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Thread: Best Brakes?

  1. #1
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    Best Brakes?

    Side pull. Center pull. Dual pivot. Which is best & why? Thanks.

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    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Brakes that stop... (Just an opinion)

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    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Seriously though, I have older bikes so I use alot of single pivot, side pulls. I adjust them properly and use real Scott Mathauser brake pads. I use good quality cables (they do make a difference for longevity but any cable can be used), I use Campy and Suntour and Dia-Compe brakes. All work perfectly fine.
    I can adjust any brake and get it working properly, for the most part it isn't about the equipment, it's either 1) knowing how to adjust it, or 2) knowing how to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

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    Senoir Membre Rosso Corsa's Avatar
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    Dura Ace calipers on the right rims with new pads = rollercoaster stoppage (about -7G or so).
    As long as I breathe, I attack.
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    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Dual 6 piston hydraulic calipers operating against dual 320mm rotors..... That's what we find on modern sportbike motorcycles....

    The caliper is merely a method of converting the pull of the cable to movement of the pads. It's the system of the caliper and the lever that counts. It's how the mechanical ratio is translated from the lever to the cable to the caliper to the pads. You can't just look at one part of this system and ask "what's best".

    A design works well for a close fitting caliper around a racing tire may well not work worth a darn for a long reach that passes around a big fender and fat tire. For a given reach from the mounting bolt to the rim and with identical cable pull to pad movement distances there will be little or nothing to be gained from one design to the next. If they all produce the same pad travel from a given cable pull then they will all squeeze just as hard. The only difference will be how the cable is connected to the caliper. This is just a matter of leverage ratios.

    Having said this some caliper designs produce more pad pressure for a given cable travel or force. But they do this by producing less pad travel distance for a given cable pull. These designs gain this by "moving the fulcrum under the lever". The price that's paid for this is a smaller amount of pad travel so you need to run with closer fitting pads because they'll move less distance.
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    Yo guys, what's the best tyre?
    What's the best wrench?
    What's the best bike?
    What's the best wheel?
    What's the best stem?
    What's the best handlebar?
    What's the best spoke?
    What's the best rim?
    What's the best saddle?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Member Eprobungs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Dual 6 piston hydraulic calipers operating against dual 320mm rotors..... That's what we find on modern sportbike motorcycles....
    I'm afraid it's more like : radial mounted 4-pod caliper these days.

    Anyway, I'm of the opinion that brake pads matter more. Kool-Stop my choice.
    As for "what's best", it's whatever that works as it should, whenever its supposed to every time.

  9. #9
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    man, trying to stop down an 8% grade in the rain hauling a 70# trailer with my daughter in it tonight using rim brakes reminded, once again, how disc brakes are the best brakes a consumer like me can buy at the moment. it took two full seconds for the large pads to stick to the MTB rim, and only barely made my turn at the bottom of the hill. i'd forgotten about the scariness of rim brakes, because doing this same maneuver with my mechanical disc brakes (ol' bb7s) in the same conditions is instant, lovely, life-preserving braking power right when you want it.

    maybe if i lived in a place that never rained, or where i never rode in inclement weather, it wouldn't matter. but i do, and so it does.

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    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    disc brakes are the best brakes a consumer like me can buy at the moment.
    For your specific purpose.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Double pivot brakes have much greater mechanical advantage, so offer greater stopping power over sidepull or centrepull brakes. I just switched from Suntour Superbe sidepulls (single pivot) to Ultegra 6600 double pivot and the difference was quite dramatic.

    I'm not sure about -7G but the deceleration force is noticably stronger, probably close to 2x. Double pivots require levers that have a built in return spring and match the cable travel required, so I switched to R600 levers at the same time.

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    Dual pivot brakes ARE sidepull brakes
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Dual pivot brakes ARE sidepull brakes
    Maybe he meant post style brakes like V-brakes and Cantilevers. I personally find these easier to setup and adjust compared to sidepulls. I just switched from a single pivot side pull to an XTR V-Brake, worlds of difference.

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    I love my disc brakes

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    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    I think they're spelled breaks.
    One vote for femur.

  16. #16
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    IMHO the best brake on a road bike is the original Campagnolo Chorus Monoplanor style brake. they stop well (although I have never charged down a 8% grade with offspring in tow) and I never felt they did not have enough stoppong power. however as they were designed to do I have never had the wheels 'lockup'. and as an added bonous thay have a beautiful and graceful shape.
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    If your frame has the option to mount disc, i say disc. Cantilever, or v-brakes have the next most stopping power because there are two mounting points closer to the rims.

    Road caliper brakes have the least stopping power but work just fine for most purposes. I have them on my everyday bike and my touring bike, new pads are the key. If it is between single pivot or dual pivot, go with the dual pivot. They are easier to keep adjusted and what was said earlier by Strop sounds right, that they have better stopping power than single pivots. As for centre pull road brakes, i have had problems in the past with keeping them centered, and also in set up there is a second cable to consider, and a cable hanger.

