FWIW, I'm a huge fan of Sturmey drum brakes, but mostly from a maintenance perspective. They don't need a lot of attention, and I love that. (I run coaster brakes on some bikes for the same reason.) But, the simple truth is: my linear-pull equipped bikes stop better than the drum-equipped bikes, under any/all conditions. I know a lot of ppl love discs, but they need a fair amount of maintenance and the turkey-gobble noises offend me. Most disc ppl will claim that they don't squeal/squawk if they're tuned right, but every time I ride with disc ppl (especially in the wet), it sounds like a pre-Thanksgiving turkey massacre....
It's tempting to be annoyed by this, but it's merely evidence of good intentions. OTOH, it is proof that passers-by take note of my lights. If the good guys will switch the light off, what will the bad guys do?
So, yeah, as much as I love generator lights, I'd be afraid to run them on a commuter bike in Manhattan. My solution, so far, has been to stay out of Manhattan.
I'm honestly a tad surprised by the hostility that's sprung up here recently. And I'm sorry if my wanting to repair old parts rather than buying new ones, or having a different opinion about something offends anyone. It's in my nature to tinker, experiment, and conserve resources rather than solving every problem with my credit card. And if at all possible, I'd prefer to avoid this thread turning into a pissing match about lights. Let it suffice to say that I already own a set of lights and a set of Eneloop NiMH rechargeable batteries for them, that the environmental impact from my continuing to use them is essentially zero, and that is far less than if I were to toss them into a landfill and buy three new dynamo-equipped front wheels (one for each bike) plus a new set of lights.
Anyway, I spent an hour this evening watching old M*A*S*H reruns and wet-sanding the front rim with 220 grit. Wish I had something a little coarser to start with as this paint is pretty tough, but I got one side of the rim down to clean metal with a nice crosshatch pattern in it.
Planning to do the other side tomorrow night after I pick up some more aggressive paper, after which I'll report on the results.
Also took out the brake pad inserts, and found that they''d accumulated a fair amount of white schmutz. I cleaned 'em up a bit with the sandpaper to get back down to clean, green rubber:
Hopefully this is sufficient evidence of progress to satisfy Leisesturm's "fish or cut bait" ultimatum.
Regardless, this is yet another reason why I am presently looking for an alternative in the form of keeping my own bike on the Manhattan side of my commute rather than relying solely upon CitiBike.
The Green compound Magura's rim brakes use is their most abrasive ones ,
when I got my bike it had Hard anodized Mavic rims .. braking was not so great .
2 or 3 down hill long stops , in the rain , was enough to wear thru the anodizing.. after that it was fine..
Magura also got Kool Stop to mold pads to fit their brakes So I have the salmon compound on that bike , now.
Bike #1 is an electric bike which I built a few years ago. At the time, I was living in a very mountainous region of southern California, and was simply not at a fitness level which allowed me to deal with long 20% grades and elevation changes of >300m over the course of 1-2km, several times each way:
The blue MX-5 which you see in the garage is mine- this picture was taken before I had gone completely car-free. This bike worked very well for the region I was in- I had a garage to keep it in at night, and during the day I was able to bring it with me into the office. Thus, theft and vandalism were not a concern.
This past September, I took a job in New York City, and I live in an apartment which is just across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since I realize you are probably not familiar with the area, here is a map. Point "A" is where I live, and point "B" is where I work:
As you can see, there are no bridges which connect this part of New Jersey (left) to Manhattan (right), only tunnels. And bicycles are prohibited from entering the tunnels. Therefore, my daily commute is multi-modal. I use one bicycle to get from Point A to the train station, then I take an underground train which passes through a tunnel beneath the Hudson river into Manhattan, then I get on another bicycle to get to work.
Now, unfortunately, theft is a very serious concern here. I simply could not use Bike #1 for my everyday commute, as it would be stripped in an instant if left parked unattended at a train station. Therefore, it spends most of its time sitting inside my apartment. I use it occasionally on the weekends if I need to travel a great distance or haul very heavy cargo, as it excels at this task.
Bike #2 , therefore, is the first of the very cheap bikes which I use for my daily commute, the one which lives entirely in New Jersey and which I leave parked at the train station during the day, then use to visit the shops and whatnot on my way home in the evening. It cost me $160, plus another $100 or so in tires and accessory parts:
For as cheap as it was, I'm quite pleased with this bike overall. It's comfortable and handles well, and while the components on it are obviously not of extremely high quality, they function adequately. Were it not for the inadequate wet-braking performance I would have already bought two more (one to keep in Manhattan, and one as a spare.)
