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  1. #1
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    Breaking in weather, or not really

    I have had several close calls riding in rain and the dark lately. My breaks slip and I have been thinking about trying to make some changes to my bike for a safer ride as the wet weater will just start to increase. My bike is an 80's Fugi Touring Bike with 27" wheels. I had the idea of going to a wider 700c tire in front. The LBS said that would not help much. If it were ice they said studds do work, so I have a couple months to work that out. They suggested better brakes. I have dia compe brakes with rectangular pads. I am limited by my older caliber mount, do they make a dual piviot for older road bikes? Maybe rig up a center mount?? At the least I will try new softer pads that might fit my pads?? Anybody know where I could find these? This is my first "fall" commuting so I am new to all this, but I love how these SKS fenders work!!! Puddles are fun!!
    Riding my bike will still make it go faster.
    1994 Trek 720 New commuter
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  2. #2
    Cat None SDRider's Avatar
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    Brakes are what you use to slow down.

    Breaks are what your bones do when you can't slow down fast enough and you hit the pavement.

  3. #3
    rain-forest commuter
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    I went through the same issue as you: my braking stank in the rain and cold and I was eating through rims. Disk brakes seemed like the obvious first choice for improved braking and less rim-eatery but I didn't have the disk braze-ons. I had to get new rims anyways and went with Drum Brakes on my front and rear wheels. I wish I had also gone with Internal rear gears, but I will next time. The braking isn't as good as Disks or V-Brakes (in dry weather), but it's consistent. In other words, you get the same braking regardless of weather conditions.

    The other thing with Drum Brakes was that it was a cheap (compared to what I was looking at to convert my bike to Disks) alternative.
    2008 Kona Dr. Dew
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  4. #4
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    the other possibility, although you probably don't want to hear it, is to go with a fixed gear. that way, in addition to your standard rim or disk brakes you have your 'transmission resistance' braking. you know how in driving school they told you the best way to slow down in slippery conditions was to gear down? same principle. but with yr legs.

  5. #5
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Kool Stop Salmons
    Studs when there's ice.
    Done.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  6. #6
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    You need to distinguish between a braking issue or a traction issue. Where is the problem ocurring? Between the pads and the rims, or between the tire and the ground?

    Do you have steel rims, crusty old pads, or cheap, junky brakes?
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rick Smith's Avatar
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    The problem (so I've heard) with studded tires is that they either slow you down or get rubbed down on exposed pavement (after the ice melts). If this is the case, I'd be prone to changing them out on a near-daily schedule to save the time and wear and tear. But then I'd spend all my time after work changing tires out during the icy months of the year.

    Wouldn't it be neat to have snow chains for bike tires? Something you could cinch on around the tire that would be full of spikes for the icy conditions that could be removed once those conditions melt away?

  8. #8
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    Rick Smith, how 'bout two sets of rims? Or just studs on the front.

    For the op, if its got steel wheels then you NEED aluminum rims, at least one for the front. Tighten up the brakes till they are completely rubbing and then they'll work better, in the rain only of course. Also you can take the pads off and rub them on concrete to get the hard part off, but you may want to look into the salmon pads, I hear good things about them. I've never had a traction problem, just use the rear brake if the front tire starts to skid.

  9. #9
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    koolstop used to at least make bicycle tire chains for winter use. You can see them over at icebike
    I rode on my bike with studden nokians all winter and they lasted through two and I only got rid of them because I moved and we have no snow here. Black ice was a big danger for my riding area in Connecticut so even there wasn't ice or snow if it was winter there was probably some black ice somewhere waiting for me to lean into it and crash.

    I got kool stop pads for my old schwinn le tour IV a while back so they are available for old style brakes and they made a heck of a difference. www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html has lots of differents brakes pads..

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Smith View Post
    The problem (so I've heard) with studded tires is that they either slow you down or get rubbed down on exposed pavement (after the ice melts). If this is the case, I'd be prone to changing them out on a near-daily schedule to save the time and wear and tear. But then I'd spend all my time after work changing tires out during the icy months of the year.
    If you buy cheap, crappy studded tires, they'll wear down.

    I have Nokians which have carbide studs. Last year was the 3rd year on them. Almost all my riding is on dry pavement, they're there for when I get to the part of my route that is ice and packed snow (about 4 miles each way). They still look almost new.

    Yes, they slow you down a bit, but not really that much. It's not like you're going to be a speed demon in the winter anyway. What, you afraid you might have to work too hard?

    Besides, it's SO DAMN MUCH FUN in the spring when you take them off and put the slicks back on; you feel like you're gliding on butter for a few days.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the replies. I think I will look into kool stop pads, although I still want to play around with better brakes/traction. I am not sure if better brakes for my bike are out there at a reasonable $$$ and I want to string up a 700c big front tire with studds and at least see what that whole thing is about. Has anybody converteed one of these old road bikes to stronger breaks??? Drum breaks, how do you get those things to work? I like the single gear idea, so when you go in reverse you break??? I am in Indiana and my gears do not get used much...so that might work. Those bikes come up here used often. Maybe just go a bit slower and put studds on my shoes??
    Riding my bike will still make it go faster.
    1994 Trek 720 New commuter
    1980's Fugi Allegro Touring Bike (retired 8/19/08 cracked frame)
    1971 Sears 3- speed
    1980's Torpado Italia SS
    1990 Raleigh Technium E-bike

  12. #12
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    My housemate has an old Sears 3 speed with steel rims. The braking was simply awful. I replaced the pads with Kool Stop salmon Continentals, and now it's actually quite good in dry weather. I was most impressed, as the guy at my LBS thought nothing could possibly help. So, I think this is a good place to start.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  13. #13
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Kool Stop Salmon Pads = Good
    Aluminium Rims = Good
    Long reach dual pivot brakes at a reasonable price = available, at least in Britain. See link below.

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-0...nd-Rear-79.htm

  14. #14
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    If you stick with rim brakes be careful that the first few revolutions of the wheel will just squegee off the water, then the brake will start to grab much harder all of a sudden. If you are using the front wheel, it's possible to lock up suddenly (it's happened to me) in this situation, which is why my rear brake gets a lot more use in the wet.

    The biggest problem with black ice is the sudden loss of steering ability. You only need the front wheel for this, so you can put a studded tire on the front only and help with this problem in the cold. In snow, I find that treaded tires are just fine, studs are not needed, so put some kind of tire with tread on the rear if you'll be in snow.

  15. #15
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    I have aluminum rims but they are 27", I have lots of room for studs width wise(touring biike) it will just be getting a good break to a 700c rim, Maybe I will try Sheldon Browns adaptors to convert newer brake to old mount? Sounds like Kool Stop are a no brainer. Thank you!
    Riding my bike will still make it go faster.
    1994 Trek 720 New commuter
    1980's Fugi Allegro Touring Bike (retired 8/19/08 cracked frame)
    1971 Sears 3- speed
    1980's Torpado Italia SS
    1990 Raleigh Technium E-bike

  16. #16
    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with my "ye olde sidepulls".

    This thread: "Cantilever" threaded pads on ye old style sidepulls? may help.
    Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, 1/2 a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

    Jake: Hit it.



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