    Final vote, dual pivot caliper brakes.

  18. #18
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    IMHO the best brake on a road bike is the original Campagnolo Chorus Monoplanor style brake. they stop well (although I have never charged down a 8% grade with offspring in tow) and I never felt they did not have enough stoppong power. however as they were designed to do I have never had the wheels 'lockup'. and as an added bonous thay have a beautiful and graceful shape.
    If we're going by looks, I'd have to nominate the Delta

    oh wait, no, you also said the Monoplanor could stop...Well, at least the Delta brakes look really cool. Campy seems to make the best looking brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    If we're going by looks, I'd have to nominate the Delta

    oh wait, no, you also said the Monoplanor could stop...Well, at least the Delta brakes look really cool. Campy seems to make the best looking brakes.
    And they quit making them because they didn't work well.

  20. #20
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    And they quit making them because they didn't work well.
    since when is stopping power a good judge of brake performance?

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    As stated above, the question is too vague. Maybe you don't know, but different have different requirements and likes.

    Sidepull single pivot brakes are simple and need very little maintenance. As the pads wear, you don't have to move them up or down, as they always hit the rim squarely once you adjust the height right. This is the only design with this advantage. They can be tricky to center, but once you do it, it tends to stay centered. The leverage is a bit low, which makes them less than ideal for heavy loads. This is an advantage for racers who want fine control over the amount of braking force they apply.

    Sidepull dual pivots are popular now because they have high leverage and are easy to adjust and set up.

    Centerpulls are a bit trickier to adjust, and as Sheldon says, they work fairly well when reach is long, though dual pivots are probably just as good or better.

    Cantilevers are very versatile, but your frame and fork have to have the bosses brazed or welded on. They are quite tricky to adjust, especially the first time or after you change shoes.

    V-brakes work great. They have such high leverage that you need special low-leverage levers. Though perhaps the word special is not quite right, because they are in very common use now.

    Drum brakes in your hubs work well, and their power doesn't vary with weather, since they are entirely internal. I'm surprised they're not more popular than they are now. They need regreasing every few years.

    Disc brakes are hot now. I haven't tried them yet. I'm not sure what technological advance occurred recently to make them a realistic choice. I suspect we'll find them to need much more maintenance than drum brakes. They require special hubs, and they often require special fittings on the frame and fork.

    Coaster brakes are at least as low-maintenance as drum brakes. They seem to need regreasing every 30 years or so.
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  22. #22
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    V-brakes work great. They have such high leverage that you need special low-leverage levers. Though perhaps the word special is not quite right, because they are in very common use now.


    Disc brakes are hot now. I haven't tried them yet. I'm not sure what technological advance occurred recently to make them a realistic choice. I suspect we'll find them to need much more maintenance than drum brakes. They require special hubs, and they often require special fittings on the frame and fork.

    .
    As far as the OP's choice I'd go with the dual pivot sidepulls, for a road bike in dry conditions.

    FWIW, you can also get levers for v-brakes/mechanical discs that have adjustable leverage for even better brake tuning.

    Disc brakes work far better, though, especially in adverse conditions. Been using them for many years after a scary incident in the rain on a descent with my ceramic rim/v-brake combo. I now look at a non-disc hub as a "special hub" because it's of little use to me on the majority of my bikes and my future bikes. Not sure what you mean by technological advance to make them a realistic choice, my Avid BB7 brakes are essentially the same as the BBDB Avid introduced, what 10 years ago? The hydraulic choices have been around quite a while, too. Not much new in disc technology, been around quite a while; they're on your car now, your motorcycle, and bikes that need the best braking possible. IMHO.
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    Yes, by sidepull I meant conventional single pivot sidepull calipers as opposed to the more modern double pivot sidepulls in use now.

    As for the sexiest brakeset ever made, this is hard to beat.

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Ita...olo_Kronos.htm

    Falling victim to their irresistible allure I bought a pair to put on my custom bike back in 1983. I've never been able to find any references but I remember building it to the spec advertised as the Raleigh Super Record ultimate bike as published by Bicycling Magazine. In any case I found out like most others that while they look pretty they are more speed modifiers than brakes. In fact in the wet I believe that the decreased drag from closing the calipers more than compensates for the drag on the rims and you actually go faster.

    Four stitches and a slightly damaged rock cliff face later I came to the conclusion that I did actually value stopping ability and I switched to the Suntour Superbe calipers that I used up until a few weeks ago. Back then at 160lbs they did a pretty good job of stopping me but after 20 years of weightlifting and 25lbs extra mass it was time for something stronger, at which point I changed over to double pivot (Ultegra 6600) brakes.

  24. #24
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Never actually seen one in person, but one day, I'm buying a pair (heads off to check ebay)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    since when is stopping power a good judge of brake performance?
    The first time you need it and don't have it.

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