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  1. #1
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    Custom Hand Brake

    Hey fellas. I am converting a bike to a fixie, and thought up a very unique idea. I want to make a handbrake for it that is mounted on the top tube and controls the back brake. I was wanting something that would lay parallel with the top tube when the brake was not being used. I was thinking about modding one of these down tube shifters by mounting them to the top tube, and somehow extending the "arms" and have them merge into a single arm. Could you guys help me out with designing this?

    P.S. I am planning on making the two cables merge into one and making it a U brake.



    ***EDIT*** I forgot to say that I want it so that when you pull it back, it activates the brake as if the brake lever were on the handlebars.
    Last edited by Austin Rice; 05-12-09 at 02:21 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


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  2. #2
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    You should ask this question in the single speed/fixed gear forum. They know a lot more about that kind of setup.
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  3. #3
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    I thought that this would need to be custom made, so that is why I posted it in the Alt Bike Culture forums.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


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  4. #4
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I don't think those will have the same mechanical leverage as a brake handle. The pivot point is much closer to the axis on the shifters than would be on a brake handle.

  5. #5
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    It would be similar to the Schwinn Stingray's stick shifter, but instead of shifting, it brakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


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  6. #6
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    Shifters require much less pulling strength, that is why the cables are smaller diameter. You will not have the same stopping power and may have a greater chance for your hand slipping off the brake. You may be better with a larger shifter such as the stingray shifter- better grip and more leverage.

    what about mounting a brake handle on the top tube? or under the seat

  7. #7
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    There's been discussion of top tube mounted brake levers in the SSFG forum before.
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  8. #8
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    I dnt want a normal brake lever. I want something similar to the stingray's stick shifter. Today I saw a cool idea: clamp a normal brake lever to the rear of the seat post. It looked cool, but I like my idea better. Better response time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


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  9. #9
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Take your balance into consideration here as well. Do you want to be holding on to your top tube in an emergency braking situation?

  10. #10
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    Well, it is going to be put onto a fixie, so at least it will have a brake. Besides...it would probably be more for looks, but I would still want it to function.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


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  11. #11
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    Thick brake cables won't fit within the groove for thin shifter cables.
    Ride or Die

  12. #12
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    A flaw I see is that hand brakes can require considerable force, available from your grip, whereas the shift levers are made to adjust things, not to apply large amounts of force.

    I've seen photos of a number of oriental pedicabs that had what appeared to be large homemade sure-fire brakes. You might take a look at them. Probably not the route you'd want to take, but it's been done.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  13. #13
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    You'll probably stop faster by resisting the pedals than using this type of brake.

    It could be used as a drag brake going down hills so you don't spin out. The brake may remain "engaged" when you release the levers.

    Panic stop use more likely to result in an accident while you decide which hand to remove hand from handlebar to activate, finally DO activate, and realize it's not going to stop you in time.

    Others have used bar-end shifters in this style, but again, it should not be a primary brake.

  14. #14
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    I believe it's called a "suicide brake", on account of the fact that you have to ride with one hand to use it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  15. #15
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willfcc View Post
    You'll probably stop faster by resisting the pedals than using this type of brake.

    It could be used as a drag brake going down hills so you don't spin out. The brake may remain "engaged" when you release the levers.

    Panic stop use more likely to result in an accident while you decide which hand to remove hand from handlebar to activate, finally DO activate, and realize it's not going to stop you in time.

    Others have used bar-end shifters in this style, but again, it should not be a primary brake.

    Ahhh. I see how this could be usefull on a fixie.
    Ride or Die

  16. #16
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    I know---use a pogo(or springer)seat post--then mount the cable end to the seat.when you stand the seat go up and pulls the brake cable!

  17. #17
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    coaster brake?
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  18. #18
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    I believe it's called a "suicide brake", on account of the fact that you have to ride with one hand to use it.
    +1. Braking HARD requires bracing your decelerating body mass on the handlebar. Braking hard with one hand on the bars = your mass pushes forward on one side of the bars only, your front wheel turns sideways, you flop over and crash.

  19. #19
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    I have decided to just mount a standard brake lever on the bottom of the top tube. I will take pictures as soon as I get the right lever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


    .

  20. #20
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyzx_xyzzy View Post
    +1. Braking HARD requires bracing your decelerating body mass on the handlebar. Braking hard with one hand on the bars = your mass pushes forward on one side of the bars only, your front wheel turns sideways, you flop over and crash.
    That weight shift is also why front brakes do most of the work. The harder you decelerate the less weight there is on the rear wheel and the less stopping power it has. That's why 99% of fixed gear bikes that have a hand brake have it on the front.
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  21. #21
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    IMO more dangerous than going brakeless. If you have an existing bike try riding around holding the top tube while slamming the rear brake with your other hand.

    Now imagine on a fixed gear where locking up the brake stops your pedals, abruptly... Now you are off balance, trying to control a skidding bike with one hand on the top tube and one hand on the bars.

    If you want to be unique, this isn't the way to go about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    because physics has more street cred than tarckstars.

  22. #22
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    What like his :



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    Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .

  23. #23
    Large Member ;) Austin Rice's Avatar
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    Yep. That is what I want, except it will be on the top tube.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic View Post
    ...but they'll **** me with labor charges...


    .

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