Fixing Uppababy Vista – Left Brake Issue

Sam Baby, DIY, Household 18 Comments

This is a bit of a geek post.
Preparing for the little one we deep-dived into stroller research and also visited a lot of baby stores to test out the unit. We agree that $800 + tax for a new set is too much so we opted to look in the used market. In the end we picked up a 2009 Uppababy Vista stroller.

One issue we found was that the left brake was not working. Originally the brake lever on the right side locks both wheels at the same time. Toronto is not a hilly city so it wasn’t a big issue, but I just didn’t feel comfortable about it.

I did a lot of digging but could not find any solutions online. Many people say you need to replace the frame entirely. I decided to take a look for myself and also provide some info on how to repair this brake issue.

Opening up the left wheel hub and this is the locking pin with springs. The cable was intact.

I tried to pull on the extra cable and there was no tension, so there is a break in the line.
*Be careful not to pull this too far.*

Tracing it back I had to open up the right wheel hub…not sure if I can put it back.

The white piece pushes the locking pin for the right wheel and then pull on the cable assembly.

Here is the break, not sure if this is a common point for other units with similar issues.

Used the drill to remove the brass holder (gold piece), but the direction of the spring sleeve it won’t go back in!

Working with frayed cables and keeping the cable from slipping into the frame.

Try to enlarge the hole from the brass sleeve but still won’t fit back into the spring. #$@%^#^&%)*&!!

Ran to a local bike shop and got a few parts to do some patch work. This is a wheel spoke that fit the cable diameter.

Needed Carmen to tie the knot with her nimble fingers.

It was a tight stretch to fit all the locking pins together. I was worried the brakes would be engaged permanently and have to cut away some of the sleeving.

There was no tension adjuster for the cable. I was incredible lucky that the brake worked from the first time!

So hope this guide is helpful if you have a similar brake issue for your Uppababy Vista. I am not sure if the cable breakage is consistently in the same place but hope to give you an idea the construction and possible fix for this issue.

*UPDATE – 10/22/16*: After using it for 8 months, the brakes are still holding strong. In some cases, it takes a few nudges for both brakes to engage but it still feels very secure. Little Amber loves riding and napping in her stroller.

SamFixing Uppababy Vista – Left Brake Issue

Comments 18

  1. Horace

    Glad you were able to fix the brake issue and put it back in one piece. There’s always a point in every DIY fix that is like “uh oh…I hope I can get it back to what it was..” haha.

  2. Magen

    My back wheels wobble and squeak on my 2009. Have you worked on those? There are no longer replacement wheels for this model.

  3. Alison

    Hi, thanks for this amazing post! We have the same problem with our 2010 Vista with the left wheel brake no longer working, but we don’t have your talent! We’ve inquired at a few places hoping to find someone to fix it but like you mention, everyone has suggested that we need an entire new frame. Wondering if you’d consider doing the repair on ours for a fee? Perhaps a long shot but thought I should ask just in case.


  4. Kiri

    We have the same issue with our 2010 model– the left brake broke early on. I noticed this post is from last year.. just wondering if your fix has held? We will probably give it a try!

  5. kelly

    HI Just a few quick questions.

    Did you have to cut the spring sheath in order to pull the wire out?
    It looks like you cut the spoke/nipple (goldthingy replacement) as it doesn’t appear the same length as in the previous picture before installation.


    Frustrated mom!

  6. Mike K

    Thanks for your guide. I just did the same procedure on a 2010. I ended up reusing the brass sleeve by using a wood screw to expand it. It cracked slightly, but that allowed the spring guide to bite into it better. Initially, after the procedure my left brake would still not engage – there wasn’t enough tension to engage the pin. I ended up moving the brass sleeve on the right wheel out and below its plastic seat. That added the needed tension to the cable. Both brakes now work – hopefully it lasts. Having a bike brake line barrel clamp would have made this a lot easier than tying that knot. I think I will try that if the knot ever fails.

  7. Cece

    I have the same stroller and the back wheels have started wobbling. Does yours do this? By any chance, do you know how to fix this?

  8. Benjamin Jacobs

    Awesome! im going to look at my vista, and then see if this is the same issue with my britax b ready, as they are almost identical!

  9. magda


    I do see your post states this stroller is 2009 model but your wheels are 2010-2014 model. Did you change them?
    I am asking because I have 2009 model and need replacements wheels- nowhere to be found. I was told 2010-2014 will not match with 2009 model.
    Do you know anything about it?

    Thanks a lot for your help in advance

  10. Caleb

    I had a similar issue but it was that the wire had stretched just enough (rather than braking) for the one brake to only engage intermittently. I bought a couple things like a 1mm aluminium wire stops so I could cut off the barrel end and crimp that on to make it shorter but in the time it took those to arrive I figured out I could just twist the wire (in the direction of the wire twist) a could times to get it back to the appropriate length and now the brakes work again without any modification! Before coming up with this idea, I fully disassembled both hubs including the spring loaded pedal (it is relatively easy to put everything back together).

    One hiccup was when disassembling the pedal side and one of the 3 nuts that is held still by a hexagonal hold was on tight enough that when I tried to take the bolt out it ruined the plastic holding the nuts (which was not accessible until I took the pedal part off later) and I had to drill out that bolt. I ended of using a screw in its place.

    If you have questions about what I did you can email me at

  11. Dawn


    This is probably a really silly question, but how did you repair the frayed cable?

    Thank you!

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