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  1. #1
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Can one brake lever activate 2 brakes?

    I'm adding a rear disc to my tandem but want to keep the existing rim brake.
    Can the two brakes be activated via a single brake lever?

  2. #2
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Another question: Is there any reason to keep the rim brake?

  3. #3
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    2nd question: no.
    1st question: moot.

  4. #4
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    Question #1...you can engineer most anything if you really want to, so this could be done.. but if both are tuned to work as designed do you really want or need that much primary rear brake on one lever? Why are you considering using them both?


    Bill J.

  5. #5
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    I guess I thought it wouldn't hurt to have the extra braking power but I'm thinking now its probably more trouble than its worth.

  6. #6
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    My Santana came with the right brake lever operating both rim brakes. Because the rear cable is so much longer and will stretch, the rear brake has less braking force than the front the harder it is applied. In effect the right lever controls the front brake. The left lever controls the rear drum brake. The drum brake will not lock the rear wheel but with the rim brake it will. In effect the left lever controls the rear braking.

    This allows me to use the rear drum brake to slow down. A nice gentle slowdown for the stoker. It also gives the stoker a chance to prepare to stop.

    I much prefer this over three levers that I have on my other tandem.

    I feel much safer with three brakes to dissipate the heat on those long downhills.

    Some mountain bikes have a small device to connect two brake cables to the same lever. Might be easier than you think.

  7. #7
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    IMHO the right brake should control the rear end only. I can think of two instances when I would not like to apply both, front and rear, at the same time. When making a tight turn and when a flat or other problem develops in the front.

    One team that we ride with has a rear disc controlled by the captain and a rear rim brake controlled by the stoker. The stoker uses the brake only sporadically during very steep descents and only to give the disc brake a brake, so to speak.

    Most teams that use a disc rear brake, us included, do not use a rear rim brake

  8. #8
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    I am considering the rear disc + rear calipers, as I want to have a configuration that could handle a long technical descent, and am concerned about overheating the disc and front rims. There is a lot of heat to distribute, and a rear caliper could have the rear rims sharing that load.

  9. #9
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    FWIW..here is how I look at braking on a Tandem.
    First and foremost, one's primary brake system should give the captain maximum braking control of the Tandem for emergency situations, speed management and for general bike handling. I don't know how you do that without having complete individual control of the front and rear brakes on seperate levers for maximun individual modulation when needed. Giving yourself the most effective primary brake system, that you can control, is a good thing particlary on a Tandem IMHO.
    After you have nailed the primary system it is certainly logical to then look at secondary braking hardware for those occaisions when you may need it for the steeps. Options, for how those can be set up and who can control them are well documented on our forum, but for me.. they should never infringe on how effectively the primary system' responds to the captain particularly in crisis time.
    Another way to look at it is.. if your drag brake set up doesn't work to perfection and you think you're going too fast then you can always hit the primaries.... stop the tandem and regroup...no harm done! But if you compromise you primary system's maximun stopping/control power for the benefit of a great a drag brake, you may not have an out when that unexpected stopping or handling emergency inevitably presents itself...
    Bill J.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
    IMHO the right brake should control the rear end only. I can think of two instances when I would not like to apply both, front and rear, at the same time. When making a tight turn and when a flat or other problem develops in the front.
    The problem with using one lever to operate two dissimilar types of brakes is that the cable pull repuirements are unlikely to be identical. In other words, you'd probably not get much benefit from one of the brakes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    On US eBay :

    Item No. 300322767896

    Dia Compe tandem 287 Aero brake levers.

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