Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: mushy brakes!

  1. #1
    Lost AngryScientist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    nutley, nj
    Posts
    4,450
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    mushy brakes!

    i have two nice modern geared road bikes, and a nice vintage steel roadie, they ALL stop wayyy better than my SS.

    the SS came with low end tektro brakes. i thought that was the problem : bought campy mirage brake calipers with koolstop salmon pads: NO HELP. cables are jagwire. they are new, but not so new that they havent had a chance to get the initial stretch out. i cant imagine the mush is coming from the levers. any further suggestions?

    are the campy mirage calipers just not that good ( they were inexpensive) maybe i need to jump to shimano 105's or ultegra? i dont want to just throw money at the bike without results.

    i commute to work on this bike, and would really like a better lever feel and less mushy overall feeling.

    help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.
    Posts
    1,383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Are they adjusted correctly? I would imagine they are, since you went to more extreme measures already. I've used those cheap Tektro brakes before and they didn't seem too mushy to me. Then again, I do also have an Ultegra brake that does feel a lot better. I dunno.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    346
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you have machined sidewalls on your wheels? If they are polished or something, that could make the brake not grab the wheel very well and make it feel mushy.

    I've got a fsa gossamer brake with avid flak jacket wire and a 200tt lever. Grabs almost as well as my v-brakes on my mountain bike.

  4. #4
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    5,389
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i'd guess mush is in excessive cabling.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  5. #5
    Road, MTB and SS Rider spdrcr5's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200, Yeti Kokopelli, Clockwork
    Posts
    525
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You have not mentioned what brake levers you are running. If they are the low end tektro levers that came with your low end Tektro brakes then those could certainly be the cause. I am still running the crappy Tektro brakes that came with my Clockwork and just swapping out the levers to Cane Creek 200TT's made a HUGE difference. With the Tektro road levers the brakes were useless, total mush.
    Larry

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    My Bikes
    Serotta Colorado III Track (Renyolds Ouzo Pro Aero Fork, Dura-Ace to Mavic CXP-14 wheels, Sugino crank, Thomson and 3T the rest), Steelman Cyclocross (Campy Record 10, Deda Newton & Thomson stuff)
    Posts
    445
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe try re-doing or replacing the housing? If it was cut to length without a straight end that can introduce some "mush" feeling because the housing isn't in full contact with the ferrule.

    You should be getting at least good results from both of those brakes.

  7. #7
    :)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    duluth
    My Bikes
    '07 Pista, '09 Fantom Cross Uno, '8? Miyata, '67 Stingray, '0? Zoo mod trials, Tallbike, Chopper, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '67 Triumph Chopper, '69 CB350, '58 BSA Spitfire, '73 CB450
    Posts
    3,391
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Easiest way IMO is to carefully watch the brake, cable, etc. keep pumping the brake, or have someone else do it, you should be able to see where the "mush" is coming from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    because physics has more street cred than tarckstars.

  8. #8
    Lost AngryScientist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    nutley, nj
    Posts
    4,450
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i think (with spdcr5's help) i may have narrowed it down to the levers. anyone have any experience with these:

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    My Bikes
    Serotta Colorado III Track (Renyolds Ouzo Pro Aero Fork, Dura-Ace to Mavic CXP-14 wheels, Sugino crank, Thomson and 3T the rest), Steelman Cyclocross (Campy Record 10, Deda Newton & Thomson stuff)
    Posts
    445
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get the tektro ones to save a few bucks, they're the exact same.

    Very good levers, similar in shape to campy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yellowbeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You've checked brake pad angle, right? Toe in (or out) is an easy way to make an otherwise perfect setup feel like crap.
    I'll eat it first.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    how easy should it be to brake? i can skid the rear wheel with considerable effort, but i always hear about people grabbing the front and flipping over their bars. i couldn't do this if i had a vice grip, and it makes me wary to take off the back brake [which i'd like to do]. they're stock tektro's on a raleigh rush hour. any ideas?

