Crashes Warning warning warning, disc brake alert!

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by motorbikemike45, May 20, 2010.

  1. Do not buy any bicycle with Artek Vigorous disc brakes. They are junk and could cost you your life. For serious. My rear disc brake failed to work the other day. I tore it down and found the pad that moves with the lever had jammed in the caliper, not moving against the disc when the brakes were applied. I replaced the pads in the rear caliper, adjusted them carefully, and went for a ride today. I was on a bike path going down a slight incline at about 28-30mph when a truck pulled completely across the crosswalk directly in front of me, blocking it completely. I pulled both brake levers, hard, and nothing happened. No brakes at all. I was able to swerve onto a lawn alongside the path and lay the bike down. After I got up, I checked the brakes and neither was working. I'm alive with no serious injuries because there was a lawn right there. If I'd been riding in traffic on a road or street with a curb, I'd be writing this from a hospital bed, or not at all. As it is, I have grass stains, a few minor skin abrasions, and a really foul mood to deal with.

    I pushed the bike home, tore the brakes apart and found both front and rear brakes jammed the same as the rear had jammed earlier. The caliper bores where the pads should move in and out in are too large, allowing the pads to cock and jam. I've had disc brakes before on my bikes and swore by them as the best brakes I've ever used. The fault lies with the crappy Artek Vigorous calipers. Rather than replacing both brake units with good quality mounts and calipers at more than $60.00 each, I'm buying a new bike and stripping the good parts from this cheap one from Toys R Us. It has been nothing but trouble.

    The GEBE drive system and Robin engine have performed flawlessly. I will transfer them to the new bike without any modifications needed. Remember, saving a few dollars on a bike with cheap brakes is not worth your life.

    PS. Yes, I was wearing a helmet.
    Last edited: May 20, 2010

  2. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Are they cable activated discs, or hydraulic discs? If they came on a Toys R Us bike, I expect they are really crummy cable-pull discs that can't brake as hard as my work boot jammed on the tire.

    For disc brakes, I wouldn't even bother with anything less than Magura or Hayes. Even Avid cable discs are weaker than v brakes.

    And toys R us has the worst dept store bikes ever. It is a bad idea to put a motor on one.

    Real disc brakes don't come on $200 bikes. It is a matter of profit. The disc brakes cost too much for that price point.

    Glad you are ok though! Stick to the V brakes!
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  3. 210061741

    210061741 Guest

    Hey Mike sorry to hear about your troubles.
    i was wondering what you been up to.

    Anyway the weather is nice finally and i am unemployed.
    So we should get together and go for a spin when you get back up and running.

    Glad to hear you didn't get hurt.

    That's 2 times now someone pulled in front of you.
  4. Vistaman73

    Vistaman73 Member

    Mike, you seem to be a magnet for dumb drivers who don't look first. I tried to invision your scenario and from all things I could think off, it must have been scary. I am glad you wore a helmet and didn't get hurt. Was your bike OK? I have always wanted disk brakes but don't have the money/knowledge to convert. My MB has terrible center pull brakes. My non-MB bike has some wicked V-Brakes. They will lock up your tires at any speed and the front one will flip you over. I have made some serious skids and after years of fun, I am close to needing a new rear tire and some fresh pads all around. I will only get the same pads cause they rock. They squeal when wet but all pads do that, right? ;)
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  5. Yes, cable pull brakes. I've used cable pull disc brakes before. My second MB had a cable pull disc on the front and it worked perfectly every time. I could lock up the front tire if I squeezed the lever hard enough and it was still on the original pads after 2 years and over 2,000 miles. Unfortunately I don't remember what brand it was.

    Not all pads squeak or squeal when wet. I think steel rims squeal worse than aluminum, especially when wet. There are excellent aftermarket pads I've used that are quiet in any conditions.

    I didn't have time to be scared, or to think about it, I just reacted. After I got it stopped I was shaking, but from anger more than fear.

    I'll let you know when the new bike is ready Rich. I'd like to ride with you again.

    I hope I can mount my high quality aftermarket fork on the new bike. I want to have a cable pull disc on the front of the new bike, but it will be a very good one. A V style rim brake on the rear is fine, in fact with the GEBE system it will be better cause I won't have to drill the engine mount strap to fit with a disc like I did with this bike. Oh yeah, I'd best get a new strap ordered from GEBE.
  6. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Hi Happycheapskate,

    I feel i need to respond to your grossly inappropriate appraisal of mechanical disk brakes, as you included Avid cable discs; stating that they: quote "are weaker than v brakes".
    This is a serious faux pas on your behalf.
    From my own personal experiences with (firstly) Tektro cable operated disk brakes (using standard 6" rotors) and a reasonable amount of time to evaluate their performance, i can honestly say, they are miles ahead of any V-brake, and there is no comparison when you factor in wet weather riding.
    I was quite surprised at how good a basic cable operated disk brake performed, although, for my application they did not meet my ever expanding performance requirements.
    I upgraded to an Avid BB7 caliper and Shimano 8" rotor on the front and staying with the standard Tektro 6" rotor setup on the rear, which works reasonably well in stopping my bike and trailer combination.

