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Lalato 10-14-09 03:36 PM

Brakes vs. Hills
I started my new job last week... and conveniently my wife had to borrow the car for a roadtrip this week so I've been doing a multi-modal commute with the bus systems and my Bike Friday Tikit.

Lucky for me, I only have to ride one bus and I can get off early to ride if I feel like it. Actually, if I really wanted to I could easily walk and not bike at all... but where would the fun be in that.

Anyway, as I've noted in another thread, I live in the foothills of Salt Lake City. The bus stop is up hill from my place so I basically just coast the whole way home. The downside to this is that there are a couple of stop signs on the way home where it's important to stop. Adding to that my place is on the middle of a hill so as I pull into my drive way I can be going pretty fast just from gravity pulling me down the hill.

All of this preamble is building up to the smell my brakes made last night as I slowed myself down. You know the smell... that burning rubber smell. I'm just wondering if maybe it isn't time to upgrade my brake system to something that can handle stopping on steep hills when needed.

Is it just a matter of switching to Kool Stops or should I really be looking into a complete braking system change? If I should consider different braking systems... which would be the best for hills?


lz4005 10-14-09 08:34 PM

First make sure your brake pads aren't rubbing on your tire.
Then get kool stops.

Bacciagalupe 10-15-09 06:52 AM

Feather your brakes on the descents. Switching brake pads may improve your braking but won't help if your braking technique just shreds the pads.

Lalato 10-15-09 07:24 AM

Yeah... the first thing I checked was the tires. No problems there. I did some feathering at first, but I also didn't want to overshoot my stopping point... so the closer I got the more I applied full pressure. After a few stops... the funny smell hit me. I'll go grab some Kool Stops and go from there.

In other news I got a flat yesterday and silly me didn't have the patch kit. Made it to work just fine, but when I went to go home, the front was deflated. It was a tiny little pin prick. Good thing the bus is a short walk. :)


brakemeister 10-15-09 08:14 AM

dont drag the brakes.. make deliberate slow downs and than release the brakes fully . have you upper body upright to act as a wind brake.

should work ....

Bacciagalupe 10-15-09 06:32 PM

It takes a little time to get it right. Also you may want to clean the rims with rubbing alcohol, especially if you think the brakes shredded a bit on the rims.

Lalato 10-15-09 08:21 PM

Thanks for the tips guys! I will do as recommended.

And just in case it wasn't apparent... I'm not a big fan of hills right now. I'm going to be here for a few years at least so I need to make friends with them soon. LOL


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