Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-11-12, 01:42 AM   #1
jrl@pobox.com
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do disc brakes benefit from break-in period?

The new Santana I test rode today (another thread) was equipped with Santana's 10" rear disc brake. I found it sluggish and having poor stopping power. I much prefer the response of the V brakes. I am even considering retrofitting with my old Arai drum brake if we buy the bike.

Will the brake's performance improve after some miles of break-in?
jrl@pobox.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 01:49 AM   #2
jimc101
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Bikes:
Posts: 4,742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Disc brake pads need to be bedded in, check the manufactures instructions, or there are plenty of guides on-line for how to do this, for example http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...ke-pads-31337/
jimc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 05:51 AM   #3
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl@pobox.com View Post
Will the brake's performance improve after some miles of break-in?
Yes, it will improve significantly...

Disc brake pads and rotors when new do not work well at all. It takes anywhere from a few to dozen's of brake application cycles to bed-in the brake pads and rotors, depending on how steep the terrain is where you are riding and how aggressively the brakes can be used. Owners will quickly recognize when the brakes begin to "bite" as there will come a point during the break-in process where there will be a dramatic change in braking effectiveness.

New brake pads, when installed on seasoned rotors, will also need bed-in time.

I'm somewhat disappointed that your dealer did not offer this critical information, but also not surprised.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 10:25 AM   #4
jrl@pobox.com
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks. So would you suggest sticking with a single front V-Brake and the 10" rear disc as equipped now? We live in a very hilly area, and are a 315-320 lb team.
jrl@pobox.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 10:32 AM   #5
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl@pobox.com View Post
Thanks. So would you suggest sticking with a single front V-Brake and the 10" rear disc as equipped now? We live in a very hilly area, and are a 315-320 lb team.
Unless the rear brake becomes noisy and is irritating, I would leave it as is. The front rim + rear disc is a nice match for hilly terrain, and now that newer Shimano integrated levers worth with the V-brakes without the use of adapters it's really hard to find fault with them at all.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 11:28 AM   #6
twocicle
Clipless in Coeur d'Alene
 
twocicle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Bikes: Calfee Dragonfly S&S Tandem, Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, other misc Road & MTB singles
Posts: 1,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Part of the problem with soft disc brakes on a Santana may be attributed to the longer, more convoluted cable routing required to reach the chainstay mounted caliper. The worst part of the routing is from under the rear bottom bracket and then to the upper side of the chainstay. My early experiments with increasing cable tension, adding helper springs to the disc caliper, etc, were some attempts to improve the brake response in this type of setup. Even with some of the stiffest casing (Nokon) and wire, I was never able to improve the rear brake feel more than perhaps 85% of a "straight run" cable setup to a seatstay mounted disc caliper (as mounted on a Co-Motion, Calfee, etc). In spite of this deficiency, the mechanical caliper with 8" (203mm) rotor on our Santana proved completely adequate for our needs and operated without any breakdown incidents. Reliability was the primary trade off I wanted, over a potentially better performing but problematic and maintenance headache hydraulic setup.

Suggestions other than what has already been stated above:
- using the best quality cable casing and wire (such as Jagwire Slick Stainless preferred over Teflon coated) is the first step.
- rotors and pads must be kept free of lubricants. Avoid over spray from chain, and never touch without clean gloves (avoid skin oils). The demo tandem you rode may have had some contaminant (oils and/or shipping grease) present on the rotor and not visible to the eye. If the pads have been contaminated the only way to fix that is to replace them.
- changing out default mfr "orgainic" pads to sintered, metalic pads is a known performance improvement that many people implement to achieve the ultimate caliper-to-rotor "bite". Under very heavy usage, sintered pads also last much longer than organic.

Last edited by twocicle; 11-11-12 at 11:39 AM.
twocicle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 04:39 PM   #7
PMK
Senior Member
 
PMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Bikes: 2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's
Posts: 1,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with twocicle comments about the disc and pads must be clean. Even soap residue from washing will degrade performance.

As for replacing contaminated pads, I do not subscribe to that approach and will often clean a set of pads by "popping" them out and washing with brakleen. I'll also often scrub the disc with the wheel mounted with a cloth dampened in brakleen. For us, this brings back crisp well controlled and effective brakes. Contamination has ranged from soap from washing to road dust, brake pad wear and even when I'm lazy and use 90 wt gear oil on the timing chain that gets onto the disc during a ride.

Best of luck with it.

PK
PMK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 05:37 PM   #8
twocicle
Clipless in Coeur d'Alene
 
twocicle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Bikes: Calfee Dragonfly S&S Tandem, Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, other misc Road & MTB singles
Posts: 1,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMK View Post
I agree with twocicle comments about the disc and pads must be clean. Even soap residue from washing will degrade performance.

As for replacing contaminated pads, I do not subscribe to that approach and will often clean a set of pads by "popping" them out and washing with brakleen. I'll also often scrub the disc with the wheel mounted with a cloth dampened in brakleen. For us, this brings back crisp well controlled and effective brakes. Contamination has ranged from soap from washing to road dust, brake pad wear and even when I'm lazy and use 90 wt gear oil on the timing chain that gets onto the disc during a ride.

Best of luck with it.

PK
This is true and a case where bike cleaning is a detriment. Have you tested the non-clorinated (less toxic) versions of Brakleen?
twocicle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 07:46 PM   #9
jrl@pobox.com
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This all sounds like a pain to me. Plus the risk of bending the damn rotor on something in my garage.