    Please Happycheapskate, rethink your comment or give my comments a good kick in the pants by providing compelling argument to prove that an Avid BB7 caliper is ineffective and a low specification item.

  7. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    re: cable disc brakes suck

    I have Cane Creek Direct curve brakes and levers, and I've enjoyed Avid speed dial or nashbar long levers, and XTR V brakes.
    But I still would rather run old LX v brakes than those cable discs. Its also nice that they are easy to set up and change pads on, and easy to place and remove the wheel when equipped with them.

    I don't like the cable discs, esp those Walmart boogers.

    If you want to run them, suit yourself. I don't know how to "prove" it, but if you want to waste your money on it, go ahead. I'm sure some bike mag bigwigs have run some lengthy test but I don't have the money, and don't care. I've already been convinced that cable operated discs are a bulky waste and not worth bothering with. Get some good V's, or get hydros if the v's aren't big enough for your bottom when you get a head of steam going. :devilish:
  8. plinko

    plinko Banned

    Got a cheap wall mart schwinn and ran a dual brake lever on my common cantilever brakes and can stop at a dime In wet or dry conditions.Only thing Is I replace brake pads every 3 to 4 months.But,It's a minor Inconvenience for reliable no bull safety.Make things too complicated and you have more complicated problems to deal with.BTW,Glad you are alright motorbikemike.Just one more reason I will stick to common unfancy cantilever brakes.And If I build a hot rod bike with a 6 to 9 horsepower motor.I will do drum brakes.
  9. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Quote plinco:"If I build a hot rod bike with a 6 to 9 horsepower motor. I will do drum brakes". :rofl:

    6 to 9 horsepower motor and drum brakes :ee2k:

    :rofl:..... :rofl:..... :rofl:..... :rofl:..... :rofl:
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  10. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member


    See here (Sheldon Brown shop)
    for all kinds of brake shoes and tips.

    Have you tried taking one of those green kitchen scouring pads and some Dawn dish soap to your rims? Sandpaper also works well to machine the track and get the optimal braking surface. You don't need to take much off but just clean them and give it a little texture.

    Giving your v-brakes "toe in" also helps. Make sure your v-brakes are lubricated properly at the rotation points, and the mounting nuts are tight.

    It pays to keep some Wet/Dry paper and a small cheap knife, to get any metal/grit/rock out of your brake shoes, no matter what type you use. Eventually you'll get something in your brake shoe(s).
    Kool Stop wet conditions road pads, can also work on V-s if you transfer over the little cup and ball washers.
    photo red brake pads

    I usually just use the $4 v-brake pads [​IMG]

    re: some fresh pads all around. I will only get the same pads cause they rock. They squeal when wet but all pads do that, right? ;)

  11. plinko

    plinko Banned

    Fabian,I could honestly care less about your opinions of my builds or laughing at my Ideas.I know I seen drum brakes used on 125 pound mopeds with 6 to 9 horsepower morini's and they worked fine.Drum brakes are amongst the most reliable brakes available and been tested on mopeds,motored bikes,And smaller motorcycles since the 1950's.Simply put,If you can't offer me advice on the down side of drum brakes or just wanna find someone to make fun of.Go jump In a pile of this:poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:.Make that five piles.:jester:
  12. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member


    quote: Have you tried taking one of those green kitchen scouring pads and some Dawn dish soap to your rims? Sandpaper also works well to machine the track and get the optimal braking surface. You don't need to take much off but just clean them and give it a little texture.

    Giving your v-brakes "toe in" also helps. Make sure your v-brakes are lubricated properly at the rotation points, and the mounting nuts are tight.

    It pays to keep some Wet/Dry paper and a small cheap knife, to get any metal/grit/rock out of your brake shoes, no matter what type you use. Eventually you'll get something in your brake shoe(s).

    My goodness Happycheapskate, with all the above fraternisation of a system that requires so much adjustment and effort to have some semblance of reliability, you should just bite the bullet and admit that any form of brakes other than a reasonably priced set disk brakes is a waste of time.

    Just bolt on a BB7 caliper and 8" rotor and be done with all the headaches, not to mention the ability to bring the bike to a controllable stop, even with light damage to the rim surface; the most critical safety factor, especially on a motorised bicycle.
    If your bike doesn't have mounting lugs for disk brakes, get yourself another bike or disk brake forks.

