Drum brakes

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mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Drum brakes

Post by mattsccm »

Anyone using them regularly?
Looking to improve my commuting bike which does about 15 miles of FC type gravel and 5 of road every working day.
Discs are much better that rim brakes as they stop better and don't wreck rims but they still need fiddling with. Cable versions as hydros are beyond the budget.
Would even think about chucking in an IGH and a dynamo as well.
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fausto99
Posts: 782
Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 10:06am
Location: NW Kent

Re: Drum brakes

Post by fausto99 »

Yes. I have SA drum brakes front and rear on my winter bike. They are great. Always work straight away however wet it is.
They did take a few hundred miles to properly bed in, though.

Con: taking wheels off and on again means refitting the reaction arm. The front is easy as it goes into a slot in a clip on the fork. The rear is a bit more involved, but I did come up with a QR solution . I'll post a picture when I can find or retake it. :lol:

Image
mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by mattsccm »

The bike has disc mounts so could probably use those in some way. Wheels only come out (touch wood) for bearings or chain as running tubeless.
Des49
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Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Drum brakes

Post by Des49 »

Almost a couple of years ago I built a front wheel up for one of my daughters with one of these:-

Sturmey Archer X-FDD Front Hub w/ 70mm Drum Brake & Dynamo 6V/3.0W - 36 Hole

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/hubs-intern ... a3&geoc=GG

She commutes about 3 miles each way, lives in a wet area and I wanted to make sure she always had lights and to cut down on maintenance. So far really positive for her.

It is heavy, there is a bit more drag than a normal hub as expected but just fine for her bike (a 2nd hand Apollo). I would love to fit it up with a hub gear for her, but am worried about reliability as many of the hub gears seem to have reliability issues and she needs more than 3 speeds.

Personally I used to use drum brakes front and back for many years of commuting on an adapted MTB, Shimano Nexus I think, a rear 7 or 8sp hub (can't remember they are buried in a shed somewhere). The hub gear was noticeably inefficient in certain gears but I didn't mind the effort then, just extra training.

The brakes were good but not great and really made a difference in maintenance as I had some hilly dirty lanes to start then lots of braking in traffic to end so wore through rims fast on rim brakes. However the brakes were always a bit soft feeling and just not as good as I wanted in traffic, so I had to moderate my riding style to stay safe. I am slower (and more patient!) now so probably would not be a problem.
If I had a frame to put these on I would to make up a ready to jump on bike for short trips with minimal maintenance.

You seem to have a nice sounding journey for your commute, but it is a reasonable length. A couple of drum brakes and a hub gear are likely to make your bike less efficient (drag and weight), how much of an issue this may be to you only you will know.
My most used bike now is a 30yr MTB with a Rohloff and Hebe Chainglider. The latter has been on since early this year and makes a huge difference together with decent mudguards and large flaps to reducing grime and maintenance.
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fausto99
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 10:06am
Location: NW Kent

Re: Drum brakes

Post by fausto99 »

I disagree completly about drag. If set up correctly, there is no drag when the brakes are off.

Re weight; has anyone compared the weight of a hub brake hub with a disc brake hub plus disc plus caliper?
biketips666
Posts: 216
Joined: 19 Jun 2021, 7:17pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by biketips666 »

mattsccm wrote: 18 Sep 2021, 10:06am The bike has disc mounts so could probably use those in some way. Wheels only come out (touch wood) for bearings or chain as running tubeless.
I've got two Carrera Subways. The front has a Shimano roller brake which are mounted to ISO disc brake tabs.

(The rear is a Shimano 8 speed nexus with roller brake).
rjb
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Drum brakes

Post by rjb »

biketips666 wrote: 18 Sep 2021, 12:49pm
I've got two Carrera Subways. The front has a Shimano roller brake which are mounted to ISO disc brake tabs.

(The rear is a Shimano 8 speed nexus with roller brake).
How do you find the nexus front roller brake. Reason i ask is i have a 26" nexus roller brake front wheel and fittings for a disc mount tab (acquired in a job lot but ive never used it) and i am thinking of trying it on the tandem for the winter. Any thoughts.

In the past i had an arai drum brake on the rear of the tandem, set up as a drag brake. I never found it that good and had to regularly deglaze the brake shoes by scrubbing them with a wire brush.
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D
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mjr
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Re: Drum brakes

Post by mjr »

SA drums on my most used bike. XL-FDD and X-SRF3 I think. Work fine. After a complete deluge, the only thing I do is oil the pivot and squirt water displacer and then fresh grease into the cable quick release because it once got a bit sticky. Much better than rim blocks and I don't like the incessant squealing of everyone's discs.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.
biketips666
Posts: 216
Joined: 19 Jun 2021, 7:17pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by biketips666 »

rjb wrote: 18 Sep 2021, 1:14pm
biketips666 wrote: 18 Sep 2021, 12:49pm
I've got two Carrera Subways. The front has a Shimano roller brake which are mounted to ISO disc brake tabs.

