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What if....one handed brake fails

Old 10-04-18, 02:06 PM
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McStumpy
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What if....one handed brake fails

As mentioned in my other thread today, I have a road bike adapted for one handed use. I use a problem solver cable doubler - a short cable runs from brifter to the doubler, with separate cables running to each brake. But Im now thinking....what if the short cable snaps? While going down a hill? Id be in trouble, yes?

anyone have / had the same concern and found a solution? Thanks
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Old 10-05-18, 03:28 PM
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Or am I worrying about nothing?
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Old 10-06-18, 02:43 PM
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Exclamation maintenance

You have a great incentive to replace the cables every year ,
to insure they don't fail, while riding, Correct?
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Old 10-07-18, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You have a great incentive to replace the cables every year ,
to insure they don't fail, while riding, Correct?
Yep!
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Old 12-01-18, 10:10 AM
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just thinking (writing?) out loud

maybe a cobbled up foot brake? maybe not for regular use but like an emergency back up. say if you were able to have rear disc brakes and rear calipers and one was hooked up to a brake lever maybe back near the rear axle, like have a bmx peg on one side with the brake set up to use like the rear brake on a motorcycle.

that all sounds too complicated now that i've written it down, but still doable with some thought on it. now i'm thinking about it as a back up brake idea for a gravity bike if i go back to work on it.
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Old 12-01-18, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
just thinking (writing?) out loud

maybe a cobbled up foot brake? maybe not for regular use but like an emergency back up. say if you were able to have rear disc brakes and rear calipers and one was hooked up to a brake lever maybe back near the rear axle, like have a bmx peg on one side with the brake set up to use like the rear brake on a motorcycle.

that all sounds too complicated now that i've written it down, but still doable with some thought on it. now i'm thinking about it as a back up brake idea for a gravity bike if i go back to work on it.
sounds better than a decorator brick tied to a rope. Fortunately, never heard of a brake cable breaking.
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Old 01-22-19, 09:34 PM
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Arthur Peabody
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Would it be too clunky to put levers for both wheel's brakes on the same side? I use cables until they break. (I'm able.)
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Old 01-31-19, 11:51 PM
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A valid concern.
For reference, I've seen several shift cables fail, but haven't seen any brake cables fail.
And for another reference point, for years and years people rode all over creation with coaster brakes, where if one brake failed, or if they dropped or broke a chain, they didn't have any brakes.
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Old 02-01-19, 12:04 AM
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I've broken brake cables. My winter/city bikes get used hard and see very little attention (and not a whole lot of daylight for 4 months of the year). The culprits are usually bends that are too tight or chafing where the cables enter and leave levers and stops. Aero levers with hidden cables under the bartape can be the hardest to notice.

I"ll second the every year cable replacement for a one handed rider. Maybe more often. I put this in the aluminum handlebar and stem category. Replacing too soon costs money to the tune $10-100. Replacing too late could well be thousands (medical expenses, etc). The time scales here are obviously quite different, but so are the replacement expenses.

Be a geek. Obsess on those cables. And keep coming back to the forum so you can share your rides!

Ben
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Old 02-04-19, 01:18 AM
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Thank you, all, I appreciate the advice.

​​​​​​I'm all in on the annual cable replacement, better safe than sorry.
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Old 02-08-19, 07:34 AM
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I agree, replace the cables.
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Old 02-08-19, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
sounds better than a decorator brick tied to a rope. Fortunately, never heard of a brake cable breaking.
I think I've broken a couple of cables, but only with significant fraying.

Also worn out my old Universal brake levers.

Definitely avoid the vintage road bike brake levers with a split cable end (drilled is good, just not split).

If not going fast, I've stopped by just putting a foot down. Going fast??? Grind through the toes of your shoes to save your life.

You might be able to avoid some dangerous descents with mandatory stops at the bottom. But, the truth is, the only time you'll notice a brake failure is WHILE BRAKING.

For an IGH, the pedal brake is a good idea (Shimano Nexus, and a few other brands).

Fixie? 3-speed Fixed (Sturmey Archer SX3).

Typically you can't use a coaster brake with a rear derailleur. But, I suppose in an emergency, you could rip off the derailleur (maybe) to use the coaster brake if you could build a hub with a coaster brake and cassette.

