Trek Portland Review

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Andrew F Martin, May 4, 2006.

  1. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Andrew F Martin wrote:
    > Yep - Salmon are the best I've used...and they still suck. In totally
    > soaked riding (most days all winter in Seattle) there's just not enough
    > braking force to stop. Downhills that end with a stop sign are avoided
    > because I'm usually unable to come to a complete stop with my rim
    > brakes (road calipers, not cantilevers or V-Brakes).


    I think you'll find that disc brakes are still a little weird when
    they're completely wet, because there is a delay between when you apply
    them and when they squeegee enough water off the rotors to get a proper
    bite. Braking force exists during the interval in between, but not at
    the level that appears afterwards.

    The brakes on my rain bike are Sachs drums. They're not terribly
    impressive stoppers, but they are very consistent no matter the
    weather.

    Chalo Colina
     


  2. Yeah - I've seen some of those and they are sweet. If I ever build up
    just a "townie" bike for rides to the store or short trips I'll likely
    go that route.
     
  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Mon, 08 May 2006 22:25:34 -0700, Chalo wrote:

    > Andrew F Martin wrote:


    >> Yep - Salmon are the best I've used...and they still suck. In totally
    >> soaked riding (most days all winter in Seattle) there's just not enough
    >> braking force to stop. Downhills that end with a stop sign are avoided
    >> because I'm usually unable to come to a complete stop with my rim
    >> brakes (road calipers, not cantilevers or V-Brakes).


    Something's not right. I have no trouble in the rain, even when it's
    freezing, and it's pretty hilly around here too. Is there oil on your
    rims?

    > I think you'll find that disc brakes are still a little weird when
    > they're completely wet, because there is a delay between when you apply
    > them and when they squeegee enough water off the rotors to get a proper
    > bite. Braking force exists during the interval in between, but not at
    > the level that appears afterwards.
    >
    > The brakes on my rain bike are Sachs drums. They're not terribly
    > impressive stoppers, but they are very consistent no matter the weather.


    A friend had these on a MTB built for mud racing. They worked very well.
    Are they still available?

    Matt O.
     
  4. Dane Buson

    Dane Buson Guest

    Andrew F Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Yep - Salmon are the best I've used...and they still suck. In totally
    > soaked riding (most days all winter in Seattle) there's just not enough
    > braking force to stop. Downhills that end with a stop sign are avoided
    > because I'm usually unable to come to a complete stop with my rim
    > brakes (road calipers, not cantilevers or V-Brakes).


    That's not my experience riding year round in Seattle. Yes, braking
    does take a hit in the rain, even with the salmon colored pads, but not
    that badly. Using Tektro dual pivots or cantilever brakes my braking
    is reasonably similar.

    Before you ask, not I'm not a small person, I'm about 205 lbs and I ride
    a Surly crosscheck kitted out with heavy randonneur / commuter gear.
    One of the hills on my way home is one I routinely hit 45+ mph on, so
    it's not like I'm riding the flats. [1]

    [1] Yes, with a traffic light at the bottom. [2]
    [2] Which is red 90% of the time. [3]
    [3] Eastgate way ending in Factoria if you want to know.

    --
    Dane Buson - [email protected]
    Hemlock wasn't all that bad, Socrates decided philosophically:
    no aftertaste, a smooth finish, and (of course) no hangover in
    the morning. --T. O. Carroll
     
  5. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    > Chalo wrote:
    > >
    > > The brakes on my rain bike are Sachs drums. They're not terribly
    > > impressive stoppers, but they are very consistent no matter the weather.

    >
    > A friend had these on a MTB built for mud racing. They worked very well.
    > Are they still available?


    SRAM acquired Sachs a few years ago. They now make an updated drum
    brake hub called "i-brake" which I have heard works very well. It has
    a weight rating of something like 100kg, which means I'll not bother to
    try it out, though. http://sram.com/en/sram/comfort/ibrake/index.php

    There are still some Sachs (and Sturmey Archer) drums out there.
    Sheldon Brown lists them both on the Harris Cyclery website.

    Shimano "Roller Brake" drums have always been available, but they have
    some issues. First, the front one is equipped with an anti-moron (and
    anti-braking) force-limiting device. Also, though in my experience
    Shimano rear drums offer reasonably good braking (particularly before
    they are broken in), they fade badly on downhill stretches.

    Chalo
     
  6. Burke Gilman

    Burke Gilman Guest

    Chalo wrote:
    > Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    > >
    > > Chalo wrote:
    > > >
    > > > It's obvious what kind of bike turns you on, but it's much less obvious
    > > > that such a bike confers any advantages for the kind of riding you're
    > > > talking about.

    > >
    > > The more experience I have riding in the rain, the more benefit I see to
    > > having disc brakes on a "commuter" bike. I've done a lot of damage to rims
    > > in wet weather, and I've seen a number of my customers (and even one of the
    > > guys I regularly ride with) explode rims apart due to grinding the sidewalls
    > > down too thin.

    >
    > The disc brakes on the Portland are in my opinion one of its most
    > useful and practical features.
    >
    > I also used to consider disc brakes a needless gimmick on road bikes,
    > not worth the front wheel dish they impose. But my experience with
    > them, almost exclusively on the street, has proven their merits to me.
    > They provide strong, consistent braking; they allow a frame to
    > accomodate a range of rim diameters; they tolerate rim damage, fat
    > tires, and fenders far better than rim brakes; and they leave the bike
    > noticeably cleaner in wet conditions than rim brakes do.
    >
    > There are a few reasons why I wouldn't ride a Portland and why I would
    > recommend something else to a friend who expressed an interest in that
    > model for a daily commuter. But the disc brakes are not among them.
    >
    > These are among my actual concerns with the Portland as a commuter--
    > the plastic fork might not hold up safely to typical commuting-bike
    > wear and tear;
    > its wheelbase is not long enough for best comfort, stability, or
    > accomodation for panniers;
    > its wheels are not as reliable as normal wheels of equal weight, cost,
    > and build quality;
    > even with 30 speeds there are no low gears you couldn't easily have
    > with a single ring bike;
    > the stock position is too low for natural heads-up riding in traffic.
    >
    > Trek already makes a better road bike for commuting than the Portland.
    > The trouble for Trek is that the 520 is old news, and about as exciting
    > as cold oatmeal in terms of marketing buzz. What I don't understand is
    > why a bike like the 520 but with disc brakes, a sloping top tube, and
    > innocuous cosmetic updates would not have proved marketable enough
    > without the Portland's compromises in reliability. If they had stuck
    > to steel and proven utilitarian geometry, they'd even have been able to
    > make an appeal to the Surly/Gunnar/Soma hipster-purist market as well.
    >
    >
    > Chalo Colina


    FWIW,

    I live and ride in Seattle, and purchased a road bike with disc brakes
    here a few years ago. A few days ago, I completed some modifications to
    that bike to correct that egregious design flaw that is called "disc
    brakes."

    Modification included removal of the disc brakes and replacement with
    long-reach calipers with salmon pads. I also took a side grinder to the
    brake caliper mounting brackets on the left fork and seat stay, since
    there is no longer any reason for those extra globs of metal to
    protrude from what is otherwise the eloquent form of a bicycle frame.

    After thousands of miles of experience on the road in all seasons, I've
    concluded that disc brake bicycles simple cost more to operate, are
    less reliable, and offer no performance advantages over the rim brake.

    BG
     
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