Check your brakes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Check your brakes

    I had a police car stop short in front of me and I passed it on the right when my rear wheel started to skid and I decided I didn't have enough stopping power not to plow into the guy. D'oh! To add insult to potential injury, he pulled me over after that, although I didn't get ticketed.

    So a reminder for me, and for all of us who use beater bikes to get around town, that even though it's easy to neglect what might seem like a tuning quibble, keeping brakes working and working well is really important. Especially if you use cheap tires that don't grip so well.

    I'm going to hit my rim with some alcohol and my brake pads with some sand paper right now.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #2
    More than a little slow
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    And while you are at it, check your brake cables. I had a front brake cable snap on me when a young woman pushing a baby carriage decided to cross the road directly in front of me. There is that nasty feeling of acceleration that you get when your brakes fail, ya know?
    Cheers, Dave

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reminder...here's a followup question...on my new-to-me x-bike, the canti pads look more like v-brake pads to me...always thought they were 2 different animals...but take a look at the pic...can I replace these with any v-brake pad or do I need something special from Kore?

    I just put new pads on that hybrid of my friends and they are wonderous! The old ones were like cinderblocks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Check your brakes-kore.jpg  


  4. #4
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Yikes, rear ending a cop would have been bad news for sure! Better than T-boning a stroller though, I supose.

    Xplorer, a lot straddle of cantis use the same pads as V-brakes. Can`t say for sure, but it looks to me like the pads you have there use a short bolt that goes through a few of those cup/bowl shaped washers that Vs use and then threads into a little nut built into the pad- if so, plain old V-brake pads are your replacement. You`ll just have the nut on the outside rather than built in.

  5. #5
    Never enough time to ride
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    Those look like you might have to use the same pad or similar pad, typically you can adjust things so that a v-brake pad will fit, and the longer pad will give you a bit more braking power. It won't hurt to experiment with it at all, just pay attention to pad positioning. Speaking of which, you might want to think about moving the pads up a tad on the braking surface if you can, with the pad down there your going to end up with the pads diving down below the actual brake track.

    happy trails...

    squish
    Get out and ride!

  6. #6
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    Thanks Rodar & Squish! I will try the V-brake cartridge pads I have & see how that works. You are right, they also need adjustment, the rear brakes are worn at a wierd angle now & screech.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    That wouldn't happen to be a Jake would it? I have one, and it has that model of brake. I actually switched to V-brake shoes two seasons ago, after wearing out the stock pad. No compatibility problem, for me, and it's nice to be able to replace just the pad and not the shoe.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Thanks Switch - sounds like I can safely take my v-brake pads out of the package! The bike is a Fort Race, but someone at work just got a Jake.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Check your brakes-forte_p1010114-medium-.jpg  


  9. #9
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    That wouldn't happen to be a Jake would it? I have one, and it has that model of brake.
    Really? The only ones I`ve seen were the stock pads on my commuter- a '92 with Shimano cantis. I thought they were some oddball design that was only out for a short time- pre Jake years. I guess not.

  10. #10
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    Yep. Worn levers, slightly warped rims, old cables and casings, all being replaced along with new rims and pads. Just in time too. The jerk who passed me 40 feet from the stop sign and cut me off almost collected me on the bumper. (He launched too fast for a full stainless steel water bottle bomb.) I have had to do too many >20 mph to 0 near-panic stops to be able to run 'as is' much longer. They are awaiting rims from OZ to complete the build.

  11. #11
    Wierdo
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    This is why I went with discs on my commuter. More stopping power, especially when wet.

  12. #12
    jrm
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    Use your front brake

    your rear brake worked the way its supposed too. But your front brake has almost 70% more stopping power then your rear brake. using more front brake is a really good technique to hone for riding on the road or dirt.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Kinda my point. If I hadn't been neglecting my front brake, I probably would have just stopped behind the guy.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    I've had a love affair with the front brake since equipping my MTB with front discs only (no rear disc tab so kept the V-brakes)...and after the winter's commute, more in love than ever.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Well, after all that cleaning and sanding, my front brake still sucks. It's a very old single-pivot brake and I actually have a spare dual-pivot kicking around. So I'm thinking I'll rebuild it around a longer bolt so I can install it on my aging bike with its non-recessed brake mounts.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    I've had a love affair with the front brake since equipping my MTB with front discs only (no rear disc tab so kept the V-brakes)...and after the winter's commute, more in love than ever.
    I fell in love with the disc brakes I am going to have on a winter bike, sight unseen.

    I was coming home in an snow squall just below the freezing point. An extra long brake drag of the type that clears rain and splash did zilch for the film of ice on the rims and I accellerated down hill barely making the turn just up slope from the bottom and maxing out my BP and adrenalin. Great high after you see that you made it using all the road. Thank goodness there was no traffic. Then the shakes kicked in.

    Yeah, The Duchess's sidepulls 'eez notta so goot' in that weather. Her revamping will soon be complete, but 1980 road bike frames don't have disc tabs. I can save for a X with discs and room for nice studded tires or a 29'er. You guys have been a bad... er I mean good influence on me. I may even get some bunny hopping skills

  17. #17
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Yes, definitely check your brakes before they become "breaks." I had a front cable snap on me on a hill, which is why I'm now the No-Brakes Cougar (thanks Rodar ). My old cantis had this weird yoke that was difficult to adjust and they just got worse over time. I recently upgraded to Avid SD-7s and it's like a brand new bike. Absolutely amazing stopping power. Well adjusted v-brakes and clean rims can provide stopping power equivalent to disc brakes.

    Kudos for not slamming headlong into the cop car. You know it would have been your fault, even though he cut you off right? The very fact that he did so, then proceed to pull you over shows that the utter cluelessness of motorists even extends deep into the law enforcement community. Sounds like you executed proper accident avoidance because someone wasn't paying attention, not sure why you should have been reprimanded for that.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Thanks Switch - sounds like I can safely take my v-brake pads out of the package! The bike is a Fort Race, but someone at work just got a Jake.
    Finally mounted those new pads & it is nice to have more stopping power & no screeching. I did have to loosen the cables because the v brake pads mounting hardware takes up more room. The front is nice & powerful, I think maybe I can improve the rear power a bit with some more fiddling, but it's a big improvement already.

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