Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Any disk brake experience?

Reply

Old 07-22-09, 09:02 AM
  #1  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Any disk brake experience?

OK guys, as I've vaguely mentioned in a few threads before I'm having a custom, fixed frame built and my scheduled time for the builder to start is the first week in August. I'm batting around the idea of putting on a disk brake. The frame will be built to support a front brake only. Now, while it's a fixed it is not a track bike - rather touring geometry.

The reason I'm considering a disk brake is because as my fixed rides/territory is expanding I'm spending more and more time in the hills and therefore spending more and more time coming down those hills. I'm starting to suffer arm/hand fatigue with standard calipers so thinking a hydraulic disk brake will permit all the stopping power a man could desire with 1 finger thus lessening fatigue. Now, I know a rear brake could be of value but that's not my vision for this bike. The way I see it is if things reach a point where I want to use both hands I can have a second line spliced into the main line so both hands could be used. Of course that would also be possible with typical cable run brakes so am open to that argument.

Any insight - good, bad, ugly - much appreciated.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 09:17 AM
  #2  
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
i don't recommend a single front hydraulic disc brake for descending hills. 1) a hydraulic disc brake can be very powerful and isn't too hard to lock up if you panic. 2) one of the main arguments for a rear brake is for descents, where it's easier to modulate your speed.

i do think disc brakes are awesome, and whether you get a mechanical or hydraulic front doesn't change how the frame is built. my suggestion would be, however, to just get the rear mounts built on the frame... you don't have to put a brake on them, but if you ever change your mind and want to run both, you can.

p.s. what kind of bars are you running because i've never heard of a hydraulic road lever....
wearyourtruth is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:01 AM
  #3  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wearyourtruth,

Thanks. I'll be running a standard drop bar. The lever will be mounted on the flat frog leg style. I understand your concern about power and emergency stops. I'm wanting to think a properly modulated brake would largely prevent that. My main reason for considering the disk brake is most of my fatigue comes not from the act of holding onto the lever but the amount of pressure I have to apply to maintain reasonable speeds. While I'm not a wuss I descend with common sense. I'm not about breaking any land speed records. So, if it takes me 60-75 minutes to climb up I'm on the brakes for 20 minutes coming down. Of course, the build concern is if I want a disk mount on the fork. While I certainly appreciate your input concerning the rear brake I'm afraid that decision has already been made. This bike will have a front brake only. My vision for this build is practical minimalism. Fixed, front brake, fender mounts with 100/120 drop outs because I'm also wanting a touch of beauty and old school charm. Back to the disk - the other practical advantage would be if the front rim whacks out it won't affect stopping power until I get home. The disk isn't a make or break for me I'm just beating it around. The reviews I've read of disk brakes are all over the place with the only brake I've read about with consistent reviews being the Magura Marta-SL Disc Brake.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:11 AM
  #4  
rudetay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 445

Bikes: Serotta Colorado III Track (Renyolds Ouzo Pro Aero Fork, Dura-Ace to Mavic CXP-14 wheels, Sugino crank, Thomson and 3T the rest), Steelman Cyclocross (Campy Record 10, Deda Newton & Thomson stuff)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you considered just going with a mechanical? BB7 road?

It will still give easier brake pull, and will let you use standard drop levers, allowing you to have your hands in a stable location, what you want for downhill anyway. Normal mountain levers are large enough I can't imagine it working very well on the flats of a drop bar.

I've run a front BB7 on a fixed and geared road bike with good results. I have not used hydraulic brakes.

Get paragon sliding drop outs for the rear! So you can simply swap out the sliding plate for a disk compatible version in the future if you like.
rudetay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:15 AM
  #5  
Yo!
Senior Member
 
Yo!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,047

Bikes: Panasonic NJS Keirin x2, Level Professional, Bianchi CUSS, GT Pulse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maguras are sick. I've used the Louises. I've also used Hayes HFX9, Avid 3,5, and 7, and BB5/7 mechanicals. I always end up going back to the Juicy 5 though. A great all around hydro for the price, but the hydro arguments will always go on and on.

I think that, for your application, a disc front would be badass on this build, and straightforward enough with simply adding a mount to the fork. Just make sure that you're front fork drops are shelved (they should be anyway), as disc brake stopping power on an open drop fork can sometimes lead to disaster. Are you going to run QR or bolt on front hub? I would also not run anything bigger than a 160 rotor.
Yo! is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:18 AM
  #6  
xB_Nutt
Get on your bikes & ride!
 
xB_Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Lextown
Posts: 1,070

Bikes: See signature (it varys day to day)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
+1 on the Avid BB7. I ran one on a Karate Monkey with drop bars and it will definitely require less pressure on lever than a caliper or canti brake. Make sure they put a couple of cable mounts on the fork to secure the cable. I too have never heard of a drop bar hydro lever. Probably not enough market for one.
__________________
Litespeed Classic
Soma Double Cross DC
xB_Nutt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:19 AM
  #7  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rudetay,

Hey, thanks. I was certainly hoping for some rubber meets the road disk brake commentary. I could definitely consider mechanical. BB7's - will look into them. Paragon rear drop outs? Will research. Up to this point I was going with Paul's. I'm feelin' their beauty and the set screws. Great advice.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:29 AM
  #8  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yo!,

Yea, I've been hitting up both my mountain and rodie friends on this one and at least among the guys I know you are correct about the mechanical/hydraulic war. It's kinda' fun actually. The roadies I know don't seem to really care and to be honest seem to lament their disk brake purchases. I love roadies in a sort of Adams Family way. I don't exactly get them but they are great fun to watch.