    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  13. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member


    I should know, as i've owned a Honda CT110 (Postie Bike) with it's useless drum brakes; woefully useless when they got hot, bordering on dangerous.

    The down side of conventional drum brakes are many and there certainly isn't any upside!
    Heat dissipation would be my first point of notice and it doesn't get any better when looking into other aspects of the design.
    Just get yourself a decent set of disk brakes and be done with it.


    If your going to be riding a motorised bicycle with 6-9 horsepower, coupled with the increased speeds such an engine would give, you logic for using bicycle drum brakes is highly questionable.
    I write this with concern for your safety, not to mention everyone else who is in your way.

    So i say: 6 to 9 horsepower motor and drum brakes :ee2k:.......... :nono:

    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    You're just bitter. I scrub my rims like that when I replace the shoes. That takes quite a long time to wear out the shoes. And I always carry a pocketknife anyway. I haven't had to dig any glass or metal out of my pads for half a year.
    Even if you get some, it will be quite a while before it scores a rim so bad you'd have to worry about it. You could ride it home.

    I sand every wheel I buy, besides ceramic rims, which have a rough coating.

    It only takes a few minutes, when you get the bike. BFD! :devilish:
    But millions of users the world over use cheaper pads, and lesser v brakes, and ride with dirty rims coated in rubber residue, road grime, and with bits embedded in their pads, and can still do stoppies like crazy and tire skids!

    But their brakes probably squeel when its wet outside.
    I've seen one of my high school friends knock a wheel out of round (flat spot) and out of true pretty bad, and the v-brakes were still useful to "controllably stop the bike". The wheel dragged a little each revolution, and the arms moved with the rim when applied. We built it with another rim, eventually. He rode it like that for months because he didn't care.

    When the thin rotors on cable discs warp, what do you do?

    PS you can get a set of powerful v-brakes, with new pads, cables, levers, adjusters, and fastening hardware for a couple hundred bucks. And they will come with a whole bike! hahaha.

    I don't think v-brakes are a waste of time at all. I built a nice mountain bike a few years ago and I'm still running it. I don't want disc brakes. Esp cable brakes! V brakes are great and useful and and easy for me, lightweight and durable.

    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  15. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Bitter, bitter, certainly not Happycheapskate.

    I'm moving with the times; just like auto manufacturers did in the 60's.
    You can't get a car with drum brakes on the front wheels anymore - maybe there's a reason for it.
    Even motorcycle manufacturers fit disk brakes to most of their models and only the cheapest and lowest specification motorcycles are fitted with drum brakes.

    I'll take safety over saving a few dollars every time.

  16. plinko

    plinko Banned

    Someone tell me how do you hook up disk brakes to the wheel and still have use of the engine,sprocket,and 7 speed cassette?
  17. plinko

    plinko Banned

    I see Fabian.Made a good point.I'll reconsider my build.
  18. plinko

    plinko Banned

    Fabian's cool
  19. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Glad yours work for you at a price point that makes you happy.

    I think v brakes rock and will be a world standard for a very long time.

    For the application we are talking about (bicycles and motorised bicycles), I think v brakes are practical, light, cheap, and accessible, so I enjoy them. I don't think bicycle disc brake systems compare to motorcycle disc brake systems because they are way lighter and made for way less speed and weight.

    The cable operated bicycle disc systems that I've test ridden (Walmart junk, other dpt store junk, low end bicycle shop junk, and the avid brand but maybe not exact same model, 6" disc)
    felt "dead" compared to the very sensitive hydraulic bicycle disc brakes, and required a lot of hand pressure vs V brakes with better quality pads (not the junkiest blocks) and the 3 finger levers. My 2 finger levers and brakes (cane Creek direct curve) are very strong and nicely made. And still lots less than discs.

    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  20. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Hi plinko (and also Happycheapskate)

    I don't attack anybody on here (ok, i've been known to be quite critical if their actions are foolish) but just pass on advise based on my own experiences.
    Possibly, my greatest virtue is the ability to be self critical of my own thoughts and at times actions.

    If after the act, my review of my actions isn't favourable, i'll be the first person to hold up the "fool" card.
    Also, i rarely let my own psychology get the better of me, even if i'm finding all sorts of ways for self justification of my actions.
    Having said that, i've placed a few posts in a thread that could be seen as contradictory to what i've mentioned above, with words that had me crucified by some members, but it's easy to be righteous and self justified in response when never being placed in that exact situation.

    To both of you, i offer demure redress for my perceived attacks on your posts.
    Certainly, this was not the intention, but if you look at your own posts, you may be able to see why my response was worded as it was.

    Everyone has a right to post what they wish (within sites guidelines) although sometimes the brain to mouth filter suffers a seizure, and i'm not immune to such actions.

    Last edited: May 23, 2010