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Old 02-14-10, 01:29 PM   #1
4Rings6Stars
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I'm a sucker for Suntour (and pink/teal color schemes).

Found this sad old Hard Rock that had been abandoned in somebody's barn. It was missing the left side crank arm and was covered in crud and some surface rust. I probably should have left it there to rot but I'm a sucker for Suntour so I dragged it home.







Found a matching crank arm and some spare tires lying around, and after some new grease, a few rags, a few hours and Pedros Bike Lust I have a fun new toy.



It is actually a pretty nice little bike. Alloy wheels with Sansin hubs, forged dropouts, chromo frame, Suntour Accushift XCD 4050 deraillerus and thumb shifters. The color is so terribly early 90's that it's growing on me.

Only issue is that I can't get the rear brake functioning properly, anybody have any experience with this style brake?
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Old 02-14-10, 01:54 PM   #2
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We have had three different Hardrocks from the 90s, still have two, and they all have the canti brakes located in the conventional position. That low position can't be right, can it? It looks like an accident waiting to happen on any bike, esp an MTB. The HRs we've had have had low-end Shimano brakes, Altus or whatever, sometimes with plastic parts that are guaranteed to break. There are lots of cheap substitutes out there.
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Old 02-14-10, 02:00 PM   #3
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The U-Brake you have can only be replaced with another U-Brake because the reach is different than canti's. There were some boutique high performance brakes that will fit but we're talking big money. What is it about the brake that isn't working? Maybe you just need new pads.
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Old 02-14-10, 02:05 PM   #4
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I picked up the girls version of the same bike. The rear brakes are mounted in the same location. If you need any parts for yours, let me know. When I picked the bike up, I wanted to go out and buy a pair of Zubaz pants. I think thats what they are called....
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Old 02-14-10, 02:09 PM   #5
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that is a U brake on the chainstays not Cantis. it was not the best place to put a brake but that is where they put them for a few years and make this bike a late '80 I would say. great colors I like that teal and pink too! fabulous job on the cleanup.

as for the rear brake the Us were a bit tricky. your is a Dia Compe yes? IIRC you tension the return springs by loosening the allen bolt in the middle of the "boss" and use a wrench to turn the thing that looks like a big nut to tension the spring then tighten the allen bolt while holding the 'nut'. yes they can be tricky, the shimano was a bit better. I'll try and post some better Ubrake pics later
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Old 02-14-10, 04:10 PM   #6
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are those 24" wheels or am I just so used to looking at road wheels anything smaller than 700C seems "junior"?
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Old 02-14-10, 04:24 PM   #7
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Just about all mountain bikes had the chainstay brake in 1986-1988. It was a bad idea, but they all went along with it, even Bridgestone. You can mount either a U-brake or a Suntour roller cam brake on those studs. I experimented and found that a Campagnolo Euclid U-brake worked best for me. The studs are in the wrong place and are the wrong type for cantis.
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Old 02-14-10, 04:46 PM   #8
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Wow, I had no idea (obviously) about the chainstay-mounted rear brake. What a wacky idea.
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Old 02-14-10, 05:24 PM   #9
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The rod brakes of English roadsters and Dutch city bikes are mounted on the chain stays.
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Old 02-14-10, 05:33 PM   #10
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gotta get that dork disk off though, but its still cool
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Old 02-14-10, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobE30 View Post
I picked up the girls version of the same bike. The rear brakes are mounted in the same location. If you need any parts for yours, let me know. When I picked the bike up, I wanted to go out and buy a pair of Zubaz pants. I think thats what they are called....
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
What is it about the brake that isn't working? Maybe you just need new pads.
I'm not really sure if there is a problem with the brake or if it is me. The spring on the drive side brake arm works as it should and when tight it keeps the pad sprung away from the rim, but I think the spring on the other side isn't working properly as when tight, the spring forces the arm/pad into the rim. Any configuration of switching or flipping the springs doesn't make a difference.
Does that make sense to anybody?
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Old 02-15-10, 02:32 AM   #12
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I won't try to defend u-brakes, but the chainstay mounted roller-cam brake does make a bit of sense. Those things can put out a lot of power, more than enough to flex the seat stays of a bike. By moving it to the beefier chain stays, you actually increase the braking power. I don't know how much of that was Wilderness Trail Bike Bull, but it makes enough sense to me.

why it took off with anaemic little u-brakes, I have no idea.
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Old 02-15-10, 03:06 AM   #13
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Putting a chainstay mounted brake on a mountain bike that might see a lot of dirt and mud was a bad idea but the brakes themselves offer some incredible stopping power.

I have an 87 and 88 Kuwahara mtb's that have been converted to fixed gear road and touring use... the fixed gear bike has no rear brake mounted as it interferes with the chain and really is not needed. The tourer has a Shimano u-brake, and the stopping power is excellent, and it also keeps the upper brake bridge area open.

They need to be checked for wear more frequently as with brake wear the angle of the brake arms is such that you will start running the brake pad into the tyre... but new brake pads are cheap.

I have been running a u brake equipped bicycle for years and have had no trouble at all but I am not a set it and forget ot kind of person.
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