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Posts Tagged ‘brakes’

Gold Alligators

March 9th, 2013 [print] No comments

I sold off my Avid BB7 (mtn) brakeset, so I can replace it with a more appropriate CX set-up.  Since the Shimano CX-75 calipers I have on order don’t come with discs, I got the prettiest ones I could find:

Alligator Crown Ti 160mm (front)
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Alligator Aries Ti 160mm (rear)
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I figured I’d try out a couple different models, and see which works best.  The titanium nitrite coating will actually wear off pretty quickly at the braking surface, which is good, since it’s used as a low-friction coating.  It’s the same stuff on my KMC chains.

I’m hoping to get my bike back together by the time the gravel roads dry up.

Categories: MTB Tags:

Dia-Compe DC139 Brake Lever

May 26th, 2011 [print] 8 comments

I’ll admit, I don’t need these, since I already have some very nice ‘n light Shimano Dura-Ace track levers on my singlespeed.  However, they’re just too cool to pass up, and you never know when I might want some in the future.

(not my photos)
Dia-Compe DC139 bullhorn brake lever - black
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Basically, they’re curved levers that wrap around underneath the bar, allowing you to brake from the flats or the ends.  On the old French bikes, this style was referred to as Guidonnet levers.  Google that term, and you’ll find many classic examples.  Throw "Dia-Compe DC139" in the search results, and you’ll be able to track down a pair of these for around $30.  It’s far easier to find them in silver, but I was able to track them down in black.

They also work on drop bars, assuming the bars have enough reach before the drop, which most probably do.

SOURCE:  Dia-Compe

Screw you, Shimano

February 16th, 2011 [print] No comments

Shimano Dura Ace BL-TT78 brake levers come with set screws, which you can use to adjust your reach to the lever.  There are very few levers–road or MTB–on the market that don’t offer reach adjustability.  However, the BL-TT78s are the first I’ve encountered that have plastic screws.

To save maybe a gram of weight, Shimano chose to go with plastic screws, and they also cut them extremely short.  An extra 3mm would have worked wonders, so what’s the point in making them so short?  Not aware of either the material or the length, I began tightening them to shorten the reach of my levers to the point that I could get the first bend of my index finger around them, only to reach bottom, and then snap the head right off one of them.  Had the screw been metal, I could have felt that it bottomed out, but because the plastic is so soft, it’s almost impossible to distinguish a difference in torque between the screw turning freely, and the head twisting against the shaft of the screw as it’s breaking off.

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Fortunately, I only made the mistake once, so I only had one headless screw shaft to get back out of the lever–not an easy task.  The other one, which you can see in the photo above, is still intact, so it was to be my reference for going to the hardware store and finding a new one with the same diameter and thread count.  I don’t know how many hours of my life I’ve wasted in hardware stores, trying to find screws, bolts or nuts that don’t exist, and I guess my subconscious decided to save me all the trouble before I did it again.

As I was getting ready to walk out the door, I suddenly got the idea that I should go check some old MTB-style Shimano brake levers, on the off chance that the set screw might have the same thread size.  As luck would have it, it did.  It was also much longer than I needed, which gave me the ability to cut it down to the right size (middle screw).  Hacksaw > file > done.  It turned out so well, I went ahead and did a pair, so now as I bottom the screws out inside the levers, they’re at exactly the right reach for my hands.

It was an hour or more wasted because Shimano made a bad design choice, but at least I worked it out.  In the end, I gained 1 measly gram.

I’ll leave this posted as a how-to for anyone else who may come across the same problem.

Categories: How To Tags: ,

Handlebar WTF

July 23rd, 2010 [print] No comments

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this, but the owner sure wins points for originality/lack of ergonomics.  Seen in NYC.

Click for larger image

Via Slice Harvester on TweetPhoto

Categories: Photos Tags: , ,

How to Improve Rim Brakes

July 9th, 2008 [print] No comments

Yeah, I know, disc brakes are pretty much the thing to have nowadays for mountain bikes, but they’re still not the standard.  Even today, the majority of bikes are sold with rim brakes, although discs do seem to be closing the gap as prices drop.  Still, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with crappy braking, and with a few simple steps, good quality v-brakes can easily brake as well as discs under most circumstances.

The first thing you need to do is clean your rims, since this is half of the overall braking system (the other half being the pads).  Take a close look at your rims, and you’ll likely see a lot of residue from your brake pads and whatever else you’ve ridden through lately.

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Read more…

Categories: How To Tags: , ,

Brake Locks

May 12th, 2007 [print] 2 comments

I saw this tip in Mountain Bike Action magazine awhile back and I thought I’d share it:

If you have an old innertube laying around, cut off a small strip of it and slide it over your handlebar to rest on your grip, or somewhere else out of the way (pic 1).  Then when you’re leaning the bike against something and wanting it to stay put, stretch it over to the brake lever to keep contant tension on it so the bike won’t roll away (pic 2).  I tried it the other day when I was re-assembling my wife’s bike and found it worked really great.  It’ll also keep your wheels from spinning in the wind when it’s on your car’s bike rack.

PIC 1 [click for larger image] PIC 2 [click for larger image]

Categories: Cycling, How To Tags: ,