Whether you are looking to maintain control of your bike and avoid running into other road users when commuting by bicycle or are looking to skillfully maneuver around trees and other obstacles in mountain biking, bicycle brakes are among the most important if not the most important bicycle parts. The bicycle braking system allows you to easily maintain perfect control of your bicycle in dynamic cycling conditions.
The Drum/Pedal Brake
Often referred to as coaster brakes, this form of braking system is usually found in older bicycles, cruisers and BMX bikes. The stopping action is performed by pedaling in the reverse direction causing the bicycle chain to stop the rear wheel immediately. This type of braking system lacks the moderate stopping action common with other braking systems such as cable brakes. This means they result in uneven wear on bicycle tires.
Caliper Bicycle Brakes
These braking systems usually rely on the stopping power of a force applied on the bicycle wheel rims. They tend to be:
- Rely on a simple mechanical system
- Are powerful
- Usually light
Rim brakes come in a variety of designs including center and side pull caliper and v-brakes. They all operate by relying on the cyclist to pull on the brake levers positioned on the bicycle handlebars after which the tightening of the cable causes the calipers to come together pressing the bike wheel in between them.
They offer moderate braking as compared to the instant braking of pedal brakes. However they become slightly unreliable in wet and muddy conditions, where the rim becomes wet and slippery.
Disc brakes have been growing in popularity especially when it comes to mountain bikes but road bikes maintain the use of rim brakes. This is because disc brakes have quick braking action which would cause thin road bike tires to skid off the road surface and endanger the rider.
Did you know…?
Did you know that cork brake pads are more common than you might think?
Most road racing bicycles equipped with carbon rims use cork brakes. This is because the cork material is able to rub on the carbon rim without generating heat.
Cork is non-abrasive and does not transmit any heat to the carbon rim when it comes into action during braking.
Before rushing out to get yourself a bike fitted with these new braking systems it is important to begin by considering whether they offer any value to you and your preferred riding style.
Bicycle disc brakes are the in thing when it comes to bicycle braking systems today. In addition to mountain bikes, even road bikes now come with disc brakes.
My recent purchase of a Giant Seek 1 hybrid bicycle came with disc brakes. One of the main drawbacks I can attest to is the fact that these brakes add a lot of weight to the bicycle as compared to their lighter and compact rim counterparts.
Bicycle disc brakes come in two varieties i.e. cable/mechanical actuated or fluid/hydraulic actuated variations. The former is less effective when compared to the latter.
Even with that in mind, there are some associated benefits when it comes to disc brakes including:
- Among the most durable braking systems
- Are easy to repair
- Can support higher loads
- Have a lot of stopping power
- Weather resistant
In addition to the above benefits, these brakes also come with a reasonable stopping range. Simply said, it is due to these benefits that disc brakes have become sort of an industry standard when it comes to mountain bikes and all sorts of downhill racing bikes.
So, Which Bicycle Brakes Are Best For Me?
Make sure that you take the time to think about your needs so as to identify the best brakes for you. As a rule of thumb caliper brakes should be good enough unless you have some special needs such as is the case with mountain bikes and disc brakes.
The table below shows whether you stand to gain be installing disc bicycle brakes on other types of bicycles.
|Caliper Brakes||They include being light, easy and cheap to repair and inexpensive as well.||Can’t be fitted on some bikes; are affected by some weather conditions.|
|Pedal Actuated brakes||Very little modulation resulting in abrupt stopping and uneven wear.|
|Disc Brakes||Weather resistant, versatile, and powerful and don’t result in rim wear.||Add a weight to the bike, expensive and harder to maintain.|
Where to Buy Bicycle Brakes?
If you are interested in buying bicycle brakes you are invited to visit this trusted online store: