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  1. #1
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    What's that burning smell?

    It's from my brakes when using my race wheels. Smells like burning car brakes, or a clutch.

    Swisstop yellow pads on Reynolds carbon rims.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Is there anything to do? Better braking wouldn't hurt either.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Usually when I smell that smell I start looking for a way out. It usually means guys in front are in the process of, or about to, stack it up.

    Since you're trading massive amounts of kinetic energy for heat, something's got to burn a bit. Since carbon rims don't absorb heat, there's more heat to burn stuff. I dunno the science so I don't know if the rims or pads are making the smell. I'm guessing pads.

    I used Swisstop yellows on Reynolds for a couple years and found them to be perfectly fine. I was actually shocked the first time I didn't use the yellows in the rain - I had pretty much no brakes. I also used Koolstop black pads on alum rims - not as nice as yellows/Reynolds, and in the rain the black/alum combo didn't work that well either.

    cdr

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    I've smelled something like that in races.
    cat 1.

    blog

  4. #4
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    "racing bikes are for going, not stopping"
    - a grumpy old former cat 1 I know.
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  5. #5
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    If that smell isn't the souls of other racers that you have just torched, then it is not a good thing.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    If that smell isn't the souls of other racers that you have just torched, then it is not a good thing.
    Wouldn't the burning smell from destroyed souls be behind me? Hypothetically speaking of course, since I'm not fast enough to demolish anyone.

    The smell could have been from someone else's brakes but it seemed like it was from mine. Today's race had some steep technical downhills featuring sand and gravel. I'm sure I could have braked less especially on the first lap but my skill level doesn't allow me to ride it with no braking.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mzeffex's Avatar
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    I smelled that today, but with aluminum rims and kool stops. I wanted to see how fast i could go on a steep downhill, hit 46, but I left minimal room for stopping. Trying to stop on a 15% grade in 50 feet without going OTB is difficult. Anyway, it squealed and smelled burny.
    Quote Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
    Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?

  8. #8
    umd
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    I've smelled it any time there is a pack with heavy braking. I think everyone's give it off somewhat, and softer compounds for carbon rims moreso. The pack just amplifies the amount of braking and you notice the smell more because there are more people.

  9. #9
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    pads.

    they are consumables.

    friction -- heat --- etc.

    the rim acts as a heat sink since it is much larger and will take much more time to heat up.

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