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  1. #1
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    What do I need & need to know when choosing a new brake system

    Hi everyone! I wanted to start off by saying I'm new here and I'm really happy to be part of this forum! I've never really been too heavy into biking but I've always ridden and now I've picked it up as a more time consuming hobby.

    I have an old bianchi (maybe 89-90?) mtn bike; I'm not too sure the model but I'm looking to swap out the old brake system and put in a new one. I'm also thinking about switching out the handlebars as well while I'm at it.

    what I was wondering what I should know (in terms of measurements, sizing,etc.) when chosing what to put in. I know the difference between disc brakes, v brakes, etc. but are they universal? Do I have to go with a vintage set?

    I want to know so I know what to look for. I wanted to get all the parts online and then have a LBS install everything, but I don't want to end up getting the wrong size in anything...

    I'm not really to concerned about preserving the vintage much (except for the frame). If anything I wanted to freak it out and have a few new components on it with the older frame.

    Let me know what you think! And thanks in advance for the advice

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    What's wrong with your current brakes? Also, what do you have? I'm assuming cantilever but on a bike that old it could be something weird like U-brakes or roller cams. Also, there's no way you can put disc brakes on that frame. You could put a disc on the front if you put a different fork on though.

    My guess is that your brakes just need a tuneup: new cables, housing, and pads.
    Last edited by FastJake; 05-25-11 at 10:12 PM.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    type/ location this a cantilever /V brake braze on boss ?

    for V type brake mounts , now that I tried them, Magura's rim brakes are excellent.

    HS 33 , Hydraulic actuated , closed system , mineral oil. German workmanship.
    has been in production for 20 years.

    Disc brakes need to be mounted on the frame tabs, made for the purpose,
    welded on a frame made to cope with the forces.
    common on new stuff, now. not in that era,

    only other rim brakes were U brakes
    those bosses fixed above the rim, not below.

    another bike frame, here, mid 80's stumpjumper,
    has drum brake hubs in its wheels, now,
    instead of using the cantilever bosses at all.
    My dreadful weather bike, wears the studded tire tires, now.

  4. #4
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    Ya I wasn't looking to put anything like disc brakes on it. Just a good, updated u/v/or replacement cantilever system.

    The brakes were rubbing on the frame so I brought it into a LBS and they tuned up the entire bike. It looks better and works better but they still look awfully close to the rim. I also want something a little more reliable so I can do some light trail riding.

    I just took some pics of the bike. I apologize for the quality; I can't seem to find my real camera so I took them with my phone.





    Last edited by manythings; 05-25-11 at 10:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manythings View Post
    The brakes were rubbing on the frame so I brought it into a LBS and they tuned up the entire bike. It looks better and works better but they still look awfully close to the rim. I also want something a little more reliable so I can do some light trail riding.
    Nothing wrong with cantilever brakes. I have them on my mountain bike. They're supposed to be close to the rim, no matter what kind of brakes you use. Those pads look pretty old though, consider replacing them with some Kool Stop pads if you decide to keep the cantis.

    If you want to upgrade, get a set of V-brakes. They will most likely provide better stopping power and better feel. You will also need to replace your brake levers to match the cable pull of the V-brakes.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  6. #6
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    The whole V Brake vs Canti thing is a whole additional can of worms.

    It's been my experience that even really cheap cantilever brakes can be made to work well, but they might take a lot of adjustment. Cheap V brakes will always be lousy though.

    I'd put my vote for an overhaul; new cables, housing and a new par of Koolstop brake pads will do wonders for your stopping power.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It looks better and works better but they still look awfully close to the rim.
    the pads have to be close to the rim,
    so you don't wast a lot of lever travel to get to the rim.

    My Magura HS 33 recommendation, repeated..
    they fix to the frame bosses but don't use them as a pivot, just an anchor.
    U braces take the resistance of the braking force. ..

    http://www.magura.com/en/products/ri.../hs-33-43.html
    smooth operation and superior modulation,
    Brake shoe replacement , physically.. a Snap.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-25-11 at 11:01 PM.

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