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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-22-07, 02:54 PM   #1
patachenca412
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give me a brake...

hey all - i was recently out on a ride, going down a fairly short but fairly steep decline, when i realiazed that my front brake was not cutting it. i almost went into the stream on the other side, but managed to sort of slide sideways and get a foot down. i cannot back pedal that strongly due to flat pedals, and i really want to keep the flat pedals on... would a disk brake help me out here, or am i asking to somersault? i am riding a fixed with a front brake only. i was thinking avid mechanical or whatever is cheap i guess... thanks for the help - i don't know brakes at all.

ps. i use a shimano 105 brake now with a cheapo bmx lever...
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Old 03-22-07, 02:57 PM   #2
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i have a friend who has a fixed disc brake set up. as a bonus he runs risers, and runs the brake cable through a little hole in the stem cap thing (its threadless), and through the fork. now he can do barspins and still have a brake.

i would recommend replacing the brake pads and having a mechanic readjust your brakes. you may just have them set up a little wrong.
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Old 03-22-07, 02:57 PM   #3
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better pads.
real brake lever.
dual pivot brake.

there should be no need for a disk.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
better pads.
real brake lever.
dual pivot brake.

there should be no need for a disk.
yup, a decent brake should be able to throw you over the bars

i had to brake once and i was doing a nose-wheelie, skidding on my front wheel (somewhat slick pavement)
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Old 03-22-07, 03:02 PM   #5
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might want to make sure your rims and pads are clean too. some people scuff their brake pads from time to time with a file or sandpaper.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:18 PM   #6
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My fixie has a disk brake- Ive never had problems getting the bike stopped. Still no flying over the handlebars.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:27 PM   #7
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I forgot the obvious first thing to do:
Have someone who knows what they are doing adjust them.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
i have a friend who has a fixed disc brake set up. as a bonus he runs risers, and runs the brake cable through a little hole in the stem cap thing (its threadless), and through the fork. now he can do barspins and still have a brake.
Sick. I'd love a setup like that.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
I forgot the obvious first thing to do:
Have someone who knows what they are doing adjust them.

true - i should do that...i think i was just looking for an excuse to get a disk. thanks for all the replies!
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Old 03-22-07, 03:39 PM   #10
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Do not get a mechanical disc, they are cheaper and they are not as strong as hydraulic units.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:58 PM   #11
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I need a good front brake too that's easy on the hand. Some of these local 10 mile descents are killing me. I'm considering a front disc also.
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Old 03-22-07, 03:59 PM   #12
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why not just get a back brake and switch hands?
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Old 03-22-07, 04:00 PM   #13
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why not just get a back brake and switch hands?
Great idea! Thanks!
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Old 03-22-07, 04:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthavener
a decent brake should be able to throw you over the bars
word. i've never had a normal brake i wasn't able to lock the wheel with. (with some adjusting and/or new parts). unless it's wet or something or you're riding down the side of a building a functioning brake shouldn't let you keep moving to the point you have to steer to avoid things.
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Old 03-22-07, 04:46 PM   #15
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I looked into discs for my touring bike but it just didn't seem to be worth it. A good dual pivot brake with nice pads (koolstop salmon ftw) hooked up to a good lever and engaging a true rim will be much more than enough for regular road riding.
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Old 03-22-07, 05:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
as a bonus he runs risers, and runs the brake cable through a little hole in the stem cap thing (its threadless), and through the fork. now he can do barspins and still have a brake.
I was just thinking about that (just that it would be possible, not that I want to do it).
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Old 03-22-07, 05:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickMcCabe
Do not get a mechanical disc, they are cheaper and they are not as strong as hydraulic units.
Cause they're cheaper? What? Yes they aren't quite as strong as hydro's but still far superior to a rim brake of any kind.

Yeah, I don't commute on clincher's cause they're cheaper than tubulars.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:01 PM   #18
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get a rear brake. keep both of them well adjusted.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:26 PM   #19
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Mechanical discs are well good. Save your money. They'll stop you.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:30 PM   #20
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just adjust the brake, or get dual pivots and a real lever and have them installed.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:39 PM   #21
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I'm a big fan of disc brakes, and I've never had a problem with either Hayes HMX or Avid mechanicals. The idea of a leaking or torn hydro line is still scary to me, and I can't imagine that kind of stopping power being necessary on a road bike.

In snow and slush, I really like having it, but on the road I don't feel it's a big advantage over the Nashbar dual pivot I run on a road bike, but both are waaaaay more powerful than the Diacompe single pivot I've got on my "nice" bike that I didn't realize needed a long reach brake.

Adjust, good pads (dura ace pads gave the nashbar caliper dura ace stopping power, oddly enough), wipe off rim if it's encrusted in winter grime. And let me know how great the carbon forks with disk tabs are so I can uncheap myself enough to get one.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:43 PM   #22
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Get a cyclocross fork and run cantilevers. My Surly (Shimano XT cantilever brakes) has enough braking power to flip me over the handlebars even in rain, snow or ice.. easily. I mean no forearm-pumping teeth-gritting brake lever squeezing. Just make sure you run a compatible lever.

I don't know why they aren't more popular. Cantilever brakes have beastly grabbing power.
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Old 03-22-07, 08:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickMcCabe
Do not get a mechanical disc, they are cheaper and they are not as strong as hydraulic units.
huh? I run avid mechanical disc brakes on my freeride frame, no problems. I'd only use hydro if I were racing downhill, crazy powerful, but to expensive for casual riding, atleast for me...
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Old 03-22-07, 08:57 PM   #24
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I don't know why they aren't more popular. Cantilever brakes have beastly grabbing power.
They're also a PITA to set up properly.
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Old 03-22-07, 09:01 PM   #25
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They're also a PITA to set up properly.
What? Without any previous training or even having a manual to read, I had mine set up properly within minutes. Just get the pads pointing where you want and adjust the spring tension with a hex wrench on each arm so the rim is centered between them. Seriously took me a few minutes.

Maybe current Shimano XT brakes are different than other manufacturers' setups or past canti brakes? Either way, I think the huge benefits they offer are worth a few more minutes of setup time when they're first installed...
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