Questions tagged [brakes]

Disc/rim/drum/coaster brakes; braking technique, maintaining brakes, anything else about stopping a bike.

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45 votes
6 answers
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How do I make my rim brakes stop squealing?

My rear rim brakes are squeaking loudly. I don't know what the problem is, but I am sure it has nothing to do with rain because it happens all the time even if it is dry. Anybody have an idea what ...
Promather's user avatar
  • 553
12 votes
2 answers
88k views

How do I know whether my bike can use disk brakes?

I have a Gary Fisher bike (wahoo I believe). I think it's considered the entry level Fisher mountain bike. Could I put on disc brakes as opposed to using the standard brakes on this bike? Standard ...
Carlos's user avatar
  • 121
52 votes
8 answers
75k views

Why don't brakes come with 'Safety Levers' any more?

It used to be very common to see bikes with dual pull brake levers (if that's even the right name) as shown below. However now it seems almost impossible to find brakes like this. Even finding a ...
Kibbee's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

What is the mechanical advantage of mechanical rim brakes and levers?

I understand that the amount of hand force required for a given braking force depends on the mechanical advantage of the braking system, which in turn is a multiplication of the mechanical advantage ...
juhist's user avatar
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70 votes
19 answers
84k views

Do skilled cyclists really "use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time"?

Sheldon Brown's Braking and Turning Your Bicycle page states that: Skilled cyclists use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time and "Generally I advise against using both brakes at the ...
amcnabb's user avatar
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34 votes
1 answer
149k views

What is the difference between I.S., post, and flat mount disc brake mounting standards?

What is the difference between "I.S." (international standard), "P.M." (post mount), and flat mount disc brake mounting standards? Does one have a clear advantage over the other and is there a ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
250k views

Converting bike from rim brakes to disc brakes

I just bought a used 2009 Kona Dew and it comes with regular rim brakes. I'm perfectly happy with them so far, but have been wondering if disc brakes would come handy when it rains. What is involved ...
Soo Wei Tan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
12k views

Can I convert flat bar to drop bars on a hybrid bike

I'm fairly certain that the bars should change out quite easily; I'm more concerned about the shifters and brakes. Currently I have a hybrid 18 speed with cable disc brakes and Shimano Deore XT ...
Kyle G's user avatar
  • 71
11 votes
2 answers
28k views

What is the actual cable pull of brake levers?

I understand that there are 2 brake lever cable pull standards: Standard Pull Levers Long Pull Levers (for V-brakes and disc brakes) But what is the actual difference in pull? And specifically: what ...
Duvrai's user avatar
  • 213
24 votes
6 answers
7k views

What kinds of brake designs exist, and what are their general pros and cons?

Here are the ones I'm aware of: Center Pull Cantilever Slightly better braking than side pull brakes. No recentering problem. Relatively rare V-Brakes Cheap to produce. Similar in braking power to ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Convert a Cannondale SM1000 (about 1991 model) to disk brakes

I've got an older, about 1991, model Cannondale SM1000 mountain bike purchased new. Would it be worth it to convert to disk brakes and if so what would be the process?
Farther's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
29k views

Fixing noisy V brakes

My V brakes make a lot of noise when I brake! I am annoyed by such noise, not to mention the pedestrians. My mechanic said that it will not make this noise after using it for couple of days, but it is ...
Starx's user avatar
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40 votes
15 answers
62k views

When should I not use my front brake?

I have only been riding for a short time and I remember when I was a child there was a belief that if you used your front brakes going downhill that you would fly over your handlebars. However, my ...
going's user avatar
  • 1,509
18 votes
3 answers
68k views

do I need to change my disc if the brake pads got oil on them

In trying to change the brake pads on my mountain bike, I managed to get oil on my new pads and empty out all the brake fluid, and consequently also get some oil on the disc. I took the bike to the ...
Poorav's user avatar
  • 303
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do I get rid of the noise on my Hayes Stroker Trail brakes

I recently bought a new bike that came with Hayes Stroker Trail hydraulic brakes. From day one they were squeeky and not very grippy. I wrote it off to the burn in period that most disc brakes ...
Bizee Biker's user avatar
44 votes
10 answers
37k views

Why is the front brake lever on the right if you 'drive' on the left and vice-versa?

I live in the UK and I expect my front brake lever to be operated by my right hand. However, I recently went on a friend's bike that had the brakes 'back to front', which would be the 'right way round'...
ʍǝɥʇɐɯ's user avatar
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22 votes
8 answers
61k views

Why do my disc brakes squeal when wet?

Picture the scene... It's just been raining and you are getting ready to commute home after work, you cycle out on to the tarmac, the scent of fresh rain on hot tarmac fills your nostrils, you notice ...
Wez's user avatar
  • 998
8 votes
2 answers
17k views

Disc brake break-in?

Just got a bike with discs (BB7). The feel of the braking is so-so on the first ride (5km commute from LBS to home). I think the cable for the rear needs a little tightening. But even so, I don't ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 704
7 votes
1 answer
10k views

Replace Ultegra 6600 STI lever

I need to replace my Ultegra 6600 right hand shifter as the ratcheting system is gone. The rest of the groupset is all the same 6600 series. I am having a hard time sourcing just a right hand side ...
Ifor's user avatar
  • 278
4 votes
1 answer
8k views

Use of Shimano long-reach calipers with "New Super SLR" brake levers/shifters

So my bike has Shimano Tiagra ST-4600/4603 brifters (it's a triple) but is fitted with long-drop BR-R451 calipers. In theory, these should be incompatible because of the change in cable pull ratio, ...
jbuk's user avatar
  • 231
4 votes
2 answers
590 views

Problems with brake discs

I recently bought a new bike. It is a Scott bike with disc brakes. The bike went in for it's service and now it has problems braking. As soon as I pull the brake leavers the front brakes makes a loud ...
Hendrik van Wyk's user avatar
58 votes
18 answers
57k views

What is the practical advantage of disk brakes over rim brakes?

Disk brakes are becomming more popular on bikes now, and I was just wondering what the advantage is of this type of brake over the older rim brakes.
Connor W's user avatar
  • 683
34 votes
8 answers
26k views

Can your rims wear down from too much braking?

I have a question about rims based on information in another question. The person asking states that he doesn't want his rims wearing down. Is this really a problem? Assuming you don't wear the ...
Kibbee's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
40k views

What is the difference between different types of disc brake pads

I've seen several different descriptors for disc brake pads: Metallic, Semi-Metallic, and Organic. What is the difference between these types of disc brake pads?
Benzo's user avatar
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25 votes
2 answers
22k views

What does "modulate" mean when referring to brakes?

Often in a review of brakes, or an article talking about braking the author will use the term "modulate." E.g. "The brake modulates well" or "Modulate your front brake." What exactly does this term ...
Darth Egregious's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
11k views

How to build surge brakes on bike trailer?

There are a couple of pretty good answers in How to make a cargo trailer?. After looking at those, at the answer to What are the safety concerns of a high vs a low mount trailer hitch? and doing some ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
10k views

Enhancing brake force with steel rims in wet conditions?

I currently own an old racing bike, that still has ripped steel rims and a side pull caliper brake. The braking power is acceptable when the street is dry, but as soon as it gets wet (even morning dew)...
Paul Weber's user avatar
  • 1,269
14 votes
3 answers
11k views

Why are there metal shavings in my brake pads?

I have several brake pads on my cantilever brakes that have several small metal shavings embedded in the pad. Is this normal? What should I do about it?
Benzo's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
13k views

What is the recommended type of tire for riding on wet pavement?

I am commuting in rainy Seattle, and the rain has started. Right now I have Continental Gatorskin tires on my commuter, but yesterday I noticed I was braking to stop the wheels and skidding quite a ...
Ash Machine's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

can only use right hand to brake reliably, due to disability - safer/possible to modify bike?

I'm new here and hoping someone might have thoughts on this - had a look and couldn't find an answer elsewhere! Apologies for the kind of long question, and if it's silly, but any thoughts would be ...
Yhana's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
4 answers
14k views

Disc brakes squeak on Trek mountain bike

I have a Trek 3900 mountain bike with disc brakes, and I just took it out of winter storage to start riding it for the season. Everything works well, except for one very annoying problem: when I stop ...
Nate Koppenhaver's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
13k views

How do I bleed Avid Elixir brakes

My bike has a set of Avid Elixir R hydraulic brakes. The front brake barely goes on when I pull the lever and the back brake feels pretty soft. I think I need to bleed them. How do I go about doing ...
davefiddes's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
12k views

Braking on a vintage road bike

I recently bought a vintage Gitane road bike. I understand that in the 70s and 80s they sold a lot of these road bikes with drop handle bars. Sometimes they came with the extra lever for an easier ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 51
3 votes
4 answers
608 views

Why dual pivot brakes, not longer brake arms?

Dual pivot brakes are marketed as having "more braking power", which in technical terms means higher mechanical advantage. Exactly the same effect can be achieved by longer brake arms (ones ...
Konstantin Shemyak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
887 views

Disc brakes on leader doberman which has no tabs and adaptors

I have a leader doberman with a front disc brake that I want to install on the rear. I know that it hasn't a rear disc brake tab, but I have found an adaptor for the caliper (http://www.ebay.com/itm/...
stavros's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Bedding In process for brakes

A few days ago, someone asked a question which touched upon the bedding-in process for their new disc brakes. Because the question did not have any answer already, I wrote one in which I said that ...
PeteH's user avatar
  • 9,723
97 votes
16 answers
30k views

Why are disc brakes rare on road bikes? (circa 2010) [closed]

Window shopping for road bikes, I can't see many that have disc brakes. What are the reasons for this?
user155695's user avatar
  • 2,913
54 votes
16 answers
32k views

Safest way to slow down a bike quickly if both sets of brakes fail

This may sound like a crazy question, however today in the wet my rear brakes decided to stop working effectively. It has been pouring rain here which makes the problem more apparent. I managed to ...
going's user avatar
  • 1,509
40 votes
6 answers
14k views

Why are regenerative brakes uncommon on e-bikes?

Few electric bicycles have regenerative braking. Most quality e-bikes seem to be settling on mid-drive, which even makes regenerative braking impossible because there is a freewheel between the wheel ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 18.5k
37 votes
10 answers
97k views

Why don't road bikes use v-brakes?

In my experience, linear pull brakes (v-brakes) have more stopping power than other types of cantilever brakes (let the flames start ;). Modern road bikes always come fitted with dual pivot brakes. ...
ninjaPixel's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
8k views

How do I prevent disk brakes from squeaking in the rain?

When I got my new bike with disk brakes, I thought that they would perform much better in the rain. While this is true, they still squeak quite loud in wet conditions, which is quite annoying. Is ...
Nik Reiman's user avatar
  • 2,055
24 votes
3 answers
151k views

How do I stop my rim brakes making a squeaking/squealing sound?

I bought a Schwinn Frontier Sport few months ago and started riding happily. After a few weeks my front rim brakes started creaking. It's so annoying in public places. My rear brake doesn't produce ...
pMan's user avatar
  • 343
22 votes
4 answers
39k views

How to tighten a brake?

This is probably a really basic question but I'm confused by the whole brake mechanism so... My left (front wheel) brake has to be pulled in really far before it actually starts to brake (I guess ...
Ricket's user avatar
  • 323
20 votes
10 answers
8k views

How can I safely go downhill on an antique penny-farthing bike?

I recently picked up a vintage penny-farthing (high wheeler) at the flea market and, after restoration, adopted it as my normal mode of transportation. It works well for the most part, but going ...
Laurence Adams's user avatar
20 votes
9 answers
9k views

How many fingers on the brake lever of an MTB?

I have seen people stop with one finger, two fingers or the whole hands on the levers. Is there a recommended number of fingers on the brake levers when stopping/anticipating an emergency stop? Do ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
17 votes
2 answers
8k views

Hydraulic Disc Brakes Maintenance

I have Hayes Nine hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike. I have recently replaced the brake pads and after that it seems that the pads are almost touching the rotor. How can I adjust it? I have ...
kristof's user avatar
  • 941
14 votes
5 answers
60k views

V-brake arm not returning to "open" position

I have a folding bike with v-brakes and I noticed that when I pull on the rear brake lever, one arm of the v-brake doesn't go back to its original position. I tried adjusting the screws but it still ...
dork's user avatar
  • 827
13 votes
5 answers
9k views

What causes and how to fix wandering bite point on Shimano hydraulic brakes?

For the last two months and less than 600 km of riding I have been using a pair of new Shimano SLX BR-M7120 "high power" 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes. Yesterday I have noticed that the bite point of ...
Mick's user avatar
  • 736
13 votes
7 answers
93k views

brake lever will not return

My friend has a mountain bike that survived last years Queensland's floods (Australia, that is), but is all battered and bruised after not being ridden for a year. With my beginner's repair skills, I ...
Nikos J's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes
3 answers
27k views

Do cyclocross/interrupter/touring brake levers reduce brake performance?

I have bullhorn bars, with a Tektro cyclocross lever and a TT style bar end lever as well, operating rim brakes. The calipers are Tektro dual pivot. The pads are cartridge style pads (I don't have the ...
Mac's user avatar
  • 9,116