Living simply in an over-complicated world
February 16, 2011 in Bike facilities (or lack thereof), Cycling
The endless cycle of winter:
Use bike, clean bike, Use bike, clean bike…
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February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am
Argh. V-brakes and winter mud. A disaster in the making. Let me count the ways in which they go wrong:
1. Little rubber tube comes off letting much into the brake cable (you’ve got that)
2. Brake cables therefore seize up.
3. Pivots are a bit too exposed so they’ll perhaps seize up or become a bit crunchy, which makes adjusting the brakes so that they don’t rub all the more difficult.
4. Brake blocks are eroded due to the muck.
5. The resulting grinding paste erodes the rim.
There’s a reason why hub brakes, gears etc. are nice to have for all-year around utility cycling: it removes the need for all that cleaning ! I’ve only washed my town bike once in the last three years – a couple of weeks ago because I was going to meet a group of people who I thought might not be impressed by the dirt. Nothing had become worn due to dirt.
But there’s also good news for your bike. At least you have fairly decent V-brakes. Shimano Deore and up work far better than the cheapo ones, even under adverse conditions.
February 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm
Andy in Germany
Yup, all true. The next post will add more to the list… I guess they are made for recreational bikes, not workbikes.
February 23, 2011 at 10:47 am
And point taken on the little rubbery tube thingy. I saw it after I took the picture and put it back where it belongs…
February 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm
When they’re working, they stop you quite well, though. And also when set up properly they cause no drag when you’re not braking. Good brakes within their limits, just a bit annoying on a utility bike.
Related, I was sent a catalogue from a German bike manufacturer a couple of days ago. They have very traditional looking “Dutch” bikes with a loop frame, mudguards, skirtguard, chaincase, lock… and V-brakes. A massive “fail” if ever there was one ! V-brakes are the last thing I’d want the children to have on their bikes. Low maintenance is really a priority.
February 23, 2011 at 10:44 am
As you say though, they do have more bite. I much perfer the V-brakes to hub brakes when I’m going downhill. Some German bikes have V-brakes and hub brakes on the back because of the extra bite of V’s. ELdest son’s bike has derraileurs which rules a backpedal system out, but he found the hub system on his last bike caused serious drag and not enough range for hills, so he’s happier now.
February 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm
The big smile
You are “vorbildlich” washing your bike regulary.
My Mundo has not been washed, since last April, when it was all new.
End of December I cleaned the rims and the brakepads.
And I am very glad, the lasered logos of my rims are salt stained now. They will not get stolen that easy now, I hope.
Only the chain gets cleaned regulary.
When it comes to v-brakes on utility bikes, I had problems only once. 12% downhill with a total weight of 250 kg and you will need more than one brake, to control the speed. I tried it.
But I do admit, brakes that use the rim for braking will tend to overheat the rim wich might become a problem in hilly regions, like I live in.
And brakes and gears build into a hub are very service-friendly.
But a hub gear on utility bikes used in hilly regions might be a problem too, because the high torque, that is needed on steep hills.
And a Roloff is a good and robust hub gear, but the price is really extrem!
And all other hubs wouldn’t be robust enough for me. I wrecked two threaded sprocket sets within 1000 km, because of the hills in Eisenach!
I would need a hub wich is certified for tandem use.
February 23, 2011 at 10:46 am
I don’t clean the bike as often as the post implies, to be honest, but I am fussy about the thing looking nice.
I’ve never had trouble from the V-brakes overheating, although that probably just shows how darn slow I ride. And yes, I do need both on local hills as well…
February 23, 2011 at 10:35 am
Clean… « People Powered
[...] the end, except when it was filthy to start with because I’m too lazy to clean it. (I think this post made me look more conscientious than I really [...]
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