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Old 06-18-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
FredoTwoWheels
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Default Bicycle brakes on choppers

Iíve seen a couple old photos of choppers that have bike brakes on the front as a way to skirt legal requirements or just to hold the bike on a hill for foot clutch bikes. As with my recent conversation here I have been thinking about brakes a lot and with all the advancements in gnarly mountain bikes, would it be possible to run a mini disk off of one with a small brake on a springer? Obviously not going to hold a candle to a fully sized hydraulic setup, but I would bet it would stop at least as good as a cam operated drum brake with only a hand lever for mechanism. Anyone seen anything like this recently?
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

I could see it used as a hillholder but stopping a moving bike and rider should be impossible for such a unit. Remember the formula for kinetic energy half the mass times speed squared.
We removed front brakes for looks. To have clean handlebars. If you want to clutter that up again why not use a real brake?
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

no front brake may 'Look Cool Dude' but think of ya buddys who stop quick & you pile into the back of them causing damage or worse, fit a real brake that works or ya may as well fit one like this............
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

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Originally Posted by magnum45pete View Post
no front brake may 'Look Cool Dude' but think of ya buddys who stop quick & you pile into the back of them causing damage or worse, fit a real brake that works or ya may as well fit one like this............

Is that a V Twin caliper?
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

Anybody should be totally free to choose his own way of dying as long as it doesn't involve my wallet...

Patrick ; o )
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

I know this is not exactly what you're asking and maybe you've already explored this option, but...

Have you seen the mini disc brake on Narrow Strike Eagle, the Japanese scene swinger shovel? He set it up with a small dirt bike disc on the brake on the front, actuated by a Exile-style twist grip clutch. The cable from the clutch "lever" articulates a hidden hydro master under his tank, then a hydro line goes from that spot in the frame to the claiper.

So you get a decently powerful disc front brake and clean bars. There are tons of pics of his setup if you just google "Narrow Strike Eagle".
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

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Originally Posted by ericthebeard View Post
I know this is not exactly what you're asking and maybe you've already explored this option, but...

Have you seen the mini disc brake on Narrow Strike Eagle, the Japanese scene swinger shovel? He set it up with a small dirt bike disc on the brake on the front, actuated by a Exile-style twist grip clutch. The cable from the clutch "lever" articulates a hidden hydro master under his tank, then a hydro line goes from that spot in the frame to the claiper.

So you get a decently powerful disc front brake and clean bars. There are tons of pics of his setup if you just google "Narrow Strike Eagle".
Ive seen hidden master cylinders before, cable actuated, but it is hard to do so without planning it for the build to begin with. For instance I would need to fab a mount to the frame and build or use a tank with a channel deep enough to mount over it. The new mountain bike brakes have integrated reservoirs in the lever that are pretty slick, I just think with how shitty the cable operated mechanical is on the front I could probably get away with the mini disk with potentially better stopping power and not give up much handle bar real estate. I dont rely on my front brake now, and I wouldnt in this case either, I think people get the wrong idea. I pretty much use it for hills and when I am coming to a complete stop with one foot on the clutch.

Is there a reason the master cylinder is never actually mounted to the brake itself?
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

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Originally Posted by FredoTwoWheels View Post

Is there a reason the master cylinder is never actually mounted to the brake itself?
I've thought about this too. It cannot be because of heat dissipation. Brake fluid isn't really flowing, recirculating. Can somebody prove the juice in the reservoir ever migrates to the caliper? How does the caliper volume get up to the handlebars?
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

Maybe there's enough constant bounce and shake down by the brake that the brake fluid would cavitate in a reservoir located there.
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

Perhaps a hidden servo under the lower fork tree., reservoir inside the headlight..or something like that.
Lots of possibilities , your own creativity wlll set the Limit I guess.
The clean bar issue on my project is not top priority but i will get to it one day....
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

early softail had a remote reservoir for the master that was a rectangle block of alloy foot operated

moto guzzy use a front and rear brake off the rear pedal that was interesting to ride and worked well - then the other front disc was off the handlebar master

just start over and build a second machine chassis and switch the power plant
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

‘Grimeca clean bars’ plug and play...as far as the reservoirs , thats just about volume so a 12 mm hose or pipe of a certain lenght standing upright could already act as one. ...i guess.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:01 AM   #13
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers


I've never used one of these go cart brakes, but have thought about it for a long time as a minimal type front hill holder.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

Literally, "for the life of me," I cannot understand why someone would want to ride without a front brake. Yes, I understand the "looks" thing, but I have a lot-more respect for the "I want to-live" thing.

On a show bike, I can see the reason, but nothing that is used on the street should be without a front brake. I live in a helmet optional state, Florida (= or > age 21 and insurance required) and I would never ride my bike without one. Nor would I ride a bike without a front brake. Yes, it's a choice.