(The rear is a Shimano 8 speed nexus with roller brake).
How do you find the nexus front roller brake. Reason i ask is i have a 26" nexus roller brake front wheel and fittings for a disc mount tab (acquired in a job lot but ive never used it) and i am thinking of trying it on the tandem for the winter. Any thoughts.

In the past i had an arai drum brake on the rear of the tandem, set up as a drag brake. I never found it that good and had to regularly deglaze the brake shoes by scrubbing them with a wire brush.
I have to be honest, I've hardly ridden the Subways. I bought them when I was in love with hub gears, and liked the idea of a weather proof, low maintenance bike. My comment was really to point out that the Shimano roller brake front goes on disc tabs.

But my memory is that the brakes were a lot better than some people were saying. I found them perfectly effective, perhaps not quite as sharp as V brakes (though very "sharp" brakes is obviously not always a good thing, at least on the front!), but better than cantilevers. Or at least better than cantis with drop bar levers - I think one of the things that makes comparisons of brakes difficult is that braking from the hoods of drop levers is sub-optimal.

But on a tandem, I'm not so sure. The extra weight might start to push it, and if you tour on the tandem, even more so.

I did quite a bit of reading of various experiences of roller brakes. The general impression was that on a long loaded descent they can be bad. Very bad. Oil catching fire bad. Oil catching fire and brake failing bad. A rear drum brake used as a drag brake seems to me to be the worst possible use. Surely a drag brake is better where it can lose heat easily? One of the attractions of the Spa Wayfarer is the possibility of having a secondary canti drag brake on the back.
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531colin
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Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Drum brakes

Post by 531colin »

No very relevant experience, but I remember Brucey had much to say on the subject.
eg...viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70632
cycle tramp
Posts: 1391
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by cycle tramp »

Yes, I've got a 90mm front drum and a 70mm rear drum with a five speed freewheel. I've been using this set up for almost 5 years. Search this forum using the word 'blatt', it's a thread about this bike and my experiences
slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Drum brakes

Post by slowster »

rjb wrote: 18 Sep 2021, 1:14pm i have a 26" nexus roller brake front wheel and fittings for a disc mount tab (acquired in a job lot but ive never used it) and i am thinking of trying it on the tandem for the winter. Any thoughts.
Make sure your will is up to date.
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SimonCelsa
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Joined: 6 Apr 2011, 10:19pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by SimonCelsa »

I've spent the last couple of years commuting on a Raleigh Record Ace, fixed gear with a front SA drum brake. Done just over 5000 miles so far and maintenance has been basically nothing on the drum brake. I'll have to open it soon to have a check but it still works just fine. I did contemplate fitting a rear drum brake also but haven't gotten round to it. Not a legal requirement, however when I go down a steep hill I occasionally ponder what would happen should the front brake cable fail - I haven't mastered an emergency stop using the pedals only.

I find the drum brake quite elegant, and sufficient for purpose.
kwijibo
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Joined: 29 Dec 2017, 5:45pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by kwijibo »

I've not tried drum brakes, but I recently fitted some Clarks hydro disc brakes that were about £40 for the set. Work perfectly well. If you have the mountings on your frame it would Surely be cheaper than new drum hubs and wheel builds.
https://www.colyfordcycles.uk/component ... lack__3721
iandusud
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Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Drum brakes

Post by iandusud »

I fitted a Sturmey Archer XL-FDD 90mm drum with dynamo on the front of my cargo bike when I built it three years ago. It is fantastic. Braking is good (and I'm stopping a lot of weight) and lighting is excellent with a cheap Union 35 lux headlamp (I often ride on an unlit greenway and this little headlamp is way beyond my expectations) used in conjunction with a B&M rear light with a standlight function. I run these lights permanently.

In three years I haven't had to adjust or even think about the front brake. I have no hesitation in saying that if I was building up a bike specifically for commuting these brakes would be top of my list of components as year round commuting takes it toll on brake pads / rims / discs. I'm sure that the 70mm drums would be adequate for a solo bike.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/hubs-intern ... w-36-hole/

https://www.bikester.co.uk/xlc-led-ligh ... 41310.html
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