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  1. #1
    CJH
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    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.

    My five year son rides a 2013 Hotrock 16. We are going to pass it onto his four year old brother and want to make some changes.

    I just put a Tektro caliper brake on it. The rims are still super slick with paint or anodization but it seems like it will be powerful enough for the steep hills in our neighborhood and for the trail riding we do.

    Both of my boys have tried it and they both seem to have trouble reaching the lever. Here is a picture of the lever in the brake-open position:

    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-img_20130929_151202_648.jpg

    Now bear with me. A bike mechanic I am not so I'm not sure if I have the terminology down.

    I'd like to either get a lever with less throw or modify the one we have to get it closer to the bar. My first thought is I could thread some sort of spacer over the cable so the lever would be closer to the bar. Spacers that would go in them space where the exposed cable is pictured here:

    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-img_20130929_151213_434.jpg

    Of course if I'm overlooking some other way to adjust this, please let me know.

    Now that we have the brake on we'd like to get rid of the low quality rear coaster brake hub. I'm open to suggestions for either buying a whole new rear wheel or a new freewheel/hub and having laced to the same rim.

    I appreciate any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    If the lever doesn't have a reach adjuster (usually a 2mm alllen screw in the lever assembly), replace it with one that does. Avid makes one, I think it's called the FR5.

    Sent from my CrystalQuadCore using Tapatalk 4

  3. #3
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    Hard to tell from the photo, but the reach adjustment looks like it might be here:



    One thing to be careful of, when you shorten the lever reach, you are also shortening the available cable pull. Be sure that you are able to lock the wheels before the lever hits the grips. If you son is doing 4 finger braking, it's probably a little less of a worry, but if he brakes with two fingers, the lever might hit his other two fingers before full brakes can be applied. You may need adjust the brakes so the pads are closer to the rim, but be sure the wheel is true, and be careful they don't rub.

  4. #4
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    I can't find the part number, but Tektro makes a set of short-reach brake levers that are sized nicely for little hands. They came on my Spawn Gremlin (and I believe are on the Banshee as well). I'll see if I can get a part number for you.

    EDIT: They are Tektro JL 350s.

  5. #5
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    I've also heard of people using a cable-tie to bring the lever in closer.

  6. #6
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    You've hit the same problem I did.
    Unable to get the reach close enough for little hands, and then when you do you may find they still havent got the strength to pull the levers and get over the friction in the cables and rear brake calliper.

    The brakes shown should have the 2mm allen key adjuster, but you will also need to adjust the spring on the calliper as it will be too stiff.

    Alternatively switch the rear hub and go to a disc setup.
    Bit more expensive but you can transplant the discs to a larger bike when the time comes, and you know they will easily be able to operate.
    Look for brakes that have good reach adjustment. Avids work see here Hotrock 16 build - thank you
    MTB: Stumpy, Enduro, Hotrock, Commencal Supreme
    ROAD: Jamis Zenith, Pinarello Dogma

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    I can't find the part number, but Tektro makes a set of short-reach brake levers that are sized nicely for little hands. They came on my Spawn Gremlin (and I believe are on the Banshee as well). I'll see if I can get a part number for you.

    EDIT: They are Tektro JL 350s.
    I can't find any info on the JL 350 levers. Does anyone have more info on these?

  8. #8
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    I can't find the JL350 levers but I have just ordered Tektro TS325A Levers. I will let you know what they are like when they arrive.

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    Here is the brake lever you need to use.

    Tektro 316AG Mini BMX Right Brake Lever Flat Bar BMX Mountain Use | eBay


    When you get the lever, go to the hardware store and purchase a longer set screw.

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    Thanks, I looked at that one but can't find it in the UK. If what I've got doesn't work I'll order one - still works out fairly cheap even with postage.

    Demo9, quick question, how old/tall was your son when he started riding a 16 inch bike? I'm trying to figure out which is better - A small bike that is easy for the kid to throw around, or a bigger bike with 16 inch wheels to help roll over all the roots and stones on our trails. I'm in the process of building up a 16 inch bike but it is going to be ready too quickly...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffsta View Post
    I can't find any info on the JL 350 levers. Does anyone have more info on these?
    Here's a picture of them... According to the stamp on them they are "JL 350" but I agree that I can't find any info on them. As you can see, the entire lever has been re-engineered so that you get a full range of motion and still have the lever relatively close to the bar. My 3yo (now 4) has had no trouble with these at all.

    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-dscn0794.jpg

  12. #12
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    Demo9, Thanks for the link. These will work on the stock bars (22.2mm). I was thinking of changing the stem and bars as well. Is there an equivalent reach brake that mounts on 25.4mm?

    Alternatively, is there a source for 22.2mm aluminum low riser bars?

    EDIT, nevermind, brain fart on the 22.2 vs 25.4...

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Demo9;10732010]Here is the brake lever you need to use.

    Tektro 316AG Mini BMX Right Brake Lever Flat Bar BMX Mountain Use | eBay

    Call me crazy but that dosen't look very much different than a normal lever?

    I've done the long set screw thing, which helped emensely, but caliper brakes on a hotrock 16 still arent very effective. I really wish they'd set this bike up with v brake bosses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    Thanks, I looked at that one but can't find it in the UK. If what I've got doesn't work I'll order one - still works out fairly cheap even with postage.

    Demo9, quick question, how old/tall was your son when he started riding a 16 inch bike? I'm trying to figure out which is better - A small bike that is easy for the kid to throw around, or a bigger bike with 16 inch wheels to help roll over all the roots and stones on our trails. I'm in the process of building up a 16 inch bike but it is going to be ready too quickly...
    My son was 3.5 when he started riding a 16" bike. He is currently 6 almost 7 and still rides a 16" bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garasaki View Post
    I've done the long set screw thing, which helped emensely, but caliper brakes on a hotrock 16 still arent very effective. I really wish they'd set this bike up with v brake bosses.
    Thus the Spawn Banshee. Unfortunately, that's a completely different bike and won't help with the one you have.

