General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Some brake help for a noob

Old 04-18-09, 03:18 PM
  #1  
Kalistoga
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Some brake help for a noob

Hey folks,

I am new to road biking (and to the forum) and am wondering if I can get some advice. I have this great new specialized allez (the base model). I picked it up from my LBS after trying a bunch of different styles out. This model was the most comfortable for me - no contest. Right now I am still becoming comfortable with the bike and am still hanging around the brakes, either on the hoods or in the hooks (forgive me if I misuse terms!) because I don't full trust myself just yet. This will keep getting better the more I ride. Something I have noticed in doing this, however, is that the breaks feel a bit soft, and this means a ton of effort and energy is being used to apply the brakes while on the hoods. Now, I realize that this is not the strongest position to brake from, but might there be anything I can do to make it a little easier on myself? I realize I will become stronger with time, but I am becoming frustrated...my forearms are more tired than my legs! Is this normal? I am comfortable tinkering around with my bike as I enjoy learning how to maintain it.

Thanks ahead of time for the guidance - there is a lot to be learned here!
Kalistoga is offline  
Old 04-18-09, 03:20 PM
  #2  
Kalistoga
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Oops! I meant to write *brake* in the title. Aw man, what a rookie...

Kalistoga is offline  
Old 04-18-09, 03:29 PM
  #3  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,202

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1117 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Brakes are over rated. All they do is slow you down.

Seriously, I'm surprised you're getting sore arms from brakeing a road bike. Here's a couple of affordable things that you can try.
1. Try dressing the surface of your brake pads with a fingernail emery board.
2. If that doesn't work, try a set of Kool Stop brake pads.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 04-18-09, 05:47 PM
  #4  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,321

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Brakes are over rated. All they do is slow you down.

Seriously, I'm surprised you're getting sore arms from brakeing a road bike. Here's a couple of affordable things that you can try.
1. Try dressing the surface of your brake pads with a fingernail emery board.
2. If that doesn't work, try a set of Kool Stop brake pads.
3. Clean the rim while you're at it. Degrease and some steel wool would do the trick.
operator is offline  
Old 04-18-09, 07:06 PM
  #5  
Bikewer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Most road bike brakesets are quite powerful if adjusted properly. If this is a new bike, you may simply have stretched the cables a bit. Normally, the bike shop will want you to come in in a month or so after purchase to re-adjust those slightly-stretched brake and shifter cables.
Usually it's free...

You might pop a wheel off and visually inspect the pads. Are they getting full contact? If not, they may not have been properly adjusted to begin with.
Bikewer is offline  
Old 04-18-09, 09:11 PM
  #6  
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 13,854

Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
4. Make sure that you're doing most of the squeezing with your fingers below the pivot of the brake levers. Some people might accidentally grip them too high and, in effect, pull against themselves because the higher fingers are pulling back on the top end of the lever.
BarracksSi is offline  
Old 04-19-09, 02:34 PM
  #7  
Kalistoga
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone - I'm going to look into all of these things, starting with the brake tension.
Kalistoga is offline  
Old 04-19-09, 05:39 PM
  #8  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,853

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 270 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Kalistoga View Post
Hey folks,

I am new to road biking (and to the forum) and am wondering if I can get some advice. I have this great new specialized allez (the base model). I picked it up from my LBS after trying a bunch of different styles out. This model was the most comfortable for me - no contest. Right now I am still becoming comfortable with the bike and am still hanging around the brakes, either on the hoods or in the hooks (forgive me if I misuse terms!) because I don't full trust myself just yet. This will keep getting better the more I ride. Something I have noticed in doing this, however, is that the brakes feel a bit soft, and this means a ton of effort and energy is being used to apply the brakes while on the hoods. Now, I realize that this is not the strongest position to brake from, but might there be anything I can do to make it a little easier on myself? I realize I will become stronger with time, but I am becoming frustrated...my forearms are more tired than my legs! Is this normal? I am comfortable tinkering around with my bike as I enjoy learning how to maintain it.

Thanks ahead of time for the guidance - there is a lot to be learned here!
Originally Posted by Kalistoga View Post
Oops! I meant to write *brake* in the title. Aw man, what a rookie...

Fixed it for you. Next time just use the edit if it's your post to make any changes. Don't you just love open source? And welcome to the forums!
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.