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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!

I need some advice, but first a little background.
I did not have a bike since 2002, I moved across continents and there were other problems I have to deal with. in my teens I used an old GIANT GSR200 with sold axles, to my surprise it is still being used by a family member (gotta by 20 years old now!).

A friend of mine gave me a bike with no brakes, the story is that he did not like how the disk brakes work so he threw them out and was planing on building a custom bike but later find out its cheaper to just buy a different bike. and he was left with this one with no brakes so he presented it to me.

So my question could you guys advice on a brake setup? I will be mostly on concrete/asphalt and gravel roads. I do not need anything hardcore, but don't want to buy total garbage either.
I would also like an advice on new tires, currently there the installed tires have a thread with rubber blocks (mud?) I need something with low rolling resistance for the roads specified higher as I am completely out of shape.

So asphalt/concrete/gravel roads. I am 240lbs, 6.2 (110kg 188cm)
Here are some pictures of the bike and break calipers:







Best Regards!
Karol



PS. is that a moderately decent bike?
 

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Looks decent to me.

It appears all you need are brake rotors. 6 bolt mounting pattern, 160mm diameter I assuming. Can't tell if there are pads in the calipers, but they look pretty new, so I'll also assume the pads are good. Might be best to bring it to a shop and ask them to install rotors and adjust the brakes, unless you're somewhat comfortable doing a little research and working on mechanical stuff in general, then I'd say tackle it yourself.

Alligator Round Rotor | Alligator | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

FWIW, I don't recall those brakes that are on there being anything to write home about. I would consider upgrading to these.

Avid BB7 Mechanical Front/Rear Disc Brake | Avid | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

(Just wanted to mention that the front wheel and fork are turned completely backwards in the full-bike picture - just in case.) :)
 

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The front wheel isn't a disk hub, the rear is. You need a new front wheel and the correct size rotors. Those brakes are Hayes MX2.
 

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The front wheel isn't a disk hub, the rear is. You need a new front wheel and the correct size rotors. Those brakes are Hayes MX2.
I'm pretty sure the front wheel is just mounted backwards (that's why you don't see the disc mount holes in the pic). Looks like the wheel is built w/ the same rim as on the back, so unless they started putting stickers on braking surfaces, I'm figuring it would be a matched set of disc-ready wheels. Unless it's a wheel you can't use brakes on at all of course; possible, but highly silly.

Hey Karol - what's that hiding behind the bike? My 9 y/o son just called you out for leaning the bike against it.
 

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Those Hayes MX2 brakes are fine, in fact I really like them for how much they are($20).
If you're new to those brakes,you just need some patient since they require magic touch when adjusting them
 

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If the left side of the front hub (the side that is out of sight on the right in the photo) has the six bolt mounting interface, like the rear hub, all you absolutely need is suitable rotors. I'm guessing 160mm, too.
 

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Hard to say really withought some sort of ball park figure.

I use the Magura MT2's. Magura's bottom of the line brake in the MT range. Magura's top brake in this range is the MT8. The only differnce between the MT2 and the MT8 is the materials used. MT2's do contain some carbon, but the MT8's use more of it, and probably a higher specc carbon too. So ultimately, the only real difference is the weight. MT8's are lighter. Braking performance/power is just the same though.

In fact, when they did testing on these, i think it's called din or dnn or something, they found that the MT2 was slightly more powerfull and had a better feel to them. They also look nicer too imo.

I love these brakes. Top high end performance for a fraction of the cost. They're lighter than Shimano XT brakes too. These were my first taske of hydraulic brakes, and i couldn't believe the power in these things. Bare in my the last brakes i used were v-brakes 20 years ago, lol. Be sure to brake em in though, especially the front, or you may end up over the handlebars, they're scarily powerfull.

These would normally cost close to 200 pound for the set, but prices may have reduced or you may get them on sale. Definately worth looking on the internet for a bargain. You won't be dissapointed.

Also, consider Shimano SLX. Fantastic brakes and you'll always find somewhere doing them for a good price. You just have to keep looking on the net. These are, for me, the two best value for money brakes. And it sounds like your a fairly big dude, so you'll need decent brakes. I personaly wouldn't go below SLX. Not that there aren't any good ones below these, but these are reliable, strong and great value. You know these are good enough before you buy them. Anything less will be more down to hoping they turn out to be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

it looks like the steering wheel was turned 90 degrees to be in the same plane as the fork for storage. In my initial post the second photo shows front caliper
I dont mind tackling this myself, cant be much harder than car brakes

Tay your talking about hydraulic brakes but mine are mechanical with a steel line. I understand the benefits of hydraulics but is it worth for a weekend drive in the park?
Let me ask a different question, since I have no experience with disc brakes on a bicycle. can I get at least the same performance out of mechanical disc brakes as from the old style rubber shoe grinding on rim brakes?
THe magura MT2 setup runs 200 bucks vs the AVID mechanical 100 Bucks...vs just new rotors 25 bucks. I think I want something simple with minimal maintenance

I did a quick check today, when I pull the brake handle only one side pulls out in the caliper, Im not sure is it a pad or the piston, is that normal?

Slaphead these AVID BB7, will I see much improvement over the stuff thats currently installed? would I be able to lock the rear?:))))

Rotor wise, Im not to worried about overheating, do they make solid rotors, or rotors with less vent holes in them that would improve braking, I wont be downhilling, barely any hills in Illinois:)

Also how about the tire question I mentioned ?


THank you everybody!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Karol - what's that hiding behind the bike? My 9 y/o son just called you out for leaning the bike against it.
Hey Slaphead you can get one of these nowadays for 3k running and driving (somewhat) slap antique plates on it and the insurance drops to 20 bucks per year, plates are 6 bucks for a year. No emission control either:)
Cant wait till my son is older so he can enjoy working on it and cruising with me...but hes 3 so it will take a while!
Take care!
 

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Hey Slaphead you can get one of these nowadays for 3k running and driving (somewhat) slap antique plates on it and the insurance drops to 20 bucks per year, plates are 6 bucks for a year. No emission control either:)
Cant wait till my son is older so he can enjoy working on it and cruising with me...but hes 3 so it will take a while!
Take care!

Is it mid 70s? Cool. I wanted a 'vette a few years back, but needed a back seat so I regrew the mullet and picked up a last gen T/A instead. Saw a bunch of ones along the lines of yours that seemed like good deals when I was hunting - some day hopefully.

I don't recall trying the MX2 brakes like yours personally, but for the most part, discs are going to outperform rim brakes; you shouldn't have any problem with power. Good hydraulic brakes usually modulate better and have a bit more power, but you don't need them. Also, I'm pretty sure only one pad actually moves on those brakes by design.

The BB7s are pretty much the benchmark for mechanical disc brakes for years now. If you can't get the performance you want out of the ones you have, I'd consider them for an upgrade, but for now, I'd just pick up a set of rotors (and the mounting bolts too) and put everything together and see if you can get it dialed in. They're pretty simple mechanically, way easier than car brakes.
 

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Disc brakes are better than rim brakes ,they stop better when wet,you don't worry about the trueness of the wheel and don't wear out rims.Most mechanical's only activate one side of the caliper. Solid or less vent holes would not improve the braking,you need either bigger rotors or a way to get rid of the heat faster.
 

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You can go to bigger rotors as rrDave mentioned for more power, you'd just need to get the right mounting adapters for the bigger sizes to move the calipers out far enough to allow them to fit. Adapters are about $10 each.

FWIW, the BB7s I posted come with 203mm rotors. More than enough grab to flip you over the handlebars with a finger or 2.
 

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I'm not really that knowledgeable pal, i just know bits n'bobs. Here's what i'v been led to believe over past couple of years. Disc brakes are better than V-brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes are better than mechanical.

Like with anything, some mechanical disc brakes will be better than other mechanical disc brakes, so it depends on which ones you get. But in general, mechanicals are heavier and are a bit of a nightmare for maintenance issues, and they'll need maintenance fairly frequently.

A friend of mine has them on his bike. For me, it's a headache i could do without. I'd never have mechanicals and would rather have v-brakes to be honest. But that's just me. I'm sure plenty would dissagree.

If you can get decent hydraulics at a good price, i'd say snap em up. More than worth it. Then again, if your only using the bike for very infrequent and easy going flat strools in the park, i suppose it doesn't matter so much. But at least if you get them, you'll at least have the option to up the severity of your riding. I wouldn't be without them on any bike i'll own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
GUys anything on tires?

currently have some sorts of mud tire, need something with low rolling resistance for asphalt/concrete/gravel nothing total off road. Any ideas?

I probably assume the previous owner had a good reason why he wasn't happy with these breaks, so I look into the BB7's as soon as I find out about tires.

Also another question are there any steering wheel options that would allow me to sit more upright? I hate the idea of having my balls higher from the ground than my hands... I know thats a weird question but if i wont be moderately comfortable I'll grow to hate it...




Slaphead, thats a 79 (cheapest year for any stingray- bigest production year), these late TA's are cute! do you have the ram air hood? with updated rims the TA looks pretty modern, 345hp?
 

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You thinking something like this for tires? Or something with maybe a little more tread in case you want to ride some dirt?

https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_178154_-1___202470

You can go with some higher rise bars and/or a stem that angles up more than the one you have, to get your hands up higher. Search around either of those sites I linked to and you'll get an idea of pricing and what's available. (It usually helps to sort the items lowest-to-highest price, at the for me).

I've got a soft spot for T/A's (had a 79 BITD), so I get a kick out of it. Something like 330-340hp, 6 spd, only 38k on it. It's a WS6, so it's got the big nostrils and some pretty decent stock rims (for now). Looks just like this one:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
nice, thats what I meant - WS6 package!

Anyhow I'll be doing mostly gravel or equal ammounts gravel/ asphalt& concrete cause all the trials in the state park next to me are gravel. In my book gravel road is still a road:)

Lets do this, can you gentlemen post some internet stores with bike parts that have good pricing? I'll look thru them and will post here so we can further narrow things down?

Also when choosing a tire are the more expensive brands better when it comes to roll resistance? are they more puncture resistant and stuff?
in other words are bike tires like car tires? its worth to spend the extra money cause a cheap one can transform good bike into garbage?
Also my new bike has rims that are a lot more narrow than what Im used to with the old V brake bikes. is that standart nowadays?also Im not familar with tire sizing... all they all tubed?


I just found some recomendations for gravel:

to my surprise first one : Re-Fuse | Maxxis USA

second one X'PLOR MSO | Clement Cycling, Cyclocross Tires, Adventure Tires, Mountain Bike Tires, Road Bike Tires
 

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before riding, be sure to clip and cap those cable ends. they are WAY too long at present. if it's remotely possible for the cable end to touch the rotor, that would be disastrous. keep em short!

hayes.JPG

^ the housing is not seated all the way in the caliper here. just bump it in and the housing will be in the right place, but also check the distance from the end of the cable stop to the pinch bolt. the arm should be about as far as it can be. let the adjustment of the inside pad do the rest of the work.
 

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I did a quick check today, when I pull the brake handle only one side pulls out in the caliper, Im not sure is it a pad or the piston, is that normal?

Slaphead these AVID BB7, will I see much improvement over the stuff thats currently installed? would I be able to lock the rear?:))))

Rotor wise, Im not to worried about overheating, do they make solid rotors, or rotors with less vent holes in them that would improve braking, I wont be downhilling, barely any hills in Illinois:)
Only one pad moves on mechanical disc brakes, it's normal.

BB7's have pad adjuster dials on both sides, you turn these as the pads wear.
The brake you have has a pad adjuster on the inside only, to adjust the outer pad you have to turn out the barrel adjuster on the brake lever.

Properly adjusted the Hayes MX2 will easily lock up the rear wheel.
The front brake has more stopping power then the rear brake and should be used more then the rear.

There's all different shapes and designs of rotors, do a google search if you want less holes, the cheap rotors linked earlier should be fine for what you want.
Ebay will show a good variety of rotor shapes.

Hayes MX2 instructions: http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/wp-content/themes/hdb/pdf/MX2MechDiscInstall4LanguageEnglishWeb.pdf
 

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For a "weekend drive in the park", just about any brakes will do.
As said before, mechanical discs need fairly frequent adjustment, at least if you ride enough to cause pad wear. A lot depends on setup: good cables, good pads, clean rotors, correctly adjusted levers and callipers, everything that should move freely is moving freely.

As for the difficulty of installing the rotors ... :) Make sure you get the direction of rotation right (yes, it matters). I think you need a Torx key that fits. Tighten them to spec (or "tight").
 
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