Brakes Brake Performance. -

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by sabrewalt, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest

    General Bicycle question. I bought a used Japanese "MTB" the other night because it met a lot of the requirements for a GEBE or even Happy time. Had slick tires on it. High handle bars. Simple, tight. Good Candidate. EXCEPT. The brakes sucked.. Hard as I tried, I could not skid the back wheel. Even pulling the front brakes in you could not get a high rate deceleration. Compared to my ebike even which has 50 extra pound of battery and motor hanging in it, the light MTB was worse at stopping. I figured I could fix them so I bought the bike. The pads were REAL small so I changed the pads to bigger but not as big as my other bikes and still no joy, still poor braking. It's like the leverage is not right and I can't get enough PSI on the pads. I may try a set of bigger pads(if they fit) but thought I would run this one by the group. In order to get my kit under way I bought yet ANOTHER MTB off of Craigs list and my wife cannot believe what she is seeing in the Garage. I just told her... "Don't ask"

  2. motoschwinn

    motoschwinn Guest

    I had that problem with my vintage 1973 Schwinn Suburban. I ended up putting really large brakes on it off of a mongoose. That really helped, but I don't try to skid the back tire as they are so thin.
  3. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Sabre, You didn't mention which style of brakes the MTB has. With my V-Brakes, I can lock up the wheels pulling with one finger.
  4. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest

    I will send pictures.. I can tell a Disc brake from a rim brake but thatis about it.
  5. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest


    Here are the pictures.

    Attached Files:

  6. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    brake adjustment/compatability

    It might help to sheck out this link There are some good photos of the various types of brakes as well as tips no how to properly adjust the various types. It sounds as though you might have a compatability problem. Standard Cantilever brake levers with V-Type Brakes.

  7. drimpact

    drimpact Member

    I ended up building a new bike just for the brakes.

    my original MBc is a mid 80s mountain bike with very near identical brakes. They are called side pull caliper brakes. The lowest form of brakes on a bicycle. I spent big bucks on high tech alternative for this bike and never got the stopping power I have now with my Diamond Back Outlook with v-brakes and some very good pads.

    The biggest improvement for me was changing my front fork to one that had mounts for v-brakes. Be carefull as too much front brakes ends with your face meeting the ground.

    Brakes to me are the most important consideration in motoring a bike. it goes faster therefore it has to stop better. good luck, I hope my advice help. If you want pics of what I have used let me know and I will get some posted.
  8. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Yeah, IMO, you may get some improvement by finding brake levers that give a better mechanical advantage. And you may be able to find higher quality brakes that will fit your bike. But your best bet would be to find a bike that has modern brakes - V-brakes, Disc, or drum.
  9. kevbo

    kevbo Guest

    Possibly the wrong lever?

    The direct pull brakes (V-brakes) are designed for twice the cable motion at half the tension as earlier brakes (all types) used.

    The levers for direct pull brakes, therefore, have half the mechanical advantage of the old style.

    If a new style lever is used with non V-brakes, then poor performance will result, as you are only generating half the force the brake was designed for.

    Conversely, using a V-brake with an old style lever will result in brakes that are VERY touchy, and may have issues with pads dragging, or running out of lever travel, or not being able to get the noodle out (to remove wheel) without loosening the adjusment.

    Since it is a MTB, a v-brake will lekely just bolt on. They are not expensive, even new, (~$12 for Shimano, and there are some cheaper) and my LBS has a whole box of pulls (people upgrading to lighter stuff, or replacing both when only one failed) that they sell for $5.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2007
  10. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Kevbo, there are no braze- ons on that frame. V-brakes will not bolt on.
  11. alesterfeind

    alesterfeind Guest

    Sabre, I have the same center-pull type brakes on my bike. They are not as responsive as brakes that are attached to each side of the forks. However, they can work fine if you adjust them properly. I suggest adjusting them to fit closer to the rim. If you can get them about 3mm clearance on each side, that will improve performace.

    The pads you put on are much better than what you had on there originally. You could touch the pads a bit with a grinder or some sand paper to slightly roughen the surface which will make them grab better. Also, make sure you routinely clean your rim of grease and dirt. That will also improve braking performance.
  12. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest

    Pad Adjustment

    I did try close, far and everything in between. None of it is acceptable. I am going to try a longer pad next and I will try roughing them up and wiping down the rim with a bit of brake cleaner fluid as you suggest. SOMEDAY!!! Rough schedule right now so that bike will sit. It is a spare anyway. My Yellow GEBE kit is gettin all the attention when I have spare minutes to play. It has GREAT brakes.

    Home this morning and then right back to Northwest Arkansas for a weekend job on Saturday. Other than the brakes, the blue bike it's a pretty nice foundation for an engine. I paid $125 but will let it go for $100...
  13. dave1490

    dave1490 Guest

    try using a s.o.s. pad on the rim or 320 grit worked for me, gave it more friction.without the scuffed up rim it.ll feel like you need more psi.
  14. kevbo

    kevbo Guest

    Achh! I saw MTB and did the ***-u-me thing. I should know better, as I just grabbed a "MTB" from the thrift store that has side pulls.
  15. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    There might be a way. Check out the Big Cheese brake adapter. It's about 3/4 down the page, on the right. I haven't used one. They are spendy, but it is important to be able to stop (or at least to slow down to Bail-out speed:grin: ).

    I don't think the price includes the brakes themselves.
  16. sabrewalt

    sabrewalt Guest

  17. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    A lot less expensive, and they look well made.
  18. drimpact

    drimpact Member

    Those are probably the best side pull brakes on the market! But they are still side pull and will have a tendicy to flex under hard braking, but not as much as the stamped steel ones on most bikes with side pulls.
  19. Ghost0

    Ghost0 Guest

    I suggest taking it to a bike shop. They will probably find and fix your problem for free.
  20. turbo/chaos

    turbo/chaos Guest

    hey this is cool

    what i like is the drum brake setup that is on this page once i sell off all my engines im going to buy me a heavy duty hub with thread munt gear but

    you can go to a bike shop and buy a crank gear like what roland sent me it was a 36 tooth crank that he drilled holes in to and walla a gear

    know to get a light aluminum gear and send it to be cut perfectly for this and nomore bent spokes with tons of speed