I'll be sure to mention the shelf on the drop outs. I'll be running bolt on front and rear if I can get away with it. That was actually another considerstion - if I could get a bolt on front hub with disk mounts.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:33 AM
  #9  
Yo!
Senior Member
 
Yo!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,047

Bikes: Panasonic NJS Keirin x2, Level Professional, Bianchi CUSS, GT Pulse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
Yo!,

Yea, I've been hitting up both my mountain and rodie friends on this one and at least among the guys I know you are correct about the mechanical/hydraulic war. It's kinda' fun actually. The roadies I know don't seem to really care and to be honest seem to lament their disk brake purchases. I love roadies in a sort of Adams Family way. I don't exactly get them but they are great fun to watch.

I'll be sure to mention the shelf on the drop outs. I'll be running bolt on front and rear if I can get away with it. That was actually another considerstion - if I could get a bolt on front hub with disk mounts.
Hell yea. I spent a LONG time researching front bolt on discs, and the easiest and most readily available is the Surly new disc bolt on front hub, 100mm. It's like $60. I run these hubs on my SS 29er; the adjustments are lame, but once they're dialed, they are pretty reliable. Plus, you can swap out the cartridge bearings for Phils and essentially be rolling Phil guts in a Surly body.
Yo! is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:35 AM
  #10  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
xB_Nutt,

Thanks for chiming in on the BB7's. Cable mounts on the fork. Got it. Outstanding.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 10:46 AM
  #11  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yo!,

I've read that Paul is willing to build almost anything and am somewhat taken with their hubs. Their high flange, fixed hubs are drool material for sure. I was planning to ask my builder if a 36 spoke disk mounted track hub could be fabricated. Should be possible. But, if not then the Surly could be the move. Again, my thanks.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 11:11 AM
  #12  
Live Wire 
Framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
Yo!,

I've read that Paul is willing to build almost anything and am somewhat taken with their hubs. Their high flange, fixed hubs are drool material for sure. I was planning to ask my builder if a 36 spoke disk mounted track hub could be fabricated. Should be possible. But, if not then the Surly could be the move. Again, my thanks.
A few thoughts:
-You can set up a V brake to work just as well as a disc on a road bike, I doubt you'd notice a difference in the effort to pull the lever. That said, a disc looks WAY cooler
-The Paragon drops will work great allowing a possible disc mount plus they would make wheel removal MUCH easier with fenders installed. They won't give the bike "a touch of beauty and old school charm" but since we are talking a disc for the front....
-Paul can do any hub config you can dream up- disc track hubs are nothing new to them.
-Tell the builder to face the fork drops forward, that way you don't have to mess with a "lawyer tab"
- Get mounts to run the brake in fron the right side, behind the crown, and down the left fork leg...so much cleaner than coming down from the top left.

Good luck!
Live Wire is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 11:29 AM
  #13  
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
i also think the BB7 is a great brake. i've used them before and i think they are easier to modulate than maggies (magura).

if you are going to run a lever on the flats of the bar, are you not going to use any hoods? i love climbing in the hoods and couldn't imagine doing it without them...
wearyourtruth is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 11:30 AM
  #14  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Live Wire,

Yes, I know the disk brake would certainly stand in contrast to the old school beauty and charm but I kinda' dig that, too. Being me and all that. I love your fork advice. Perfect. You guys are pulling me into this paragon thing. I ran out to their site. Lots of choices.

Hey, with your routing suggestion I want to ask if that routing configuration would be the same if I planned to set the brake lever up on the left side? That's how I'm running it now. I'm left handed so just seem to have both faster reflex time and a more supple feel on my left.

You actually hit another option I considered - canti's. But, I thought if I'm going canti's (which have the absolute advantage of being universal) I might as well go the whole way and think disk. Plus, canti's suffer from being butt ugly. Not that appearance overrides function - it doesn't. But, I think on this machine a disk would look nasty (in a good way) where canti's would just look trailer park. Everything is still on the table but V's are currently in last place
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 11:33 AM
  #15  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wearyourtruth,

Yes, I'm going without hoods. When climbing on the fixed I seem to be most comfortable and "in touch" in the drops. I get to grunt, pull, fart and just be a guy about the whole thing.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 12:01 PM
  #16  
riderx
BFSSFG old timer
 
riderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Fredrock
Posts: 1,912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As someone who rides both BB7 and hydraulics, go with the BB7 for this application. For touring especially, you'll have easier access to parts on the road (cables) and you can run road levers - which I would recommend. A hydro lever on the tops isn't really the best for descending (especially long ones) and you may have problems with bar diameter matching the lever. Concerns over too much front brake power are a non-issue IMO; only applicable for new, inexperienced riders.

