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mismatched brakes

Old 08-01-20, 04:52 PM
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kevrider
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mismatched brakes

my nephew has a Marin Gestalt all road bike, i am going to send him some upgrade parts, thinking about the brakes. right now, he has Promax Render disc brakes. TRP HyRd would be a big improvement, but i'm pretty sure the rear triangle is too tight for the caliper.

has anyone setup up a bike with mismatch braking?

specifically, i'm thinking to pair a TRP HyRd front with TRP Spyre rear. the Spyre is not as good as HyRd but still an upgrade, i think, and he would still have a pretty good front brake, at least as stout as you can get with a cable disc. but i'm not sure about how they would feel at the lever, comparatively. personally, i need both levers to feel the same, so i assume everyone does and i don't want to make it weird for him.

any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:55 PM
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I believe shimano rim brakes are mismatched out of the box. The rear caliper has less mechanical advantage than the front and is therefore harder to lock. I bet 70% of riders who have these brakes donít even realize it.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:08 PM
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I had Spyres front and rear and found them to be excellent. I don't know if the HY/RD has the adjustability of the Spyre to avoid rotor rub, FWIW.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
I believe shimano rim brakes are mismatched out of the box. The rear caliper has less mechanical advantage than the front and is therefore harder to lock. I bet 70% of riders who have these brakes donít even realize it.
The 2006 Chorus brakes on one of my bikes are like that. The rear brake looks to be SINGLE pivot, versus the dual pivot front.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kevrider View Post
has anyone setup up a bike with mismatch braking?
Yes. Like many Campagnolo riders, I use a dual pivot front brake with more mechanical advantage than my single pivot rear.

Campagnolo introduced "differential brakes" in 2001 so Record brakes could weigh less than Shimano Dura Ace. It's been the standard setup on the top 2-3 gruppos since then.


Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-02-20 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:57 PM
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I guess I don't understand what you're trying to say about "feel the same at the lever". I have cable disk brakes and simply adjust them so they feel the same front and rear. Align the pads and set the adjustment for the pull distance on the lever that you like. The biggest improvement I found in braking ability was swapping out those stock pads for organic resin. They're quieter and offer a much improved stopping performance. They don't chew up your disk's as fast as the metal composite pads either. It's nice that you're taking an interest in your nephew's riding.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
I believe shimano rim brakes are mismatched out of the box. The rear caliper has less mechanical advantage than the front and is therefore harder to lock. I bet 70% of riders who have these brakes donít even realize it.
I donít believe that is true now. Iím certain that it hasnít been true in the past. There is nothing different mechanically between the front and back Shimano side pull or cantilever. There isnít anything different dimensionally either. Rear brakes tend to be a little spongier than front brakes because of the longer cable run and cable housing but they donít have to be.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kevrider View Post
my nephew has a Marin Gestalt all road bike, i am going to send him some upgrade parts, thinking about the brakes. right now, he has Promax Render disc brakes. TRP HyRd would be a big improvement, but i'm pretty sure the rear triangle is too tight for the caliper.

has anyone setup up a bike with mismatch braking?

specifically, i'm thinking to pair a TRP HyRd front with TRP Spyre rear. the Spyre is not as good as HyRd but still an upgrade, i think, and he would still have a pretty good front brake, at least as stout as you can get with a cable disc. but i'm not sure about how they would feel at the lever, comparatively. personally, i need both levers to feel the same, so i assume everyone does and i don't want to make it weird for him.

any feedback would be appreciated.
I have mixed disc and linear brakes on a bike (see below) but those both pull similarly.

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

image by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Iím not sure now a hydraulic...even a hybrid hydraulic like the TRP Hy/Rd...would match with mechanical brake. It might be hard to moderate both brakes the same.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I donít believe that is true now. Iím certain that it hasnít been true in the past. There is nothing different mechanically between the front and back Shimano side pull or cantilever. There isnít anything different dimensionally either. Rear brakes tend to be a little spongier than front brakes because of the longer cable run and cable housing but they donít have to be.
Hm. Based on my crappy measurements, it seems like the front (R7000) caliper has 1/8Ē longer arms than the rear. The difference isnít massive.

Also the rear isnít more spongy. Itís less spongy. It feels more stiff under braking, and thereís marginally more clearance between the pads and rim at the rear than the front.

I could be imagining all this but it seems like a very random thing to imagine.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Hm. Based on my crappy measurements, it seems like the front (R7000) caliper has 1/8Ē longer arms than the rear. The difference isnít massive.

Also the rear isnít more spongy. Itís less spongy. It feels more stiff under braking, and thereís marginally more clearance between the pads and rim at the rear than the front.

I could be imagining all this but it seems like a very random thing to imagine.
Clearance from pads to rims is based on cable tightness and is set by the mechanic or user. Shimano only lists one number for reach which is the measure from the pivot point on a side pull to the maximum possible distance on the brake pad. The pads can be adjusted up and down as needed but, again, that is set by the user or a mechanic. Generally, the frame and fork and the position of the attachment point of the brake set the position of the brake pads.

No other type of brake...Shimano or other brand, cantilever, linear or disc...detunes the rear brake nor even designates where the brake is to be used. In other words, there isnít a front or rear cantilever, linear or disc brake caliper. Reduction of mechanical advantage would almost have to happen at the lever and if that were being done, there would need to be designated front and rear brakes for all brake systems.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Clearance from pads to rims is based on cable tightness and is set by the mechanic or user. Shimano only lists one number for reach which is the measure from the pivot point on a side pull to the maximum possible distance on the brake pad. The pads can be adjusted up and down as needed but, again, that is set by the user or a mechanic. Generally, the frame and fork and the position of the attachment point of the brake set the position of the brake pads.

No other type of brake...Shimano or other brand, cantilever, linear or disc...detunes the rear brake nor even designates where the brake is to be used. In other words, there isnít a front or rear cantilever, linear or disc brake caliper. Reduction of mechanical advantage would almost have to happen at the lever and if that were being done, there would need to be designated front and rear brakes for all brake systems.
https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...rs-117080.html

R7000 has separate front and rear brake calipers...

And by arm length I donít mean pivot to pad. I mean pivot to cable attachment point.

And the clearance depends on the cable setup, yes, but if the lever bottom-out point is the same left and right, then the clearance should be the same on both calipers.

I could still definitely be wrong. Iíve never seen anyone else mention the difference, and I donít see any mention of front vs rear in the manual besides ďFront brakes cannot be installed as rear brakes and vice versa.Ē

Regardless, my opinion is that a stronger front brake is not a problem.

Last edited by smashndash; 08-01-20 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-20, 03:35 AM
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Braking between front and rear is different enough you have to adapt to it anyway.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I donít believe that is true now. Iím certain that it hasnít been true in the past. There is nothing different mechanically between the front and back Shimano side pull or cantilever. There isnít anything different dimensionally either. Rear brakes tend to be a little spongier than front brakes because of the longer cable run and cable housing but they donít have to be.
M900 XTR cantis had longer arms for front (fore) and shorter rears (aft); I believe these were the only ones by Shimano to do so. Other brakes did the same, Avid Tri Align come to mind.

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Old 08-02-20, 04:29 AM
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The question seems to be whether the brakes should be the same model.

The answer is obviously no.

Front and rear braking is inherently "mismatched" functionally. You use them differently. They are never going to "feel the same".

The front and rear brakes of a "matched" set might not be constructed the same. But the don't typically seem to be.

You probably don't want them to work too differently.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-02-20 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:56 AM
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I think your braking habits would very quickly adapt to it, I find the braking characteristics vary a lot from bike to bike, and after about a couple test stops, I'm all set. A front and back mismatch, by design or otherwise, wouldn't be a problem for me as long as the front is the stronger one.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...rs-117080.html

R7000 has separate front and rear calipers.
Re: front and rear calipers - my experience suggests that this, most often, refers to the length of the mounting bolt.
For people wanting to put modern brakes on old bikes, there are after-market bolts one can buy to make the install easier.
The presumed front brake gets used as a rear, since the stubby bolt for the ĒnewĒ mounting method reaches through the average ĒoldĒ method brake bridge. Then the even stubbier bolt on the intended rear brake is replaced with a longer one that allows for the traditional, standard nut, through-mount of the front brake.
With that said, front double pivot and rear single pivot is not that unusual.
Not that this IMO makes it in any significant way a rear specific brake. Itís simply a brake nowadays primarily intended/expected to be used at the rear.
Some will happily use them at the front b/c theyíre a tad lighter, b/c that was what they had, b/c the rider prefers the look, or b/c that was how some famous cyclist decades earlier rode. Or any number of other, less obvious reasons.
Re:R7000 - I know what ĒreachĒ is for a caliper brake. But what is ĒdropĒ?
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Old 08-02-20, 07:44 AM
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I suspect the optimization process tends towards front and rear brake that are almost the same but not too strong.

