Improving Lightning braking

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Cletus Lee, Jan 27, 2003.

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  1. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    One of my constant battles withy Lightning P-38/F40 Voyager has been achieving decent braking power.
    First off the OEM Odyssey A-brakes spec'd on the front were pathetic. The Shimano XT on the back
    were not much better. I replaced the front first with Avid which were modified to reverse the cable.
    Better, but nothing to brag about. next I replaced the modified Avid with CaneCreek DC-5 which could
    be easily mounted left or right. These were only slightly better than te Avid and the rear still
    sucked! I replaced the rear with CaneCreek DC-5 but still had a mushy feel. In discussing this with
    other P-38 pilots, I came to the conclusion that the problem might be entirely in the OEM Ritchey
    Logic (special LCD bend) brake levers. Since the special bend was essential to fit the shap of the
    LCD handlebars. I was reluctant to replace with straight levers.

    A few weeks ago, I noticed the CaneCreek DC-5 rear brake was rusted to the point of non functioning,
    so I decided to replace everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes. Taking a cue from
    Cyclegenius and Bacchetta, I routed the front cable down the left side of the headtube and around
    behind the fork to sneak up on the brakes from behind. To achieve the destinctive LCD bend, I put
    the brake levers in a vise and applied an appropriate tap with a BMF hammer.

    I have brakes!!! I have the best braking since before I first got the Lightning. I can skid tires! I
    can lock bothe wheels! I can stop.

    And I guess I had better since I have rambled on long enough.
    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
    Tags:


  2. FYI. My P-38 was painstakingly assembled and dialed in for me by an extremely competent Lightning
    dealer who was a racing car mechanic in his past life.

    He demonstrated to me how much flex is inherent in the lightweight cromoly P-38 frame and how it
    adversely affects braking.

    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush "Cletus Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > One of my constant battles withy Lightning P-38/F40 Voyager has been achieving decent braking
    > power. First off the OEM Odyssey A-brakes spec'd on the front were pathetic. The Shimano XT on the
    > back were not much better. I replaced the front first with Avid which were modified to reverse the
    > cable. Better, but nothing to brag about. next I replaced the modified Avid with CaneCreek DC-5
    > which could be easily mounted left or right. These were only slightly better than te Avid and the
    > rear still sucked! I replaced the rear with CaneCreek DC-5 but still had a mushy feel. In
    > discussing this with other P-38 pilots, I came to the conclusion that the problem might be
    > entirely in the OEM Ritchey Logic (special LCD bend) brake levers. Since the special bend was
    > essential to fit the shap of the LCD handlebars. I was reluctant to replace with straight levers.
    >
    > A few weeks ago, I noticed the CaneCreek DC-5 rear brake was rusted to the point of non
    > functioning, so I decided to replace everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.
    > Taking a cue from Cyclegenius and Bacchetta, I routed the front cable down the left side of the
    > headtube and around behind the fork to sneak up on the brakes from behind. To achieve the
    > destinctive LCD bend, I put the brake levers in a vise and applied an appropriate tap with a
    > BMF hammer.
    >
    > I have brakes!!! I have the best braking since before I first got the Lightning. I can skid tires!
    > I can lock bothe wheels! I can stop.
    >
    > And I guess I had better since I have rambled on long enough.
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  3. Akensmith

    Akensmith Guest

    >I decided to replace
    everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.>>

    Cletus,

    Good idea! What model V-brakes and levers did you use?

    Norm
     
  4. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > >I decided to replace
    > everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.>>
    >
    > Cletus,
    >
    > Good idea! What model V-brakes and levers did you use?

    Shimano XTR 2003

    BL-M950 Brake levers and BR-M960 V-brakes.

    Soon, I will post some pictures.
    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  5. I have a P-38 and can relate to your braking woes. The stock Oddessy brakes really suck, I attempted
    to install Avids with no luck. It seems that the rims are too wide and the brake arms stick way out
    from the frame tubes. I tried to alter the shim stack-up on the arms, but it only made a slight
    improvement. I have no problem with changing the levers to shimano XTR if that will help, but I
    really want to find a replacement for those damn crappy stock Oddesseys!!!
     
  6. A&B

    A&B Guest

    I wanna see a pic of the hammer ;-) When I turned wrenches I had one I called "Will Go". Then for
    the really tough jobs where finesse was not a consideration I had "Percy" sledge. bill g

    Cletus Lee wrote:
    >
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > >I decided to replace
    > > everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.>>
    > >
    > > Cletus,
    > >
    > > Good idea! What model V-brakes and levers did you use?
    >
    > Shimano XTR 2003
    >
    > BL-M950 Brake levers and BR-M960 V-brakes.
    >
    > Soon, I will post some pictures.
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  7. Ben Fox

    Ben Fox Guest

    Bob, I thought the best thing about the P-38 was the stiff frame,what am I missing here? I have
    Shimano 105's [dual caliper road brakes] on mine and it stops on a dime ,so it's not the frame.
    Maybe it's the way they're adjusted . I also had an Odyssey A brake on the rear of my first P-38 and
    I thought it was a good brake,worked fine for me. Maybe I'm too easy to please,but my wife would
    have something to say about that. Ben fox P-38 Stratus "Robert Siegel" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > FYI. My P-38 was painstakingly assembled and dialed in for me by an extremely competent Lightning
    > dealer who was a racing car mechanic in his past life.
    >
    > He demonstrated to me how much flex is inherent in the lightweight cromoly P-38 frame and how it
    > adversely affects braking.
    >
    > --
    > Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush "Cletus Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > One of my constant battles withy Lightning P-38/F40 Voyager has been achieving decent braking
    > > power. First off the OEM Odyssey A-brakes spec'd on the front were pathetic. The Shimano XT on
    > > the back were not much better. I replaced the front first with Avid which were modified to
    > > reverse the cable. Better, but nothing to brag about. next I replaced the modified Avid with
    > > CaneCreek DC-5 which could be easily mounted left or right. These were only slightly better than
    > > te Avid and the rear still sucked! I replaced the rear with CaneCreek DC-5 but still had a mushy
    > > feel. In discussing this with other P-38 pilots, I came to the conclusion that the problem might
    > > be entirely in the OEM Ritchey Logic (special LCD bend) brake levers. Since the special bend was
    > > essential to fit the shap of the LCD handlebars. I was reluctant to replace with straight
    > > levers.
    > >
    > > A few weeks ago, I noticed the CaneCreek DC-5 rear brake was rusted to the point of non
    > > functioning, so I decided to replace everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.
    > > Taking a cue from Cyclegenius and Bacchetta, I routed the front cable down the left side of the
    > > headtube and around behind the fork to sneak up on the brakes from behind. To achieve the
    > > destinctive LCD bend, I put the brake levers in a vise and applied an appropriate tap with a BMF
    > > hammer.
    > >
    > > I have brakes!!! I have the best braking since before I first got the Lightning. I can skid
    > > tires! I can lock bothe wheels! I can stop.
    > >
    > > And I guess I had better since I have rambled on long enough.
    > > --
    > >
    > > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  8. The P-38 is long gone so I cannot refresh my memory ... but I recall seeing the rear frame "stays"
    that held the brake flex considerably. On the other hand, the bike seemed to stop OK. I didn't ride
    it on serious hills but maybe I'm also easy to please.
    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush

    "Ben Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > I thought the best thing about the P-38 was the stiff frame,what am I missing here?
     
  9. Rodney Kuehl

    Rodney Kuehl Guest

    I love hearing about a job where the BMF hammer is the correct answer. Goldberg should get one of
    those for his pedals.

