Bicycle Mechanics - What's a floating brake?
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I've been trying to figure this out for a while now- what does it mean when a disc brake is referred to as "floating"? And what are they like compared to designs which don't "float"?
11-06-06, 02:57 AM
A break that isnt mounted directly to the frame, instead it is on a pivot.
All they do is prevent break jack and look cool.
Watch this: http://www.therapycomponents.com/FLOATING%20BRAKE.htm
11-06-06, 10:30 AM
I think what you are talking about is a floating caliper. On a normal single piston fixed caliper when you squeeze the brake lever the piston pushes against the rotor and then pushes the rotor against the opposite brake pad. On a floating caliper the piston pushes against the rotor. The force then slides the caliper over so the opposite pad can hit the rotor. So basically the caliper is floating over the rotor. This is the way most car brakes work.
11-06-06, 10:41 AM
On motorcycles, a floating brake is a floating disc. Its loosely held to the hub by rivets. You grab it and you can move it around.
Heh- three different replies and three different answers :)
And the weird thing is, I'm sure each one is right.
11-07-06, 12:52 AM
A full-suspension frame with a floating disc brake assembly has a separate brake arm that "floats", allowing the brake to be less affected by the bike's suspension action. As far as I know, this type of design is used only on longer travel bikes, so that the braking action is smoother and not as affected by the long travel rear suspension.........btw, womble, is your moniker based on the beautiful Womble Trail in West-Central Arkansas? I've ridden that trail end-to-end many times. Beautiful views! :)
A full-suspension frame with a floating disc brake assembly has a separate brake arm that "floats", allowing the brake to be less affected by the bike's suspension action. As far as I know, this type of design is used only on longer travel bikes, so that the braking action is smoother and not as affected by the long travel rear suspension.
Floating brakes assemblies also tend to be used on single-pivot designs because braking forces can jack the suspension due to the limited availability for locating the pivot that will allow the suspension to remain active for real hits yet cancel out both pedal-induced bobbing and brake-jack... especially with disc-brakes.
This guy fabricated an awesome floating brake arm for his K2 OzM (retrofitted with an aluminum swingarm).
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