  12. #12
    chickenosaurus j3ffr3y's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    My Bikes
    2010 Motobecane Team Track, 1997 GT Edge, 2012 Kilo TT Stripper
    Posts
    1,189
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    are the brake pads very close to the rim, they should be. If they are not, open up the place where the cabling goes in, squeeze the caliper with your hands, retighten.
    2010 Motobecane Team Track
    1997 GT Edge
    2012 Kilo TT Stripper

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY summer, SLC, UT fall,winter,spring
    My Bikes
    2010 Cannondale Six 5
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    as people have said before. take the cable off. cut it so it is essentially as short as can be without interfering with handlebar movement and for the front brake so its not bending back across itself you want it to run as a straight arc to the brake not bending beyond it. and make sure you cut the housing flat with none of the metal casing sticking out so it sits flush into the ferrules. and then spray some tri-flow or other lubricant into the housing. and then tighten the brakes enough so they are about 2-3mm away from the rims with the pads properly aligned. if this doesnt work try the new levers but this should work.

  14. #14
    Road, MTB and SS Rider spdrcr5's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200, Yeti Kokopelli, Clockwork
    Posts
    525
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by g.r.e.g. View Post
    as people have said before. take the cable off. cut it so it is essentially as short as can be without interfering with handlebar movement and for the front brake so its not bending back across itself you want it to run as a straight arc to the brake not bending beyond it. and make sure you cut the housing flat with none of the metal casing sticking out so it sits flush into the ferrules. and then spray some tri-flow or other lubricant into the housing. and then tighten the brakes enough so they are about 2-3mm away from the rims with the pads properly aligned. if this doesnt work try the new levers but this should work.
    I have the same bike and brakes, etc. My brakes were as mushy as he is describing. I checked the cables and connections, nothing made any difference. I switched out the brake levers and that made a huge difference. Once I determined the brakes themselves were alright I did my bar/brake lever/cable swap so I was good to go after that.
    Larry

  15. #15
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    5,389
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowbeard View Post
    You've checked brake pad angle, right? Toe in (or out) is an easy way to make an otherwise perfect setup feel like crap.
    improper toeing, not toeing in general. toeing your pads makes it so that your brakes don't squeal when they're applied, and is very commonly done.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  16. #16
    Senior Member lukewall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    2000 Raleigh M50. 2006 Raleigh Rush Hour. 2008 Cannondale Synapse 6.
    Posts
    448
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rudetay View Post
    Get the tektro ones to save a few bucks, they're the exact same.

    Very good levers, similar in shape to campy.
    +1

    I'm using the cheap tektro levers that came stock on a rush hour. The tektro levers with tektro rx40 calipers on my ss, they've been good. I really can't tell any difference in braking power between this setup and the ultegra levers and calipers on my roadie.

    Proper adjustment and pads have been instrumental to brake performance for me. I'm using Kool Stop pads on both bikes. The roadie came stock with shimano pads and wasn't stopping the bike nearly as well as the tektro setup on the ss. Those shimano pads got ditched quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
    And I can't help but lol at the "heavier-set" riders I see on the trails riding around on $5000 speed machines. Nothing funnier than someone paying $4000 to shave 5 lbs when they're packing an extra 50...

  17. #17
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.
    Posts
    1,383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lukewall View Post
    +1

    I'm using the cheap tektro levers that came stock on a rush hour. The tektro levers with tektro rx40 calipers on my ss, they've been good. I really can't tell any difference in braking power between this setup and the ultegra levers and calipers on my roadie.

    Proper adjustment and pads have been instrumental to brake performance for me. I'm using Kool Stop pads on both bikes. The roadie came stock with shimano pads and wasn't stopping the bike nearly as well as the tektro setup on the ss. Those shimano pads got ditched quickly.
    While I think the my cheap Tektro brake is more than sufficient, and actually kinda nice, I do feel like my Ultegra ones are nicer.

