. It has helped me get the courage to detune my beloved Kona mtn bike into something useful. I’m going to get swept back bars on this weekend to raise the riding position to a sit rather than a slouch. But that’s another story.

    I have a slightly off topic question, with the bar end shifters such as yours, do you find that the cable gets annoying under your fingers or do you not notice that? Just wondering, because normally those bar end shifters would have the cable running under the handle bar wrap, would that not be so?

    (And I believe that Roland was referring to using the innertube for the kickstand, not for the parking brake)

  • Alan says:


    Congrats on setting up your Kona for practical cycling; sounds like a fun project.

    The cables don’t bother me, though that’s a very subjective thing. I mostly rest my hands on top of the bars (not recommended but an old habit), so I don’t even notice them. You’re correct about the cables normally being wrapped under tape.

    Regarding the innertube suggestion – I’m a little slow sometimes.. LOL. I get it now.. :-)


  • edde says:

    Hiya Riders,

    Inner tubes work great for holding brake levers, too. I use one as a parking brake on my Troika recumbent tandem. Fun to watch someone who doesn’t know its there try to ride away with the trike;-)

    I use about a 1″ section cut from a big MTB or BMX tube. Aesthetics are clearly secondary for me;-) Free and a useful way to recycle tubes.

    I set up bar-cons on USS bikes with no hand grips (unneeded) and don’t find them uncomfortable. In the past I used Pedro’s Thinwall grips and routed the cable under them like bar wrap – don’t think they’re available anymore, though. I’ve used bar-wrap and other grips successfully, too. YMMV.


  • Ecovelo: Parking Brake for your Bike | BikeHacks says:

    […] from EcoVelo comes an ingenious and simple idea – the use of an elastic hair band to solve the problem. Thank you Alan from […]

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Click-Stand says:

    […] a Click-Stand is super easy. Before extending the stand, lock the front brake with one of the supplied elastic brake bands. This keeps the bike from rolling off the Click-Stand […]

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