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Old 03-23-03, 09:28 AM   #1
Justen
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maintenance for disk brakes

Hi,

I am new here and have a couple of questions about disk brakes as I am looking for a new bike. I really like Mountain bikes even the majority of my riding is actually done on the roads and bike paths - some fairly rough. My old Kuwahara bike is requiring too many repairs to keep it going so I am looking at some better bikes like the Brodie Bruzza or Fury and the Devinci Cameleon. (The Bruzza and Cameleon both have disk brakes)

I have never had disk brakes before and am wondering how hard they are to maintain on a day to day basis ? I live in North Vancouver, B.C. so we get tons of rain and I regularly ride in absolute downpours. Am I going to notice a big difference in stopping power between the disk brakes and the regular rim brakes ?
Am I overbuying with disk brakes if I am going to be mostly on the road ?

Also, the Devinci has 6" Shimano M475 disk brakes ? Are they any good ?

The Bruzza and Cameleon are both in the same price range. I just happen to be getting a good deal on the Cameleon as it is $80.00 off the regular price. Otherwise..both are normally $1200.00 cdn including taxes.

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Old 03-23-03, 09:39 AM   #2
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Disk Brakes are fairly easy to maintain, Hyrdo's have to be bled 1 or 2 times a year, mechs, will need new cable 1 or twice a rear, pad wear can be checked by metal currency, if it is thinner than a dime they are worn out, above a nickel, the pads are fine for awhile. Just remember not to touch the pads or the rotors with your fingers, the pads and rotors will contaminate if you have to touch them for some reason, use powder free latex gloves.
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Old 03-23-03, 09:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying so quick ! I am sick of the rim brakes. I go through brake pads ALOT and my rims are now wearing down badly.

Why do disk brakes squeal so badly ? The ones I tested don't but I heard that disk brakes can start to squeal badly when they are wet. Is this just due to poor set-up or is it something you have to deal with ?
Will cycling in heavy rain regularly cause the disk brakes to require more maintenance or are they just low maintenance all around ?

Thanks again for answering my questions !

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Old 03-23-03, 11:10 AM   #4
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Justen,

I'm no expert by a long shot, but like you i was worried about all the squealing problems i kept reading about. I now believe a lot of that is due to improper care, especially as far as the rotors and the pads are concerned. The slightest contamination from handling or anything that gets on them can cause noise. When i installed mine i was sorely disappointed because they howled like a cyote. But i just sanded the pads to get any contamination off them, then thuroughly cleaned and the rotors them with rubbing alcohol, and they haven't made a single noise since. However, i don't ride in wet weather, and since you say you ride in the rain, that could be a problem from all i've read. Many say they do squeal when wet. I'll never know because i will never get them wet here in So. Cal.

After buying and setting up a set of discs i really believe that most of the problems you read about with them are user error. And they are a bit tricky to get the hang of, but as i said, just a "bit". Not sure what you don't like about your regular brakes, so i can't say how i think you'll like discs by comparison. But as much as i like them i probably would have stuck with my old V brakes if it weren't for the fact that 1/2 my riding is downhill, which is where they shine over V brakes. On the flat i really don't see a need for them. Not that they wouldn't be nice to have even there, but the benefits they afford may not be worth the added maintenance if all you do is ride flats.
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Old 03-23-03, 11:21 AM   #5
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I do mostly ride on the road although, there are alot of steep hills around here. Cycling in traffic in heavy rain often requires stopping on a dime to avoid the idiots who throw their doors open in front of you or who pull out without looking, cut you off, etc. However, I also want a bike with good quality parts on it just because I want it to last for a long time. My current bike is a Kuwahara. I bought it before I really knew that much about mountain bikes. It has been pretty good for road cycling but now rattles like crazy just going off a curb so it would fall apart if I tried to go off anything higher than 2 feet ! :-)

If I go for the Brodie bike without the disk brakes, I would apparantly also be going for a bike with lower quality components on it. Maybe for a road bike that doesn't matter..I don't know.

I liked the feel of the Brodie Fury but it has no disc brakes and according to another forum member here, the forks are low end. For only $200.00 more, I can get the disk brakes and maybe better quality parts.

As for the disk brakes....how hard are they to get used to ? Do you have to brake differently than you do for regular v brakes ? How much maintenance is involved ? I don't want to be cleaning them everytime I go out.

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Old 03-23-03, 01:55 PM   #6
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For me at least there was no learning curve at all for the discs, save for the 1st time or 2 i squeezed em on a steep dowhill fireroad. I think you'd only have to think about that if you are into extreme riding where the wrong amount of braking might mean disaster. But for those who ride like myself or like you describe, i wouldn't worry about it.

