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  1. #1
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    Front Brake "Chatter" on an LHT?

    I was test riding a Surly LHT prebuilt 60cm and under moderately hard front braking the front wheel would start to skip as the brake pads would slip-grab-slip-grab-slip-grab. The salesperson described it as "chatter." It also existed on the 58cm frame but was not as easy to produce (had to brake harder)

    Is this fixable or is it inherent to the frame? Have other people had this problem?

  2. #2
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    My 50cm LHT has the standard Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes. Like a number of LHT owners, I didn't like the original brake pads and replaced them with KoolStop Salmon MTB pads.

    The bike has about 5K miles on it and I've never experienced the chatter which you describe. The brakes will squeal on occasion if the temp/humidity is just right, but the noise stops after they're applied a few times.

  3. #3
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Adjusting toe-in helps. New pads might help. The KoolStop pads are not a cure. They do brake better, but my LHT will chatter with the KoolStop pads. It just means it's time to adjust the toe-in.

    You could also switch to V-brakes (with new levers) and eliminate the problem entirely.
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    Ok so what I'm getting is that this is not a reason to steer away from the LHT frame. It's a setup/adjustment issue. Right?

    Recycle, did you experience chatter with the original pads?
    dcrowell, what size are you on?

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Look into getting a fork crown brake housing stop and shorten
    the distance the bare cable spans.
    Seems to be an issue with big frames, the fork, headset bearings ,
    headtube, becomes a bow,
    to some extent,
    the brake cable a bowstring.

    You are test riding a new bike , the mold release skin
    is still on the brakepad.
    Ok so what I'm getting is that this is not a reason to steer away from the LHT frame. It's a setup/adjustment issue. Right?
    Yea some set up, some OEM picks use of the parts
    that get the price down to where you find it acceptable ..

    the pads came with the brake's maker, so it's up to you
    to up price the pads a bit ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-01-12 at 10:17 AM.

  6. #6
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    Here's an immediate, short-term solution to brake chatter: as you're riding slowly, squirt a little water on your brake pads and apply brake intermittently. Be careful not to fall over/crash while you're doing this.

    Eventually you should consider changing to Kool-Stop pads, as they seem to brake better than Tektro's standard pads, but you'll still get some chatter.

    Most all combinations of rims and rim brakes will chatter occasionally, even when the pads have been properly toed-in.

    I experience brake chatter (and squeal) more frequently in low humidity weather (a couple winter/spring months in my area).

  7. #7
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinnh View Post
    Ok so what I'm getting is that this is not a reason to steer away from the LHT frame. It's a setup/adjustment issue. Right?

    Recycle, did you experience chatter with the original pads?
    dcrowell, what size are you on?
    My LHT is a 56cm with 700c wheels.

    Basically, cantis are prone to chatter. There are a number of things you can do to mitigate it. V-Brakes will eliminate it.

    A friend of mine was on a fast downhill on his Crosscheck and almost crashed due to severe chatter. He doesn't adjust his own brakes, but the bike shop adjusted it well enough that it didn't do that anymore.
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    Interesting. Thanks for the input everyone. What about "high-profile" cantis? Will they eliminate, mitigate, exacerbate, or not affect the problem?

    Pic stolen from Riv.

  9. #9
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinnh View Post
    Interesting. Thanks for the input everyone. What about "high-profile" cantis? Will they eliminate, mitigate, exacerbate, or not affect the problem?
    It could affect it, but cantis still *can* shudder.

    Here's a better explanation:
    http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...o-cross_101807
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinnh View Post
    Ok so what I'm getting is that this is not a reason to steer away from the LHT frame. It's a setup/adjustment issue. Right?
    This.

    Brad

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Look into getting a fork crown brake housing stop and shorten
    the distance the bare cable spans.
    Seems to be an issue with big frames, the fork, headset bearings ,
    headtube, becomes a bow, to some extent, the brake cable a bowstring.
    This.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    This.
    I forgot this point earlier... I bought one from Harris. It will need to be drilled out for some barrel adjusters.

    Brad

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    I forgot this point earlier... I bought one from Harris. It will need to be drilled out for some barrel adjusters.

    Brad
    I'm guessing you have the Tektro.
    The Specialized "Tricross Fork Brake Hanger" comes with the barrel adjuster.
    Those are the only two I'm aware exist.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I'm guessing you have the Tektro.
    The Specialized "Tricross Fork Brake Hanger" comes with the barrel adjuster.
    Those are the only two I'm aware exist.
    Yes, it's the Tektro and it was the only one I found at the time. If anything it cleaned up the appearance.

