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cam acuated brakes

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cam acuated brakes

Old 02-20-17, 10:44 AM
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cam acuated brakes

i picked up a 80's vitage raliegh edge. its pink with yellow cables and has a 26 in the front with a 24 in the rear, sorta unique. i am going thru it for my wife to ride and see if she really likes riding before i spend any money. anyway i took the cam and rear brakes off to clean them up and all but am having a hell of a time holding the cam in position, getting the cable hooked up while holding the brake pads against the wheel, i need more hands. any advice? gotta be a better way, thanks
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Old 02-20-17, 11:50 AM
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Third hand tool. A C-clamp would probably work if you have one that's about the right size.

I'm thinking there's a reason why those cam actuated brakes never caught on.
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Old 02-20-17, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
[...]I'm thinking there's a reason why those cam actuated brakes never caught on.
Yeah, the performance was generally terrible as the pads wore. It you didn't constantly adjust the pads in, they were unreliable as a performance brake. It didn't help that, for some ungodly reason, manufacturers decided to put the roller brakes (and u-brakes) mounted beneath the chainstay.

Cantilevers, while they have a similar issue, are nowhere near as bad.

Extra wear parts, higher maintenance, little gain...same thing that killed "parallel push" v-brakes. The cams that they use now in hydraulics work great to maintain a larger pad gap, while avoiding the drawback of pad gapping that mechanically-actuated brakes have.

@chizlr40 if you decide that the brakes are too much trouble to get working satisfactorily, u-brakes can be used in lieu of roller brakes with little-to-no modification.
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Old 02-20-17, 03:38 PM
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Adjusting Roller-cam Bicycle Brakes

I remember these. I had an early mtn bike with these, and I liked them. Very strong braking and great feel if they are adjusted right. But you have to be a decent bike wrencher to make them worth the bother.

I think an engineer tried putting a brake on the chainstays as they're stiffer than seatstays, less outward flex when you brake.

Last edited by grizzly59; 02-20-17 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 02-20-17, 04:44 PM
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And there were a few different cam plate shapes which changed the pad movement/power VS lever movement relationships. WTB and SunTour were the two manufactures I recall and each had at least two cam plate contours. Cramming all this right next to sharp and dirty chain rings made life for a wrench and their hands. Also the chain lube and sling off from the tire made a mess of pad friction and pivot spring balancing. I don't know why but a brake stiffener plate (brake booster) never caught on, as this was the far better solution to flexi seat stays. Andy.
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