Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How to remedy spongy brakes

    Cross posted with the mechanics forum

    Ever since I finished my Mercian I have had one nagging problem... spongey brakes. I mean really spongey... like coaster brake spongey. I ride in the rain and had to drag my feet on the ground going down hill towards an intersection.

    Here is why this seems so wrong. I have modern Dual pivot calibers, aluminum rims, modern aero brake levers AND really fancy kool stop cartridge pads. I have cleaned the rims and pads with alcohol on more than a few occasions.

    The only thing I can guess is that the no name brake cable housing is to blame... the inner wires are stainless steel.

    I recently installed these new calipers with no positive effect:

    Tektro R559


    Here you can see the kool stop pads:
    Last edited by mkeller234; 09-22-11 at 09:19 PM.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  2. #2
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    My Bikes
    See sig
    Posts
    4,395
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have you ever had this problem before or is it only this bike?

    I have Tektro 559's and they work very well... Hmm.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  3. #3
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bonus question: has anyone successfully removed cloth tape with shellac and then re-used it? If not... I might try some Fizik microtex because I have been itching to try it.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  4. #4
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    Have you ever had this problem before or is it only this bike?
    Only this bike. I did have an old set of wienmann sidepulls that never did work great. Most of my other bikes are great stoppers, that is how I know just how bad this one is. I've had success with many kinds of brakes, single pivot, center pulls and dual pivot.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  5. #5
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Louisville
    Posts
    8,196
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    Bonus question: has anyone successfully removed cloth tape with shellac and then re-used it? If not... I might try some Fizik microtex because I have been itching to try it.
    You could apply denatured alcohol and try it, but I don't think it'd be worth the trouble.

    You have all the ingredients for major stopping power, Matt. I'm not sure what's the matter. I use good quality housing and slick, pre-stretched cables. I suppose that could be the difference, but I still wouldn't expect yours to be as squishy as you describe.
    Bikes on Flickr
    I prefer email to private messages. You can contact me at justinhughes@me.com

  6. #6
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    61 Degrees North
    My Bikes
    www.2nd-cycles.com
    Posts
    2,194
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Spongey brake cable housing?? That's all I got.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  7. #7
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    My Bikes
    See sig
    Posts
    4,395
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I dunno, I don't get it. You know how to set brakes up, you have good stuff... How about the levers?
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  8. #8
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    I dunno, I don't get it. You know how to set brakes up, you have good stuff... How about the levers?
    The levers are Tektro 200a so they should be fine. The cable housing is pretty cheapy stuff... bought mostly because it was gray. So what is the consensus on best functional value in brake housings... jagwire?
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    9,306
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you ever grind your brake housing ends flat? This will help quite a bit, more often that not. Maybe it's the levers? How sure are you that the housing is all the way up into the base of the brake hoods? That can cause a problem too, if it's somehow not all the way there. How hard is the effort on the levers? I have noticed the combo of some calipers and levers together, can cause forced modulation unless you really grab hard. This can seem spongey too. Were they spongey with the other shoes?,,,,BD

    I recently got a set of Jagwire "racer" cables, and whoa!! The majority of the housing is longways like shifter housing, with a few inches of spiral near the levers. The braking feels very smooth and powerful, granted the brakes are Tektro CR720's. Worth a try if you can find nothing else wrong...

  10. #10
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mount Vernon, NY
    My Bikes
    Olympia Competizione & Special Piuma, Frejus track circa 1958, Dahon Helios, many others
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't reuse your old tape. Think of it as the bicycle equivalent of dental floss: you don't save that, do you?

    Regarding your brakes, as others have observed, there's nothing wrong with those calipers and pads. When you say spongy, do you mean the levers travel too far with little resistance, i.e., feel squishy? Or do you mean you really have to mash the levers to slow down? If it is the former, you need to look at where your cable housings anchor, and see if they are seated properly. If it is the latter, you may have to get more assertive with cleaning your rims and make sure the pads are addressing them squarely (toed in, of course). Any chance your aero levers were made for V-brakes?
    Michael Shiffer
    EuroMeccanicany.com

  11. #11
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I mean squishy in that I really have to use more force than I should to slow down. I don't mean casual force... I mean grabbing from the drops and SQUEEZING for all I am worth.

    Bikedued, I do file the ends of all my cables flat. I was using some old budget Tektro calipers before and had the same feel to the brakes.

    As far as levers, The brakes begin to operate with very little lever movement so I believe they are the correct style.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  12. #12
    Mostly Mischief jan nikolajsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperX, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Surly Krampus
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The picture shows what looks like a long reach caliper with the pad holders jammed all the way up. Looks odd. Might not be within this calipers range of optimum performance. Any reason you didn't choose regular reach?

  13. #13
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The best brakes I have ever used to date were shimano 105 dual pivot calipers and levers. I can't remember what cables I used on that bike... but there was some effortless magic happening with those brakes... and they had old shimano pads.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  14. #14
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
    The picture shows what looks like a long reach caliper with the pad holders jammed all the way up. Looks odd. Might not be within this calipers range of optimum performance. Any reason you didn't choose regular reach?
    Yeah... I overshot to the opposite end of the spectrum. First I had old calipers set to their max reach.... I measured... but I measured wrong.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  15. #15
    Mostly Mischief jan nikolajsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperX, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Surly Krampus
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say that the combo of wrong reach calipers and the damn salmon pads is the culprit. Never had any luck with red Kool Stops. Granted, my misery was more of the squealing nature, but still...

  16. #16
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well, I do have some black inserts that I could try and other pads too. I think tomorrow I am going to run out to the LBS and buy high quality cables and try that first. If that doesn't change anything then I will think about finding new calipers.