    Brad

  15. #15
    old and in the way gomadtroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinnh View Post
    Interesting. Thanks for the input everyone. What about "high-profile" cantis? Will they eliminate, mitigate, exacerbate, or not affect the problem?

    Pic stolen from Riv.
    On my 62cm LHT the original Tektro Oryx chattered and were basically ineffective. I put on a set of 'high-profile' canti's. While they were a better performing brake for me, they interfered with my panniers ( on the rear). I went to V brakes, should have done that in the first place.

  16. #16
    Sambo Sam Tully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Look into getting a fork crown brake housing stop and shorten
    the distance the bare cable spans.
    Seems to be an issue with big frames, the fork, headset bearings ,
    headtube, becomes a bow,
    to some extent,
    the brake cable a bowstring.
    I have this issue to, did you mean shorten the cable length from the headstem down or the cable arch between the brakes
    Any help is greatly appreciated ;-)

  17. #17
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you move the front brake cable stop closer to the wheel to shorten the distance between housing and brake to lessen the shudder effect.

    There's some flex that occurs in front brake cable runs on large headtube bikes that can increase the tendency for shudder. the tension in the cable wavers from the flex, and the brakes begin to quickly 'brake and release' resulting in chudder.

    Move the cable hanger from the headtube spacer stack to the fork crown with a fork mount cable hanger. this drastically shortens the cable length that is a primary cause of brake chudder from bikes with cantis,long headtube and a high cable stop.

    A healthy amount of toe-in can also minimize shudder, but it leads to uneven pad wear.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 04-28-11 at 08:01 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gomadtroll View Post
    On my 62cm LHT the original Tektro Oryx chattered and were basically ineffective. I put on a set of 'high-profile' canti's. While they were a better performing brake for me, they interfered with my panniers ( on the rear). I went to V brakes, should have done that in the first place.
    Did you find that the high-profiles eliminated or reduced the chatter problem? You say it was better preforming, can you be more specific? This is an option I might consider if it really eliminated the chatter problem.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    high profile cantis don't do anything to address the issue of brake chudder from long brake cable runs from the cable hanger to the front brakes.

    Specialized changed the spec on the tri-cross because of this, went to the low mount, the brake chudder was so bad on earlier tricross bikes with cantis and headtube brake hangers.
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  20. #20
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    The cyclocross forum has an excellent thread on dealing with canti brake shudder: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lver-Brake-FAQ . My LHT is built with V brakes, but I was having shudder problems with my Trek XO-1 cyclocross bike. I changed to a tricross fork mouted hanger, changed to kool stop dual compound pads, and set up the pads better and the bike works amazingly now. As I did these changes together, I'm not sure what was more critical.

  21. #21
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    I've never experienced this on my 62cm LHT. As others suggest, I'd look at toe-in.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I experienced it BIG TIME on my Soma Doublecross, descending grades of 9% or steeper.
    I have the fork-mounted-cable-stop ready to install as soon as I get this cast off my hand.

  23. #23
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    My LHT is equipped with 26" wheels. I have never had the problem discribed. They did squeal like hell when I first bought it. I adjusted the pads with the "heel in" and that fixed the squealling completely. They're quiet now. Since then I have also replaced the stock pads with some Shimano XTR pads. Come time for my summer trip I'll replace those with some Kool Stops too.
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  24. #24
    Sambo Sam Tully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    you move the front brake cable stop closer to the wheel to shorten the distance between housing and brake to lessen the shudder effect.

    There's some flex that occurs in front brake cable runs on large headtube bikes that can increase the tendency for shudder. the tension in the cable wavers from the flex, and the brakes begin to quickly 'brake and release' resulting in chudder.

    Move the cable hanger from the headtube spacer stack to the fork crown with a fork mount cable hanger. this drastically shortens the cable length that is a primary cause of brake chudder from bikes with cantis,long headtube and a high cable stop.

    A healthy amount of toe-in can also minimize shudder, but it leads to uneven pad wear.
    All good, put an old cable end holder (raised type) through the fork eyelet where the fender is mounted and then slightly towed in the pads...........works a treat ;-)
    Thanks for the heads up
    Greatly appreciated
    Sam

  25. #25
    Senior Member garethzbarker's Avatar
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    Why buy a new bike that the brakes don't work on? Mine work fine.

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