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  1. #1
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    What is the difference between Front and Rear U-Brakes?

    I am building up a new Flatland bike but am confused as the differences between front and rear U-brakes?

    It used to be that 990's worked on either end of the bike but as things have become more specialized it appears that is no longer the case.

  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    other than a few pics of the Campi Euclid equipped bikes, I am not sure that I ever saw a bike with 'U' brakes in front. they were mostly used on the rear of MTBs and only then because early Cantis cause heel clearance issues for smaller frames.

    unless your frame and fork are built to use 'U" brakes ( that is the brake bosses in the correct location) I don't you can install them

    I don't think there is such a thing as afront and rear U brake

    Wait! 'Flatland' is this a BMX bike? I think it still holds the bosses have to be placed for the U to work
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    Usually it's just cable routing options. The front brake needs to be pulled from the side, cable coming from under the steerer tube. The back brake will be center pull.

    If you look around they make universal brakes that come with all the hardware for either application.

    Edit: This is the new standard, front or rear use: http://www.danscomp.com/480010.php?cat=PARTS
    Last edited by wesmamyke; 06-25-10 at 03:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Faster than yesterday
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    The length of the mounting post can necessitate that one be placed on the rear/front.

  5. #5
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    just to be clear on terminology:
    U-brakes are the basic centerpull (caliper) brake design, but mount on posts that are welded or brazed onto the frame like cantilever or v-brakes. However, unlike cantilever brakes or v-brakes (where the posts are below the brake pad, U-brake posts are above the brake pad.


    As Bianchigirll said, U-brakes on the front are/were rare. their main usage was the rear brake of mountain bikes in the last 1980's and a few in early 1990's. (although I am not familiar with the BMX market)

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
    As Bianchigirll said, U-brakes on the front are/were rare. their main usage was the rear brake of mountain bikes in the last 1980's and a few in early 1990's. (although I am not familiar with the BMX market)
    The OP said he was building a "Flatland" bike, generally used stunts and tricks on, um... flats (as opposed to skate parks and pools, I think). Check 'em out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland_BMX

    I think some U-brakes work for front or rear: http://www.danscomp.com/480030.php

    Littlebike: sorry about the interruption, but we're a bunch of old farts here. You had us confused.
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    Just use a v-brake noodle on the quick release side and route through fork potts mod style

  8. #8
    Powerful-Ugly Creature Greyryder's Avatar
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    U brakes front and rear were standard for freestyle bikes from at least the early 90s, if not the late 80s. Freestyle forks with U brake mounts are still made, just not as common, with the brakeless fad pushing 15+ years.

    To answer the OP's question, from what I've seen, the difference between front and rear brakes is cable routing. Fronts use a linear cable pull, like V brakes. I mostly focus my attention race equipment, so my knowledge of U brakes isn't going to be the best. I think most U brakes sold for freestyle are going to work on either end of the bike.
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  9. #9
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    The OP said he was building a "Flatland" bike, generally used stunts and tricks on, um... flats (as opposed to skate parks and pools, I think). Check 'em out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland_BMX

    I think some U-brakes work for front or rear: http://www.danscomp.com/480030.php

    Littlebike: sorry about the interruption, but we're a bunch of old farts here. You had us confused.
    speak for yourself Prof Bunzen LOL I actually know the term 'Flatland' but for some dumb reason at first I thought it was a brand or model. like if someone posted "I just started building a LHT..." most would think Surly right? I as first thought perhaps this was a commuter or touring bike. then after I posted I realize he may have been talking BNX
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  10. #10
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
    just to be clear on terminology:
    U-brakes are the basic centerpull (caliper) brake design, but mount on posts that are welded or brazed onto the frame like cantilever or v-brakes. However, unlike cantilever brakes or v-brakes (where the posts are below the brake pad, U-brake posts are above the brake pad.


    As Bianchigirll said, U-brakes on the front are/were rare. their main usage was the rear brake of mountain bikes in the last 1980's and a few in early 1990's. (although I am not familiar with the BMX market)
    Sorry to bring this one back from the grave. I was wondering the same thing. I've got an 86 Stumpjumper that I was tooling around with the idea of front and rear U-Brakes. The bike already has chainstay mounts in place. I can get a fork with the Roller Cam/U-Brake mounts. From what I can tell the front uses a yoke just like a cantilever. MTB's don't route the into the steerer like BMX bikes do. The setup should be simple but who knows.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Sorry to bring this one back from the grave. I was wondering the same thing. I've got an 86 Stumpjumper that I was tooling around with the idea of front and rear U-Brakes. The bike already has chainstay mounts in place. I can get a fork with the Roller Cam/U-Brake mounts. From what I can tell the front uses a yoke just like a cantilever. MTB's don't route the into the steerer like BMX bikes do. The setup should be simple but who knows.
    You could rig the front U-brake like a BMX one, but to be honest there's no point. BMXs do it so they can spin the forks without tangling the cable, on an MTB you may as well use a yoke.

  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airburst View Post
    You could rig the front U-brake like a BMX one, but to be honest there's no point. BMXs do it so they can spin the forks without tangling the cable, on an MTB you may as well use a yoke.
    Yup- and then the yoke's on you!
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