Brakes for walking frames

It is important to ensure that four wheeled rollator frames have brakes that you can quickly and easily operate, so that you always feel in control. These are the most common types:

Pressure brakes
These are operated by downward pressure on a spring-loaded frame. This causes the motion of the rear wheels to be interrupted when you are leaning on the frame. They may not be suitable for people who cannot push down heavily enough on the frame, or for people who lean heavily on the frame (this will apply the brakes permanently).

Cable brakes
These are similar to bicycle brakes and require a squeeze action to apply them so they may not be suitable if you have weak or painful hands. Care should be taken when using the brakes as they instantly stop the frame. Users in some studies have found the brakes too stiff to operate or that they required too big a hand grip (Hall et al. 1990). Simultaneous use of both hands on each side of the frame is necessary. Cable brakes must be periodically checked and adjusted.

View DLF's impartial range of four-wheeled walkers here

Further reading - DLF factsheet: Choosing walking equipment

Advice last checked: 26 January 2018 Next check due: 26 January 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
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