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  1. #1
    oleum perdisti
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    drum brakes anyone?

    Hi folks,

    I don't usually spend too much time in this forum (I can usually be found in forum88), but I had a brake related quesion?

    I've been on an assignment in cetral europe for the past several months and I've noticed that there are way more bike commuters here than the states. The typical bikes they use are large steel frame Dutch style bikes sort of like the old "Comfort Bikes" that our parents and grandparents used to ride in the U.S.

    I've noticed a lot of them have drum brakes rather than disks or calipers. I'd never seen drum brakes on a bike before.

    Has anybody ever had any experience with them? How do they compare to calipers, v's, disks, etc?

    For what it's worth, bikes equipped with drums seem to cost considerably more than those equipped with caliper or v-brakes. I've seen almost no disc-brake equipped bikes here.

    Thanks for the input,

    Sam
    Tonga Time. There's always time for Tonga Time!

    Liberty Frye

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  2. #2
    Cereal Killer
    Reputation: chadmeeh's Avatar
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    Got any pictures? That would be interesting to see. I remember seeing a prototype of drums in an issue of mountain bike action a ways back. Maybe they have something ont their website.

  3. #3
    Eff U Gee Em
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    Quote Originally Posted by drsam
    Hi folks,

    I've been on an assignment in central europe for the past several months and I've noticed that there are way more bike commuters here than the states. The typical bikes they use are large steel frame Dutch style bikes sort of like the old "Comfort Bikes" that our parents and grandparents used to ride in the U.S.

    I've noticed a lot of them have drum brakes rather than disks or calipers. I'd never seen drum brakes on a bike before.

    Has anybody ever had any experience with them? How do they compare to calipers, v's, disks, etc?

    For what it's worth, bikes equipped with drums seem to cost considerably more than those equipped with caliper or v-brakes. I've seen almost no disc-brake equipped bikes here.

    Thanks for the input,

    Sam

    I've got a set of wheels with Sachs/SRAM drums, but I don't have a frame to use them with so I don't know how well they work. The big advantage is supposed to be that they stop the same wet or dry (or frozen), and that they need very little to no maintenance since they're sealed from the elements. That's why you see them on a lot of city bikes. I've read that as the wheel gets bigger they lose braking power, so I'm wondering if I should have built 26" wheels instead of 700c. I suspect the rear feels like a coaster brake.

    I was building up a dedicated commuter rig with mine but I had to sell my Karate Monkey frame 'cuz I needed some money (I made a front brake adapter to mount to the fork's disc-brake mount last year when I was working in a machine shop, it's ugly but the dimensions are right). I'm hoping to be able to finish my project later this summer.

    I think Sheldon Brown's website has some practical info on drums. You can also check in at wreck.bike.tech

  4. #4
    oleum perdisti
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    Quote Originally Posted by howdyhowdyhowdy
    I've got a set of wheels with Sachs/SRAM drums, but I don't have a frame to use them with so I don't know how well they work. The big advantage is supposed to be that they stop the same wet or dry (or frozen), and that they need very little to no maintenance since they're sealed from the elements. That's why you see them on a lot of city bikes. I've read that as the wheel gets bigger they lose braking power, so I'm wondering if I should have built 26" wheels instead of 700c. I suspect the rear feels like a coaster brake.

    I was building up a dedicated commuter rig with mine but I had to sell my Karate Monkey frame 'cuz I needed some money (I made a front brake adapter to mount to the fork's disc-brake mount last year when I was working in a machine shop, it's ugly but the dimensions are right). I'm hoping to be able to finish my project later this summer.

    I think Sheldon Brown's website has some practical info on drums. You can also check in at wreck.bike.tech
    I didn't even think of checking Sheldon Brown's site. It's been so long since I looked there, but every time I have, I have always ended up surfing for a long time and picking up all sorts of interesting tidbits.

    Thanks,

    Sam
    Tonga Time. There's always time for Tonga Time!

    Liberty Frye

    antiwinesnob.com

  5. #5
    oleum perdisti
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadmeeh
    Got any pictures? That would be interesting to see. I remember seeing a prototype of drums in an issue of mountain bike action a ways back. Maybe they have something ont their website.
    Here's one I grabbed from a random German ebay add.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  6. #6
    crash test dummy
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    I've got them on my commuter bike

    They are very effective, and have excellent modulation. They are extremely low maintenance, and don't get mucked up in bad weather. They are also heavy as hell, which explains why you wouldn't see them on performance bikes.

    My front brake is a v-brake, however.

    My bike was pretty cheap too - about $500, although I did get a cosmetically damaged frame. I think the list price is a couple hundred more. If I can find pics, I'll post them up.

  7. #7
    "El Whatever"
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    I haven't used them on bikes but I rode a Vespa 50cc with drums. They modulate, they have enough power and will brake just the same as on dry unless you literally submerge the bike into water (creek crossing??).... they fade a little when hot so I don't know how would they do on long downhills.

    They are weighy but mass is close to the axle so no much mass rotating.

    All that said.... why bother???? Motorcycles went from drums to discs years ago. We already arrived to discs??? Why going backwards??

    Discs are as (or even more) performance proof than drums and much lighter. Require as much or less maintenance.

    Your call.
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  8. #8
    oleum perdisti
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    I haven't used them on bikes but I rode a Vespa 50cc with drums. They modulate, they have enough power and will brake just the same as on dry unless you literally submerge the bike into water (creek crossing??).... they fade a little when hot so I don't know how would they do on long downhills.

    They are weighy but mass is close to the axle so no much mass rotating.

    All that said.... why bother???? Motorcycles went from drums to discs years ago. We already arrived to discs??? Why going backwards??

    Discs are as (or even more) performance proof than drums and much lighter. Require as much or less maintenance.

    Your call.
    I don't want them. I was just curious about them as I had never seen bicycle drum brakes prior to coming to europe.

    Personally, I have shimano LX V's on my bike and overall, I'm pretty happy with them.
    Tonga Time. There's always time for Tonga Time!

    Liberty Frye

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