Adding a Front Brake...advice, suggestions, please

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by girlgofast, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. girlgofast

    girlgofast New Member

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    All I have right now is a rear coaster brake and I want to add something on the front. I first ran into problems with finding a place on the handle bars for the additional lever. (I saw the dual-pull ones in another thread but I don't want the clutch and brake to operate together.) Is there another form of dual-lever that mounts as one but pulls separately? (two levers, one mount)

    My next issue was mounting the caliper brake system. The stem already had the center hole so I assumed there'd be no fit problems. Due to the nature of my fork, I had to space the brakes really far forward with a bunch of washers (which I am not at all happy with). Also, there isn't a lot of room between the fork and rim for the shoes to have full clearance or even the calipers to open fully. And I'm thinking as soon as I brake the first time, all the paint on the rim will come off.

    Maybe a disk brake is a better solution? Will that work on this hub/frame setup?
    Also, anyone have a guess at what year and make this frame is? Best I've been able to get is 1960s Huffy...
     

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  2. Zev0

    Zev0 New Member

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    I use a drum brake on my front wheel and love it.
     
  3. markeatmark

    markeatmark New Member

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    cut the pads down
     
  4. Dave31

    Dave31 Moderator
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  5. Ilikeabikea

    Ilikeabikea Moderator
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    Can you put it on the back of the fork instead of the front? Or there not enough room???????
     
  6. RedB66

    RedB66 New Member

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    When you squeeze the brake caliper together are the tabs long enough to make contact with the wheel? From the pictures it looks as if those brake arms are too short. Once you squeeze the calipers together the pads should clear the forks, they will be just to the inside. You may need to get pads that have a shallow profile. I've found that BMX brakes are plenty long enough to mate up with the wheel.Brakes - Pyramid MX Brake Set bike brake set bicycle brake set front brake rear brake | BikeWorldUSA | Bicycle Parts and Bike Accessories.

    As far as the dual pull lever... both brake lines will be attatched to it and the clutch will have an independent (seperate) lever.

    Another option is disc brakes with an adaptor...Brakes
     
    #6 RedB66, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  7. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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  8. HoughMade

    HoughMade New Member

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    All I can say is that a caliper works fine on the back of the fork...not that anyone will copy my mount.
     

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  9. girlgofast

    girlgofast New Member

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    Even if I cut the pads down lengthwise there still wouldn't be enough space between the fork and the rim for the caliper to open all the way with any shoe on there. I think I would have to shave at least half the thickness off as well. Factor this in with the mounting issue and I figure there has to be a better option (though I might end up doing this).

    Already tried mounting on the back of the fork, the angle is totally off and nothing reaches/lines up. I need something like HoughMade's, awesome!!!

    I thought the dual-lever said it could be used for clutch and brake, woops. I don't have a lever for rear brake so I guess that won't do anything for me. Anyone know anything about/have experience with twist-handle style clutches? They're like the ones on vespas. (The only other way I can come up with to reduce number of levers in my way.)

    Thanks for the links and info everyone. ChainGang has some great stuff, even disk brake solutions for forks without caliper mount :)

    I'll check to make sure the tabs are long enough, then figure out a way to mount it on the back of the fork, or go with disk brakes.

    1960s Huffy... got a better guess?
     

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  10. toad772

    toad772 New Member

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    Nice bike only thing wrong with it is the exhaust
     
  11. Cabinfever1977

    Cabinfever1977 New Member

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    why dont you put caliper brakes on the rear wheel.
     
  12. leftywoody

    leftywoody New Member

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    I had the same problem with my springer fork set up . I cured it by using 2 of the three C-shaped rag plates, that came with the rear sprocket . And bolted one on each side directly where the shoe would bolt on . Using the center hole in each plate . Then bolted the shoe through one of the end holes of the plate . If you have extra C-plates with your kit you can do the same for free . All this does is extend the shoes down and forward enough to make contact with your rim . Here is a pic of the bike I did this too .
     

