The (DANGER) of not regularly inspecting your hand lever/ u brakes.

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by chad, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. chad

    chad Member

    Last wednesday I was walking, my (GX-35 friction drive mountain bike) into my workplace building.

    As I was pushing my bike I heard a clicking noise, and then my bike could no longer be pushed. I first checked my engine and friction drive but they were fine. The problem was actually with my front wheel.

    My front u-brake "return spring wire", came out of its mounting place. And then the left side rubber brake pad, lodged under the front rim, and then froze the front wheel.

    If the return lever would have come off, while I was driving 25 mph with cars behind me, it would have been VERY dangerous.

    I believe part of the problem, was that my left rubber brake pad (was installed to low), and that allowed it to get under the rim, and then freeze the front wheel.

    This u-brake malfunction was (very) serious. And u-brake inspections should be included in everyones motored bike safety inspections.

    Make sure your "return spring rod" is tightly mounted. Also make sure your brake pad, is installed high enough along the rim (so it can't get under the rim.) And also make sure all your brake components like pads, ex.ex. are tightly installed.

    I have learned that its very important to make these brake inspections,
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

  2. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Make sure you never motorize a bicycle that does not have high specification "disk brakes"

    Rim brakes on a motorized bicycle is simply suicidal !!!
  3. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams New Member

    I have rim brakes have not had a problem with stopping
    Stops very quick then again there are $100.00 set maybe that the difference.
  4. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    When rim brakes get wet they are useless, or practically useless.
    When a wheel rim gets a buckle, it becomes a dangerous situation on an ordinary bicycle and a lethal combination on a motorized bicycle, particularly if the bike hits a decent pothole or similar and the wheel receives a major buckle - stopping the bike in a controllable manner becomes impossible.

    Rim brakes might be ok for ordinary pushbikes but they are a suicidal option on a motorized bicycle.
    My first build used a bicycle with rim brakes and it took me less that 60 seconds to turn the bike around; head on home and pull the engine out of the frame, only to reinstall it in a newly purchased bicycle with disk brakes, then upgrade the 6" rotors to a Hayes 9" front rotor and Avid BB7 caliper.

    Even then, the 9" rotor is marginal at times, and my preference is for twin 12" front rotors.

    The below photo shows just how marginal a 9" front rotor can be (with the disk rotor turning blue and brake pad smoke copiously ejecting itself from the caliper), and the 9" rotor brakes tremendously better than any rim brake could every hope to achieve.

  5. bobo333

    bobo333 Member

    That was my first prerequisite when i was looking to purchase a new bike for motorising, disk brakes on both ends are great!

    Even with a shift kit allowing me to comfortably do 35mph i have no trouble stopping, especially now with my dual pull brake lever that i have set up to lock the rear just before the front to prevent any over the handlebar experiences

    I dont haul anywhere near the weight you do though Fabian so havnt had any troubles with the standard 6" rotors, i will probably upgrade when i do some more engine mods though
  6. chad

    chad Member

    How much does a front wheel disk brake cost ??

  7. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    You need a bike which has disk brake adapter mounts incorporated into the frame.
    If your bike does not have disk brake mounting points, you'll need to purchase a bike that "does have" I.S. disk brake mounts.

    Standard mechanical calipers are quite reasonable if properly maintained, but an Avid BB7 caliper allows for inboard and outboard pad adjustment.
    A Hayes 9" disk rotor will fit onto an I.S. mount with minimal modification.

    The caliper is around $70 -

    The disk rotor is around $50 -

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  8. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    If you can weld you can attach mounts for rear disk brakes but may have to buy forks for the front.
  9. rawly old

    rawly old Member

    I get by fine with my rim brakes, but I've spent a lot
    of time keeping them dialed in just so. they're nothing
    special, but I'm running expensive pads.
    There is one thing I do think is very important,
    and that is one should always do a preflight check
    of the bike for every ride, tires, brakes, everything
    tight, etc.
    Speaking from experience, failure to do so can
    result in a very unpleasant experience.
  10. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    it's a mute point on rim brakes not working well wet as his FRICTION drive is basicly worthless when wet
  11. rawly old

    rawly old Member

    True enough, I've gone to great lengths trying
    to modify one for the wet with some success, but
    if there's any oil residue or, in my location, algi
    gorwing on the road, it's a lost cause.
    As to rim brakes, I think, for some reason, they
    work far better on a polished chrome steel wheel
    than on aluminum. I don't own anything new enuff
    for discs.
  12. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Even a disc brake wont hold well when wet. water is the ultimate lubricant. My V brakes have been working very well for over two years. Pads are easy to change when worn. Maintenence is the answer to ALL.
    Big Red.