Crashes Warning warning warning, disc brake alert!

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Aug 20, 2009
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#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.
 
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Joined
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#2
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!
 
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2

210061741

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#3
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.
 
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#4
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? ;)
 
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#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.
 

Fabian

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#6
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.

Fabian
 
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#7
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:
 
Joined
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#8
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.
 

Fabian

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

6 to 9 horsepower motor and drum brakes :eek:

:ROFLMAO:..... :ROFLMAO:..... :ROFLMAO:..... :ROFLMAO:..... :ROFLMAO:
 
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#10
No.

See here (Sheldon Brown shop) http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html
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).


http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_info.php?products_id=2514
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


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? ;)

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? ;)
 
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