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    #12 leftywoody, Aug 6, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  13. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I think your simplest solution is to get the bmx pyramid caliper brake from bikeworldusa... good folks to deal with, by the way. This has a nice wide and long reach and is what I just installed on both my 63 Schwinn Americans. Work great and was the cheapest solution for me. I also had just the rear coaster brake. As for your levers... all you would have is the clutch lever on the left and the brake lever on the right. I don't see where there's a problem with too many levers. That's how mine is set up and there isn't a lot of room on the riser type handlebars I use. Works very well for me. Good luck to you...
    Silverbear
     
  14. WayneC

    WayneC New Member

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    I think your main problem with the brake is the actual caliper design...not original to the bike, no doubt. The cheap solution:Brakes - Front and Rear Brake Cruiser Set | BikeWorldUSA | Bicycle Parts and Bike Accessories. I used this on my restored cruiser (with a springer fork) and they work/fit fine. They are made a little wider to fit around the wider tires. I also have fenders making it even wider to get the arms around...no problems. I too have painted rims and, yes, the pads will scuff and scratch. Nature of the beast. I only used the caliper in severe stopping situations as my main front braking came from a rear coaster hub brake setup.
    A more expensive solution, I switched to this: 26" FRONT WHEEL WITH DRUM BRAKE HUB: Husky Bicycles recently and like ZevO says, its a great brake and wheel. I painted the rim so I'm back in business.
    I'm curious about the attitude of your springer though. The coil seems to be in a steep downward orientation and I wonder if that may limit the space between the fork and springer struts. It might just look that way due to the angle of the shot and the wheel being cocked to the side, IDK.
    OH, and lose the washer/spacer. There is nothing to grip the caliper to keep it centered with that thing in there. The first time you brake, the caliper will pull over to one side and stay there. If you get it to work at all.
    Wayne
     
  15. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    I like the disc brakes!!!
    Where in Cali are you?
     
  16. girlgofast

    girlgofast New Member

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    awesome, thanks guys.

    lefty, the pics you posted help A LOT. my kit didn't come with any c-plates but i'm sure i have some lying around in a pile of bike stuff somewhere; never thought to use them that way.

    silverbear, i understand what you're saying about clutch on left and brake on right only being two levers (one on each side). my problem is having the brake on the right with the throttle, not liking it... i start speeding up when leveraging. so i have the brake lever on the left instead. which is causing lever-mash-up on that side.

    wayne, i'm really liking that drum brake hub. does that operate with standard lever and cables? or do i need something else special/involved to get that on my bike? i already took the ill-fitting setup off, couldn't get over the washers. also, the springer/coil really is steep like that, it's not just the pic. it's been like that since i got the bike. is it supposed to be oriented otherwise? there really is limited space between fork and struts.

    venice, i'm in southern CA... the inland empire i am told. it's temecula/murrieta area, such a difference from NYC. loving it!
     
  17. WayneC

    WayneC New Member

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    GGF,
    The wheel comes with everything you need to mount and rig it (even the axle nuts) except the lever, which you already have.
    My springer is straight out (horizontal) as are most all that I've seen. Maybe the neck mount is upside down??? or something. Maybe someone else can shed some insight. Might not mean anything at all. Does it work OK?
    WC
     
  18. leftywoody

    leftywoody New Member

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    So how is your bike coming ? got brakes ?
     
  19. girlgofast

    girlgofast New Member

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    Bike has seen better days :( It still doesn't have brakes on it, I won't need something to stop me if I can't even go in the first place. The chain still isn't right. I got a spring-loaded tensioner which I thought would be perfect. But it only increased resistance making the bike harder to move, caused rubbing on an ill-placed screw that can't be removed (poor design), and just didn't solve anything. Rear wheel locked up while going pretty fast. Haven't had a chance to get back on it and troubleshoot.
     
  20. knucklebone

    knucklebone New Member

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    I don't have any brakes at the moment, any cheap ideas would be helpful......
     

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