New Rim = Sorry Brakes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Motobecane11, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    So I recently went from the original steel wheel on my Motobecane to an aluminum alloy rim. The old steel wheel had the textured braking surface that I've seen on most of these old steel rims. I kept the same brake pads that I'd been using on the steel wheel. Ever since I've had the new wheel, the brakes don't seem have what I would consider an adequate amount of friction on the rim.

    I looked around online a couple days ago and some people were saying that this might have been from even a tiny spot of oil or grease on the braking surface, so I cleaned the rim with some 409. No change from that. Others said that the pads would need to be sanded, as the srufaces may have "glazed" and weren't suitable to make friction. So I pulled the pads off and the surfaces were pretty polished and shiny looking, so I laid some sandpaper on the workbench and sanded them down. Went for a ride today and still had terrible braking on that wheel.

    So now the question is, what the hell? LOL. Do I just need to start with new pads? Is there a different compound that gives better friction on alloy rims? I've been cleaning, and sanding and adjusting and getting pretty frustrated with having crappy brakes...
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Get new pads.
     
  3. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    Any suggestions for which pad to go with? Are there pads that seem to work better for some of you on an aluminum rim opposed to a steel rim?
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I use Swissstop pads, but another good choice are Kool Stop pads. You might also consider Shimano Dura Ace pads as they're very good and cheaper than the other two, although none of them are really expensive. What kind of brakes do you have?
     
  5. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    I have what I presume are the original Wienmann Vanquer 999's on front and back. When I got the bike, the old pads were all dried out, so what I have now are the plain old pads they sell at Walmart. The front still works great on the old textured steel wheel, but I guess it won't break the bank for me to hit the LBS this week and pick up some better pads and see where that gets me.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I assumed you have modern brakes. An LBS may have what you're looking for. You'll need Kool Stop's Mafac style brake pads. You can also go to the Velo Orange Website and get these pads.
     
  7. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    OK, cool! Thanks man. Yeah I kept the original brakes, and I would have stayed with the orginal wheel on the rear, but it had a flat spot in it. Wasn't really noticeable until about 15 mph, but then it really started to thump. Once I got to the point that I was averaging 15mph for most of my commuting, I decided it was time for a smoother ride. Those old brakes still work great though, they've got plenty of power, the front can really get me to a stop quickly. But even with the rear squeezing tight enough that I can feel that the pads are squishing, it just isn't making friction on the smooth aluminum rim. But I'll hit the LBS this week and hopefully we can get the problem fixed. Thankd for your advice!
     
  8. Eichers

    Eichers New Member

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    I have old 1960/70's Wienmann Dynamics on my old steel bike and they were totally transformed when I put on new shoes/pads c/w toe washers.

    You will probably need brake shoes and pads and the cheapest way is to purchase the new Ultegra shoes and pads, which allow you to toe the shoe/pad flat to the rim, which will allow for optimum braking :)
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote:Originally Posted by Motobecane11 . So I recently went from the original steel wheel on my Motobecane to an aluminum alloy rim. The old steel wheel had the textured braking surface that I've seen on most of these old steel rims. I kept the same brake pads that I'd been using on the steel wheel. Ever since I've had the new wheel, the brakes don't seem have what I would consider an adequate amount of friction on the rim.

    So now the question is, what the hell? .....

    FWIW. This may be stating the obvious, but if the new rims are 1mm-or-2mm-or-more narrower than the old rims then your braking may seem marginal when compared with the braking on your old rims UNLESS you adjust the offset of the brake pads from the rim's braking surfaces to be comparable to what it was with the old setup.

    BTW. I always thought that the textured surfaces on the (¿RIGIDA?) steel rims were intended to facilitate moving water from between the brake pad & rim's braking surface ... maybe, maybe not.
     
  10. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    Thanks for all the great responses guys. I'm going to hit the LBS this evening after work to pick up some new pads. @ Alfeng: I adjusted my calipers to where there is probably about 1mm free space between the pads and the rim on either side, so it's not that I don't have enough pull, these pads just don't make any friction on the rim. The old rim was a DEA, and the front is a Rigida. I don't know what the texture's intended purpose is, but I know that the front brakes make great friction. It sounds like I just don't have the right pad composition for the new rim.
     
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