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Breaks for older road bike.

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Breaks for older road bike.

Old 01-09-08, 09:38 AM
  #1  
Bikingtoteach
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Breaks for older road bike.

Hi, I am a commuter and trying to improve my breaks in this weather.
I love my old Fugi touring bike but the brakes suck.
They are the old sidepulls and the fork does not
have inset for newer brakes. Without replacing the fork is there
any way to get this bike to stop better? I have already put on Kool
stop pads. My guess is that going to cantelever or v brakes would provide
the best improvement, but do not see a way to do it.
Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.
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Old 01-09-08, 10:01 AM
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You already did the kool stop pads so the only other easy solution would be to add a second set of sidepulls on the back of the fork. You would need a longer bolt & nut and also modify the lever to pull a second cable. Good luck & post your results. ( I have seen this done on a tandem)
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Old 01-09-08, 10:34 AM
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Aero-style brake levers (the cable is routed beneath the handlebar tape) will help. Their design provides a bit more leverage. It's a very noticeable improvement in brake performance in my opinion.

Tektro, Cane Creek (made by Tektro), and Shimano offer them in various models-
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Old 01-09-08, 10:57 AM
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I did put in cheap Nashbar levers, is there a big difference???
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Old 01-09-08, 11:03 AM
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I'm gonna give you the fix, but you won't like it and people will think you funny...


Center pull Weinman or Dia-Compe's
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Old 01-09-08, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikingtoteach View Post
I did put in cheap Nashbar levers, is there a big difference???
I've used the Nashbars (also made by Tektro I believe), there's a big difference in how cheaply they're made than the others and I'll never use them again. The little spring mechanism came apart on mine and ended up breaking if I remember correctly. But in terms of braking performance, I think they give you the same advantage as the other aero levers, as long as they're not broken.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
I'm gonna give you the fix, but you won't like it and people will think you funny...


Center pull Weinman or Dia-Compe's
I like those, too. But honestly, I'm not sure they provide inherently better braking performance than single pivot sidepulls. I've done the kool stop/aero lever upgrade to both sidepulls and centerpulls on old bikes, they both worked well afterwards-

Last edited by well biked; 01-09-08 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-09-08, 02:21 PM
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Any chance you have a rim with a crappy braking surface? Other than that maybe dual pivot brakes?

It is your commuter but you said it is a touring bike. I'm surprised it did not have canti/V-brake bosses.
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Old 01-09-08, 02:33 PM
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Are your rims aluminum alloy or chromed steel? If steel, then going to alloy will be very helpful, especially in dampness.
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Old 01-09-08, 02:35 PM
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Also, you can drill out the back of the fork in order to accomodate newer caliper brakes, but then you have to be careful and get brakes with a long enough reach. The older bikes have a greater distance between the fork crown and the braking surface than modern road bikes. You will probably need a long reach brake if you go that way.
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Old 01-09-08, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
The older bikes have a greater distance between the fork crown and the braking surface than modern road bikes. You will probably need a long reach brake if you go that way.
You may also be able to use a drop-bolt to narrow the gap and use normal reach brakes if you have this problem.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
You already did the kool stop pads so the only other easy solution would be to add a second set of sidepulls on the back of the fork. You would need a longer bolt & nut and also modify the lever to pull a second cable. Good luck & post your results. ( I have seen this done on a tandem)
What?! No, don't do that....that's just using 2 crappy brakes and won't make much of a difference.
It's them steel rims, man. Unfortunately they're (edit: NOT) slowing you down. : )
Barring the purchase of new rims, (ie new wheelset), consider getting some dual-pivot brake calipers and aero levers.

That should make a world of difference.

Last edited by awc380; 01-09-08 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by awc380 View Post
What?! No, don't do that....that's just using 2 crappy brakes and won't make much of a difference.
It's them steel rims, man. Unfortunately they're slowing you down.
Barring the purchase of new rims, (ie new wheelset), consider getting some dual-pivot brake calipers and aero levers.

That should make a world of difference.
Wrong.

It actually doubles the amount of brake pad in contact with the wheel. For wonderful stopping, 2 brakes with 2 levers would be great!

Back in the dark ages when 10 speed meant 10 speeds total, not just on the rear (early 70's) I had a muscle bike 3 speed that I hooked both brake levers to brakes on the rear wheel. Even with wet rims (I was in the Seattle Tacoma area, so there were plenty of wet rims) I could lock up the rear wheel easily.

Back then, I was afraid to use a front brake (stupidly thought that I would flip over the handlebars if I used it) but today if I was setting up a wet weather bike, I would consider dual front brakes...

By the way, I wasn't the only person paranoid about front brakes back then. The few bikes with disc brakes had only a single disc, and it was on the rear.
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Old 01-09-08, 03:57 PM
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What kind of sidepulls do you have on your bike? If it is a really crappy set changing to centerpulls might give a real improvement. I am using the long Mtb-style Koolstop pads with old centerpull brakes and aero levers, and that works OK.
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Old 01-09-08, 04:43 PM
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I expect that someone will be along shortly to explain the difference between "breaks" and "brakes".
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Old 01-09-08, 04:49 PM
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... and 'fugi'
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Old 01-09-08, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ginsoakedboy View Post
I expect that someone will be along shortly to explain the difference between "breaks" and "brakes".
Eh, you already mentioned it, so we'll let the OP look it up him/herself. It's scary how illiterate people have become.
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Old 01-09-08, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by awc380 View Post
It's them steel rims, man. Unfortunately they're slowing you down.
Actually the problem is that they AREN'T slowing him down!
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Old 01-09-08, 06:26 PM
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How about applying a pair of these?

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Old 01-09-08, 06:35 PM
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2 brakes though?
Is there any point noodling around with two levers (I guess a total of three on the bike) instead of just grabbing a decent pair.
It sounds like the OP already has the right pads.

I guess the dual calipers would have some 'cred' in the homegrown solution dept, but come on. 0 points for elegance...
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Old 01-09-08, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Eh, you already mentioned it, so we'll let the OP look it up him/herself. It's scary how illiterate people have become.
Check out the OP's user name.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:51 AM
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Wow, sorry I did not check back sooner, lots of ideas, I teach math so give me a brake. So..I think
the sidepulls are dia-compe from the 80's. I do have some weinman on my 71 Sears bike, you are right, those do get it done, but on chrome rims. The "touring" bike I commute on has aluminum rims that I do try to keep maintained. The "old??" centerpull weinman or campy sounds like a solution along with replacing the levers(although they are functional, I just do not know if there is a difference in braking performance with different levers). Center pulls will fit, they were similar in mounting to the older side pulls?? I would need to rig up some kind of holder to center the cable maybe in the headset,
what about on the back end??
Cheers, thanks for all the thoughts!!
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Old 01-10-08, 11:41 AM
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What you would need to put on center pull brakes would be "cable hangers" available from many locations such as loosescrews.com or Harris Cyclery (sheldonbrown.com) and others.

However, unless you have a spare set of centerpulls, you should seriously look at some inexpensive dual pivot sidepulls if you can find them in an appriopriate reach. They are easier to find... They won't be period specific, but they will get the job done. The one you need the most (on the front) can be easily accomodated. Specifics can be found on Sheldon Brown's site under "Recessed Brake Mounting" on this page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ra-e.html
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Old 01-10-08, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikingtoteach View Post
Wow, sorry I did not check back sooner, lots of ideas, I teach math so give me a brake.
Priceless.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mwrobe1 View Post
Priceless.
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