    Rod Kuehl RANS V2 Challenge Wizard Riverview, FL "a&b" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I wanna see a pic of the hammer ;-) When I turned wrenches I had one I called "Will Go". Then for
    > the really tough jobs where finesse was not a consideration I had "Percy" sledge. bill g
    >
    > Cletus Lee wrote:
    > >
    > > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > > >I decided to replace
    > > > everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.>>
    > > >
    > > > Cletus,
    > > >
    > > > Good idea! What model V-brakes and levers did you use?
    > >
    > > Shimano XTR 2003
    > >
    > > BL-M950 Brake levers and BR-M960 V-brakes.
    > >
    > > Soon, I will post some pictures.
    > > --
    > >
    > > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  10. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    If the stays are flexing, can't you use one of those horseshoe-shaped contraptions? I forgot what
    they're called, but have a cheap one I got from Performance. Works great on the V-Rex.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Robert Siegel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > The P-38 is long gone so I cannot refresh my memory ... but I recall
    seeing
    > the rear frame "stays" that held the brake flex considerably. On the
    other
    > hand, the bike seemed to stop OK. I didn't ride it on serious hills but maybe I'm also easy
    > to please.
    > --
    > Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush
    >
    > "Ben Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > > I thought the best thing about the P-38 was the stiff frame,what am I missing here?
     
  11. Bg

    Bg Guest

    There was a guy that always requested me when he came in for service. Problem was he *literally*
    shadowed my every movement while working on the vehicle. I'd encourage him to wait in our waiting
    room, have coffee. But he would stay, even if the Service Manager pointed out the "Due to Liability,
    Customers...." sign. Well one day this goober is mime-ing my hand movements. It was like some Monty
    Python skit. At one point I turned around and almost banged heads with him and hit my head on the
    lift dodging his. I went over and got Will-Go out of my toolbox and went to my steel workbench and
    started wailing away on the bench. Made a lot of noise. When I looked back at the car the goober was
    gone. I figured he'd gone to the manager, but no, there he was in the waiting room window. After
    that, he'd still request me but stayed out of the shop area. bill g

    Rodney Kuehl wrote:

    > I love hearing about a job where the BMF hammer is the correct answer. Goldberg should get one of
    > those for his pedals.
    >
    > Rod Kuehl RANS V2 Challenge Wizard Riverview, FL "a&b" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I wanna see a pic of the hammer ;-) When I turned wrenches I had one I called "Will Go". Then
    > > for the really tough jobs where finesse was not a consideration I had "Percy" sledge. bill g
    > >
    > > Cletus Lee wrote:
    > > >
    > > > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > > > >I decided to replace
    > > > > everything with some Shimano matched levers and V-brakes.>>
    > > > >
    > > > > Cletus,
    > > > >
    > > > > Good idea! What model V-brakes and levers did you use?
    > > >
    > > > Shimano XTR 2003
    > > >
    > > > BL-M950 Brake levers and BR-M960 V-brakes.
    > > >
    > > > Soon, I will post some pictures.
    > > > --
    > > >
    > > > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > > > - Bellaire, TX USA -
    > >

    --
    real email [email protected]
     
  12. Derek Swift

    Derek Swift Guest

    > If the stays are flexing, can't you use one of those horseshoe-shaped contraptions? I forgot what
    > they're called, but have a cheap one I got from Performance. Works great on the V-Rex.

    I believe they are called brake boosters.

    Derek
     
  13. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Ben Fox wrote:
    >
    > Bob, I thought the best thing about the P-38 was the stiff frame,what am I missing here? I have
    > Shimano 105's [dual caliper road brakes] on mine and it stops on a dime ,so it's not the frame.
    > Maybe it's the way they're adjusted . I also had an Odyssey A brake on the rear of my first P-38
    > and I thought it was a good brake,worked fine for me. Maybe I'm too easy to please,but my wife
    > would have something to say about that.

    Ben,

    Frame flex is not an issue with caliper brakes - on some bikes with cantilever or direct pull
    (V-brakes) brakes, the chainstays can be observed to flex outwards when the brake is applies (this
    is true of the 1997-2000 RANS Rockets, Tailwinds, and Waves by my observation).