Just finished building this fixed/free adventure bike w/ the BB7 up front (click the photo for more build details)...

riderx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 02:59 PM
  #17  
Live Wire 
Framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
Live Wire,


Hey, with your routing suggestion I want to ask if that routing configuration would be the same if I planned to set the brake lever up on the left side? That's how I'm running it now. I'm left handed so just seem to have both faster reflex time and a more supple feel on my left.

You actually hit another option I considered - canti's. But, I thought if I'm going canti's (which have the absolute advantage of being universal) I might as well go the whole way and think disk. Plus, canti's suffer from being butt ugly. Not that appearance overrides function - it doesn't. But, I think on this machine a disk would look nasty (in a good way) where canti's would just look trailer park. Everything is still on the table but V's are currently in last place
That's what I meant, the lever is on the left side and the cable makes a much nicer arc going down the right side behind the crown...it's the little things.

Agreed, canti's are butt ugly when compared with the disc in this application. You must be onto something because today I'm putting the seatstays on a fixed frame that will have a disc in the front- the second one this summer!
Live Wire is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 05:48 PM
  #18  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Live Wire,

Hey, I finally get what you meant with the fork cable routing. My brain didn't want to produce the picture there for awhile. I'm guaranteed to take that advice. I think I'm sold on the BB7's. Next is the lever. I swear some days the details of this project kill me. It's feast or famine. I'm either totally motivated about every single detail or feel like I'm going to vomit if I have to consider one more petty "why isn't this stuff standardized" thing

riderx,

Thanks for the picture and your advice. I like that Kelly build. That is one diminutive frame. I looked at it and thought "Wow, the water bottle holder takes up 1/2 the seat tube." Makes me want to hug the frame.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 08:19 PM
  #19  
riderx
BFSSFG old timer
 
riderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Fredrock
Posts: 1,912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you look closely at the first photo, I've got the cable routed behind the crown like LiveWire suggested.

Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
riderx,

Thanks for the picture and your advice. I like that Kelly build. That is one diminutive frame. I looked at it and thought "Wow, the water bottle holder takes up 1/2 the seat tube." Makes me want to hug the frame.
Well, that frame is a mountain bike frame with lots of standover and a long tube, so in it's current setup it does look a bit odd. It used to look like the photo below.

riderx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-09, 08:48 PM
  #20  
Santaria
Senior Member
 
Santaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brownsville, TX
Posts: 2,174

Bikes: Surly CC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
BB7s.

I'd run back simply because you're going to flex the ever living **** out of that fork if ALL your braking power ends up on the front axis.

Hydros are avoided usually at our shop because it's a pain in the ass to adjust, bleed and keep them maintained versus a mechanical disc.

160s. No bigger.

Look at the Salsa La Cruz for a good example of the BB7 on a road bike platform.
Santaria is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-09, 11:37 AM
  #21  
rudetay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 445

Bikes: Serotta Colorado III Track (Renyolds Ouzo Pro Aero Fork, Dura-Ace to Mavic CXP-14 wheels, Sugino crank, Thomson and 3T the rest), Steelman Cyclocross (Campy Record 10, Deda Newton & Thomson stuff)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's the mentioned paragon drop outs:



They slide along, simplifying the chain tension/disk combo. I had mentioned it because I thought I remembered they also made a version without the disk mount, so you could get a bit cleaner look by just changing the sliding part, but I didn't see one listed on their page so I was likely incorrect.

I use the around the back style routing as well:
rudetay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-09, 11:48 AM
  #22  
obstacle
-
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Manhattan, NYC
Posts: 400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't say enough about how good the BB7s will be for this. You'll love them. They also have good modulation (for a wire/disc brake) and you'll not quickly superman yourself, but they will take some getting used too.
obstacle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-09, 12:25 AM
  #23  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rudetay,

Hey, that's a Steelman. So very nice.
oldfixguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-09, 01:28 PM
  #24  
karatemonkee
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a Surly KM with an original model XT hydraulic disc brake on the front. The original XT was 4 cylinder, and not quite as easy to centre as the newer models, but you can pick one up for cheap. I use a piece of coke can to space the pads appropriately, and that has fixed any disc drag issues. I don't have to touch the brake often, as I ride on the road pretty much exclusively (I had originally considered flipping the hub and taking it off road, but lost interest in that idea)

It works very well when I need to use it, and in contrast to rim brakes it responds predictably regardless of weather conditions. The brake has required very little in the way of maintanance, and I find it easy to bleed the brake line as I try to do so once a year. Personally, I think I would fuss more with cable actuated brakes as I ride in so much rain that the cables would need more attention than the hydraulic line does.
karatemonkee is offline  
Reply With Quote

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