If you make the rear "more effective", people will want the front to be the same. If you make rear "less effective", people will want it to be "better".
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Old 08-02-20, 08:35 AM
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MTBs in general have used mismatched brakes over time; starting with U/Rollercam rear + canti front, to V rear + front disc, to the current meta of running a smaller rear rotor, and even flat mount rear+post mount front. Now that I think of it, I ran a low profile rear canti (Dia Compe 987) with a mider profile canti (Ritchey WCS) up front in the early 90s. They were both cantis but one used cone wrenches for spring tension and the other used a tiny allen key; both ran the same pads. Some modern brakes like the Avid Ultimate allows one to change the profile.

As others have said, you will get used to it. But, I'd just run the best matched set I could to run the same pads f and r.
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Old 08-02-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...rs-117080.html

R7000 has separate front and rear brake calipers...
The way side calipers mount require different bolt lengths on front and rear. The front has to go through the fork crown while the rear has to go through the brake bridge. One is much longer than the other and requires a different bolt length. You can swap the bolts (not easily but it can be done) and use either in the otherís position.

And by arm length I donít mean pivot to pad. I mean pivot to cable attachment point.
Thatís not a dimension Iíve ever measured but I have a hard time believing that the distance is different. Iíve compared lots of sidepull front and rear brakes side-by-side and never noticed a difference in the mechanisms. There certainly isnít a difference front and rear on other kinds of brakes for the most part.

And the clearance depends on the cable setup, yes, but if the lever bottom-out point is the same left and right, then the clearance should be the same on both calipers.
Again, that depends on the tightness of the cable and is variable.

I could still definitely be wrong. Iíve never seen anyone else mention the difference, and I donít see any mention of front vs rear in the manual besides ďFront brakes cannot be installed as rear brakes and vice versa.Ē
I found the same. The manual does state that the brake pads have a different direction (swapping them from one side to the other would fix that) and that the brakes use different internal parts...not that I can think of any parts on a brake that are ďinternalĒ. I still believe the difference is only the brake bolt.

Regardless, my opinion is that a stronger front brake is not a problem.
I wouldnít argue any differently.
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Old 08-02-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
M900 XTR cantis had longer arms for front (fore) and shorter rears (aft); I believe these were the only ones by Shimano to do so. Other brakes did the same, Avid Tri Align come to mind.
Not many brakes have adopted that kind of set up. I suspect that there is little advantage to it and lots of manufacturing and distribution headaches.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:28 PM
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I have Mafac tandem front cantilevers and their shorter Criterium rear ..

& TRP Hy Rd Front & Avid BB7 mountain rear & Avid speed dial brake levers for both..

It works .. physics of a decelerating mass , makes the front brake more effective anyhow..
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Old 08-02-20, 05:05 PM
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I'm going to be another voice telling you it's OK to be mis-matched. The braking capability is different between wheels anyway. I have three bikes that have one wheel with a disc brake and the other with a V-Brake and they work fine. Just be sure to get 2 road calipers or two mountain calipers, so the pull ratios both match and you can at least have matching levers on your handlebars.
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Old 08-03-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kevrider View Post
my nephew has a Marin Gestalt all road bike, i am going to send him some upgrade parts, thinking about the brakes. right now, he has Promax Render disc brakes.

any feedback would be appreciated.
Suggestion -- if the bike has these brakes, im guessing its at the entry level parts spec. That doesn't mean its dangerous. Why not send him a premium set of pads for the stock brakes and spend the rest of the money you intended to spend on a nice hydration pack, and /or a few more pieces of cycling clothing ?
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Old 08-03-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Suggestion -- if the bike has these brakes, im guessing its at the entry level parts spec. That doesn't mean its dangerous. Why not send him a premium set of pads for the stock brakes and spend the rest of the money you intended to spend on a nice hydration pack, and /or a few more pieces of cycling clothing ?
I agree with the pads and the hydration pack, not the clothing so much. Maybe a rad style set of rotors in phosphorescent orange or green? Something to make the kid's bike stand out.
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Old 08-03-20, 11:08 PM
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I use Paul cantilever brakes on 3 touring bikes. I use the Paul Retro brake on the front wheel and the Paul Touring brake on the rear. The front Retro brake arm is almost horizontal to the ground; and it has more stopping power than the Touring model used on the rear wheel. The Touring model's brake arm on the rear wheel is angled more, about 45 degrees to the ground. This is a good set up that is used in CX and works well for touring. The touring brake does not interfere with the panniers, and there is less chance of catching a leg on mounts and dismounts.

This combination work extremely well. Paul Retro on the front, and Paul Touring cantilever on the back wheel.



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