What kind of brakes to get for my bike?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by skull7, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. skull7

    skull7 New Member

    I'm new here and just recently decided to put myself together a motorized bicycle. I've read other threads on this forum saying I need to invest in some front brakes since my bike only has rear coaster brakes. And I was just wondering, what brakes should I get? I'm kinda on a budget as a college student but I wanna be safe at the same time. Does anyone know brakes that would fit my cheap Kent La Jolla 26" I picked up from walmart? Can you put some links to some for sale please? Thanks, much appreciated!

    And If you like could you throw some advice for a newbie my way as well? I've heard there's alot of things you can do to help the bike adapt better to having an engine and just thought I'd ask what some of those things might be. for example; getting better shocks, or replacing the tires or something.
     

  2. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    There are no shocks on a beach cruiser to begin with, so "better" shocks is not applicable. You need to determine what diameter steer tube you have before anyone can recommend a good suspension fork. I recommend a front drum brake. Some people like caliper brakes, but I never had any luck with them. Pads are either too soft and wear fast, or too hard and don't stop well and also scratch and heat the rim. On a hot summer day, a long stop can heat the rim enough to blow the tire as well. It happened to me once as a kid. Drum brakes are not that cheap, but they are less expensive and easier to install than a disc brake. I use a front drum, and I've got plenty of stopping power at 30mph. I would also recommend a sturdier frame than a Kent bike from walmart. You can usually find a complete front wheel with drum for about $120 or so. A drum will last a very long time, and is all but impervious to weather. If you live where it snows, check the brake to make sure the cable isn't frozen before riding, no matter what type of brake you use. Drum brakes have hardened steel shoes that will outlast any rubber pads, disc calipers or rotors. And if the shoes ever do wear out, they can be replaced. A pair of drum shoes can probably last 10 years, maybe more. Google husky cycles, they carry a decent selection of drum wheels.
     
    skull7 likes this.
  3. skull7

    skull7 New Member

    Well.. what bike would you recommend? I still have time to return the bike, but i don't know what I should get instead. Since I'm on a budget I don't wanna spend more than $200 or so. I've already put about 350 into this build minus the bike, i wanna keep this whole thing under $500. If that's possible.
     
  4. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Look for a bike with disc brakes. I don't recommend a disc brake conversion due to the cost, but you can usually find a bike with a front disc for under $200. Just make sure it has enough room in the frame for an engine. No full suspension frame, you'll never get an engine mounted mid-frame on one of those. You need at least 17" in the triangle to fit an engine. Take a measuring tape. If you can't find one at walmart, check Kmart and target.
     
  5. battery

    battery Member

    disc brakes most definitly. they dont wear out like the pads when its raining. I was going through pads every three weeks witht the weight of the bike and the rain and ice which had comprimized my stopping ability greatly. if you have rear peddle brakes than all you need is a front disc hub and fork for the disc brake setup.
     
  6. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Drum brakes are cheaper than disc conversion kits when you count the cost of a disc compatible fork, and drum shoes last way longer than disc pads/rotors. Disc pads can still slip/glaze when the rotor gets wet. Drum shoes can too, but there is nothing protecting the rotor or disc pads from getting wet, whereas the drum shoes are encased in the hub, providing much greater protection from weather. So going by durability and vulnerability to hazardous weather, drums have the obvious advantage.
     
  7. battery

    battery Member

    I havent heard of "drum brakes". Are they the same as peddle brakes? You would not have front brakes if so. And imo front is most important. My last job had front only.
     
  8. battery

    battery Member

    Ahh, I see now they are the same , And they do make front drum brakes. My only concern would be over heating. Large mountains and heavy bikes. Also heating the up the wheel bearings. have you heard of any issues?
     
  9. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    If you pump the brakes instead of putting constant pressure, you won't have any issues with overheating. Yes, coaster brakes are a type of drum brake, but the drum brakes for front wheels are far better than coaster brakes if properly adjusted and maintained.
     
    battery likes this.
  10. battery

    battery Member

    Shame I just bought a 29" with front and rear disc brakes. I guess Ill find out about the problems involed with them. my major selling point on the disc's as opposed to the caliper was the rim bending on me with 20 miles I ride. NY has the worst roads in the country. makes you wonder where the tax money goes.
     
  11. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Discs are definitely better than rim brakes, and they're fine if the bike comes with them. But as an upgrade, a drum is more economical. But anything is better than rim brakes.
     
  12. battery

    battery Member

    couldnt agree more. I wish I knew sooner of drum brakes. I guess my getting on the forum is long over due. with the money I spent on caliper pads...
     
  13. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Well if you've already spent the money to upgrade to discs or bought a bike that came with them, you may as well stick with them. The best thing you can do is get as large a rotor as will fit your front wheel. The larger the rotor, the more stopping power. More stopping power means stopping quicker, which will help the rotor pads last longer. When going down hill, pump the brakes instead of applying constant pressure. This will help prevent the rotors from overheating. When the rotors overheat, they can glaze. A bit of rubbing alcohol will remove a light glazing, and it's a good idea to wipe the rotors down with rubbing alcohol once a month. Because if they glaze heavily, it will greatly reduce your stopping power, making it take longer to stop which will overheat the rotors even more, which will glaze them even more. After awhile of repeated overheating and glazing, you will start to see a blue-orangish discoloration on the rotors. By this time, you'll need new rotors and pads. But it can be prevented by the things I said, which is getting a large rotor, pumping the brakes when going down hill (unless you need to stop right away, as in the case of a traffic light or someone cutting in front of you), and wiping your rotors down with rubbing alcohol once or twice a month.
     
  14. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Install the largest front disk brake rotor you can currently get your hands on (Hayes 9" rotor), then match it with an Avid BB7 caliper.

    The below photo show why anything less than the largest disk brakes on a motorized bicycle is simply suicidal.
    Under similar conditions, a rim brake would heat the air inside the tyre to the point of bursting the tyre off the rim, if the rubber brake pads didn't first turn themselves into the consistency of melted cheese:


    [​IMG]
     
  15. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

  16. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    It really depends on what kind of setup you're running. To say that anything less than disc brakes with a 9" rotor is suicidal is really not true. I've been running a Worksman drum for over a year now (haven't been riding at all this winter due to hazardous road conditions) but the drum has worked fine for me with a top speed of around 30 mph (automatic clutch, no shifting). In fact, I have a Shimano coaster brake, but very rarely use it, relying primarily on my drum and have no issues with it whatsoever. If I had a bike that had come with discs, I'd be using them, but I will never spend the money to convert a non disc bike to discs after seeing how adequately a drum performs for my needs. I paid $35 for a used Worksman wheel in very good condition. I'll bet just the 9" rotor costs at least that much.
     
  17. max350

    max350 Member



    What have you done with the discbrake ! Panik braking from 12:42 mph? or what?:grin5:
     
  18. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what i have done, and not a single digit faster than 12.42 mph :whistling:
     
  19. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    God you are dumber than a box of hammers. A coaster brake is a TYPE of drum brake, you dumb sh!t.
     
  20. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Butterbean, may i suggest that you rephrase your comment by intellectualising the wording, or ideally deleting the last 3 words.
    Once people start throwing that kind of language around, it doesn't take long for the forum (or any forum) to slide into a cesspool of caustic (vengeful) attacks that doesn't serve any constructive purpose.
     
Loading...