  16. #16
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    I have done the same thing on my boy's 16" Hotrock. The problem I have is with the side pull calipers and my son is not strong enough to stop the bike. So, he is using his coaster brake. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Bill

  17. #17
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    Thanks demo. When my son's 16 inch is finished I will see which bike suits him best. Not in a hurry to get him on the 16 if the 12 is easier for him to ride - he isn't 3 yet even though he already has more than a year of riding a pedal bike under his belt!

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    Here are some clamps that I found after searching for quite a bit of time. They weren't exactly cheap (around $65) and I had to supply the bosses, but they allowed me to throw some brakes I had laying around on my son's Hotrock 16. I used an LX lever that I had and adjusted the set screw all the way in. He has no problem chirping the tire by pulling the lever, and I've been teaching him to modulate.

    Evolutionbikeco.com is where I got the v-brake adapter clamps.

    Sorry about the crummy phone pics. Let me know if some better ones are needed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-wp_000465.jpg  

    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-wp_000466.jpg  

    Brake lever and rear hub upgrades for Hotrock 16.-wp_000467.jpg  


  19. #19
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    That looks interesting. Is it like this sort of thing Buy Identiti Rebate Rim Brake Adaptor at Tredz Bikes. £22.48 with free UK delivery

    The Tektro TS325A Levers I ordered have arrived and seem to adjust far enough in. I will be putting the stock side pull brakes back on for now so will test soon if my son can use them well enough.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, sort of. Those, and others like them are made to go around fork legs and are sized accordingly. Seems to be a trials thing. The ones I got are for seatstays.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Here are some clamps that I found after searching for quite a bit of time. They weren't exactly cheap (around $65) and I had to supply the bosses, but they allowed me to throw some brakes I had laying around on my son's Hotrock 16. I used an LX lever that I had and adjusted the set screw all the way in. He has no problem chirping the tire by pulling the lever, and I've been teaching him to modulate.

    Evolutionbikeco.com is where I got the v-brake adapter clamps.

    Sorry about the crummy phone pics. Let me know if some better ones are needed.
    Awesome!! Did they fit you Hotrock, or did you use rubber spacers? Thanks Bill

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Here are some clamps that I found after searching for quite a bit of time. They weren't exactly cheap (around $65) and I had to supply the bosses, but they allowed me to throw some brakes I had laying around on my son's Hotrock 16. I used an LX lever that I had and adjusted the set screw all the way in. He has no problem chirping the tire by pulling the lever, and I've been teaching him to modulate.

    Evolutionbikeco.com is where I got the v-brake adapter clamps.

    Sorry about the crummy phone pics. Let me know if some better ones are needed.
    The V-brake boss adapters seem like an expensive solution. Seems like it would be much easier to just add BMX sidepull calipers, the hotrock 16 is afterall essentially a BMX style bike. Even the cheap stampted steel sidepull brake that came on my daughters hand-me-down heavy department store 16" bike worked fine, I would imagine that using decent quality BMX parts would be even better.
    Odyssey 1999 Brake Kit at Danscomp

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    Awesome!! Did they fit you Hotrock, or did you use rubber spacers? Thanks Bill
    Ha! Thanks for the stoke! Me and my son are happy with them too. Yeah, they fit just fine. The diameter of the stays was just right for the clamps. The guy supplies some rubber spacers with them, the type you probably already have from reflectors or light kits, but on the Hotrock they are totally uneeded. I opted to run the pads almost all the way down in the caliper slots so that I could get the clamps that small amount higher up the stays. Also took the chain guard of so there was no interference there.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    The V-brake boss adapters seem like an expensive solution. Seems like it would be much easier to just add BMX sidepull calipers, the hotrock 16 is afterall essentially a BMX style bike. Even the cheap stampted steel sidepull brake that came on my daughters hand-me-down heavy department store 16" bike worked fine, I would imagine that using decent quality BMX parts would be even better.
    Odyssey 1999 Brake Kit at Danscomp
    Hey if that's your thing I'm happy for you. I'll wager all day long that what I put on my little man's bike works volumes better than the sidepull kit from Dan's. I'm not into being frugal with my son's introduction to, and support of our shared hobby...riding. If I were, I wouldn't have bought him a Hotrock in the first place. Plus, I had parts from older bikes just laying around in bins. $65 on dialing some brakes for my son is something I won't think twice on. Thanks for your opinion though...

    ...Also, not one BMX bike (decent) that you can get these days uses sidepulls. The only reason Dan's even stocks those things is to: 1)Supply brakes with the completes they sell that come brakeless, probably due to law, and 2) To be available to go on the few brakeless frames they sell that don't even have the removable U-brake caliper bosses brazed on.

    Those brakes you posted might be made by Odyssey (a great company, I have many Odyssey parts on my own dirtjumping bike) but they aren't quality BMX parts by todays standards. If that were the case, there wouldn't be U-brakes (990's and the many variants) of which are vastly superior. Try doing a fufanu with a sidepull and let me know what happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Ha! Thanks for the stoke! Me and my son are happy with them too. Yeah, they fit just fine. The diameter of the stays was just right for the clamps. The guy supplies some rubber spacers with them, the type you probably already have from reflectors or light kits, but on the Hotrock they are totally uneeded. I opted to run the pads almost all the way down in the caliper slots so that I could get the clamps that small amount higher up the stays. Also took the chain guard of so there was no interference there.
    Are you still running a coaster brake or a free hub wheel? Thanks Bill

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