Tandem Cycling - Power of Arai drum brake
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01-29-04, 08:57 PM
Hello everyone. I am a new member from today. I have a KHS tandem Romania 2001 with V brake on it. I found on some down hills that the braking is not powerfull enough. Is someone can tell me if changing the back brake for an Arai drum will increase the power for a good poucentage ? There is olso the possibility of the front drum by Sachs = SRAM VT 5000. Jean-François
01-29-04, 10:45 PM
Most folks simply add the Arai drum brake and use it as a supplemental brake for controlling their down hill speed. If it is only your descent speeds that are difficult to manage with your current rim brakes, the addition of the Arai drum brake could certainly be an option. You can read more about the Arai drum brake, how it's installed, how to operate it, and maintenance tips at the following Web site:
For even more information regarding tandems and brakes, spend a few moments on Sheldon Brown's Web site:
If you decided that the Arai was a good option for your riding needs, I'm fairly sure your KHS tandem was fitted with the necessary frame fittings and a left-hand threaded Shimano XT Paralax hub that will accept the Arai drum brake.
Something else to consider (particularly since we recently discussed this).... If you want to improve the braking performance on the stock LX V-brakes that came on the tandem consider upgrading to Kool Stop's salamon colored or dual compound brake pads. The stock Shimano pads that came on your tandem weren't all that great to begin with and if the original pads are still on the tandem they are probably even less effective than when new.
01-30-04, 10:18 PM
Bonjour de Tucson!
Anticipating your braking can also help; in other words, do not panic brake, but start feathering (alternate rapidly: on/off, front/rear) brakes before you are into a full-tilt descent.
If you do not have a TravelAgent device on your rear brake, that will increase braking leverage; sometimes adding a U-shaped brake stiffener onto the rear brake bosses will also have a good effect. These are fairly low price solutions.
Of course installing a drum brake as a drag/third brake with stoker control lever would also alleviate your problem, but would cost more and add considerable weight to the back wheel.
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
01-31-04, 10:32 AM
Just some superflous, additional comments..
a TravelAgent device on your rear brake... will increase braking leverage
FWIW: The Roma comes with what are somewhat unique to KHS brake boosters fitted on the brake cables, just after the exit the STI Levers. It's not the cleanest looking set-up, but none of the "boosters" are.
.... installing a drum brake as a drag/third brake with stoker control lever would also alleviate your problem, but would cost more and add considerable weight to the back wheel.
Quantification.... 860 grams (1.9lbs) for the $75 (US) brake, plus the installation kit (bar-con & cable) = 2.2lbs @ A total cost of about $125 (US). About a 6% weight increase to the static weight of the ~35lb Roma. On the bright side, it's not rotating weight, per se, since it's mounted at the hub and 2lbs is about the same weight as a large water bottle filled with fluid.
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