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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 08-30-08, 12:46 PM   #1
etale
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Front drum brake...

So I'm building up a fixed-commuter bike and want to run a front brake. The fork is a round-bladed lugged steel track fork and is un-drilled. A front drum brake, like the Sturmey-Arched X-FD seems like a nice, cost-effective, and viable option. Im wondering if anyone here has any experience with such a setup, and in particular can speak to the following two concerns/questions:

1) Given that the forks were not designed for a drum brake, what (if any) are the negative consequences of running a drum brake? For example, will the forks flex undesirably during breaking? Could this potentially damage or break the forks?

2) What kind of lever is ideal for drum breaks? I want to run Avid Ultimates, but am concerned that these are designed for linear-pull and canti breaks, and so may not work optimally with other systems. Road levers are designed to exert high tension over short travel, while linear pull levers like the Avids are meant for mid/low tension and long travel. I'm just not sure where drum brakes fit into this rubric...

Any other issues for those of you who run drum brakes?
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Old 08-30-08, 02:27 PM   #2
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2. Linear pull and disk take one kind of lever. Dual pivot/ road brakes and canti's take the other. Linear pull + canti = not the same.

I ran a drum brake up front on a lugged Univega for a while, just to match the Nexus internal hub/ drum brake set-up in back. I think the brake was SRAM or Sturmey. Can't remember. Sachs before they were Sram? Too many S's. Anyway, it didn't work that well. Like, not as good as a dual pivot brake. The Shimano in back was worse tho. I never had trouble with it flexing the fork. It just didn't stop that well.

You see them on old tandems, so I guess used to be considered pretty good when single pivot brakes were your only other option. Personally, I will avoid drum brakes entirely in the future.
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Old 08-30-08, 05:14 PM   #3
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Drum brakes are handy for stopping bicycles that are what many consider excessively heavy, like a tandem for instance. You also see them on cargo bikes and pedicabs.

Heat & torque. can no use the rim brake on a big bike loaded. is no good as drum. ideal is a disc in front and a drum in back
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Old 08-31-08, 07:23 PM   #4
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I have the SRAM VT5000 on a Keirin frame. It's always been highly effective.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:38 PM   #5
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a new modern sturmey drum(get the dyno for lighting too)work great.Med or lone pull work--I modified a raleigh Sport brake so as to have an extra cable adjuster.Any steel fork should be fine--track forks are as a rule a bit stronger than average road bike forks.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:40 PM   #6
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Good to know. Maybe I just had the wrong one.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:32 PM   #7
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Sheldon advises against using them on the front, as they are designed to not be very powerful.

/too lazy to link
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Old 08-31-08, 11:04 PM   #8
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I have the SRAM VT5000 on a Keirin frame. It's always been highly effective.

what kind of fork are you using?
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Old 09-01-08, 11:11 AM   #9
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Good to know. Maybe I just had the wrong one.
They stop plenty well and are very reliable, they just don't stop and aren't intended to stop in the same manner as say a dual pivot. Having a brake that doesn't easily lock up is very advantageous on the proper bicycle.
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Old 09-01-08, 01:58 PM   #10
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All: Thanks for the lively discussion. My original questions were not about how effective a front drum brake would be (they've been used effectively on many brands of racing motorcycle for decades; i.e. Norton, AJS, Matchless, Triumph etc. etc.) My main concern is that use with a road or track fork is not a good idea because of potential damage to the fork. I've heard rumors (I can't seem to find the internet link now) that front drums on steel road/ track forks will bend the blades after a while.

Frameteam2003: You've had no problems with your forks in this regard? Does braking "feel funny" in any way (i.e. noticeable frame flex etc) Certainly track forks are designed to be laterally stiffer; I'm only concerned that they generally are not designed to receive the forces of a drum brake reaction arm, which (it seems to me) differ quite a bit from the usual forces on the velodrome or road...

Thanks again!
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Old 09-01-08, 05:14 PM   #11
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Some thoughts .

-Rob.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:29 PM   #12
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I've got a Sturmey XFD on my Steamroller. No noticeable flex with the stock Surly fork. It is a very good modulating, slowing down brake, not a stopping suddenly brake.
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Old 07-22-12, 01:49 AM   #13
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Sturmey X-FD on stock Surly fork

Quote:
Originally Posted by lz4005 View Post
I've got a Sturmey XFD on my Steamroller. No noticeable flex with the stock Surly fork. It is a very good modulating, slowing down brake, not a stopping suddenly brake.
Hello, i'm interested by this way: drum brake on classical fork.
how did you adapt the brake arm on the fork ?

BR
Franck
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Old 07-22-12, 02:25 AM   #14
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Might not get a reply from the poster seeing how it was four years ago - just saying... Someone else might have some info though.
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Old 07-22-12, 11:50 AM   #15
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I would try a new thread in classic & vintage
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Old 07-22-12, 06:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdevil View Post
Hello, i'm interested by this way: drum brake on classical fork.
how did you adapt the brake arm on the fork ?
I run front and rear drums on one of my bikes. I use p-clamps to attach the reaction arms. It's worked fine that way since 1987:



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