Brake Dilemma

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by mcassMB6, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. mcassMB6

    mcassMB6 Member

    My Bridgestone MB6 had front and rear cantilever brakes. I lost my front brake set up to accomodate the clutch. My rears finally had it. I now own a full F/R V Brake (Linear Pull) set but have to choose, run only rear, or run only front.

    I have NO IDEA how to set up dual brake set up...what are my (safest) options?

    Is there anyway I can locate the front brake lever AND the clutch lever?

  2. mcassMB6

    mcassMB6 Member

  3. Heathen

    Heathen Member

    I had the same problem when i first started riding, i solved it by using one of these thumb shifter that has a friction function(not index shifters):

    this means that i can have a dual brake system and operate the clutch with my thumb.
  4. Alan

    Alan Member

    Can't you just get one of these and be done ?

    Dual brake cable pull.

    Attached Files:

  5. ironwarlock

    ironwarlock Guest

  6. Alan

    Alan Member

    I paid more (16.99) locally, but that vendor over there is reputable. I've used them before.
  7. mcassMB6

    mcassMB6 Member

    Alan, thanks so much. Problem is solved! I'm gonna do that.
  8. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    BTW: AEBike.Com has the dual cable levers for about $11, I believe. I think they're made by Dimension.
  9. Snax

    Snax Member

    IMO, a solid front brake with good pads provides more than enough stopping power for all but the most extreme speeds. It is that occassional aerodynmic tuck to 60+ mph where having the extra brake pays off in not turning your only brake into liquid goo. ;)
  10. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    Make the right side brake lever your front brake (like a mc) and mount your rear brake lever at some wierd angle you can get at in an emergency, but is out of your way most of the time.
  11. augidog

    augidog New Member

    i'm gonna "fyi" for the entry-level builders...i am completely into the development of safety standards that work...

    if you have to choose only one rim-brake, please don't ride, but you're going to anyway (you know it, i know it) so choose the rear and ride smart. imo, the best single-brake ride is coaster.

    using the dual-pull made my life so much easier when i had f & r side-pulls, clutch/left, brake/right. NOTE: the dual-pull lever is "all the eggs in one basket" technology...if the lever fails, better find something soft to run into.

    without further ado...many experienced 2-wheelers have come to the same conclusion: right-lever/front drum or disc, right-foot/shimano coaster...i keep having this dream of convincing sturmey-archer to produce a rear coaster-drum, easy as pie if they wanna.

    there's nothing here about telling you what to do, but what to look forward to...and it's all only-opinion...ride safe & respect the limitations of your vehicle.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  12. Snax

    Snax Member

    Ok, as a long time touring, ATB, and motorcycle rider, I have to ask why you think the rear is the one to have? I can understand it for a low rider cruiser with a significant rear weight bias, but on a more upright ATB or commuter frame, a front brake is going to be able to provide more stopping power right up to the point of skidding.
  13. Alan

    Alan Member

    We're talking about a bicycle under 100 lbs. The REAR brake is best, if you have to choose just one.

    On my 800 lb cruiser, the front dual discs provide like 80% of the stopping power, and too much rear can be deadly if it locks.
    No use even trying to compare. Two different animals.
  14. Snax

    Snax Member

    I disagree on the applicability of the comparison. The reality of weight transfer still applies whether the bike weighs 50 lbs or 1000. One simply cannot achieve maximum braking using only a rear brake when weight is transferring off the rear wheel. And silly me, I thought maximum brake effectiveness was the point!

    I'll concede that a rear brake is a more stable way to brake, but you lose the majority of the possible stopping power by not using the front. On my bikes, the front brake force available has nearly always been adequate to 100% unload the rear wheel - making the use of the rear brake 100% useless for hard stops.
  15. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Yes you do lose stopping power by not havinga front brake- but what happens if you have a very strong front brake and grab it hard. Bikes have a high center of gravity. I went over the handle bars on a non-engine bike years ago and one of the reasons (there were many) is that the rear brake failed...front did not, in a panic stop.

    The one brake only issue and where to put it is not about optimum braking- if that were the point, there would not be one brake. It is about safety if you are going to limit yourself to one brake.

    Right now, I have a side pull and a coaster on the rear. I plan on getting a drum at the front. Now that's optimum braking.
  16. Alan

    Alan Member

    Exactly the reason to have a rear brake. That's why a lot of heavier bikes have linked brakes. If you apply the front, the back gets applied too. I'm not a big fan of linked brakes, especially while doing slow speed maneuvering, but they do have some advantages. It's absolutely different on a bicycle. There is no significant rear weight, and with the added weight of the fuel tank and frame-mount engine, some rear braking can actually be a good thing. Why not be as safe as possible. To add an engine, then remove the rear brakes seems like not such a great idea (to me, at least) Especially when we're talking about a 12 dollar mod.
  17. Snax

    Snax Member

    Ok, breaking this down as a safety issue, perhaps it is also an issue of competence as well. I'm honestly not trying to ridicule anyone here, but I have not had an over the handlebars event since I was twelve and just learning to ride with hand brakes. So given that, I don't see that as a serious risk at least for myself. I asked my wife about his however and she agrees with you guys! :p

    Anyway, ignoring the issue of competence and or confidence in the ability to stop hard using the front brake, I see this as a 'which would you rather?' type of question: Would you rather have inadequate ability to slow yourself to stop before a somebody pulls out in front of you and skid into their grille, door, whatever? Or, would you rather have that little extra bit of bite that prevents you from ever making contact with the car or anything else?

    Clearly, front brakes require more skill to use effectively, but the payoff is that they are more effective!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  18. Alan

    Alan Member


    In 32 years of motorcycle riding, I find myself using the rear brakes less and less. Usually nothing good comes from nailing the rear brake unless you like nurses and orthopedic surgeons, and a lot of rehab. That can be a recipe for disaster, I know. And totally agree on the braking effectiveness of the front brakes on a motorcycle, except on these bicycles, a single front brake won't stop you as quickly as sometimes necessary. It could even fail under the stress. Why take unnecessary risk ? The mod is so cheap.
  19. Marktur

    Marktur Member

    I'm a multi-tasker...front brakes, clutch...2 fingers on each, rear gets a single hand on the right side.

    I mix it manually (each time I grab the brakes) and never even think about it now.

    During my PM the other day, I realized my rear brakes...the pad rotated 90 degrees and was VERY ineffective...fixed that, now I can lock them up easily - PLENTY of braking power between both brakes even at 25mph!

    I was going to order the dual brake lever, but have decided to save my money after realizing it's all worked out when I ride.
  20. augidog

    augidog New Member

    ok, some folks are really pushing the envelope when it comes to manners here...

    i said "IF you have to choose one" AND i was talking about bicycling under power...

    AND i bring several thousands of miles with many different configs to the table....on MANY different 2-wheeled vehicles.

    do you have any idea how easy it is to go over the bars on a bicycle? do you want to do that at 30mph? motoredbiking comes with a great advantage over all other motorsports, we outweigh our vehicle plus it fits us correctly, therefore we can control rear-braking better.

    an experienced rider CAN make better use of front-only...we're attracting some pretty inexperienced riders, tho...i'm tired of seeing the speed & power with hardly any serious discussion about chassis matter your level of expertise, you STILL have to ride smart & maintain yer vehicle.

    if you have to have ONLY one brake, use the rear. and slow down until you get a front brake on there :)
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008