    I had Odyssey A brakes on my Wishbone and they worked fine with both the stock pads and Kool Stop
    "Salmon" pads.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) RANS "Wavewind" and Rocket, Earth Cycles Sunset and
    Dragonflyer
     
  14. Well, I tok the plunge today and installed M-960 Shimano brakes front and rear. I still have to bend
    the XTR levers and get some cable enders at my LBS but things at least LOOK good now!! I always
    hated those cheap looking Oddessy brakes on my overpriced P-38, so now it is even more overpriced,
    but my thirst for gadgets and gizmos is satisified. I neglected to rout the cable around the back of
    the caliper as you did Cletus, but will do it before the first ride. What was the angle of your
    noodle? 90 or 45 ? And did you fabricate a new cable or use the stock one? I did notice that there
    is very little clearance between the pad and the rim at the rear due to the back of the pad
    contacting the frame tubing. This made it hard to get things centered though it worked out in the
    end, perhaps I will relieve the back of the pad a mm or so. I would love to see some pics of your
    installation to see if I am doing it right. Next project is to install the Rapid Rise XTR rear
    deurailleur I got on eBay last week. I have only had the bike since before Xmas and I am still
    improving my conditioning, thus every ride I go better: farther and faster!!! I am still a slow old
    fart of 50, but there is hope..........I an doing a 45 mile out and back along the beach here in Los
    Angeles and average 15.5 mph. I can cruise at 18 to 20 but then poop out at about mile 30 or so. I
    live in a hilly area and want to build strength before I try to climb the local mountain roads.
     
  15. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Well, I tok the plunge today and installed M-960 Shimano brakes front and rear. I still have to
    > bend the XTR levers and get some cable enders at my LBS but things at least LOOK good now!! ..

    > I neglected to rout the cable around the back of the caliper as you did Cletus, but will do it
    > before the first ride. What was the angle of your noodle? 90 or 45 ? And did you fabricate a new
    > cable or use the stock one?

    The cable is routed 90° from vertical. I used new cable housing cut to the proper length and of
    course new cable.

    > I did notice that there is very little clearance between the pad and the rim at the rear due to
    > the back of the pad contacting the frame tubing. This made it hard to get things centered though
    > it worked out in the end, perhaps I will relieve the back of the pad a mm or so.

    I have e 559 rear wheel so fortunately this was not an issue for me. Lightning has used the same
    rear geometry for both 559 and 622 since calipers and this does not leave much room for a modern
    'V-Brake' with larger wheels. However, LCD mounted my rear brakes on the bottom of the chain stays
    and this causes clearance problems for me with the chain dragging on the brake arm.

    > I would love to see some pics of your installation to see if I am doing it right.

    http://www.clee.org/Cycling/images/VoyagerBrakes/VoyagerFrontBrake.JPG
    http://www.clee.org/Cycling/images/VoyagerBrakes/XTRlever1.JPG
    http://www.clee.org/Cycling/images/VoyagerBrakes/XTRleverLCD.JPG
    http://www.clee.org/Cycling/images/VoyagerBrakes/XTRRear.JPG

    I also have a pic of my tool kit made from a Topeak Handy Phone Pack. It sits under the frame. I
    have since rotated it 180° and moved it inside the space frame under the seat. It is not as easy to
    get to there, but it is better protected.
    http://www.clee.org/Cycling/images/VoyagerBrakes/HandyPhonePack.JPG

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  16. Thanks for the response, I just installed the XTR levers and cut and routed the cable as you did.
    Amazing feel at the lever!!! I was concerned about the front noodle hitting the idler pulley, so I
    bent the noodle out a bit and downward a bit and now can almost turn the bar lock to lock. The bar
    range of movement is way beyond anything I would see in motion and any possible interference will
    only occur paddleing around a parking lot. Tomorrow I will relieve the back of the rear pads to give
    a bit more clearance at the rim.
     
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