Coker brake

The Maguras on my muni work great. The hydolics allow for great modulation and the hard pads do not grab too much. But I have a V brake on the Coker and it stops too well having only led to UPDs. Has anyone found a way to make them less grabby or should I just swap them out for Maguras?

Use cheaper pads and or try a longer throw lever for some more modulation and less mechanical advantage

I don’t know what the coker rim walls are like. You could try polishing the rim wall if it is painted or anodized.

I find I never really need to use my brake on my 36er, but my set up is a “drag brake”, which I like better because you can simply set it exactly at the brake pressure you want if you are going down a steep hill, and it works great. It also has the added beneift of holding the uni up when engaged so you can lean it against a wall or whatever and it won’t fall over! :smiley:

So much has been done over the years to make brakes more effective, so the easy solution is to move your technology back a few years. I would start with nos brake shoes whose rubber has been allowed to polymerize, and harden.

You could make the cable a little long so that some of the energy from your braking is absorbed in the cable. Using a braided cable, or one for a shifter, can eat up some of your lever power. A short. long throw lever like an old Shimano DX/TB lever should just about kill your ability to stop your wheel.

Maybe an old Huret shift lever used to set drag on the brake. I only say Huret because they made some with a bit more cable wrap and would be a little easier to use in this function than a Campy type.

Come to think of it, it would be a cool project to add a shift lever to the body of a TB style bmx lever so that you could have a drag/intermittent brake. It would work because this type of brake lever pushes the casing, rather than pulling the cable. The barrel end of the cable sits in a stop of the lever housing, and the casing is up against the lever itself.

I’m rambling on a bit. Good luck with your project.

I’ve found that the best way to make brakes less grippy is to remove them. You don’t need brakes anyway.

My maguras broke on today’s coker ride, when I had a very surprising dismount. The brake lever was installed in a quite vulnerable location on one bar end on my longish handle bar. I hadn’t fixed it with the screw in the hopes that it would then rather turn than break… It snapped right opposite of the not installed screw, of course. Luckily I was still able to attach the lever when I got home by using the screw. I wonder how long that will last…

Anyways, on the way home I was unable to use the brake. I missed it a lot, especially with those 102mm cranks. I had to spin quite slowly downhills in order to be able to stop for traffic etc. With longer cranks it wouldn’t be all that important to have a brake.

I don’t have a coker, and my cranks on my 29’er are 125’s, so I probably don’t have much place commenting, but I will anyway.

I have about a mile of sustained downhill on my morning commute, and without the brake it added an extra 15 minutes to my ride. I would say that the brake has helped a lot. I can only imagine that it would be even more beneficial.

Of course I could improve my fitness and that would help a bit too.

Non brake people are purists. It is like the hardcore fixie riders who go breakless. Not because it is better but because they can and they want to keep their ride “pure”

If you want to ride a 36er with 110s down a long hill without brakes you may be more man than I am but I probably won’t be as tired at the end and have way more control.

jtrops has some good advice and I would definitely consider polishing your breaking surface, it made a huge difference in braking performance for me.

Another idea might be to put a super low profile cantilever brake with a long stradle cable on. Something like the old Onza brakes, or the original XTR. Those brakes really only work well with a short stradle cable. The longer the straddle cable the less mechanical advantage.

how did it add 15 minutes to your commute to go brakeless down the hill? Just curious not looking to criticize or anything…

Psh! that’s why you don’t resist the hill, you just go with it and hope your feet stay on the pedals. haha and I spin 114’s thankew very much. :stuck_out_tongue:

“how did it add 15 minutes to your commute to go brakeless down the hill? Just curious not looking to criticize or anything…”

First of all I should say that I am far from an experienced unicyclist, and so I’m sure I was putting far too much work into controlling my speed with back pressure. So, to answer your question; the brake save me 15 minutes because I could go faster down the hill and stay in control. I was very surprised when I looked at my commute time after I put the brake on, and I realized it was entirely made up in that section.

I thought of another classic brake tuning trick: Check the Toe of your brake pads. Ideally the brake pad should be “toed-in” a little to minimize/eliminate brake squeal. If yours are hitting the rim flat that will increase the brake power, and you might hear a squeal when you brake. The classic fix is to reset the toe with a penny between the back of the brake pad and the rim, and the front of the brake pad touching the rim. You can adjust the toe to increase braking power, or decrease squeal. In your case you can also use it to decrease braking power.

This might be the fastest fix, and you might not need to do anything else.

oh, I guess it makes sense then. It’s all in technique, another reason i don’t use a break is not just because I want my ride to be ‘pure’ but that I see every hill as an opportunity to re-evaluate my technique and perfect my spinning and by using a break I lose the opportunity to improve my technique at higher rpms and on steeper downhills because I’d just use the break to keep myself at a comfortable level.

Find a bike that has been left out all winter, or clearly been left outside for a long time. Take the pads off the bike, put them on your brake!

I am still chicken to go much over 35km/h. The scar on my shoulder and the numb spot on my leg might have something to do with it.

Riding brakeless does have some advantages. My brake developed a leak on day 2 or RTL and I was forced to ride the rest brakeless. My time down long hills suffered but I would let myself go for the last 500m or so (about 300m sooner than I would have totally gotten off the brake) and would generally come out of the hill with a bit more speed than I would have if I would have stayed on my brake.

Braking with my legs did take its toll though and I was unable to go down hills without pain on days 4 and 5. I became a flat and moderate hill climbing specialist. (Jordan still got the real long/steep climbs)

On slippery terrain (snow and ice) I can brake much smoother with my brake than with my legs and it can allow me to stop in a shorter distance and/or slow down without going in to a skid

Back to the topic of weakening V brakes: WD40! :roll_eyes: