Advice on improving braking on an old frame

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Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby Matty » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:00 am

Hi all,

I've picked up an old Dahon folding bike from kerbside pickup and looking to do some upgrades to the brakes. The current brakes on it are absolutely shocking and I'm looking at ways to improve the braking without spending too much. The brakes and levers are currently as they are below.

Image
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Image
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I replaced the stock pads with some cartridge holders and Kool Stop salmon pads. However, as the wheel rims are not machined and are slanted, the pads would not angle enough to contact the rim properly. The current pads have quite a angle cut into their face to align properly with the rims. Does anyone know of an aftermarket pad that have angled edges? I've had a look at the Koolstop site and can't find anything.

Also, would you guys recommend upgrading the brake calipers with some new extra-long reach dual pivot caliper brakes? How about the brake levers and the rims? Worth upgrading?

Cheers
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by BNA » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:52 am

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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby WestcoastPete » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:52 am

Is it a standard type of road brake caliper?

Measure brake reach, and look at replacing with Tektro long reach brakes, like these ones. They're dual pivot, so are much more powerful.
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:29 am

Look like steel rims in the pic. See if you can track down some alloy ones, that'll make a big difference.
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby kukamunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:12 am

+1. Ditch the chrome-plated steel rimmed wheels before even trying to upgrade the brakes

What size wheels are they? Check the ISO size written on the tyre sidewall or rim itself (NN-NNN) just to make sure

Next, you'll need to determine the dropout spacing / OverLocknutDimension front and rear

You might be surprised - new wheels might be cheaper than new brakes
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby MattyK » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:55 am

Were it mine, I'd probably look at (in the following order):

1) Koop Stop Supra 2 pads (these have spherical nuts and washers so you can angle the pad to suit). Salmon, or if you're desperate: clear (though these are notorious for squealing)

2) Alloy rims

3) Long reach dual pivot calipers. What reach do you need? SJS Cycles have a good range, I have a Dia-compe 806 on my daughter's balance bike (elsewhere in the garage) - that model looks like it should have the reach but not sure if it will fit over your mudguard, and the pads are poor in it.

4) Levers for caliper brakes (as opposed to MTB levers for long pull brakes).
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:57 pm

bychosis wrote:Look like steel rims in the pic. See if you can track down some alloy ones, that'll make a big difference.

This.

In one move you will have gained much stronger and more serviceable wheels and (relatively) eye popping deceleration.
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby Matty » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:37 am

Thanks for all the replies guys. I was hoping to get away without replacing the wheels but sounds like that's probably going to be the best investment.

MattyK, the cartridge pads I tried did have a dished washer so there was some angle adjustment but still not enough to line up parallel with the rims.

The brake reach is about 70mm so will need the extra-long reach Tektros. But I'll try and find some wheels first and go from there...

Thanks again.
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Re: Advice on improving braking on an old frame

Postby munga » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:27 pm

i'd be tempted to lean on those calipers with some pliers and get them into better alignment
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