Wouldn't I be better off with 3 brakes - two V-brakes, and my Arai drum? That sounds like more stopping power and more reliability.
jrl@pobox.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 08:35 PM   #10
tandem rider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Bikes: Co-Motion tandem, Serotta, and Specialized mt. bike
Posts: 348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl@pobox.com View Post
This all sounds like a pain to me. Plus the risk of bending the damn rotor on something in my garage.

Wouldn't I be better off with 3 brakes - two V-brakes, and my Arai drum? That sounds like more stopping power and more reliability.
I clean my rotor with alcohol and a rag every few hundred miles just as I clean rims to work with rim brakes. I have a rear disc brake with a front V brake and like the disc.
tandem rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 08:38 PM   #11
PMK
Senior Member
 
PMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Bikes: 2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's
Posts: 1,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We run the same Avid BB7 style brakes on both our road tandem and off-road tandem. The off-road discs take a beating from debris, and ruts. Your garage is hopefully a nicer environment than the axle deep slop we have put these brakes through.

Ultimately, you should ride what inspires you and provides confidence.

As for more stopping power, it is often discussed here. I do know that if we get caught in the rain the brake performance is still pretty good, in the dry it could be considered too much for where we live and ride.

PK
PMK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 08:46 PM   #12
PMK
Senior Member
 
PMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Bikes: 2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's
Posts: 1,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
This is true and a case where bike cleaning is a detriment. Have you tested the non-clorinated (less toxic) versions of Brakleen?
Non-chlorinated vs Chlorinated, I prefer to buy the chlorinated, but will use the other if needed. Often I just wipe down the discs with a not even damp cloth with wash lacquer thinner.

As for a clean bike being a detriment,...not going there.

PK
PMK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 08:57 PM   #13
photogravity 
Hopelessly addicted...
 
photogravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central Maryland
Bikes: 1949 Hercules Kestrel, 1950 Norman Rapide, 1970 Schwinn Collegiate, 1972 Peugeot UE-8, 1976 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem, 1984 Davidson Tandem, 2010 Bilenky "BQ" 650B Constructeur Tandem, 2011 Linus Mixte
Posts: 5,008
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl@pobox.com View Post
This all sounds like a pain to me. Plus the risk of bending the damn rotor on something in my garage.

Wouldn't I be better off with 3 brakes - two V-brakes, and my Arai drum? That sounds like more stopping power and more reliability.
If that's what you think will work for you, go for it. I have one of my tandems equipped with an Arai drum brake and have never used it while riding. As someone that has drum-brake equipped half-bikes, I love the technology and prefer it over my disc-brake equipped Cannondale half-bike. I love disc brakes on a car, but don't much care for them on a bicycle.
__________________
--
Ridding the world of derailleurs, one bicycle at a time.

46 Hercules Roadster, 49 Hercules Kestrel, 50 Norman Rapide, 51 Hercules Lion, 52 Hercules Windsor, 56 Hercules Royal Prince, 61 Fiorelli Tandem, 67 Carlton Super Race (IGH), 70 Schwinn Collegiate (IGH), 71 Hercules, 71 STF Hercules, 72 Peugeot PX-8 (IGH), 76 Raleigh Sports, 77 STF Raleigh Sports, 77 Jack Taylor Tandem, Early-80's Mike Appel SC, 84 Davidson Tandem, Late-80's Alpine, 10 Bilenky "BQ" Signature Tandem
photogravity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-12, 09:04 PM   #14
mtbikerinpa
Senior Member
 
mtbikerinpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: PA
Bikes: 92 Giant Sedona ATX Custom
Posts: 1,713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the event of a long cable run having compressive issues hindering performance, I would look into a hydraulic caliper option. The hose and hydraulic fluid would be almost unaffected by the distance unlike cables. Nevertheless, the company made it with that setup so it must have been good enough to please someone(since they are a reputable company).
mtbikerinpa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-14, 06:18 AM   #15
Thumper1279
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This helped me out cause I was wondering the same thing my breaks are a bit sluggish and soft now but just road a few times yesterday not enought for a full proper bed in process
if after say a few dozen breaking cycles
what should I look for is it the cab
e that might need to be adjusted or is it possible that I would have to tighter the adjustment at the caliper or disc area ?
Or more up near the break lever ?
Thumper1279 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-14, 08:34 AM   #16
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,227
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
First off, zombie thread, it's a couple of years old now, so hopefully, the original poster has got his new brakes worked out.
I've read the instructions on breaking in brakes and never could tell a lot of difference in the performance during the process. Mushy brakes has always been a matter of adjustments. I have also noticed that a mechanic can adjust brakes on the rack so they feel right (ie, stop a freely-spinning wheel just fine) but lack braking power with weight on the bike.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-14, 11:21 AM   #17
twocicle
Clipless in Coeur d'Alene
 
twocicle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Bikes: Calfee Dragonfly S&S Tandem, Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, other misc Road & MTB singles
Posts: 1,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
A couple weeks back I was adjusting our rear TRP disc caliper to get a firmer feel. After a number of repeated full-on lever clampdowns, things started to get mushier and mushier. For a minute I thought maybe I broke something with the hard clampings, then PRANG goes the brake cable... pulled right out of the daVinci cable splitter. OOPS.

Luckily this happened while the tandem was on our workstand and not descending some wicked hill. Seems it was mechanic error (me) for not fully tightening the cable splitter set screws - or at least rechecking them after some initial use. After resetting the brake cable splitter, have not managed to repeat the failure. I was always a bit leery of overtightening the screws and stripping them or the splitter, but after pulling the cable out, decided to really clamp down on it.

Having a splitter on a brake cable has always made me a bit nervous. Moral of the story - check and recheck those set screws!

Last edited by twocicle; 04-06-14 at 11:25 AM.
twocicle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:54 AM.