I will tell you this tho......go for as much bike as you can afford. Till i bought my stumpjumper all i did was ride streets, using street bikes and hybrids. Yet when i got the stumpy i found that even tho i bought it to ride mountain, it's just so much better than the $300-400 bikes i had in the past that it actually is far nicer on the streets that my other bikes, even tho they were made for it and the stumpy isn't. A set of street tire and it would be awesome on pavement. It's the quality that makes all the difference. So i say go for as much bike as you can afford and compare the components closely to find the best stuff for the price. On a suspension bike put a lot of emphasis on the fork. They really do make a difference. I replaced the cheap manitou on my stumpy with a Marzocchi and it made a big difference in how it feels and how well it steers. Others may disagree, and they may be right since i'm new to this, but my feeling at this point is that if you are into the kind of non-extreme riding as you and i are into, the frame should take a back seat to the quality of the components. Thats the way it seems to me anyway.
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Old 03-23-03, 02:39 PM   #7
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The Shimano M475 brakes are sub Deore level crap. Get yourself a set of Avid mechanicals. Much easier to work on no hydro fluid to bleed / spill and believe me they STOP.
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Old 03-23-03, 03:01 PM   #8
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I will tell you this tho......go for as much bike as you can afford.

>>Hey, thanks for writing back. This forum has been so helpful. I really appreciate everybody's advice and suggestions.

I think I am doing the right thing by going for the best bike I can afford instead of settling for one that will meet my needs now but may not in the future. I want the option of being able to pound around on the North Shore trails without any worries.

I actually just took a Brodie Bruzza out for a test ride again this morning. It handles well. I really like the disk brakes. It can get pretty muddy and dirty with all the rain we get here so I think it may be worth it.

Anyway, the most I can afford is $1300.00 total including the taxes so that is about a $1200.00 bike as we pay 7 % tax on bikes here.

Is that a reasonable amount to pay for a decent bike ?

Thanks again for all your suggestions !

Justen
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Old 03-23-03, 03:04 PM   #9
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Is that US or CDN dollars?
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Old 03-23-03, 03:21 PM   #10
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The Shimano M475 brakes are sub Deore level crap. Get yourself a set of Avid mechanicals. Much easier to work on no hydro fluid to bleed / spill and believe me they STOP.

>>>Hi...

This is good to know as that is what is on the Cameleon. Like I was saying to someone else, there are no reviews anywhere (that I could find) on these m475 brakes which made me realize that they probably aren't that popular.

The Brodie Bruzza that I was looking at in comparison has Hayes HMX 1 disks which I heard are not bad. I cannot afford to add anything else to the Bruzza right now. I am already at my maximum limit buying this bike budget wise. I just hope it turns out to be worth the money ! From what I have heard here so far, it will.

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Old 03-23-03, 03:23 PM   #11
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Is that US or CDN dollars?

>>>Sorry..I usually right CDN after it. I forgot to this time :-)

That is $1270-1300.00 CDN total for the Brodie Bruzza which includes our 7 % tax. The second tax we are usually charged is not added to bikes..I can't remember why. I have not done much checking around to compare prices yet though.

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Old 04-07-03, 05:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by danka24
Disk Brakes are fairly easy to maintain, Hyrdo's have to be bled 1 or 2 times a year, mechs, will need new cable 1 or twice a rear, pad wear can be checked by metal currency, if it is thinner than a dime they are worn out, above a nickel, the pads are fine for awhile. Just remember not to touch the pads or the rotors with your fingers, the pads and rotors will contaminate if you have to touch them for some reason, use powder free latex gloves.
I don't get it! So they can get the dirt, send, and rain on their surface, but not human fingers???:confused:
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Old 04-07-03, 06:19 PM   #13
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Yes. The oil on your fingers contaminates the surfaces and reduces the friction that stops the wheels.
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Old 04-07-03, 06:55 PM   #14
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i hear the avid mechs are just as much as a pain in the but as hydro maelstrom just replaced his with hydros also cause the avids sucked. save up wait till you find a sale and get some hydros, i love mine and i paid an arm and a leg (hope quad pistons) i forget the name of them but they are great, i found that the avid mech brakes have less of a chance for "fade" when downhilling but they always had to be adjusted also the fact that a cable somtimes can be feild repaired till you get home as repairing tube for hydro brakes is dam next to impossable what i think it comes down to is if hdro brakes were as cheap as say avid v brakes everyone would have them and there would be no mech disc brakes
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Old 04-07-03, 09:44 PM   #15
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This has been helpful to me. I am looking at hybids. One that I really like has mechanical disc brakes (Specialized Crossroads Comp). This bike also has some nice Shimano Nexave Components. Nexave is supposed to be Shimano's higher end comfort-class stuff, according to the Shimano website.

Other bikes that I am looking at in the same $500 (U.S. dollars) range have lesser components, and none have disk brakes.

At first, I thought "hey, this is really cool - disk brakes." But now I have some experienced people telling me to stay away from them because they are a maintenance nightmare, and are expensive to fix once out of warranty. I want to know if this is true. If it is, should I give up on this bike altogether? I know I don't "need" disc brakes for the light riding I will be doing, but they are neat feature to have.