Still, with good maintenance, the situation where all brakes fail would be exceptionally rare.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:02 PM
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Recently looked at SA website... S3X is gone.. so all that will be made have been already..
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Old 04-05-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
... Fortunately, never heard of a brake cable breaking.
Been there ... done that ... twice. When I was an undergrad I collided gently with the back wall of my grandfather's garage after my front brake cable snapped. No real damage done, but it certainly got my attention.

The scarier event occurred last year, when I ended up going through an intersection instead of stopping as intended on the yellow light. No problem that time, but it could have been worse, of course.

Both times the cable broke at the lever end, not far from the ball of solder. I do inspect my cables and replace at the first sign of fraying, but I admittedly was not on top of this.

My escape plan in case of brake failure is to put my left foot on the chainstay and gently push my left heel against the tire. With a stiff-soled shoe and some caution, I should be able to avoid a total lockup skid.
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Old 04-27-19, 05:00 PM
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Safety braking is an extremely important thing or it will be very dangerous
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Old 05-13-19, 03:45 PM
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Brake cable broke after 5 months

I had a stock Schwinn Meridian brake cable snap after 5 months (~2,200 miles). It was for the rear band brake, but the front caliper brake still operated. I replaced it ASAP; it was a first for me, but it can happen.

QUOTE: sounds better than a decorator brick tied to a rope. Fortunately, never heard of a brake cable breaking.
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Old 05-13-19, 06:29 PM
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follow me you go to the brake bar immediately
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Old 05-19-19, 12:51 PM
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When I was a kid, I'd jam my heel against the back tire, it worked.

Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, I did that same thing accidentally a few yrs ago. My heel locked my back tire up, and I came skidding to a tombay stop, narrowly missing landing on a prickly pear cactus.

It shredded a Rubino Pro to the casing.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:08 AM
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The cable doubler increases the probability of a cable failure, and only insures that you will skid your rear wheel under maximum braking. Get rid of it and use a standard front brake, with a second lever in a different but reachable position for a rear brake. You can use the rear brake on downhills to prevent front brake overheating, and you will have a redundant system. The front brake will stop you just as fast as two brakes, and without skidding the rear wheel.

em

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Old 02-01-20, 07:07 PM
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make a dead mans break, so if the cable fails, the brakes will be on, rather than off.
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Old 06-22-20, 01:44 PM
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a cable breaking is not the only way a brake can fail.
​​​​​​​you may want to add an inspection of the braking system, to make sure the caliper, cable, and other bits are well secured as a mid-year routine.
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Old 05-21-21, 06:18 AM
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I agree with you on the risk assessment - if you're doing any kind of aggressive riding, the impact of not having brakes could be large (sorry for pun). And you're right - with the doubler, you have a couple different ways to lose both brakes at the same time, when a conventional two-handed setup is completely redundant.

That being said - people ride single speeds with a single brake alll the time. I wouldn't, but companies sell them that way.

If you're worried about it, you have a couple options - either try out the foot braking mentioned, or work out a way that you can't lose both brakes with a single breakage (sorry, I did it again). You could try to rig a second cable (with its own lever) to one of the brakes, or it should be possible to set up a backup brake of some kind - maybe a front wheel drum brake?
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Old 02-27-22, 03:54 AM
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I've used a nexus igh with coaster brake and would recommend it.

I've seen a tandem drag brake hooked to a thumb shifter and heard of adaptive bikes using a thumb shifter or bar end shifter for the brake lever. If you like your current setup you could consider adding a second front brake hooked to a (friction, not indexed) thumb or bar end shift lever (possibly with a problem solved to adjust the pull) as an emergency backup.
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Old 02-27-22, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've seen several shift cables fail, but haven't seen any brake cables fail.
Shift cables get a lot more stretching when derailleurs are pulled to their limiter screws.

(Most MTB) brake cables are also thicker diameter than shift cables.

If the brake cable is always dry and entirely encased (lube optional), then I can't see it failing in anyone's lifetime.
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Old 02-28-22, 02:36 AM
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This is how my bike shop have now set me up.so independent brakes on one side.


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