Disc brakes vs. drum brakes, etc

Discussion in 'Motorized Trikes' started by jawnn, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. jawnn

    jawnn Member

    I have been engineering a big tadpole trike that will be about 5-600 lbs fully loaded.

    We have decided that the brakes are the most important part, even at only 20 mph maximum (probably faster down our steep hills).

    I asked a the Hostel Shoppe for info they said "Drum brakes modulate better and give you more control over stopping than disc brakes".I had read some where that drum brakes for tandems are not for stopping, only for "drag" going down a mountain.

    Maybe both would be best. Some one told me I had to use two motorcycle drum brake wheels to stop this much weight. I have two disc brakes on my delta trike and they don't always stop perfectly. And they are never perfectly balanced.

    I think that only hydraulic disc brakes can be synchronized perfectly, but a double lever is not available.

    Then people tell me that a tadpole trike can spin out of control if the wheelbase is too short or there is not enough weight on the rear wheel if the trike is long enough.

    So it would really be nice if every one would test their brakes at high speed, turning as if to avoid a collision. Then tell us what weight and speed etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015

  2. reb1

    reb1 Member

    Magura makes a hydraulic disc brake called the Magura big. You can order it with a dual pull handle. It is available through there industrial sales department. Greenspeed whom makes trikes has it as an option on there site. I have also seen it advertised by a pedicab sales company. Greenspeed also sells drum brake kits for there type of hub setup. http://www.greenspeed.com.au/magura.html
    They also sell axles and kingpins for trikes and other brakes.
  3. coln72

    coln72 New Member

    Well, over the last seven years or so I have run both discs and drums on trikes built to race for 24 hour races. Initially I used discs and they worked very well. To the extent of being able to lift the rear wheel of the ground under heavy braking. This trike was human powered and very short in the wheelbase and weighed around 30kg max race ready.

    I have since gone to drums for ease of changing wheels and drums are so more forgiving as far as damage is concerned. A bent disc can really ruin a race!

    My latest trike, powered by a 35cc Honda and pedals runs a drum front set up with a disc rear and has little trouble in stopping. It weighs around 50kg at a guess though it has never been wieghed and can easily run at over 60km/h.

    The other team trike is a tandem running four steering wheels and a single rear. All four fronts run drums and with the disc rear. Again it has never been weighed but it is a LOT heavier than mine, maybe 70 to 80kg plus riders. This thing can do in excess of 80km/h and it stops reasonably well.