Weird rear brake set-up on older MTB--Ideas?



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Mike

Guest
My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake studs are mounted above the rim
braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or better canti brake (there's a
cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any insights/suggestions? Anything on the market to
upgrade this? Thanks, Mike
 
S

Sheldon Brown

Guest
Mike wrote:
> My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake studs are mounted above the rim
> braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or better canti brake (there's
> a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any insights/suggestions? Anything on the market to
> upgrade this? Thanks, Mike

That's called a "U-brake." These were in fashion in the late 1980s, and =

are still used for some BMX/freestyle brakes. The same studs can be=20 used for an older "rollercam"
brake, but you're probably better off=20 sticking with the U-brake.

Properly set up (keep the transverse cable really short!) these give=20 fine braking performance if
they have good brake shoes, good cables and=20 housings.

There are two main drawbacks to them:

=95They don't offer as much tire clearance as conventional cantilevers.

=95As the brake pads wear, they hit higher and higher on the rim. If you= 20
don't keep an eye on pad wear, they will eventually start rubbing on the =

sidewall of the tire, ruining it in very short order.

Many of the bikes that came with these had them mounted under the=20 chainstays, which gave a nice
clean look to the seatstays, but made it=20 very awkward to service the brake.

In any caser, you'll just have to live with it, there is no type of=20 brake that you can mount to
those studs that won't have the same problems=
=2E

Sheldon "Non-U" Brown +------------------------------------------------+
| Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, | but most of the time he will pick himself up |
| and continue on. -- Sir Winston Churchill |
+------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
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Matt O'Toole

Guest
"Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]

> In any caser, you'll just have to live with it, there is
no type of
> brake that you can mount to those studs that won't have
the same problems.

I've seen U-to-canti conversion plates in the past, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start
looking for one now.

Matt O.
 
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M-Gineering Imp

Guest
Mike wrote:
>
> My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake studs are mounted above the rim
> braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or better canti brake (there's
> a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any insights/suggestions? Anything on the market to
> upgrade this? Thanks, Mike

try a Magura hydraulic with the adapters upside down
--
Marten
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake studs are mounted above the rim
> braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or better canti brake (there's
> a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any insights/suggestions? Anything on the market to
> upgrade this? Thanks, Mike

My first guess was Rollercams, then a U-brake, then I read Sheldon's post, and he beat me to it!

My U-brake was pretty good for an under the chainstay mounted brake. At least it was good when it
wasn't gunked up with mud! The adjustments were fairly straight forward, the modulation OK, and if
it wasn't mounted below the chainstays, stayed fairly clean.

Of the two kinds of brakes you'll be able to run, stick with the U-brake!

Mike
 
R

Raymo853

Guest
You could get a frame builder to check out the stays and see if welding new canti/linear pull mounts
and hacking off the u-brake mounts is a possibility?

"Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
>
> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake
studs
> > are mounted above the rim braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or
> > better canti brake (there's a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any
> > insights/suggestions?
Anything
> > on the market to upgrade this? Thanks, Mike
>
> My first guess was Rollercams, then a U-brake, then I read Sheldon's
post,
> and he beat me to it!
>
> My U-brake was pretty good for an under the chainstay mounted brake.
At
> least it was good when it wasn't gunked up with mud! The
adjustments were
> fairly straight forward, the modulation OK, and if it wasn't mounted
below
> the chainstays, stayed fairly clean.
>
> Of the two kinds of brakes you'll be able to run, stick with the
U-brake!
>
> Mike
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
> > > "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:[email protected]...
> > > My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake
> studs
> > > are mounted above the rim braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake
> > > or better canti brake (there's a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any
> > > insights/suggestions?
> Anything
> > > on the market to upgrade this? Thanks, Mike

> "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > My first guess was Rollercams, then a U-brake, then I read Sheldon's
> post,
> > and he beat me to it!
> >
> > My U-brake was pretty good for an under the chainstay mounted brake.
> At
> > least it was good when it wasn't gunked up with mud! The
> adjustments were
> > fairly straight forward, the modulation OK, and if it wasn't mounted
> below
> > the chainstays, stayed fairly clean.
> >
> > Of the two kinds of brakes you'll be able to run, stick with the
> U-brake!

"Raymo853" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> You could get a frame builder to check out the stays and see if welding new canti/linear pull
> mounts and hacking off the u-brake mounts is a possibility?

If it were a Reynolds 531 Merlin built by Bob Jackson, that would be an excellent solution. I
believe he meant a US titanium Merlin which would not lend itself to that at all (technically
possible but pricey).

--
Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote:

> > > > "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > > news:[email protected]...
> > > > My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake
> > studs
> > > > are mounted above the rim braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake
> > > > or better canti brake (there's a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any
> > > > insights/suggestions?
> > Anything
> > > > on the market to upgrade this? Thanks, Mike

> > > My U-brake was pretty good for an under the chainstay mounted brake.
> > At
> > > least it was good when it wasn't gunked up with mud! The
> > adjustments were
> > > fairly straight forward, the modulation OK, and if it wasn't mounted
> > below
> > > the chainstays, stayed fairly clean.
> > >
> > > Of the two kinds of brakes you'll be able to run, stick with the
> > U-brake!
>
> "Raymo853" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > You could get a frame builder to check out the stays and see if welding new canti/linear pull
> > mounts and hacking off the u-brake mounts is a possibility?
>
> If it were a Reynolds 531 Merlin built by Bob Jackson, that would be an excellent solution. I
> believe he meant a US titanium Merlin which would not lend itself to that at all (technically
> possible but pricey).

Isn't the meta-answer "it's your rear brake, it doesn't have to be good. Replace the pads and make
sure the front brake is up to scratch"?

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
M

Mike

Guest
Thanks for all of the input and ideas, guys. Very informative, very constructive help.
Blessings, Mike

[email protected] (Mike) wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> My older Merlin MTB has an unusual rear brake set-up: the brake studs are mounted above the rim
> braking surface. Apparently I therefore can't upgrade to a V-brake or better canti brake (there's
> a cheapo scissor-type caliper on there now). Any insights/suggestions? Anything on the market to
> upgrade this? Thanks, Mike
 
J

Jim Edgar

Guest
Matt O'Toole at [email protected] wrote on 3/29/03 9:08 PM:
> I've seen U-to-canti conversion plates in the past, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start
> looking for one now.

I've seen U-brake and Canti/V-brake adapters, available in the BMX market, that allow the use of
those brakes if you have a fork/frame with a center crown/seatstay bridge hole, but I hadn't seen an
actual U-to-canti device.
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
<snip>
>
> Isn't the meta-answer "it's your rear brake, it doesn't have to be good. Replace the pads and make
> sure the front brake is up to scratch"?
>

Good point. Since 70% of your braking power comes from the front, what does it matter to have a
V-brake in the back? Once a tire starts to skid, you've lost all control over it. Not to mention the
damage you are doing to the trail...

Mike
 
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