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  1. #1
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    Folding bike brakes issues

    Hi guys,

    I wonder if you help to point me to the right direction. I'm new to the folding bikes. Just got a used Captain Stag (any info on it). All good, the only issue are brakes. I have to start braking a mile prior to stop

    The front brakes are too flimsy - bad design. They aren't connected to the fork and bends when braking. Not sure how to fix that.

    The rear drums are better but very squeaky. Any way to fix that?

    Any advice or point to specialized bicycle forum appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have no clue about your specific brakes .. generic brake service new cables and housing

    and fresh brake pads and get it all properly adjusted.

    too flimsy ? buy new calipers .. you have any bike shops to show your problem to ?

    Bay area should be festooned with many . .... given I cant see a thing.

    you may pay more for help than the cheap bike cost... get over that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    pictures would help
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    pictures would help
    Yes plz,pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiras25 View Post
    The front brakes are too flimsy - bad design. They aren't connected to the fork and bends when braking. Not sure how to fix that.
    Sounds like low-end sidepulls. But we really do need to see pics.

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  5. #5
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    You're right they are a low-end. Here are the pics. Please see if helps here.back1.1.jpgfront1.1.jpgfront2.1.jpg

  6. #6
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    First try the things that don't cost anything: adjusting the pad position, cable pull, etc.
    Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information
    Park Tool Co. サ ParkTool Blog

    If that doesn't help; decide if it's worth upgrading the brake(s).
    Or maybe just get another used bike that has better components.











  7. #7
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    It's just the bad front side-pull design. Its only one bolt holding it and no connection to the fork so its flimsy. Someone told me you can buy an add-on hydraulic brakes. But not sure if I want to do it for the front brakes. Another idea is to change the whole fork for the better one.

    On the rear one. It works but too squeaky. But that probably easy to fix. Maybe even put a grease oil.

    PS, does anyone know anything about the bike itself? Captain Stag. How old is it approximately and how good? Seems I can't find any info on it.

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by tiras25; 07-18-14 at 03:06 PM. Reason: More info

  8. #8
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiras25 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I wonder if you help to point me to the right direction. I'm new to the folding bikes. Just got a used Captain Stag (any info on it). All good, the only issue are brakes. I have to start braking a mile prior to stop

    The front brakes are too flimsy - bad design. They aren't connected to the fork and bends when braking. Not sure how to fix that.

    The rear drums are better but very squeaky. Any way to fix that?

    Any advice or point to specialized bicycle forum appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Never heard of them.

    The Right Bike Store: 16" speed Imported Used Folding Bicycle from Japan: Captain Stag
    自転車用品|CAPTAIN STAG−キャプテンスタッグ−

    You have super long reach caliper brakes. The arms -- or something -- are probably bending when you apply a lot of force. You can try to change the pads but I suspect that braking is always going to suck. I suppose you could check that the brakes are mounted correctly to the fork. But if there was play there you'd almost certainly realize it.

    Personally, I would not put a lot of money into the bike. I'd just be careful and apply the brakes early.

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    Correct. This is what I do. Applying brakes early.

    As for >>I suppose you could check that the brakes are mounted correctly to the fork>> They are not mounted to the fork at all. Only one central screw holding it. Nothing else. Bad design.

    Thanks anyway!!

  10. #10
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Yeah,those are low-end sidepulls. Take it to a shop and swap on a better dual-pivot,plus maybe a better lever. All caliper/road style brakes mount on a single bolt in the middle of the fork,it's not an issue with a quality caliper. Calipers like yours are really designed for kids bikes;I had one of those $99 website special SS bikes come into my clinic once. I could sit on the bike,apply the brake,and rock it back and forth and watch the caliper arms flex. An average set of Tektros won't even do that.

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    Thanks guys. I'll try to re-design by welding those to the fork to have a better support. I'll let you know how it works and post pics when done.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    No its not a bad design*, Execution of the design is to make it cheaply.
    (parts choice was likely to make the selling price low enough for your budget)
    a Dual pivot brake would bolt on.

    but practically.. just go buy a better bike ..
    YGWYPF.. and you didn't pay Much.


    at least get better brake pads .

    * there have been famous racers winning using single pivot brakes ,
    just none made that cheaply..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-19-14 at 12:29 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I suggest you get some koolstop pads and just try these. If you are still unhappy consider dual calipers or another bike. Teflon coated inners make a difference on long cable runs on folders. But bit of a hassle and may not be an upgrade to take to your next bike.
    If you do get a new bike you have upgraded pads available
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  14. #14
    Schwinnasaur Schwinnsta's Avatar
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    Upgrade to a dual pivot side pull like this Tektro R559 55 - 73mm Reach Brake Caliper. Recessed Mount - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts and you will get more leverage. It is a much better design and it works with your brake levers.

  15. #15
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I suggest you get some koolstop pads and just try these.
    That's not going to help. I've had these cheap brakes come into my clinic. They're only suitable for kids bikes.

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  16. #16
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    I bought these. Lets see if helps. If not, I will do a complete re-design with a 'traditional' cantilever brake.

    Tektro 985A Caliper Racing Old School Side Pull BMX MTB Bike Front | eBay

  17. #17
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiras25 View Post
    They are not mounted to the fork at all. Only one central screw holding it. Nothing else. Bad design.
    As an aside, I think the fork crown is generally considered part of the fork. Your fork lacks cantilever mounts on the fork blades.

  18. #18
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    Pivot bolts I will have to weld or completely replace a fork. I will report later with photos.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cantilever/V brake bosses are Bicycle specific braze on pieces , they are a bushing sleeve,
    half the brake spring anchor, hole, and the threaded tube takes a 6x1 bolt.

    the brake caliper you show has a center bolt to fit thru the hole in the fork crown.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    anything you spend is really like throwing money away ...
    however ... new brakes in the front is the way to go
    welding on a substandard fork ? NOT ..it will break

    that rear band brake or whatever it is can be made smooth ...
    albeit never strong enough to skid the rear tire

    first u need to clean the rims and the braking surfavce on the rear brake... roughen up the brake pad material as well ... than the brake needs a new "breaking in process "

    thor
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  21. #21
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    anything you spend is really like throwing money away ...
    however ... new brakes in the front is the way to go
    welding on a substandard fork ? NOT ..it will break
    I don't know enough about the fork -- or engineering -- to say it will break, but unless this is just a fun project I agree with Thor that it's a waste of time and energy. If it's just for fun, good luck tira25.

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    Works better now. Thanks for all the suggestions. The Tektro I got from eBay more sturdier and brakes better. The rear drum I just washed with car brake fluid. The squeaking seems gone for now. We'll see what happens.


    Thanks again!!

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    Said too soon. The rear drum start squeaking again. Very loud

  24. #24
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiras25 View Post
    Said too soon. The rear drum start squeaking again. Very loud
    isn't it a band brake? the band is probably worn out. confirm that it looks like this and is 80-90mm, then order a new one. 6 bucks. band brakes are cool and work well. or maybe order a new complete kit. check with a local bike shop that isn't a trek/bontrager/cannondale dealer and doesn't play loud techno and doesn't have "sales associates". an old school bike shop may have some of them on hand.

    Last edited by smallwheeler; 07-28-14 at 03:37 PM.

  25. #25
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    Oh maybe. It does look something like this. Can't remember the length though. I will look again and confirm later.

    Thank you!!

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