    Need some brutal truth here, does anyone here get really good performance from tektro brake calipers? This is my only experience with them and the review seem spotty. Maybe if I buy new calipers I should look at Shimano and others.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  17. #17
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aixaix View Post
    Don't reuse your old tape. Think of it as the bicycle equivalent of dental floss: you don'
    Of course I do. I get all kinds of flack from the guys on dentalforums.net
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  18. #18
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    My Bikes
    Colnago Super, Fuji Opus III, Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    3,148
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    So what is the consensus on best functional value in brake housings... jagwire?
    http://store.icyclesusa.com/shimano-...rce=googlebase

    I run Dura Ace almost exclusively. Sometimes it can be found for about $10. They are also gray by default.

    A few other things that might help:

    - Brake pad toe-in. If the pads aren't toed-in enough, stopping decreases greatly.
    - make sure that the cable housings aren't kinked, in tight radius bends, too long or too short. Some frames don't route cables very smoothly
    - Might want a stiffer pad compound. koolstops are fairly soft. I am not a fan.
    - What rims are you using? Is the rim surface hard anodized? Hard anodized rims don't stop very well until you have worn completely through the coating. Depending on riding style and conditions, that could easily take 500-1000 miles
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  19. #19
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    WA state
    Posts
    4,816
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    well, I do have some black inserts that I could try and other pads too. I think tomorrow I am going to run out to the LBS and buy high quality cables and try that first. If that doesn't change anything then I will think about finding new calipers.

    Need some brutal truth here, does anyone here get really good performance from tektro brake calipers? This is my only experience with them and the review seem spotty. Maybe if I buy new calipers I should look at Shimano and others.
    I've had 2 sets of tektro calipers and neither were as good as the shimano or campy dual pivot brakes I've used. Likewise I've had terrible luck with kool stop pads (squealing, super poor stopping power). I have some of the ebay fake carbon fiber pads (I know) and they crap on the kool stops they replaced.

    I've never had the model of calipers that you do, maybe you just need different pads and housings. I would suggest trying that first and if you still don't like the brakes, get some campy ones (imo) with the right amount of reach. I have the same levers as you do on my bianchi and it stops on a dime so I don't think that is the issue.

    I would also clean the rims well if you haven't already.

  20. #20
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    My Bikes
    Colnago Super, Fuji Opus III, Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    3,148
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post

    Need some brutal truth here, does anyone here get really good performance from tektro brake calipers? This is my only experience with them and the review seem spotty. Maybe if I buy new calipers I should look at Shimano and others.
    In response to this, I will submit that I find Shimanos to outstrip Tektros in precision and longevity. In my experience, Shimano makes some of the best dual pivot brakes around, with Campy and Sram being decent substitutes of comparable quality. Cheaper brands such as Tektro tend to gum up quickly and don't have as smooth of an action since they often use a type of soft plastic bushing on the pivots that wears through rather quickly. Shimanos use a series of washers and on some higher end models actual bearings for the pivots. Campy does this too, iirc. I find that Ultegra is usually the best price/performance compromise for brakes. Gently used Ultegra 6600 set can be found for $40 sometimes these days, and the 6500 models are nearly the exact same design, (though maybe a tad less stiff than 6600). Here are a few deals I see fairly often:

    - 6500/6600 Ultegra, the best budget brakes, $40-$60 used
    - Sram Apex (and sometimes Rival), comparable to Ultegra, but a little flexier, great stopping even with stock pads, I've found them for $40 -$50 new. Great value, IMO
    - Campy Veloce brakes, as good as the Apex, but no Q/R, stock pads aren't amazing, ~$40 new
    - 105, good but Ultegras come up for sale more often and thus are usually cheaper, 105 doesn't seem to stay as smooth as 6600 either, $40
    - older series Shimano (6403, 7403, 1055), excellent across the board but have slightly different cable pull ratio, $fluctuates
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  21. #21
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I grabbed a penny and adjusted the toe-in. I'll see if that makes any difference on the ride home. I should have done that from the start. Also, I failed to mention that I know for sure the front cable is much to short. I raised the stem after I installed the cables.... so that could be a big problem. Maybe I should lower the stem and see if that has an effect.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  22. #22
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    adelaide, australia
    Posts
    2,011
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The problem is cheap outer cable, I setup a bike with early 80's shimano tourney using no name cables from ebay and had poor braking performance being able to pull the lever all the way to the bars and not stopping. I only used the stuff for two rides then threw it away.
    Replaced it with jagwire and problem solved since then I've also had good results with dura-ace.
    I noticed with the cheap stuff is the outer cable is not rigid enough and compresses between the lever and caliper, thats my two cents worth
    Forgot to mention from the start I used modern quality pads.
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  23. #23
    people's champ marley mission's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    joisey
    Posts
    1,517
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    Of course I do. I get all kinds of flack from the guys on dentalforums.net
    now thats going green
    Kleins, Kleins...everywhere there's Kleins

  24. #24
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    12,100
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    3 issues are the primary cause of 'spongy brakes'

    1. Cables
    2. Cables
    3. Brake pads

    Secondary issues are primarily related to cheap brake hardware such as:

    1. ultra flexy calipers. Sometimes you can see them flexing!!!
    2. poor lever/caliper ratio. With some combinatiosn regardless of how hard or far you the pull ther your just just not going to have good mechanics.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  25. #25
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, OH
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, adjusting the toe-in seems to have made a significant improvement. It's still not perfect but I can actually stop now, and it was raining on my ride this morning. Great suggestion Rat Fink!!

    I'm still going to replace the cables, maybe today.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •