Brake pads - the good the bad and the ugly?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Velvet, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Velvet wrote:
    > I'm well aware that braking from the drops puts a LOT more leverage on
    > the brakes, and I'm aware that means from the hoods there's a lot
    > less - but consider this:
    >
    > if I'm heading down hill and snatch a brake while on the drops, it's
    > more likely to result in me doing an inelegant cartwheel over the bike
    > onto the tarmac than if I'm doing it on the hoods.


    I don't find that's true because braking from the drops also enables
    better *control* of the brakes (in addition to power) as well as better
    bracing, as you can push against the bars more to compensate for the
    braking forces. The only time I've gone over the bars was after snatching
    the brake from the hood position as a car cut me up.

    But it sounds to me like you're doing well on this bike, and, with modern
    brakes & levers, it's not necessary to brake from the drops for all but
    the very fastest and steepest hills. No need for a crummy hybrid bike!!
    :)

    ~PB
     


  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Velvet wrote:
    >
    >> Beeecaaaause, I use the bars I have to move around a lot on a 50 mile
    >> ride, and I won't be able to do that with flats.

    >
    > You can with bar ends, but the main point is on a bike that doesn't
    > stretch you out there's far less weight on your arms and wrists so
    > less basic need to do it to start with. By pulling the riding
    > position up
    > you can address the fundamental cause rather than rearrange the
    > symptoms.


    I still don't like my hand positions restricted by flat bars even on a
    very upright bike. Adding bar ends isn't good enough. Some of us just
    prefer drops.

    ~PB
     
  3. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    says...
    > Have you ever pointed out that you have relatively small and weak hands,
    > though?


    No. I do have average sized hands, but the point was that modern brakes
    are so much better than the older ones that there isn't always the same
    necessity to brake from the drops.

    I was lucky to slow my bike at all from the drops when I rode Weinmann
    centre-pulls / single pivots.

    Jon
     
  4. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Velvet <[email protected]> wrote:

    : if I'm heading down hill and snatch a brake while on the drops, it's
    : more likely to result in me doing an inelegant cartwheel over the bike
    : onto the tarmac than if I'm doing it on the hoods.

    Lots of people think this, but it's not really true. Adults don't really
    go over the front of the bike unless a stick drops in the spokes.

    They do however fall off bikes if they hit a patch of rough road while braking
    on the hoods and get jolted of the bars (as happened to a guy I was doing La
    Marmotte with this year)

    Arthur


    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org
    "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  5. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > I still don't like my hand positions restricted by flat bars even on a
    > very upright bike. Adding bar ends isn't good enough. Some of us just
    > prefer drops.


    My upright tourer is fitted with... drops, so clearly I see a place for
    them. But now I use a much wider variety of bikes I've come to the
    conclusion that they're not nearly as essential for a "proper bike" as I
    spent many years thinking (bit like 700c wheels, in fact).
    And they're certainly not the easiest things to get started on,
    especially combined with a relatively stretched out riding position.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  6. On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 13:54:10 +0100, Jon Senior wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    > says...
    >> This is indeed the case, so if you /can't/ use the drops then you can't
    >> use the *brakes* to 100% of their capabilities.

    >
    > Not so sure about this. It's easier to brace from the drops, and I can
    > potentially get more leverage there, but the DP brakes on my Giant will
    > happily lock both wheels even when I'm riding on the hoods (Trust me on
    > this one, I've done it!).
    >
    > Jon


    But everything Velvet *says* suggests that *she* *can't* use the brakes
    (from the hoods) to 100% of their capabilities.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  7. MSeries

    MSeries New Member

    Joined:
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    Interestingly I had the same experience with my tourer. Following advice from Sheldon Brown I repalced the levers with Exage aero ones that cost £2.74 from a u.r.c.-er, new cables and hey presto better brakes, hence my point earlier. I have since replaced the front centre pull caliper with a dual pivot job to eliminate the hanger flexing. The stopping power is similar but it is easier to apply now.
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, Velvet wrote:
    >
    >My local hills are killers. Short of mountainbike gearing that won't be
    >solved till I get decent leg muscles, and lose a lot of weight.


    It's possible you could get a smaller small front ring or a rear cassette
    with a larger large cog without a complete change to a mountain bike set.

    (The 200 quid hybrid I did the London-Cambridge on has a "road" (non-compact)
    triple, and I think I would have struggled on some of the hills on my
    (non-triple) road bike, had I got round to servicing it in time. Leg muscles
    or losing some weight would help me too, but I'm quite a lot lighter than
    I was at the start of the year.)

    (There might not be hills on the London-Cambridge by some readers standards,
    but they were a lot bigger than anything on my commute.)
     
  9. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 13:54:10 +0100, Jon Senior wrote:
    >
    >
    >>In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    >>says...
    >>
    >>>This is indeed the case, so if you /can't/ use the drops then you can't
    >>>use the *brakes* to 100% of their capabilities.

    >>
    >>Not so sure about this. It's easier to brace from the drops, and I can
    >>potentially get more leverage there, but the DP brakes on my Giant will
    >>happily lock both wheels even when I'm riding on the hoods (Trust me on
    >>this one, I've done it!).
    >>
    >>Jon

    >
    >
    > But everything Velvet *says* suggests that *she* *can't* use the brakes
    > (from the hoods) to 100% of their capabilities.


    At this rate I'm going to have to go attempt to lock both my wheels on a
    hill, aren't I ;-)

    I have no idea if I can use them to 100%. So far, I've managed to use
    them *sufficiently* well enough to stop me as and when needed.

    It is quite feasible they (and I) are well capable of applying them to
    whatever extent is necessary, just that I'm too wussy to find out where
    that limit is, yet.

    To clarify - I am happy that the brakes work well enough at the moment,
    but since at some point the pads will need replacing, I decided to find
    out what others found good as opposed to indifferent or bad. Not a lot
    of point me putting rubbish pads on my brakes and then finding out
    they've turned my braking from enough to stop me (with my hand strength)
    into not enough to stop me (unless you have gorilla hands)!

    --


    Velvet
     
  10. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Alan Braggins wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, Velvet wrote:
    >
    >>My local hills are killers. Short of mountainbike gearing that won't be
    >>solved till I get decent leg muscles, and lose a lot of weight.

    >
    >
    > It's possible you could get a smaller small front ring or a rear cassette
    > with a larger large cog without a complete change to a mountain bike set.


    Yes, I've toyed with the idea of changing the gearing, but to be honest,
    I'm used to the fact that I struggle with some hills with it. It means
    I put in more effort to get bigger muscles faster to avoid walking up
    them once I've reached the limit of my legs. Which is a good way to get
    the legs fitter faster, now I'm over the initial utterly unfit and bits
    of wet string phase.

    >
    > (There might not be hills on the London-Cambridge by some readers standards,
    > but they were a lot bigger than anything on my commute.)


    Yes, I've tackled equally steep before, but not so many or over such a
    long distance ride. It's the most climbing in a given mileage I've done
    yet.


    --


    Velvet
     
  11. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Jon Senior
    ('[email protected]_DOT_co_DOT_uk.remove') wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    > says...
    >> Have you ever pointed out that you have relatively small and weak
    >> hands, though?

    >
    > No. I do have average sized hands, but the point was that modern
    > brakes are so much better than the older ones that there isn't always
    > the same necessity to brake from the drops.
    >
    > I was lucky to slow my bike at all from the drops when I rode Weinmann
    > centre-pulls / single pivots.


    Ha! as we saw coming down to the A1 last weekend! You will not be
    surprised to know that my bike now sports a nice new pair of Campag
    Centaur callipers, and damn the cost.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    There are no messages. The above is just a random stream of
    bytes. Any opinion or meaning you find in it is your own creation.
     
  12. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Michael
    MacClancy ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 13:54:10 +0100, Jon Senior wrote:
    >
    >> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    >> says...
    >>> This is indeed the case, so if you /can't/ use the drops then you
    >>> can't use the *brakes* to 100% of their capabilities.

    >>
    >> Not so sure about this. It's easier to brace from the drops, and I
    >> can potentially get more leverage there, but the DP brakes on my
    >> Giant will happily lock both wheels even when I'm riding on the hoods
    >> (Trust me on this one, I've done it!).

    >
    > But everything Velvet *says* suggests that *she* *can't* use the
    > brakes (from the hoods) to 100% of their capabilities.


    Velvet rides in Cambridge, where the mountains are - shall we say -
    exceedingly challenged in the vertical dimension. She also (probably)
    weighs a lot less than most of us. It doesn't seem to me to matter very
    much if she can't use powerful modern brakes to 100% of their
    capabilities, because frankly she's never going to need to. If she
    likes her bike, that's what matters.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; MS Windows: A thirty-two bit extension ... to a sixteen bit
    ;; patch to an eight bit operating system originally coded for a
    ;; four bit microprocessor and sold by a two-bit company that
    ;; can't stand one bit of competition -- anonymous
     
  13. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Velvet <[email protected]> wrote:

    : Yes, I've toyed with the idea of changing the gearing, but to be honest,
    : I'm used to the fact that I struggle with some hills with it. It means
    : I put in more effort to get bigger muscles faster to avoid walking up
    : them once I've reached the limit of my legs. Which is a good way to get
    : the legs fitter faster, now I'm over the initial utterly unfit and bits
    : of wet string phase.

    There's a lot to be said for this. If you are mainly doing shortish rides
    for fitness, then banging a big (relativily) gear up a hill sometimes will
    indeed get you stronger and fitter.

    Arthur


    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org
    "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  14. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > in message <[email protected]>, Michael
    > MacClancy ('[email protected]') wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 13:54:10 +0100, Jon Senior wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    >>>says...
    >>>
    >>>>This is indeed the case, so if you /can't/ use the drops then you
    >>>>can't use the *brakes* to 100% of their capabilities.
    >>>
    >>>Not so sure about this. It's easier to brace from the drops, and I
    >>>can potentially get more leverage there, but the DP brakes on my
    >>>Giant will happily lock both wheels even when I'm riding on the hoods
    >>>(Trust me on this one, I've done it!).

    >>
    >>But everything Velvet *says* suggests that *she* *can't* use the
    >>brakes (from the hoods) to 100% of their capabilities.

    >
    >
    > Velvet rides in Cambridge, where the mountains are - shall we say -
    > exceedingly challenged in the vertical dimension. She also (probably)
    > weighs a lot less than most of us.


    Yep, I'd agree, I call them hills, others call them mere ripples in the
    flatness ;-)

    If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)


    --


    Velvet
     
  15. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected]in says...
    > At this rate I'm going to have to go attempt to lock both my wheels on a
    > hill, aren't I ;-)


    I wouldn't recommend it. As per a discussion in another thread, there
    are two factors in braking; modulation and power. Since hydraulics are
    probably not an option (Do you have cantilever mounts on your frame?),
    the only real concern is, can you stop the bike?

    Since moving to DPs I've discovered that what stops me slowing any
    quicker is the traction of my tyres.

    > To clarify - I am happy that the brakes work well enough at the moment,
    > but since at some point the pads will need replacing, I decided to find
    > out what others found good as opposed to indifferent or bad. Not a lot
    > of point me putting rubbish pads on my brakes and then finding out
    > they've turned my braking from enough to stop me (with my hand strength)
    > into not enough to stop me (unless you have gorilla hands)!


    I'm currently running Koolstop dual compounds at the front, and some
    Shimano rim-eaters at the rear. I will soon be buying new pads!

    Jon
     
  16. On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 16:16:24 GMT, in
    <[email protected]>, Velvet
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    >tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)


    69Kg

    --
    "Any accidents or injuries in the last two years, sir"?

    "Yes. I broke my hand last month, punching a no-win-no-fee lawyer
    in the mouth".
     
  17. On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 16:16:24 GMT, in
    <[email protected]>, Velvet
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    >tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)


    69kg including clothes and shoes.

    --
    "Any accidents or injuries in the last two years, sir"?

    "Yes. I broke my hand last month, punching a no-win-no-fee lawyer
    in the mouth".
     
  18. In article <[email protected]>, Velvet wrote:
    >
    >If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    >tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)


    A bit under 15 stone, having lost nearly two stone this year.
    You probably aren't 6'3" though.

    Changing the subject swiftly, how about adding something like
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360007434
    for another braking position where you can (I gather - never tried them)
    get full braking effect without using the drops?

    (None of the top mount brake levers I've seen pictures of seem to have any
    reach adjustment, so they might only work well for some hand sizes, or maybe
    I'm just missing something about how they would be set up.)
     
  19. >>If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    >>tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)

    >
    > 69kg including clothes and shoes.


    12 1/2-ish stone.
     
  20. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Velvet [email protected]in opined the following...
    > If enough of you are brave enough to post how much they weigh, and I'll
    > tell you if most of you weigh less than me or not ;-)


    Between 11 1/2 and 12 1/2 stone depending on current cycling:eating
    ratio! Hoping to train properly at some point at get back to 11 or 10
    1/2 which would be much better.

    This is not to say that you're obliged to provide your weight.

    Jon
     
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