Other hybrids I have looked at are: K2 Newport, Giant Cypress LX, Giant Cypress DX, Trek 7200, Trek 7300, Specialized Crossroads Deluxe, Devinci Liverpool, and of course the Specialized Crossroads Comp with disc brakes and Shamano Nexave all over.

Note: This is my first post - ever.
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Old 04-07-03, 11:31 PM   #16
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Hey Lightyear, welcome to the forums.

What kind of brakes are they? If they're Avid or Hayes, get them if they're Pro-Max or some other generic, you'll hate them!

The thing about discs, is that they are the "must have" item. As a result a lot of company's buyers are installing them on bikes with sub-par discs. You'd be better off with a decent pair of linear pull (vee) brakes than cheap mechanical discs.

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Old 04-08-03, 11:38 AM   #17
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a2psyklnut,

According to the brochure, they are Shimano Nexave 500 Cable Actuated Disc Brakes. When I saw them, it was too icy outside to test ride, but they looked to me like 6" discs - front and rear.

This is the only model I am looking at that has disc brakes. It just so happens that this bike also has the very best component package of any ride I have looked at, yet it is only slightly more expensive.

I have been told by some neighbors of mine that are "cycling aficionados" that the components of any bike I am looking at are more than sufficient, and that I am going wasting my efforts comparing one to another. They also are the ones that told me to stay away from disc brakes because "you don't need them for the type of riding you are doing," and "they are only going to cause you maintenance headaches and alot of $ in repairs down the road."

I'm not sure whether I believe that or not. Given that all of the frames I am considering are quality made aluminum frames, what else am I comparing other than component packages?

Thanks for the help -- keep it coming!
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Old 04-09-03, 12:02 AM   #18
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Pass on the Shi**NO mechs. If you're going to go with mechanical disc brakes don't settle for anything other than Avid mechanicals. The others PALE in comparison.
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Old 04-09-03, 07:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Pass on the Shi**NO mechs. If you're going to go with mechanical disc brakes don't settle for anything other than Avid mechanicals. The others PALE in comparison.
I understand that Hayes are not bad either, even though Avid are apparently the best.

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Old 04-09-03, 08:04 AM   #20
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Hayes mechs are passable but Avid has really got their act together when it comes to mechs. Now we'll see about the hydros they've been keeping us waiting for all these years.


You're not still mad at me are you Justen?
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Old 04-09-03, 08:25 AM   #21
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Nope...not mad at all. Life is too short to be mad ! :-)

I just hope I didn't make a mistake going with these Hayes brakes on my Brodie but they seem to be working fine so far so I guess they'll be okay !

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Old 04-09-03, 08:48 AM   #22
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You'll be FINE. I'm just REALLY partial to the Avids. In fact I use Avid binders on both of my bikes (and have installed them on my G/F's). The Discs on the FSR and a set of Arch 40's on my commuter.
edit: punctuation and bad run-ons
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Old 04-09-03, 08:55 AM   #23
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Good ! :-)
I am glad I didn't get the Devinci Cameleon...they had the Shimano M475 disk brakes and I recently heard some not so good things about them.

Hayes and Avid seem to be the most popular with Avid being considered the best.

I am just going out for my first long ride on this Brodie today. It is absolutely pouring with rain so I'll get to really check everything out - and see how much the brakes squeal when they are really wet, and how well they work.

I want to get rid of those zillions of little rubber spikes on my new tires. You know the ones that show that your bike is soooooooo new..yuck ! :-)

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Old 04-09-03, 09:02 AM   #24
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I never minded those, then again new rubber isn't always a bad thing. Once you get the first scratch on the bike you'll be able to REALLY enjoy it . As for the 475's they're not worth the powder to blow them across the street. Purely sub Deore level crap that should only be used by people with no off road intent. But that's just my (ever-so) humble opinion.
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Old 04-09-03, 09:05 AM   #25
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Hey Lightyear,

The Shimano's are decent, not a good as Avid's or Hayes', but good. I think for your type of riding, they're more than sufficient.

As far as maintenance, they don't really know what they're talking about. Just like everything, you need to stay on top of mainenance, minor adjustment here and there, checking pads...etc.

Initially, set-up is a bit cumbersome until you learn how to do it correctly, then it's a breeze. Just like everything else!

Here's a little new bike shopping advice. Worry less about the frame and what components are on them. The MOST, MOST critical aspect is how comfortable they are to you! Not to me, not to any "expert" on the web, but to YOU! It's completely subjective. If you buy a bike because it was the best deal, and you're not comfy, you won't ride it. NOT MUCH of a deal!

I passed up a great deal 50% off on a sweet Ti bike. It didn't fit, I wished it did, Man did I wish it did, but it didn't. Spent more on less bike and got more out of it! Worry less about the deal and more on the VALUE!

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