When we choose an electric scooter, safety is one of the factors that influence our purchase, and some people even put safety first. The type of brake determines the length of the braking stop. The shorter the braking distance, the higher the safety. The common brakes of electric scooters are drum brakes and disc brakes. In this article we explain how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and their comparison.
What are electric scooter drum brakes?
Drum brakes are a traditional type of brakes that are common in vehicles such as electric scooters, cars, and motorcycles. This electric scooter brake is made from a cast iron drum and a backplate assembly that attaches to the wheel of the electric scooter. They are usually used on electric scooters or the rear wheels of vehicles. The hub surrounds the drum brake, protecting it from the environment, as wet conditions can greatly affect its braking ability.
How do electric scooter drum brakes work?
The drum brake is activated by a cable that connects the handbrake lever to the drum brake. The brakes are attached to the wheels, however, the backplate holds the other drum brake components and stays in place as the wheels turn.
Drum brakes also include brake shoes, which also work like brake pads. It uses brake linings to create friction and stop the wheels from turning. Another braking component of an electric scooter is a cylinder with a piston, which pushes the brake shoe onto the drum to stop the wheel.
The drum brakes are also fully enclosed, protecting themselves from ingress and damage from dust, water and other particles. However, one downside is that it is more prone to overheating. When the drum brakes overheat, braking performance is reduced.
Advantages and disadvantages of drum brakes
- The main advantage of using an electric scooter with drum brakes is easy maintenance.
- Since it is enclosed in the hub, the brake is not easily damaged and has a long service life.
- It provides good performance in wet conditions, making it a good braking system for rainy seasons or muddy conditions.
- Unfortunately, drum brakes are heavier than other types of brakes such as disc brakes.
- They provide slightly less stopping power than disc brakes. Although they provide a generally good braking system, they are second only to disc brakes.
- Since they are located inside the hub, the heat is not easily dissipated, so it is easy to overheat.
- Finally, since the drum brake is inside the wheel, it is challenging to remove or repair.
How to Repair Drum Brakes
When it comes to electric scooter brake repair, repairing drum brakes is a little tricky. It is necessary to remove the hub containing the drum and use a clean cloth to clean the drum pads and surfaces.
Always have a mechanic remove or repair your electric scooter drum brakes. The components of the braking system are fragile and difficult to remove. Therefore, unless you have previous experience repairing drum brakes, it is best to have the repair done by a professional.
Are drum brakes good for electric scooters?
Yes. Drum brakes still provide decent stopping power for your touring needs. It is suitable for some riders who do not like to maintain electric scooters, and the price of electric scooters with drum brakes is relatively cheap.
What are electric scooter disc brakes?
A disc brake is a type of brake that uses rotors and calipers to stop the wheels from turning. It is the safest electric scooter brake out there because of their strong stopping power in both dry and wet conditions.
1. Wire-controlled disc brakes
Disc brakes by wire are the most common type of disc brakes. It uses a cable to engage the caliper. Pulling the handbrake will shorten the cable, which will cause the pads to clamp and stop the rotor. You may experience resistance when using disc brakes by wire, as this comes directly from the friction of the rotors.
2. Semi-hydraulic brake
Semi-hydraulic brakes use cables instead of hydraulic lines. It connects from the brake lever to the caliper and engages the hydraulic piston. Thereby providing strong braking force.
3. Hydraulic brake
This scooter disc brake uses a charge (hydraulic) line to engage the caliper. Using the brake lever increases the pressure in the hydraulic lines, causing the piston to move and squeeze the rotor. It is easier to use than other disc brakes, but provides the most powerful stopping power.
How do electric scooter disc brakes work?
The disc brake is attached to the rotor or metal disc of the wheel of the electric scooter. Squeezing the handbrake activates the caliper next to the rotor and clamps the rotor with the pads. It creates friction that causes the rotors and wheels to slow down and stop.
Parts of electric scooter disc brake system
The rotor is a 2mm or 3mm thick metal disc attached to the hub. The caliper stops the rotor to stop the wheel safely and efficiently.
Brake calipers are one of the most important electric scooter braking components in a disc brake system. Once you engage the brake lever, it slows or stops the wheel. Calipers include brake pads and pistons.
Brake pads are made of steel pads and additional materials such as steel wool, wire or copper. It sits between the rotor and the caliper to reduce friction between the two parts. You'll need to replace these pads when you hear a screeching sound, as it wears out over time.
Pistons bring the brake pads into contact with the brake discs to slow down the wheels. These are usually made of plastic, steel or aluminum.
When to adjust, repair brakes
Adjust your brake pads every 6 to 8 months to ensure consistent and strong stopping power. Also, adjust them when you feel it has less braking power or hear scratching noises. When this happens, it means your brakes may be too tight or too loose.
If you need to repair the disc brakes of your electric scooter, please contact a professional repairman.
Advantages and disadvantages of using disc brakes on electric scooters
Disc brakes provide the best type of brakes for electric scooters. But before you buy, you should quickly understand its pros and cons.
- Provide strong braking force
- Lighter weight than other braking systems
- Easy to adjust
- Easy to maintain
- Performs well in any environment
- Allows for excellent brake control
- Requires regular adjustment and maintenance
- Increase the cost of buying an electric scooter
- Reduced performance under certain harsh conditions
Should I buy an electric scooter with disc brakes?
Electric scooter disc brakes provide more stopping power and control, allowing the rider to slow down or stop while riding. Plus, it doesn’t lose braking power even in wet conditions, making it a safe choice for riders traversing different terrains. Additionally, this type of brake is easy to adjust, upgrade or replace when damaged.
Drum brakes vs disc brakes，which is best?
Disc brakes and drum brakes are mechanical brakes commonly used in electric scooters, cars and other vehicles. The main advantage of using drum brakes is that they are less prone to damage and require less maintenance than disc brakes. Disc brakes, on the other hand, provide stronger stopping power and better overall performance.
Between the two, many prefer disc brakes to drum brakes. This is mainly because disc brakes provide better braking performance, it provides better safety and shorter stopping distances.
However, using either type of brake depends on your needs as a rider. If you prefer low-maintenance drum brakes and don't mind the extra weight it adds and the difficulty of servicing (if any), then opt for drum brakes while also reducing your purchase cost.
You may also ask
1. Which brake is best for electric scooter?
Disc brakes are the best and safest type of electric scooter brakes
2. What's the biggest problem with drum brakes?
A major disadvantage of using drum brakes is brake fade. Over time, drum brakes wear out and create less friction, resulting in less effective stopping power.
3. How long do brakes last on electric scooter?
The brakes on an e-scooter typically last about 200 to 600 miles, depending on how often you apply the brakes. Many factors can affect the condition of your brake pads and braking system. The key is to check and maintain your brakes regularly.
To know more about how to buy the electric scooters, you can read these atricles below: