Brake suggestions?

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Blue Proteus   1 mW

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Brake suggestions?

Post by Blue Proteus » Jun 18 2014 10:38pm

I have a Currie IZIP E3 Zuma. I like pretty much everything about this bike, except for the brakes.

I'm a big guy, and this is a big bike, and I live in a fairly hilly area. Although the brakes work fine, I wear them down so rapidly that I have to adjust the pads (using the wheel) on an almost daily basis.
I just got done putting a new pair of pads on the front wheel, as I had adjusted the pads down as far as they would go.

So I had a few questions...

The current brakes are Avid BB5 disc brakes, and the pad surface is ridiculously small, like the size of a quarter.
I'm wondering if I should just replace the brakes with a model with a much larger surface area on the pads?

The other alternative would be to switch to the pad-on-the-rim style brakes like I had years ago. I don't remember them wearing out so fast.
Also, how do I know which brakes will work with my bike? Or are all disc brake systems the same mount-wise?

Any help appreciated.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Chalo » Jun 18 2014 11:01pm

The stock pads on my 2004 Hayes HMX-1 brakes wore down to the backings in less than 20 miles of hilly city riding. The EBC Gold metallic replacement pads have lasted for several thousand miles and still have plenty of thickness left. (I laid in a couple of pairs of replacements for those, which is looking like a questionable purchase.)

If you use disc brakes, you need fully metallic pads for longevity and friction coefficient. Last time I checked, I could not find metal pads for BB5. BB7 comes stock with metal pads, and has great aftermarket support from various manufacturers. Have your LBS try to find you some fully metallic replacement pads for your BB5s; if you can get some, they'll solve your problem.

If you can use rim brakes, Kool Stop Salmon pads wear incredibly well and have great friction coefficient wet or dry.
Last edited by Chalo on Jun 19 2014 12:20am, edited 1 time in total.
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mateusleo   1 kW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by mateusleo » Jun 18 2014 11:44pm

Avid bb7 has a big contact surface and brakes well, I have a pair. Although, you didn't mention the material of your pads, organic/semi-organic and resin pads tend to wear out REALLY fast. Try to use sintered pads. Also, if you could post a picture of your discs I could tell you about it, there are some disc shapes that wear out the pads rally fast too. Maybe it's not the brake itself, try sintered pads and, if possible, let me know the shape of your discs before you spend money a brake until you not sure about causing it.
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John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by John in CR » Jun 19 2014 4:38pm

You need regen braking. It does most of the work, so your mechanical brakes are always fresh and ready. Once you get used to the speeds and distances, the mechs get used only for emergency stops and at very low speeds where regen lacks enough force. The end result is rarely having to fiddle with brakes, and the extra range from the recovered energy is just icing on the cake. Also, nice gentle regen brake settings make it smooth and also very useful to control speed on descents.

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mateusleo   1 kW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by mateusleo » Jun 19 2014 6:46pm

John in CR wrote:You need regen braking. It does most of the work, so your mechanical brakes are always fresh and ready. Once you get used to the speeds and distances, the mechs get used only for emergency stops and at very low speeds where regen lacks enough force. The end result is rarely having to fiddle with brakes, and the extra range from the recovered energy is just icing on the cake. Also, nice gentle regen brake settings make it smooth and also very useful to control speed on descents.
I have always been interested in regen braking, but how can i know if my controller is capable of regen?
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Blue Proteus   1 mW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Blue Proteus » Jun 19 2014 7:23pm

Thanks for all the replies.

Regen braking sounds great, but I think at this point is beyond what I'd be able to do myself, at least with this bike.

My first step will probably be to get sintered metal pads for the BB5's I have now.
If I still have any problems with too-fast wear, my switch to the BB7's and the metal pads for those.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by dogman dan » Jun 20 2014 5:51am

If your bike has a gear motor, with internal clutch, the freewheeling will prevent use of regen.

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Tench » Jun 20 2014 7:06am

I remember my younger brother and myself prepping our endure bikes to do the coast to coast ride across the Yorkshire moors, the bogs are deep (deep deep!) and gritty too, he used an asbestos free green stuff pad and I fitted sintered bronze pads. Before the weekend ride was over he was down to metal, my pads lasted years! The sintered bronze pads where Dunlopads, very similar to the EBC sintered bronze ones Chalo mentioned above. I wouldn't buy any thing else! I would try some before changing the whole brake setup.
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mateusleo   1 kW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by mateusleo » Jun 20 2014 7:27am

dogman wrote:If your bike has a gear motor, with internal clutch, the freewheeling will prevent use of regen.
Is it possible to know if my controller allows regen?
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cal3thousand   1.21 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 20 2014 11:44am

mateusleo wrote:
dogman wrote:If your bike has a gear motor, with internal clutch, the freewheeling will prevent use of regen.
Is it possible to know if my controller allows regen?

If it does, there will generally be BOTH ebrake circuit AND regen activation circuit. The regen circuit is sometimes just a loop of cable shorting the connection or 2 wires shorted together. When you hit the ebrakes, it will activate regen if the regen circuit is shorted.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Chalo » Jun 21 2014 3:13pm

EMPowered wrote:They also self-adjust so no more fiddling with mechanical adjustments.
Oh the heck. I have to fiddle with hydraulics at work every bit as much as with cable brakes, and they usually offer fewer degrees of freedom. That's just for normal setup and adjustment. If there are any problems with the hydraulics themselves, they are a truly monumental pain in the butt compared to any cable actuated system.

Hydraulic brakes that "self adjust" only maintain the same running clearances as they wear, whether you like that feel or not. They don't do anything else for themselves.
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EMPowered   10 mW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by EMPowered » Jun 21 2014 3:20pm

No more adjusting for pad wear. The caliper pistons advance as the pads wear. Just like auto/motorcycle brakes.
To initially adjust brakes.... Loosen the caliper bolts so the caliper wiggles, apply and hold the brake so it grabs/aligns with the rotor, while holding the brake lever tighten down the caliper bolts and you are done. Mechanical brakes require frequent adjustments as cable stretches and as pads wear.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Chalo » Jun 21 2014 3:40pm

EMPowered wrote:No more adjusting for pad wear. The calipers advance as the pads wear.
Or when anything touches the brake lever while the wheel is out of the bike. Then you have to futz around with it before you can get the wheel back in.
To initially adjust brakes.... Loosen the caliper bolts so the caliper wiggles, apply and hold the brake so it grabs/aligns with the rotor, while holding the brake lever tighten down the caliper bolts and you are done.
Just like cable brakes. Only the better cable brakes let you fine tune both pads with adjusting dials to establish the feel and clearance you want, not just what the brake automatically provides.
Mechanical brakes require frequent adjustments as cable stretches and as pads wear.
Sure. And in return for that, you never have to mess around with bleed kits and fittings, or hydraulic fluids, or catch containers, or having to tilt your bike every which way to service the brakes, or oil leakage onto your rotors, or having your braking mysteriously disappear completely for reasons you can't identify or fix out on the road.

Hydraulics are a solution to a problem bicycles do not have.
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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by EMPowered » Jun 21 2014 4:28pm

So I guess you are opposed to hydraulic brakes then....LOL

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Brake suggestions?

Post by Chalo » Jun 22 2014 6:15am

EMPowered wrote:So I guess you are opposed to hydraulic brakes then....LOL
Well, yes. For bicycles of normal layout anyway. They make some sense for pedicabs, front loading cargo bikes, and any other unorthodox machine where the brake lever is a long, crooked distance away from the brake.

I do like the thick rotor of the Tektro brake you linked to. I may try to find a couple for my BB7 and HMX-1 brakes.
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