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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-24-10, 12:02 PM   #1
funnyhaircut
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Braking Options for Clydes

Hi there,

I weight about 215 lbs. I'm not huge, but definitely heavier than a lot of guys that mountain bikes are made for.

I have a Rocky Mountain Trailhead and it has some stock Shimano disc brakes. I'm not sure which model they are. The rotors say m495 but those are mechanical brakes and these ones are definitely hydraulic.

Anyway, I don't always feel like these brakes are able to stop me during steep descents, and the other day I actually had a pad go missing off the front, which made the rest of the descent a little scary as I only had my rear brake. Is this a result of pushing the brakes too far?

Have any other clydes out there had any luck with other types of discs? I'm considering upgrading to something like the Hayes Carbon. Is this necessary?
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Old 03-24-10, 12:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums funnyhaircut!

The 2010 Trailhead has M486 hydros according to bikepedia. They should be more than adequate to stop you. I'm guessing this bike is fairly new, and if you lost a break pad then I would take it right back to the shop. Once the new pads are on it's only a matter of adjustment.
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Old 03-24-10, 02:17 PM   #3
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It sounds like there's a definite problem with the brakes if you're losing pads. I've never had hydraulic brakes on a car, but it sounds like you might have some air in the system too.
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Old 03-24-10, 02:50 PM   #4
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It sounds like there's a definite problem with the brakes if you're losing pads. I've never had hydraulic brakes on a car, but it sounds like you might have some air in the system too.
Wha...?
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Old 03-24-10, 05:22 PM   #5
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Modal T anyone?
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Old 03-24-10, 06:17 PM   #6
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Have any other clydes out there had any luck with other types of discs? I'm considering upgrading to something like the Hayes Carbon. Is this necessary?
My cheap BB7 disc brakes will send me flying over the handlebars with a 2-finger pull of the lever. Hydraulic brakes should have stopping power that's equal or greater and have better modulation to boot. How long have you been riding? Which brake do you use most often? When people tell me their brakes don't work well, the problem often turns out to be their braking technique not the brakes themselves...
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Old 03-24-10, 07:11 PM   #7
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The brakes are defiantly out of adjustment or needs to have the air bled out of the lines. You don't need new brakes, just properly set-up equipment. I shudder to think of how poorly it shifts if this little care was taken with the braking system.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:21 PM   #8
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A new set of pads will often need to break in some before they have their maximum stopping power, but even without being broken in, they should stop you very quickly.

I'll echo the advice of others - take it back to the shop. The pad should never come out under normal circumstances.
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Old 03-25-10, 04:42 AM   #9
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Wha...?

I take my retrogrouchery very seriously.


(I think I meant 'bike'. )
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Old 03-25-10, 06:38 AM   #10
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I shudder to think of how poorly it shifts if this little care was taken with the braking system.
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When people tell me their brakes don't work well, the problem often turns out to be their braking technique not the brakes themselves...
I'm just here for a little info, there's no need to be snarky or rude.

This bike was a replacement for a well-maintained Pro-flex that lasted 10 years on all original parts. This is my first experience with discs. I was mostly just surprised by the pad coming off. I've had the bike for nearly two years but this is the first season I've had it out in steep terrain as I have just moved to a new part of the country.
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Old 03-25-10, 07:53 PM   #11
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I'm just here for a little info, there's no need to be snarky or rude.

This bike was a replacement for a well-maintained Pro-flex that lasted 10 years on all original parts. This is my first experience with discs. I was mostly just surprised by the pad coming off. I've had the bike for nearly two years but this is the first season I've had it out in steep terrain as I have just moved to a new part of the country.
I'd like to offer more advice, but apparently that would be considered rude by some...
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Old 03-25-10, 09:15 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard Mr. Haircut! Just wiink at the critical comments, and learn from the good ones. I have actually benefitted from these rough edged ole codgers. They mean well.

I don't use disc brakes, but it sounds like something didn't get set up right. My wieght has been anywhere between 212-242 in the past 2 years. I have juicy single digit 7's. I can stop about anywhere. It has to do with set up. Sounds like an extreme situation exposed a weakness in the setup. A pad shold only come off if you remove it. It sounds like you know bike maintenance really well. The new stuff caught you off guard. Have the bike shop show you how to field fix a situation like that.

Keep hanging around, the tigers are all made of cardboard. most of em anyway!
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Old 03-25-10, 09:40 PM   #13
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If the pad came out, something is wrong with the setup, or they have been damaged. ( tampering?) Definitely have them looked at. They should be more than powerful enough. I weigh 210, my BB7s are the best brakes I've ever had.
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Old 03-26-10, 06:41 AM   #14
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Definitely sounds like you need to do some maintenance or have the brakes checked over. My BB7's will throw me over the handlebars if I bear down on them hard and I'm 240lbs.
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Old 03-26-10, 01:26 PM   #15
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i take my retrogrouchery very seriously.


(i think i meant 'bike'. :d)
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Old 03-26-10, 03:04 PM   #16
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I'm using stock Hayes MX4 mechanical disc brakes on my Dew and they will definitively send me otb if I press too hard on them, and have in mind that I do have 268 lbs of my own weight. So it all boils down to proper installation and adjustment. Some people say MX4 ain't worth nothing, and I was concerned with that when I bought the bike, but that is pure bs, brakes are plenty powerful enough when set up properly. Set inner pad (hex key), set outer pad (cable tension), set caliper centering and off you go. And any hydraulic is only more powerful, when properly set up. So there is something wrong with your set up or the brakes are malfunctioning.
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