Perhaps the most important part on your bike is the braking system. The last thing you want is to be flying down the street unable to stop your bike as you get nearer a stoplight and crossing traffic! For mountain bikes, the brake system also allows the rider to skillfully manipulate around obstacles in a way that wouldn’t at all be possible without a sensitive braking system.
Regardless of what kind of bike or braking system you have, it will be invaluable – allowing you to slow your speed, stop, and steer your bike under control.
Bicycle Brakes – How They Measure Up?
|Style||The Good||The Bad|
|Pedal Brakes||Inexpensive, simple||Little modulation|
|Calliper Brakes||Light, inexpensive, versatile, easy to fix, cheap to repair||Not ideal in all weather conditions, do not fit on some styles of mountain bikes|
|Disc Brakes||Powerful, high level of modulation, perfect in all weather conditions, no rim wear, fits on all styles of mountain bikes, can accept higher maximum loads||Heavy, expensive, not easy to fix, not cheap to repair|
Drum (Pedal) Brake - The Simplest Form of Braking[ Back to menu ]
Back-pedaling is the simplest form of braking, and is common on older styles of bikes, beach cruisers bicycles, and BMX bicycles. With most other styles of bicycle brakes, the brake "signal" is transmitted via brake cables. However, with this simple and effective form of braking, the "signal" is transmitted via your bicycle chain, stopping the revolution of the rear wheel.
Although effective, the rider will no doubt miss the subtle modulation of braking force to be found with other bicycle brakes.
Calliper Brakes[ Back to menu ]
Calliper (or rim) bicycle brakes include side or center pull calliper brakes, and v-brakes. Although these different braking styles are slightly different, they all operate by applying braking force to the rim of the wheel via rubber brake pads.
In most cases, this is accomplished by squeezing brake levers mounted on the bicycle handlebars - thus contracting brake cables and forcing the brake pads to press against the rim.
Rim brakes offer more modulation than pedal brakes, but have the tendency to lose their power in overly wet or muddily conditions. Despite the growing popularity of disc brakes on many different styles of bikes, road bicycles still come equipped with the side-pull calliper brake. This is due to the fact that road bike tires are so skinny and slick, that applying aggressive braking pressure to the wheels would simply cause the tires to skid out anyway!
Advantages Of Calliper Brakes
Braking systems involving the rims of the bicycle wheels are very common, and have a number of advantages. They are
- Easy and inexpensive to repair
- Relatively powerful
- Mechanically simple
Calliper Brakes On eBay
Bicycle Disc Brakes[ Back to menu ]
Bicycle Disc brakes have become quite popular recently. At first, one would only see them on mountain bikes, but now they are even appearing on road-style bikes!
All of these benefits, plus many more, make disc brakes perfect for mountain bikes. In fact, it is impossible to find an all mountain or downhill mountain bikes with anything other than disc brakes for this very reason!
But do you need disc brakes on YOUR bike? As with other bike questions that arise, it would do you well to evaluate your needs before considering bicycle disk brakes.
Advantages Of Disc Brakes
Bicycle disc brakes have a number of admirable advantages. They are:
- Very powerful
- Very durable
- Very effective in ALL kinds of conditions
- Can accept higher maximum loads
- Easy to repair
Aside from the benefits listed above, bicycle disk brakes also give the rider a high level of modulation - that is, a wide range of braking strength.
Did you know...?
Did you know that hydraulic disc brakes provide the most consistent performance in warm weather conditions?
With other types of brakes, extremely hot weather can make the brake function sluggishly as the brake pads may become over-heated and slightly "sticky". With hydraulic disc brakes, however, this never occurs.
Unless the heat is strong enough to boil the braking fluid (I'm sure you're not planning to cycle around a volcano anytime soon), the brakes will remain responsive and precise.
Mechanical Or Hydraulic?
There are two kinds of bicycle disc brakes - mechanical (cable-actuated) and hydraulic (fluid-actuated), with the latter being more effective (and more expensive).
Disc Brakes On eBay
Where to Buy Bicycle Brakes?
If you are interested in buying bicycle brake cables, brake levers, brake pads and brake spares, you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores: