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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:00 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 2679
Location: Norfolkshire
Ok, I've got a really lovely GT Pantera frame with U-Brake mounts and Cable guide fitted.

Questions are;

1, Do U-Brakes need Canti Levers or V Levers, or doesn't it matter?

2, Will a BMX U Brake work? Seen some funky colours ;)

3, Is there anything else I need to know about U Brakes?

Many thanks,

Jussa :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:11 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26146
Location: Moomin Valley
Questions are;

1, Do U-Brakes need Canti Levers or V Levers, or doesn't it matter? - Cantilever levers, v-levers pull too much cable. V-levers make u-brakes feel 'solid'

2, Will a BMX U Brake work? Seen some funky colours ;) - yes

3, Is there anything else I need to know about U Brakes? - no, except maybe that they are u shaped...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:39 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 2679
Location: Norfolkshire
Thanks LGF muchly appreciated :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:31 pm 
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 4840
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Yes you need canti levers (BMX levers are fine too but maybe not that great for the front canti).

BMX U-brakes will work but bear in mind there are some (such as the AD990/996/Hombre etc, maybe more) that were designed for front mounting on a BMX so might have some odd looking (to those who haven't seen them) cable mount points. They can be used still but you might need a bolt on cable barrel for one side of the straddle.
Also make sure the angle of the arms fits your U-brake cable mounting direction - on a GT I think you are always better with the crossover cable as it increases the angle into the brake.
Here is the U-brake on my Tequesta:

Image

That is a Dia-Compe Hombre, a later version of the classic AD990 (which had stud type brake pads). The improvement on the brake in the packet included green tension adjusters (Which I stripped to silver) which were CNC'ed for a lower profile for chainstay brakes and road style pads which were easier to adjust.

The straddle cable is wrapped round the seat tube - you can see the LHS has the normal straddle "pull tab" mounted in it, but the RHS has a bolt on cable barrel. If you imagine on a BMX fork the cable would be routed down the steerer tube so you can spin the bars so the cable would come up from the bottom - see this pic of my WTP Pony (why o why did I sell this!!!!!!).

Image

So thats why you need the clamp on thingy. I may have one you can have for free if you need one.

Some of the brakes come with a regular cable clamp on one side instead.

You can pick up Dia-Compe Hombres really cheap on ebay sometimes, but try Alans BMX or somewhere like that for one instead. They will be better than a Shimano MTB U-brake any day of the week.

The new type of U-brakes probably won't work any better on an MTB than a Ad990/Hombre type but do come in fancier colours. I wouldn't bother with the £40 CNC ones personally. Exposure do some nice cheap coloured ones.

The one on my Tequesta has got "Dura Ace" style road sticky pads on - man alive that brake worked well!!!

I can get some links to some I would recommend (brakes) when I get home. :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:39 pm 
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am
Posts: 4840
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hombre

http://www.winstanleysbmx.com/product/4 ... tAodszsAwg ...standard pads are very good!!

Which is a new version of the AD990:

http://www.alansbmx.com/212050/products ... brake.aspx ..... the brake pads are a pain to adjust on these though!!

Xposure U-brake - good value and nice colours!!

http://www.customriders.com/prodshow.as ... tAodkxAAHQ .....pads might not be brilliant on these.

The newer expensive CNC brakes are designed to be as low profile as possible - one of the main problems of ultra compact drive trains on BMX's (9t rear cogs etc) is that the chain catches on the brake as there isn't much space between the chain and the chainstay. The CNC ones are made mega low profile but they are just as stiff as the old style ones.

I would say a Hombre is the best of the bunch for an MTB as there is a little bit of give so you get good modulation, the shape means that mud isn't much of an issue, the pads are good and they are easy to fit, lots of options.


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