Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vee brake stuff...

Brakes have really changed over the years. Back in the nineties, canti brakes mounted a certain way. You've got your post that's brazed onto the frame/fork and then you've got the brake that slips over that post and rotates around said post. That's pretty simple and if you don't look toooo closely, it looks like nothing has changed. But besides the one obvious fact that vee brakes and disc brakes have taken over most of the market it's also now normal for the vee and canti brakes to mount up in a different way.

Back in the old days we bike shop mechanics would have to file many a brake post to get the brakes to work smoothly. Then someone came up with the bright idea of a "cartridge" style mounting method. The way this works is that the brake arm still mounts onto the braze on like normal but now there are two sleeves (instead of just one) inside the brake. One sits stationary on the brake post and is tightened down during assembly while the other sleeve rotates on the inner sleeve whose job is just to sit there on the brake post. While it's more complicated to produce, it's actually a plus for speeding up the bicycle assembly process. No more filing the brake post. It's sort of an idiot proof style of building brakes.

Paul does this type right by sealing everything up with o-rings and making it rebuildable but that's also a pricey way to do it which is why I don't have Paul brakes at this time. <----- Notice the pun...Paul and Price used in the same sentence. I dream about Paul Motolites, though.

Anyway, when building up my Tour Easy, I found that Tektro still makes an old style vee brake that's also dirt cheap. So I bought a set, sanded my brake posts, and slapped them on. That created a nice feeling of nostalgia over a (necessary) ritual of times past. Funny how MORE work can be fun when assembling a bicycle. The "old style" doesn't work better than the "new style" but it's my preference. The facts that they'e cheap and shiny silver also help the cause.

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