  18. #18
    Lost AngryScientist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    nutley, nj
    Posts
    4,450
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, i just ordered the levers pictured above, they look waaay nicer than the ones on the bike now anyway, which should improve the ergonomics of riding the bike either way. not a bad upgrade for under $40.

  19. #19
    Senior Member lukewall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    2000 Raleigh M50. 2006 Raleigh Rush Hour. 2008 Cannondale Synapse 6.
    Posts
    448
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
    While I think the my cheap Tektro brake is more than sufficient, and actually kinda nice, I do feel like my Ultegra ones are nicer.
    How do you define nicer?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
    And I can't help but lol at the "heavier-set" riders I see on the trails riding around on $5000 speed machines. Nothing funnier than someone paying $4000 to shave 5 lbs when they're packing an extra 50...

  20. #20
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.
    Posts
    1,383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To use a word from the OP, they feel less mushy (not that I think the Tektro ones are mushy ... they aren't). My Ultegra ones just feel snappier.

  21. #21
    lockedcog.com
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 5.2 08, Trek 1500 06, Felt tk2 06
    Posts
    124
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    get a fixed hub and take the brakes off. No more mushy breaks.

  22. #22
    * adriano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Baltimore
    My Bikes
    http://velospace.org/node/18951
    Posts
    6,890
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
    Then again, I do also have an Ultegra brake that does feel a lot better. I dunno.
    Quote Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
    I do feel like my Ultegra ones are nicer.
    its in the pads and set up. with that said, ive only vetted r7x0 series tektros with salmons though ownership.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    San Jose & Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Mercier Kilo TT (sold), Cannondale R900 2.8, Mongoose RX10.9 (sold), Xootr Swift, Schwinn Moab 1, Giant TCR C2, GT Zaskar, GT Forte Ti, GT GTB, Bianchi San Jose, Bianchi Fremont, Redline 925, Specialized Langster
    Posts
    2,163
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by seedubs1 View Post
    Do you have machined sidewalls on your wheels? If they are polished or something, that could make the brake not grab the wheel very well and make it feel mushy.

    I've got a fsa gossamer brake with avid flak jacket wire and a 200tt lever. Grabs almost as well as my v-brakes on my mountain bike.
    +1

    i just noticed that my wheels do not have a machined surface (same as the mavics on my early-90's road bikes). this could be the difference maker especially if you've already tried all the other variables (pads, cables, etc). lever should improve feel, but actual stopping performance is not likely to differ much.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  24. #24
    * adriano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Baltimore
    My Bikes
    http://velospace.org/node/18951
    Posts
    6,890
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
    +1

    i just noticed that my wheels do not have a machined surface (same as the mavics on my early-90's road bikes). this could be the difference maker especially if you've already tried all the other variables (pads, cables, etc). lever should improve feel, but actual stopping performance is not likely to differ much.
    i think the importance of a braking surface is overemphasized.

  25. #25
    Senior Member devilshaircut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    My Bikes
    Mercier Kilo TT Pro, Schwinn Le Tour Conversion, Free Spirit polo beater, Cervelo P2T, aluminum tandem.
    Posts
    1,383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    its in the pads and set up. with that said, ive only vetted r7x0 series tektros with salmons though ownership.
    Yeah, I mean essentially all of these kinds of brakes do the same thing in the same way ... so I wouldn't be surprised if its just the pads or installation that are making the difference. The calipers I am using is the Tektro R350 aluminum dual pull with the RL570 cross lever. They work fine, get the job done, no complaints. I've actually never had a bad experience with brakes though, even my old old old stock brakes on my Schwin Le Tour.

    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    i think the importance of a braking surface is overemphasized.
    I think there have been several threads on BF that basically have concluded that machined surfaces make no difference except to stay pretty and prevent squeaking. I have both machined and non-machined rims and I can say that the non-machined ones get dirty pretty fast and are loud. But I don't notice a difference in braking distance.

Posting Permissions

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