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U-brake pad size choices? Short? Long?

Old 08-31-19, 02:58 AM
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Medic Zero
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U-brake pad size choices? Short? Long?

.

Finally getting a chance to build up my dream bike, a 1991 GT Continuum. One of the things that makes this bike perfect for me is that it has a rear U-brake (Diacompe XCE model). On my previous tourer, I felt like I could use more power in the rear brake for loaded touring with all my camping gear aboard, particularly in the mountains, where I like to ride.

That said, I'm a complete neophyte to U-brakes. The original pads are pretty short, and as standard for the era not cartridge type. I'm planning on replacing them with ones that take pad inserts, and rummaging through my spare parts boxes I'm seeing three different sizes of pad carriers I've got; one the same length as the original (pretty short), and two longer ones, one standard V-brake length, one a bit shorter or longer (not sure which is which).

So my question is; is there any advantage to going with a longer pad? More power? Any downsides? More chatter/squeal?

Pads for the shorter carrier seem to come in thicker options, should I favor these for a U-brake?

Many thanks!



.
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Old 09-03-19, 11:46 AM
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I think it's best to consider how the thickness or thinness of a pair of pads will change the brake's geometry. I like Kool Stop or Jaguar long, thin, rim conforming pads. In my experience the longer pads are a little more fussy on toe in, but are about the same on the squeal factor.
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Old 09-06-19, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
.

Finally getting a chance to build up my dream bike, a 1991 GT Continuum. One of the things that makes this bike perfect for me is that it has a rear U-brake (Diacompe XCE model). On my previous tourer, I felt like I could use more power in the rear brake for loaded touring with all my camping gear aboard, particularly in the mountains, where I like to ride.

That said, I'm a complete neophyte to U-brakes. The original pads are pretty short, and as standard for the era not cartridge type. I'm planning on replacing them with ones that take pad inserts, and rummaging through my spare parts boxes I'm seeing three different sizes of pad carriers I've got; one the same length as the original (pretty short), and two longer ones, one standard V-brake length, one a bit shorter or longer (not sure which is which).

So my question is; is there any advantage to going with a longer pad? More power? Any downsides? More chatter/squeal?

Pads for the shorter carrier seem to come in thicker options, should I favor these for a U-brake?

Many thanks!



.



Just replaced the old style stubby and fat pads with these long and thin ones. No problems with toe in or distance from pivot. These are a bit tall for my rim, so it worries me that the pad will slice the tire earlier than not. I haven't had much time to adjust them properly but they seem to stop quite well as I remembered U brakes braking (it was a long time ago since I last used them) and this is a new-to-me bike.

Yours will probably be under the chainstay so the pads will face the other way, which might change things.
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Old 09-06-19, 08:17 AM
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U brakes left the MtB market for real reasons. As a shop wrench I'm glad they did leave. Or should I say the skin of my hands is glad

Do revisit the pad/rim/tire alignment as the pads wear. With the U brake's arcing pad travel they can easily become a tire side wall lathe tool. Andy
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