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Brake options besides calipers... Drums, disk, others?

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Brake options besides calipers... Drums, disk, others?

Old 07-21-11, 01:09 PM
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Brake options besides calipers... Drums, disk, others?

I'm looking to convert a 27" wheeled frame to 650b, for comfy city cruising and grocery getting. I'd prefer something to have the vintage look, but I won't rule anything out just yet. I want run a large (IMO) 42mm tire and fenders, I don't believe my MAFAC Racers will reach. Plus I'm just curious, what other options are out there besides traditional caliper brakes?

Please post your setups, be descriptive of hub type/brand, rim type/size/brand, tire type/size/brand and the type of braking system (drum/disk/other).

I love zaphod beeblebrox's setup, definitely the look I'm going for:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-650B-Finally!

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Old 07-21-11, 01:31 PM
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Front disk brakes require a special fork to handle all the twisting from the caliper.

Sturmey Archer makes a popular drum/generator combo, and you can get a rear drum with a freehub body if you want to go for more gears. SRAM makes a non-brake 3-speed hub with a freehub body so you can have a single front chainring and don't have to worry about cross-chaining. However, I think that's only available in an 8 speed, which may be a bit of a stretch for this frame.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:35 PM
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How much reach do you need? There are calipers that will reach. Centerpulls and dual pivots. I'm planning to use calipers when I convert my 1973 World Voyageur to 650B.
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Old 07-21-11, 02:10 PM
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I am going to go with the "Others"choice, even though my suggestion is anything but serious...

While riding my Giant full suspension mountain bike in Jamaica, a few years ago, I passed on old fella, riding a one speed step through, that had seen better days. He was a Jamaican and carried a five gallon plastic pail, filled with fresh fish, in his right hand, which he was also holding the handlebar with. He was chugging up hill and probably destroying both knee joints with each revolution of the cranks. Anyway...

As I passed the old man, I said good morning and chatted for a moment, before continuing on through the cliffs section of the Fort Charles road, thinking little more of the event. However...

A short while later, after stopping for to inhale some of the local medication, that same old man, pail full of fish and all, came wizzing by me, followed instantly by the clap of something sounding like the breaking of the sound barrier. Or, so it seemed at the time. He was going down hill, when this occurred. At that moment in time, the event was pretty amazing. He was hummin!

A short while later, after my break, I caught up this this crazy person (you would understand that comment, if you rode through the cliffs on the Fort Charles road) and made mention of his hair raising behavior. He looked at me, like there was something wrong with me, and pointed out that he had not brakes! I laughed and, wished him well again, really meaning it this time, and continued on my way.

Riding the rest of the way back to Golden Sands, I thought about the old guy and his vehicle. The one he used to make his living with. And those thoughts turned my attention to the kind of help that our Bicycles for Humanity group does out of Thunder Bay. I felt very good that day. Very good!

A day or so later, I passed the old guy once again, only this time we were headed in opposite directions. I shouted, "hello Mr. Nobrakes", and chuckled at my sense of humor. But to his reply, I laughed out loud.

"Good mornin Mr Fancybike, sir", he called to me as we sped away from each other. Never saw him again.

But that, at least, is one other brake choice option and an incredibly easy one to implement. No brakes, which, of course, will eventually lead to something really important breaking.

Gotta take a break.
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Last edited by randyjawa; 07-21-11 at 02:12 PM. Reason: oops
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Old 07-21-11, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I am going to go with the "Others"choice, even though my suggestion is anything but serious...

While riding my Giant full suspension mountain bike in Jamaica, a few years ago, I passed on old fella, riding a one speed step through, that had seen better days. He was a Jamaican and carried a five gallon plastic pail, filled with fresh fish, in his right hand, which he was also holding the handlebar with. He was chugging up hill and probably destroying both knee joints with each revolution of the cranks. Anyway...

As I passed the old man, I said good morning and chatted for a moment, before continuing on through the cliffs section of the Fort Charles road, thinking little more of the event. However...

A short while later, after stopping for to inhale some of the local medication, that same old man, pail full of fish and all, came wizzing by me, followed instantly by the clap of something sounding like the breaking of the sound barrier. Or, so it seemed at the time. He was going down hill, when this occurred. At that moment in time, the event was pretty amazing. He was hummin!

A short while later, after my break, I caught up this this crazy person (you would understand that comment, if you rode through the cliffs on the Fort Charles road) and made mention of his hair raising behavior. He looked at me, like there was something wrong with me, and pointed out that he had not brakes! I laughed and, wished him well again, really meaning it this time, and continued on my way.

