Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always kept my brake cables pretty taut, so that there is little space between the pads and the rims. I was thinking today about loosening them a bit so that I can hold the levers back making it easier to clamp down in a hurry, particularly on a descent. Had some automotive moron come around a blind turn in my lane this morning and the fraction of a second I would have gained could easily have been critical. Would there be any drawbacks to doing this? (making sure that I would still be able to lock-em-up if necessary)
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
13,390 Posts
I keep my brakes pretty tight too. I don't see how you'd be gaining anything by having more play. On downhills, I keep a finger or two on the levers, but don't actually pull them back unless needed. I also think that in more normal circumstances, e.g. on flats, in pacelines or group riding, "tighter" brakes will give you a faster reaction time when your hands are not in the drops.
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't pull my brakes back very much at all without applying the brakes. I'm not jumping into a change right away, although it would be an easy and painless experiment (hopefully to the painless) I have pretty small hands and I have to stretch to get the brakes. (Campy Ergo Shifter) I like the advantage of being able to keep my hands on the shifters, (up and down). I recently moved the brake/shifter down about 2 cm to allow a better reach for the shifters from the drops and am getting used to that before I make any more changes, after 9 or 10,000 miles on the original setup, I think that is best. Being able to stay on the drops has improved my average speed though. It was just a thought and I am interested in others thoughts on it. I seem to remember Kerry Irons mentioning keeping them looser because he felt it was easier to modulate the braking.....Thanks....
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
Joined
·
686 Posts
I always keep mine opened-up a little, as compared to running them close to the rim, because they just "feel" better that way. Another reason is because I changed over to the old style Campy "Athena" single pivot brakes and you "have" to run them opened up. The modulation is'nt near as good as my old dual pivot brakes, but they sure are pretty.:D
 

· Chili hed & old bike fixr
Joined
·
1,197 Posts
I remember

reading some literature from Shimano that suggested that there be 2-3MM from each brake pad to the rim. The idea was that they had designed the lever to work better and give smoother modulation with more clearance to the rim. Obviously you do not want to make it too loose, so that the lever pulls all the way to the bars.
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow...

I have been doing research as well as asking here, and maybe I just don't expect enough from my brakes. They do EVERYTHING I want WHEN I want them to and never lock the wheel up unless I call for it. ...and they are lowly veloce.....All the "facts" I found have to be true right?...after all it is on the internet! (this is the same internet that told me Lab's don't shed....LOL)
This all makes the opinnions of other riders more important!
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
curlybike said:
reading some literature from Shimano that suggested that there be 2-3MM from each brake pad to the rim. The idea was that they had designed the lever to work better and give smoother modulation with more clearance to the rim. Obviously you do not want to make it too loose, so that the lever pulls all the way to the bars.

hadn't thought of looking on the Campy web site....thanks...will check it out, (naturally Shimano's would not be appropriate) 3 mm is a large spaceing by my standards.....on the plus side..it would be WAY easier to get my wheels off (not a problem if I have a flat, but if the tire is pumped up tight, I need to let the air out to clear the brakes even with it released)
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok that was incredibly helpful...NOT..
Campy says 1 mm unless that isn't right then change it......LOL
 

· Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
It sounds like the real problem is small hands, and long reach to the levers. I have the same problem.

Shimano makes small shims that insert at the top of the lever, and hold it down a few mm so it's closer to the bars, thereby lessening the reach. I don't know if Campy would accomodate shims but I think it would solve your problem.
 

· Chili hed & old bike fixr
Joined
·
1,197 Posts
Oops

Touch0Gray said:
hadn't thought of looking on the Campy web site....thanks...will check it out, (naturally Shimano's would not be appropriate) 3 mm is a large spaceing by my standards.....on the plus side..it would be WAY easier to get my wheels off (not a problem if I have a flat, but if the tire is pumped up tight, I need to let the air out to clear the brakes even with it released)
Stupid me, I blew by the Campy reference. But I have been using 2-3 MM clearance for years with Campy stuff with no stopping problems or with wheel removal difficulty. If you use the fattest part of the tire as a gauge, wheel removal possible, you should have no stopping issues. I have short fingers and that still causes no problems.
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
looking on-line now for a new set of hands......LOL...I mean I can reach the levers and stop when I want to..but on some long and/or scary descents or situations, it would be kinda nice to be wrapped around them JUST IN CASE...if you know what I mean....along with that would go 360 degree peripheral vision to spot for idiots, wild animals and good looking gals.
I could easily fabricate some shims that would work well and be invisible. another possibility. Thanks....
 

· Banned
Joined
·
657 Posts
I like my brakes tight so just a touch applies the brake. I’m used of that w/ the cars & have learned to work with a light touch. Like a surgeon with a sharp knife. BTW: they never say, "scalpel” but,”knife”.
 

· Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
41,533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
venus said:
I like my brakes tight so just a touch applies the brake. I’m used of that w/ the cars & have learned to work with a light touch. Like a surgeon with a sharp knife. BTW: they never say, "scalpel” but,”knife”.

That is how I keep mine, I trued the wheels with a dial indicator so I can set the pads nasty close to the rim. (a couple pieces of paper would fit, but not much more.) My work also requires a very delicate touch, setting very valuable, very fragile stones with setting pliers is a lot like squeezing the brake lever, except that a little to heavy a touch only ends up with bodily injury instead of costly stone replacement as well...lol
 

· Larry Lackapants
Joined
·
698 Posts
Lever closer to the bars mean more braking power when riding on the hoods.
I have shimano 105 double pivot brakes and shimano simple 600 brake levers (no STI) I've seen that the closer the lever is to the bars, the more power I can apply on it when on the hoods. Short travel of the brake pads to the rim means I can't really "squeeze" the brakes hard enough, because I have to apply more power when the levers are far from the bars.
This may also mean that I got to find a better set of pads for the front caliper (the rear wheel is pretty close to locking up without squeezing the brake lever too hard)

Good luck
br
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top