One of the bike magazines, not a chopper publication, did a closed-course test of three riders:
novice
experienced rider of many years
professional racer

They put them on the same bike, and ran tests where they measured stopping distances using various brake actuation, and different speeds:

rear brake only
front and rear brake

As you would expect, the pro racer was able to stop in 1/3 the distance of the novice rider. They use different speeds to initiate braking.

Two things I recall, From the higher speed, the novice rider took > 600 ft to stop, and little of the braking was from the front brake.

With some coaching, the novice rider was able to reduce their stopping distance significantly, by using both front and rear brakes.

There is great merit to using courses like the MSF courses.

Last edited by Elektron; 06-20-2020 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

If you wanna end like Jack Teller you can forget about your front brake, if you are able to machine around in your workshop you can do something like Lambretta did on some scooters.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

and a speedo cable - its an Italian thing that's how
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

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Originally Posted by Elektron View Post
Literally, "for the life of me," I cannot understand why someone would want to ride without a front brake. Yes, I understand the "looks" thing, but I have a lot-more respect for the "I want to-live" thing.

On a show bike, I can see the reason, but nothing that is used on the street should be without a front brake. I live in a helmet optional state, Florida (= or > age 21 and insurance required) and I would never ride my bike without one. Nor would I ride a bike without a front brake. Yes, it's a choice.

One of the bike magazines, not a chopper publication, did a closed-course test of three riders:
novice
experienced rider of many years
professional racer

They put them on the same bike, and ran tests where they measured stopping distances using various brake actuation, and different speeds:

rear brake only
front and rear brake

As you would expect, the pro racer was able to stop in 1/3 the distance of the novice rider. They use different speeds to initiate braking.

Two things I recall, From the higher speed, the novice rider took > 600 ft to stop, and little of the braking was from the front brake.

With some coaching, the novice rider was able to reduce their stopping distance significantly, by using both front and rear brakes.

There is great merit to using courses like the MSF courses.
I'm in agreement about running a front brake, but if you ever get a chance to ride a long raked [40 degrees and more] out chopper, you will find that front brake no matter how powerful of little use, because of the lack of weight on the front wheel.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

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I'm in agreement about running a front brake, but if you ever get a chance to ride a long raked [40 degrees and more] out chopper, you will find that front brake no matter how powerful of little use, because of the lack of weight on the front wheel.

I agree, and possibly even more dangerous braking in a corner with a light front end.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

ohhh the whole front brake debate... so much to talk about that.
I run no front brake on my cone shovel, and had no front brake on my long Pan chop..
My cone does some serious miles everywhere, never had as such as an ass twitching moment.
It's all about planning. and yes, certain things you can't plan, but you can have escape routes and constantly be "what if this happens, what do I do?"
But that's how I always ride and always drive, constant escape plans. you know what space you need to stop with a rear wheel skidding.. adjust your speed accordingly and plan for the worse.
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Old 06-22-2020, 05:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: Bicycle brakes on choppers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektron View Post
Literally, "for the life of me," I cannot understand why someone would want to ride without a front brake. Yes, I understand the "looks" thing, but I have a lot-more respect for the "I want to-live" thing.

On a show bike, I can see the reason, but nothing that is used on the street should be without a front brake. I live in a helmet optional state, Florida (= or > age 21 and insurance required) and I would never ride my bike without one. Nor would I ride a bike without a front brake. Yes, it's a choice.

One of the bike magazines, not a chopper publication, did a closed-course test of three riders:
novice
experienced rider of many years
professional racer

They put them on the same bike, and ran tests where they measured stopping distances using various brake actuation, and different speeds:

rear brake only
front and rear brake

As you would expect, the pro racer was able to stop in 1/3 the distance of the novice rider. They use different speeds to initiate braking.

Two things I recall, From the higher speed, the novice rider took > 600 ft to stop, and little of the braking was from the front brake.

With some coaching, the novice rider was able to reduce their stopping distance significantly, by using both front and rear brakes.

There is great merit to using courses like the MSF courses.

All about preference I guess. The debate you mentioned is not real life is it? How many 'pro riders' ride 60 year old chops?

Something has always stuck with me that Russ 'Shoveithead' told me. You ride old choppers with your brain not your brakes. If you need to grab brakes that much at speed, you're riding like a prick.

I understand some people run them, it's fine. I don't and never have. But! from my experience, the bikes i've rode with a front brake (Old harleys) they don't do much stopping anyway that's for sure.

As JP said, you should be looking for ways to get out of the way as much as possible. Of course, sometimes when it's meant to be it will happen. But I'm sure as shit, a 70 year old drum front brake isn't giving me enough stopping to get out of the above scenario either way.
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