What are Electric Scooter Drum Brakes and How Does It Work?

What are Electric Scooter Drum Brakes and How Does It Work?

What are Electric Scooter Drum Brakes and How Does It Work?

Before you buy an electric scooter online, consider looking at the type of brake that a specific e-scooter uses. Electric scooters use different types of electric scooter brakes to add more safety to your rides. Some of the best electric scooters for adults use drum brakes for their decent performance, easy maintenance, and reliability in wet conditions.

If you are considering buying an e-scooter that uses an electric scooter drum brake, check out this electric scooter guide to learn more about this type of brake and why you should use one today.

What are Electric Scooter Drum Brakes?

Drum brakes are an old-style type of brake that’s rare among vehicles, including e-scooters, cars, and motorcycles. This electric scooter brake is made from a cast-iron drum and a backplate assembly that’s attached to the e-scooter wheel. They are often used on the rear wheel of an e-scooter or vehicle. The wheel hub encloses the drum brakes, protecting it from its environment.

How Do Drum Brakes Work?

Drum brakes activate using a cable connected from the hand brake lever to the drum brake. The brake is attached to the wheel, so it rotates with it. However, the backplate holds the other drum brake components and stays put as the wheel turns.

Drum brakes also include brake shoes, which also work like brake pads. It uses a brake lining to create friction and stop the wheel from turning. Another electric scooter brake part is the cylinder with pistons, which pushes the brake shoes to the drum to stop the wheel.  

The drum brake is also fully enclosed, protecting itself from dirt, water, and other particles from entering and damaging it. However, one downside is that it is more prone to overheating. When drum brakes overheat, it becomes less effective. Although this is rare with e-scooters, it may still affect the drum brake’s performance.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Drum Brakes


The main advantage of using e-scooters with drum brakes is their easy maintenance. Since it is enclosed inside the wheel hub, the brake is less prone to damage. Moreover, it offers good performance in wet conditions, making it a good braking system for rainy seasons or muddy environments. Lastly, it generally has a longer lifespan, given the protection it receives.


Unfortunately, drum brakes are heavier than other types of brakes, like disc brakes. Moreover, they provide slightly less braking power than disc brakes. Although they offer a generally good braking system, they only come second to disc brakes. Moreover, they are prone to overheating since they are located inside the wheel hub. Lastly, drum brakes are challenging to disassemble or repair since they are inside the wheel.

Repairing Drum Brakes

When it comes to electric scooter brake repair, fixing drum brakes is a little bit tricky. One would need to disassemble the hub containing the drum and clean the drum brake pads and surface using a clean cloth.

Always have your e-scooter drum brakes removed or repaired by a mechanic. The braking system’s components are delicate and difficult to disassemble. So, it’s best if a professional handle the repairs, unless you have prior experience in fixing drum brakes.

If you need help with repairing your Mearth electric scooter, request a repair on our website and wait for our support team to help with your concern.

Drum Brake vs Disc Brake

Disc brakes and drum brakes are mechanical brakes often used in e-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. On the other hand, disc brakes provide stronger braking power and better overall performance.

Between the two, many prefer disc brakes over drum brakes. It is mainly because of the better power, control, and performance that disc brakes give. That’s why most e-scooters use disc brakes instead of drum brakes. It offers better safety and shorter braking distance.

However, using either type of brake depends on your needs as a rider. If you prefer a low-maintenance drum brake and don’t mind the extra weight it adds and the difficult repairs, if any, then choose drum brakes. Meanwhile, if you prioritise braking power, opt for e-scooters with disc brakes.

Are Drum Brakes Good for Electric Scooters?

In general, yes. Drum brakes still provide decent braking power for your travel needs. It also suits riders that prefer a low-maintenance e-scooter. If you need to learn more about the other types of e-scooter brakes available, here’s a beginner’s guide to electric scooter brakes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the Biggest Problem with Drum Brakes?

One major downside of using drum brakes is brake fade. Over time, the drum brakes wear out and produce less friction, resulting in a less effective stopping power.

  • Are Drum Brakes Good for Off-road?

Although drum brakes are enclosed, dirt and other particles can still enter the brakes and damage them or make them less effective. Unfortunately, when dirt enters inside the brakes, it stays there since it is inside an enclosed space. When riding off-road, it may still catch debris and make it prone to dirt and damage. So, although e-scooters with drum brakes can ride off-road, it is not recommended.

  • When Should I Adjust Drum Brakes?

Adjust drum brakes when the brake lever needs to be used several times before the brake engages. Note that some drum brakes can’t be adjusted.

For more electric scooter guides, check out Mearth’s blogs.