Riding the rest of the way back to Golden Sands, I thought about the old guy and his vehicle. The one he used to make his living with. And those thoughts turned my attention to the kind of help that our Bicycles for Humanity group does out of Thunder Bay. I felt very good that day. Very good!

A day or so later, I passed the old guy once again, only this time we were headed in opposite directions. I shouted, "hello Mr. Nobrakes", and chuckled at my sense of humor. But to his reply, I laughed out loud.

"Good mornin Mr Fancybike, sir", he called to me as we sped away from each other. Never saw him again.

But that, at least, is one other brake choice option and an incredibly easy one to implement. No brakes, which, of course, will eventually lead to something really important breaking.

Gotta take a break.
Great story. Must've been even more amazing to see through the green lens of the medicine
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Old 07-21-11, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
Front disk brakes require a special fork to handle all the twisting from the caliper.
Please explain, I've not heard of this.


Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
How much reach do you need? There are calipers that will reach. Centerpulls and dual pivots. I'm planning to use calipers when I convert my 1973 World Voyageur to 650B.
Not quite sure yet, I'll be picking up a spare set of 650b wheels today for a quick mockup. I have previously measured using a method I read about on a 650b conversion blog but can't remember the numbers off the top if my head.

However, I do remember coming to the conclusion that the NAFACs would not work by a long shot.
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Old 07-21-11, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
Please explain, I've not heard of this.
The brake caliper puts a lot of force on the side of the fork it's on, but no force on the other side. This is hard on the fork, and makes the wheel move around when you brake. Even on low-end disk forks designed to handle the torsion this can make the handling squirrelly under braking.
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Old 07-21-11, 04:25 PM
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An illustration might help...


*not my picture, got it from here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfergos...n/photostream/
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Old 07-21-11, 04:34 PM
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I only have two alternative types of brakes at the moment. Shimano roller brakes and one Shimano Nexus 8 speed coaster.

The bike with the rollers is my city bike. I just purchased a set of SA drum hubs to build my son a city bike using a 1985 Raleigh Record that I recently accumulated.

I much prefer the hub brake over other choices for general riding. FWIW this bike came stock with roller brakes, however I wanted a dyno hub and the stock front brake was very poor, so I upgraded to a dyno and a larger brake at the same time. The hub is not readily available in the US, I sourced mine from Work Bikes in A'dam, Netherlands. It is the same one they use on their baksfiets (box bikes). So far I have been very happy with it.

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Old 07-21-11, 05:58 PM
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I'm using the same hubs that Zaphod used Sturmey Archer in front and Shimano in the rear. They're going on my Raleigh International. The Shimano so-called roller brake is actually a drum brake, so I understand.

The Shimano hub came at an irresistible price. Otherwise, I would have used a Sturmey Archer.

I test rode Zaphod's bike. It's amazing beyond description. I'm not doing 650B, so I'll find some fat, soft tires in 700C to use. I'll probably just use Pasela 32's or 35's. I've test ridden those and liked them a lot.
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Old 07-21-11, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by brockd15 View Post
An illustration might help...


*not my picture, got it from here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfergos...n/photostream/
that looks a bit scary...

how does one determine whether or not their fork is up to the task? the idea is to put this on a 50's built Reynolds 531 frame/fork of unknown maker.


edit: whoops cancel that in regards to me using this setup, i thought we were talking drum brakes for some reason. but perhaps the question may still be relevant to future readers if someone has an answer.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:55 PM
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Thanks shnibop Tom, I'm glad you liked it

Here's my other Drum Brake'd bike, my Varsity Grocery getter. This one is 26", and i've hauled all kinds of weight with it. The Wald baskets can hold anything, and the drum brakes are up to the task of stopping it regardless of what else its loaded with besides 190 pound me.
Here's a non drive side shot to show off the drum brakes

I gotta say though....nothing is sweeter than those 650B Hetres. They are so nice.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
that looks a bit scary...

how does one determine whether or not their fork is up to the task? the idea is to put this on a 50's built Reynolds 531 frame/fork of unknown maker.
For the sake of posterity...

It needs to be specifically designed for a disc brake. Caliper mounts should not be braised onto a regular fork.

Drum brakes put the braking force through the wheel via the hub, so there's not much force on the forks. The arm keeps the center of the hub from spinning, and puts relatively little pressure on the fork or chainstay.
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Old 07-21-11, 11:13 PM
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Does it not also go like this? Lugged crown or disc brake; you may choose only one.
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