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Why side-pull brakes?(13 posts)

Why side-pull brakes?GE
Aug 29, 2002 12:45 AM
Hi guys,
I'm just wondering, why do road bikes use side-pull brakes but mountain bikes use v-brakes? Aren't v-brakes stronger than side-pulls? In my opinion, road bikes need the most stopping power because they go the fastest.
Also, I noticed road bikes don't use disc brakes. Why not?
Thanks in advance.
CozEager Beagle
Aug 29, 2002 12:59 AM
on a RB the stopping is limited by tyre grip, not break power - there is more than enough force generated by a side-pull to slip road tyres down the tarmac. We don't want a high-speed skid, nor to go very slowly down steep technical stuff, and generally don't ride with mud covered rims, whereas MTB-ers do.

Same goes for disc brakes - more weight to for breaking force that's not needed (save, arguably in the wet, but there again you are getting into skid territory again).
"break power "- jeez - I must need one - read that "brake". nmEager Beagle
Aug 29, 2002 1:25 AM
coupla reasonsColnagoFE
Aug 29, 2002 5:44 AM
you don't depend on your brakes for a road bike anyway near what you do for mountain biking. v brakes would be overkill since you can easily lock up a sidepull on a road bike and you can possibly modulate them better so they won't lock up. for mountain biking you often have wet/muddy rims and are jamming on the brakes often. discs are great for even better stopping power but are overkill for road bikes--though some tandems have them.
coupla reasonspeter1
Aug 29, 2002 8:59 AM

Yes and no. You better have damn good brakes on a road bike because it's more of a life or death situation when you need them (Tyler Hamilton?). Anytime you use your brakes on a mountain bike, it's your choice to attempt that section. Whereas on a road bike, you're at the mercy of motorists'irrationalities.

I think it's just habit and elitism that road bikes all have lo-pro sidepull brakes. I'd love to have long arm center-pull brakes so I could swap out wider tires for rough-road riding and touring. Surely Shimano could adapt their new XTR brakes for the road, maybe do them in chrome or some such.

As for modulation, I think it's just a matter of getting used to V-brakes or discs.

Discs on a road bike would be sweet, the weight penalty nonwithstanding, for this reason: It would give wheelbuilders more options on rim shape, without having to build in a flat braking surface. And, it would extend the life of your rims,because you wouldn't be grinding grit into them...
Disks on a "Road Bike"HAL9010
Aug 29, 2002 11:04 AM
The (my) Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra has disk brakes. Yes the disk does add to the rotational inertia. But it is very trouble free. The Bad Boy is a road hybrid but not too heavy though not as light as a full road bike. It serves me well.

Remember: "It's not the machine it's the motor".

Now if I could just improve my motor...
I think the point is. . .czardonic
Aug 29, 2002 11:43 AM
Disc or V-Brakes would not stop you any faster than well tuned side-pulls. They might lock up the wheels more easily, but with skinny tires on pavement, that's not necessarily what you want.
If you want to run canti style brakes get a 'cross bike. (nm)NJRoad
Aug 30, 2002 4:15 AM
re: Why side-pull brakes?Trux
Aug 29, 2002 10:39 AM
Good question. My first RB (1970 Peugeot) had Weimann "center pull" brakes that worked well and always stayed centered. My second RB came with expensive Dura-Ace "caliper" brakes which hardly ever stayed centered.
anyone remember U-brakes?ColnagoFE
Aug 29, 2002 1:34 PM
now those sucked royally. I still have a old beater with a read u-brake. When the cable snaps you can't ride it because it locks up the rear wheel.
I think you that have a rose colored memory.Spoke Wrench
Aug 29, 2002 3:01 PM
Modern dual pivot side pull road brakes are so much easier to set up and to keep centered than those old straddle hanger center pulls. They stop you better too.
My vote for side-pullsSpunout
Aug 30, 2002 4:13 AM
I just put together Chorus on a Lemond. That beefy front brake will put me over the bars with one finger, if the wheel didn't lock up first.

No need for more power there. The performance is fantastic.
Point taken, butEager Beagle
Aug 30, 2002 7:18 AM
gainsayers would no doubt say that you have an argument for better modulation, as found on dicsc/V's/cantis/etc.

One finger over the bars braking is dangerous - what if you hit a pot-hole on a fast decent and jab the lever?

Just bored......