Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    96
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    how good are brakes in the rain?

    it felt great!! the rain, i mean!! i had just completed mile number 10 this morning over what i call my difficult route... and i'd just rode and hoofed it up about a 700 foot half mile climb... when it hit!!!

    i was enjoying it immensely... when it occurred to me that i had to go down the other side of that ridge in a little while!!!

    surely enough, when the time came, it was still pouring... i tested the brakes a bit, to see how the rain would affect them and i felt like they were stopping me, but it didn't quite feel right... so i dismounted and walked down...

    i normally use the on/off/on/off method and keep my speed under control until i get most of the way down and i can't resist any longer.... and let it go... i usually get to about 35-40 mph when i hit bottom that way... i can't imagine what it would be if i didn't keep it slow... i'm too chicken... i wiped out 2 summers ago somewhere between 15 & 20 into a bank and cracked a helmet...

    my neighbor's kids, in their teens have a ball, they coast over and brake by dragging their feet! oh well, when you're a kid, you're invulnerable/invincible aren't you?

    anyway, to get back to my question... i've always had the coaster brakes up until a 3 years ago, and believe it or not, during that time, for the most part, its been a perpetual drought in the south east... this spring is the wettest we've had for a number of years... and even though i've been riding in a lot of rain, i've never been caught on that route...

    how good ARE my brakes in the rain? what can i expect?

    a little brag after having laid off for nearly a year 'cuz of low back/sciatica probs... i'm starting to get my legs back... been building my distance and finally, finally, got a 15 mile ride today... i'm aiming for 20 a day like before with an occaisional splurge of a 50 once in a while...

    takes a lot longer for an old guy like me to get my legs back... but they're coming on...

    IBCNU!

  2. #2
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Without knowing what kind of brakes you have, and what brake-pads you're using, I can't read your mind from here. Photos would be a big help.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To be honest- I do not have a problem braking in the wet. Once I have got the rims dry and I suppose a bit warm- I would say that there is a negligible difference in braking. I only have one bike with the alternative brakes that supposedly are better- but that bike is the Tandem and it needs them.

    I do keep my bikes in good condition and that does mean that the wheel rims and brake blocks are always good but being in the UK I am used to wet weather riding. We may lack grip through the tyres on wet roads- but at least I still have good brakes
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brakes on steel rims are useless in the wet, but not many bikes have been built with those rims in the past 25 yrs. Most brakes have reduced performance in the wet, KoolStop pink ones are formulated for good rain performance but they wear faster.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a typical rim brake, I expect it to take twice as long to stop in the wet as in the dry.However, it's not like they don't work, they just work less well.

    Some people have claimed that their Koolstop Salmon pads work as well in the rain as they do in the dry. I do not have any personal experience to say if this is true or not, though I'm thinking of giving it a shot when my current brakes wear out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    IL-USA
    Posts
    1,611
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Without knowing what kind of brakes you have, and what brake-pads you're using, I can't read your mind from here. Photos would be a big help.
    This is true.

    ------

    If you're shopping for a new bike and can consider anything, then disk brakes are probably the best; their grabbing power changes very little between being dry and being wet,,,,but they're hardly necessary. Good rims & rim-pads can come very close to the stopping power of cable-operated disks, and the "rim" brakes will still weigh less (if you care about the weight difference).
    ~

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northern Nevada
    Posts
    3,749
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    Brakes on steel rims are useless in the wet, but not many bikes have been built with those rims in the past 25 yrs. Most brakes have reduced performance in the wet, KoolStop pink ones are formulated for good rain performance but they wear faster.
    I was going to point this out--as Andrew said, few bikes have steel rims these days, but if you do, they're really crap in the wet. If you're not sure, stick a magnet on them.
    With alloy rims, a good aftermarket pad such as KoolStop or Matthauser will improve things enough that you can probably ride comfortably. Just allow a few extra feet to stop.

  8. #8
    on your left.
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    My Bikes
    Scott SUB 30, Backtrax MTB
    Posts
    1,802
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've noticed that the Cantis on my 90's mtb/rain bike work really well in wet and dry. much better than the v-brakes on my flat-bar road bike. I have some type of kool-stop pads on the front, and cheapo pads on the rear.

    maybe that's why they use cantis on CX bikes? (why do they use cantis?)
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nabob, WI
    My Bikes
    '03 Trek 7500, '08 Madone 4.5
    Posts
    1,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I the Swiss Stop green pads on my front brakes. Rode them in the rain on Saturday and all was fine. Just be a bit more cautious than usual.

  10. #10
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,270
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Be aware that even with good pads on alloy rims, your tires only have about a third of the grip on the road that they do in the dry. That will be your limiting factor.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    koolstop salmon brake pads still take longer to grab in the wet.

    In a heavy rain, rolling thru standing water, there's a few seconds where you will be reefing on the levers and the bike isn't slowing much, then the pads will begin to grab.

    if you've got an old three speed with single pivot brakes and steel rims it will seem like you start to go faster when applying the brakes.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
    I the Swiss Stop green pads on my front brakes. Rode them in the rain on Saturday and all was fine. Just be a bit more cautious than usual.
    The Kool Stop green brake-pads are designed for ceramic-coated rims. They are much harder than the salmon-pads. If you have ceramic-rims on your bike, get the greenies. Other than that, I wouldn't suggest them on simple alloy-rims.

    I have ceramic Mavic Open Pro rims on one of my bikes. I use the SwissStop greens. Cut's way down on the noise - compared to salmon - and stop you in any weather just fine.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  13. #13
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    dropped and lost in Washington DC
    Posts
    6,237
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My daily commuter has discs and 2" Marathon Supremes. On normal blacktop,I actually don't notice a difference.

    FYI,brakes are useless without traction. Good tires are just as important as good brakes.

    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

  14. #14
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ky. and FL.
    My Bikes
    KHS steel SS
    Posts
    3,945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Both my primary bikes brakes work great in the rain, Campy centaur with stock pads and Shimano Ultegra with stock pads. Rain is a non factor to the brakes on my bikes, tire traction is a factor.
    Not too much to say here

  15. #15
    Faster than yesterday
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    not as good as they are when dry...

  16. #16
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,858
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's not just the water that bugs me, it's also the road silt and sludge that gets under the pads and f's with the rim. I much prefer discs for wet weather riding, even after the rain's passed and I know that I'll find some stagnant puddles along my route.

  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dante's Third Ring
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are somewhere that rains all the time - look into ceramic rims. That's pretty much what they are designed for. Along with those weirdo green brake-pads. Read up on them. Then see if they make sense to you and your location.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
    Pat
    Pat is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    My Bikes
    litespeed, cannondale
    Posts
    2,795
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brakes work fine in the rain. But it takes a moment for them to "grab" because they need to dry off the rim before they get a good grip on it. The thing to do is to just slow down early as you approach stop signs and traffic lights.

    I am assuming that you are using wheels with alloy rims. The old steel rims felt liked they were greased when they were wet and it was downright scary riding them in the rain.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentwood michigan.
    My Bikes
    too many
    Posts
    484
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to ride in the rain all the time, And found that the best brake setup for rain (And to eliminate squeal) was to very lightly twist the caliper arms so the leading edge (rear edge) of the pad hit the rim first. That squeegees the water and crud off the rim before it gets under the pad, so they stop better, and it reduces the scratches on the rim.

    Ken.

  20. #20
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,289
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My advice in rain: slow down! For me, this take care of all the issues. And careful on the turns, too.

Posting Permissions

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