Calliper or Disk breaks for MB bicycle?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by bilboby, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. bilboby

    bilboby Member

    Very soon (next ten days) i'll be purchasing a new bike type model yet to be decided but it will be an all terrain type with a minimum of atleast 26 gears and also 26" wheel. However like in the US over here in France there are many bike models to choose from along with cost therefore should i stick with a traditional type of bike with V calliper breaks or perhaps upgrade to having both a front & back disk breaking system bearing in mind the bike will also be used for MB riding? Are their any advantages in using disk breaks or is it just folly chat by the manufacturers and sales people? The new bike will have a Honda GXH 50 engine (using a Titan RUI124 carb) fitted onto it whilst also opting to keep the friction drive system for now. Hence what would you guys who are the Professionals in the MB field go for? Are disk breaks considered more dangerous for MB riding?


  2. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Bilboby -

    Real fast . . . . I recommend disc brakes over V brakes. But both types will work if properly maintained. A lot of both types exist.

    My weight is above average; I will pay for max stopping power. On my first build: after a few test hard stops, I was not happy with the "from the store" V caliper brake pads on front and rear wheels. I purchased some better quality pads and ensured they could lock up the tires in an emergency stop. I also ride in dry weather with dry rims. Wet steel rims have poor stopping power.

    On my second build, I found out that in general, better quality mountain bikes are more often sold with with disc brakes. After reading some, I found they are far less prone to brake fade and poor braking due to wet rims. My attitude: Stopping when I want to stop is not negotiable.

    My current build used to have V brakes front and back. To convert to discs, I later purchased disc-capable front shocks (cheap; about US$160), disc-capable wheels (about US$200), two caliper sets (about US$150), and an ADAPTER kit (about US$160). The adapter kit is mandatory for frames NOT already set up for disc brakes. The conversion cost about as much as a mid-quality mountain bike already equipped.

    Might as well go with disc brakes if purchasing a new bike. You will not regret it.

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  3. bilboby

    bilboby Member

    Cheers Mike for sharing your inside knowledge on this subject thus you have answered my question hence disk brakes is what i'll be using.

    Many Thank's
  4. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Bilboby -

    I read your original post again. Here is a trade-off to consider: The rear wheel brake rotor will be placed where the driven large sprocket of a left-hand-side driving engine is placed. If you intend to use an in-frame engine like some builders have done with the GXH 50 engine, the rear wheel needs to be V brakes without the caliper brake wheel. If you use friction drive, you can use caliper brakes. Right now, reading the advantages and disadvantages of friction drive with different engines, I would select it and retain caliper brakes. I'd like for other builders to add their comments: What do they know and recommend?
  5. pbeggs

    pbeggs Member

    ive found drum brakes work well also,. a major advantage is they are totally enclosed,... ive had rims get coated with oil/gas mix and they dont work well for stopping then,... havent had disk brakes but would think the same concern would apply. a matched set of front and rear drum brakes work well on a dual pull brake lever
    sturmey archer even has a drum brake hub that accomodates a cassette gearing (derailler type) for the rear and a matching front hub with drum brake and dynamo,.. if your building a motorized bike from the ground up you may want to consider this option as well i had my hubs built into heavy duty rims with heavy spokes and it was well worth the expense and made it easier to get braking on both wheels and use a clutch lever at the same time.

    also drum brake hubs fit most bicycle frames without modification
  6. bilboby

    bilboby Member

    Thank's pbeggs,

    I didn't think about the use of front/back wheel drum brakes but you've now got me again thinking:thinking: I've not seen many bikes for sale here in France that use drum brakes but those that i have seen are usually fitted onto expensive electric bikes. I'll do a google search for seeing what the price ranges are for such bikes and report back my find on this thread.

    Cheers again MikeJ.

    To be honest i'm glad you mentioned this point because i would never of thought about it until it was too late. At the moment (waiting on shipping of a titan carb) the setup is for rear friction drive but only as a short term one given i'll be investing within the next few months on a Staton Gear/Shift drive type kit etc. I asked my employer's today that once the MB setup is running can i use the off road test track we have for running in the MB & motor ofwhich i'm pleased they said yes:eek: It's basically an old disused 8km cross country bike circuit which'll help no doubt sorting out any mechanical problems that may arise?

    Cheers guy's
  7. PatrickW

    PatrickW Staff Member

    For what it is worth, I ride a Trike...a heavy Trike. Normally when I ride there is a 72 lb. Trike, 200 lb. (stupid) rider, 25 lb. motor and gearing, 25 lb. (gas, extra gas, ditty-big of tools and misc. spare parts) cruising at 25-30 mph. It has a single V-brake on the front wheel, and a single Disc brake for both rear wheels. This breaking set-up seems to work just problems in the last 1,000 miles.
  8. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member Thread : Ditch those Caliper Brakes.

    I like v-brakes a lot. If you ride in wet or freezing weather, disc brakes are better, but more complicated and expensive. If you want disc brakes, buy a bike with them already installed, for cost effectiveness.
  9. pbeggs

    pbeggs Member

    as with most things on motorized bikes you may have to put the pieces together yourself ie buy the hubs and have them made into wheels.

    if your thinking of going with a shift kit setup ive found the internal gear hubs work well with mine , chainline issues as the chain doesnt have to move to shift gears,.. and you can run heavier chain to the rear wheel

    im running an sturmey archer 8 speed with 70 mm drum brake in the rear with an 80 (66) cc raw motor,..on a homebuilt jackshaft (i recommened sick bike parts setup,.. as ive used some of thier parts) i have the matching front hub with 70 mm drum brake

    it cost some to get them and build them into heavy wheels but then again that is what you will be rolling on and if you want a tough machine,.. the stuff that comes on a stock bike useually isnt really up to what youll wish you had once you put the MB together (we tend to stress components a little more than the average bike rider) ive replaced every stock rear wheel on every motorized bike ive had and the latest build was build #3 and ive got it almost right,... (the next build will always be perfect!!!)

    good luck! ask help if you need it,.. besides building the things we seem to love shareing our knowledge of what works and what doesnt
  10. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    Just a note on bikes with factory disc brakes, I have looked at the cheap priced bikes found at WalMart, Kmart, Target, ect and each and every one of them had very, very poor caliper to disc alignment. When the brake was applied the disc actually flexed into alignment with the caliper. I have also seen where the disc was not flat and true and wobbled as the wheel spun around. This is horribly wrong! It will lead to premature brake pad wear, brake disc wear and reduced brake effectiveness. It can also lead to brake disc failure (read breakage). The disc and caliper need to be perfectly aligned to each other so when the brake is applied the pads exert even pressure onto the disc with no disc flex what so ever. Most calipers are mounted with a "floating" arrangement to accommodate brake pad wear. Be sure that when the brake is applied while the wheel is turning the caliper does not move back and forth on it's mount as this is an indication that the disc is not flat and true.
    You really do get what you pay for and cheap is not the way to go when dealing with disc brakes.
  11. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I agree. The Walmart bikes are cheap, but some are good and cheap. The basic v-brake mtn bikes have low quality wheels and some chunky components, but the hardtails look pretty good, and have basic no-name v-brakes and shimano 8 speed entry level stuff. It works. I have one of the Schwinn hybrid bikes.