Bicycle #3 , of course, is the one which I do not own yet. The one that this thread was created to discuss. It will be the one which I keep parked in Manhattan overnight, and use to go between the underground terminal and the television station where I work. At present, I typically grab a CitiBike for that leg of the journey, however that is not without its problems and therefore I intend to keep my own bike there. Depending upon the outcome of this brake experiment, this will either be another bike identical to the red one pictured above, or else it will be something with disc brakes, most likely a Schwinn FourOneOne or similar:
So, can we please stop bickering and thread-hijacking about wastefulness, lights, batteries, etc? I thought that this forum was more mature than that sort of thing. I am trying to have a serious conversation about brakes, and gain input from those who have actually commuted in adverse weather (rain / snow) with different sorts of brake systems. I know that this may seem disingenuous or unbelievable to those who were raised in climates where rain and snow are common things, but as a former desert-dweller, I really have never had to deal with riding in wet conditions at all until these past few months.
I was reading this thread at the beginning..I come to check in this morning and this is where you guys went with it? Yeesh. Painted rims=bad for stopping in the wet with rim brakes.. that's a simple fact. Dyno lights are dimmer than good battery lights, debatable but tends to be a fact, Acid has strong opinions also another fact so do most of us for that matter..
If we're still talking the original subject matter though, I don't see why the OP can't get himself a SA 3 speed with coaster brake hub for that rear wheel.. looking at the admiral it appears to be a 3 speed igh to me, and I might be wrong but isn't NYC fairly flat? Never did spend much time there, but that's what my memory is telling me. OP could replace his rear wheel with a SS coaster also.. those are some pretty cheap easy and waterproof braking options IMO.
(Insert your favorite quote here)
That said, I have already sanded and "reclaimed" the upper of the two pads in that image. I am waiting to do the other one until I strap the paint off of that side of the rim, which I will do tonight. I took that image just to show a "before and after" comparison of the two- one sanded, one not.
That's really my ideal goal. The brakes should always behave the same way in response to my commands, and leave it to me to adjust the brakeforce in response to road conditions. How close to that goal I can come is what remains to be seen once these wheels are cleaned up.
The Admiral / Wayfarer, as shipped, has a 7-speed cog set and a conventional derailleur on the rear. You're correct in that the island of Manhattan is quite flat (there are some elevation changes, but not much), and a three-speed hub would be entirely adequate. In fact, this is exactly what the CitiBikes have, and it's perfect for the terrain. So, yes, and internally geared 3-speed rear hub would be adequate, though spending money on buying a hub and then paying someone to build a wheel around it (that, I will admit, is outside of my expertise) wouldn't make sense as compared to just buying a slightly better bike in the first place.
Also, I'd prefer to avoid coaster brakes, quite frankly, as I find them unintuitive and difficult to modulate. And, of course, braking on the rear wheel just isn't a major concern as compared to the front, especially in poor weather.
(Insert your favorite quote here)
I have been researching department-store bikes yet again, and while I've found a few cheap ones that come with a front disc brake, they all seem to be very small MTB-style frames with suspension forks and 26" wheels. All else being equal, I'd prefer a rigid 700c which is large enough to suit my height- this is one specific characteristic which drew me to the Schwinn that I have now.
Here is a picture of me from 2011, working on a car owned by 949 Racing which subsequently won its class (E2) at that year's 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race, and placed 8th overall out of 83.
So all in all, while I don't usually like to brag, I feel pretty confident about my mechanical skills.
I'd far rather spend a few hundred every few months replenishing Manhattan-only bikes than constantly having to lug a folder around all the time.
Last edited by Joe Perez; 04-01-14 at 09:59 AM.
I just noticed from your pic that you are using v-brakes. I have never had a problem with stopping power using that style of brake. I can definitely make the bike lock wheels and skid. I can't imagine disk brakes being that much better.
Now on caliper brakes on my road bike, I actually have never been able to make that bike skid using the brakes.
I would consider disk brakes on the road bike.
just as a point of info, I am also a Clydesdale.
with that said, I would take the advice too just buy an alloy wheel set...
You seem to have everything covered man, just watch x-marts for sales and what not.. you can usually scoop up 2-3 bill bikes for 50-100 when that happens.
FWIW: I have, coaster brakes, canti's, v's and calipers only on my fleet. I don't have wet stopping issues but I also pretty much exclusively use kool stop salmons or the multi compound pads, I like to use my coaster on rainy days more then anything but the power loss in wetness on most of my bikes (excluding the steel wheeled ones) is negligible.
(Insert your favorite quote here)
If you can build a Turbo Miata, you can tune up a bike. That being said, even the most mechanically-inclined ppl cannot make a "BSO" into a proper bike. Not on a tight budget, anyway. Which is why I suggest looking for the older, trickle down tech-equipped x-mart bikes. I don't doubt that, with a little bit of love (and a little less paint on the rims), the "Schwinn" from the original post can be made into a reliable, serviceable bike. But, I'd be wary of any x-mart discs in the year 2014, as they're likely to be pretty bad examples of a disc brake. That will likely change in the future, but I don't think BSO discs are "there" yet.
So, hopefully, removing that paint will do you fine. As you've already surmised, the current pads might be contaminated, so you might want to be ready to get ne pads, too. It'll be cheaper to go that route, either way, and I feel 98% certain that the painted braking surface is he cause of your woes here.
I did some clean up because the thread was getting derailed from the OP's initial question. If you want to have a dynohub vs battery light debate, feel free to start a new thread for that in Electronics & Gadgets.
Thanks for your cooperation.
The inverse is my case.. never had any Swiss Stop pads in my hands .. to have an A/B observationDo I interpret correctly that when you say "the green compound" you're referring to Swissstop GHP II? (I'm not familiar with Magura's lineup)
If so, I'm extremely curious to hear your opinion of how the two pads compare, both in the dry and in cold & wet conditions.
Magura HS33 R*| MAGURA
their color/compound range is (quote) Black: stock pad, general purpose ..
Salmon (by popular demand, made for the German brakes, in Oregon) Wet , rim friendly,
they call it their competition pad for polished rims
Grey for hard anodized and ceramic impregnated braking tracks ,
And the Green; the competition pad for the same CD & ceramic face rims.
Just inferring based on appearances .. [FYI 0:54 in of 1:28 video of accessories. ]
Once I scoured thru the CD coating on the brake track, the green pad was popped off
and the stock pad popped on, after wearing that pad set down with my daily transportation
the next set bought was the Salmon color compound..
as a Porsche fan you may like the HS33 better than the V brakes ..
(except for the money put out as NY theft candy).
Last edited by fietsbob; 04-01-14 at 10:57 AM.
On a more serious note, I'm *extremely* interested to hear your opinion on how the dual compound Kool-Stops compare to the pure Salmons. I ask this principally because no LBS in my area seems to stock the salmon-only pads, just the duals, and some of what I've read online was critical of them.
That said, I'm obviously not looking to build a high-class competitive race bike. I have no interest in ever owning anything made from carbon-fiber, or anything CAAD, etc. My taste in transportation machinery has historically tended to fall on the side of what the Brits amusingly refer to as "Cheap & Cheerful," from my old Honda Nighthawk 250 to the early-90s-vintage Mazdas, to the VW Karmann Ghia, to the 914, and so on.
This bike isn't going to be lovingly pampered, kept in perfect tune and taken indoors at night- it's going to be bounced along on some of the most potholed roads imaginable, ridden through salt and grime and gravel and never cleaned, urinated on at night by the homeless as it's chained up outside a subway station entrance, kicked and vandalized by drunken teenage delinquents, etc. I'm not saying this to sound dramatic, it's just one of the realities of city life.
About the pads: The dual compounds are fine for all weather bikes and stop pretty well in the wet, but IMO the salmons are where it's at. The experience that made the difference for me was after I upgraded to dual pivot caliper brakes (I'm deeply in love with vintage bikes so single pivots are common in my world) Shimano 105.. prolly 1055 series, I had some much newer shimano 105 oem pads on the calipers and the braking seemed fine, I swapped the pads because of "wear" I swear the salmons the first time I braked nearly sent me over the bars! Night and day against most other brands, I haven't bought a lot of fancy different pads since I found koolstops do what I need and then some.
(Insert your favorite quote here)
It seems a lot of your decisions are based on wanting to have a bike that is not a target for thieves.
If you do decide to spend a bit more, or even if you don't, there are other things you can do to make a new bike look less attractive, if you don't mind making it look worse .
Beat up bikes have worse resale, less attractive to steal. You can cover up any logos etc to make any brand name parts be hidden...scratch them off, cover with e-tape, etc. Something like tape on the bike might make it look more beat up.
Just a thought, as if I was leaving a bike on the street I would want it to look as unattractive as possible.
C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L