Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

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Bicycler
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Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby Bicycler » 11 Feb 2014, 1:31am

Just noticed this on Spa Cycles website:

Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall This concerns Dawes Ultra Galaxy, Super Galaxy and Galaxy Plus 2013 and 2014 models. It has become apparent to us that the disc brakes on these bikes are not functioning as they should. Investigation has shown that this is due to a combination of misaligned disc mounts and poor cable routing.

As a company with a reputation built on supplying high quality products, we are requesting customers who bought these models from us and are experiencing braking issues to bring their bikes in to correct any problems.

Unfortunately Dawes have declined to support us in this recall and as result we will no longer be stocking or supplying disc braked Dawes bikes.


Bold move. Though all credit to Spa for taking action.

Valbrona
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby Valbrona » 11 Feb 2014, 12:58pm

Disc mounts could easily be misaligned not least because the tooling to do this job is pretty costly. But poorly routed brake cables would be more obvious. Anyone care to say how the brake cables are routed on these bikes?

Oh, and Dawes generally do not respond to emails from end consumers, at least based on my experience.
I should coco.

goodlife34
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Joined: 23 Aug 2011, 6:00pm

Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby goodlife34 » 11 Feb 2014, 1:19pm

I've just built up a 2014 Ultra Galaxy frame, and early impressions are that it's a great ride.
I used BB7 disc brakes and found them a bit fiddly to set up, tolerances are tight to not get rub on the rotor and also not have brake levers bottoming out on the bars. Also, on the first test ride braking was rubbish, only after some bedding in did it improve, and I would say is now good. I'm using Shimano 105 9sp levers.
Spa supplied the wheels and were quite negative about discs when I spoke to them, but I already had the frame and was never very happy with the rim brakes on my old Ultra Galaxy, despite trying Kool Stop pads, Sheldon Brown's setup advice and Tektro 720 cantis on the front. Braking was good in the dry, but only adequate in the wet.

It's early days, but I'd say discs are clearly better, but setup (and bedding in) is absolutely critical. Slight misadjustment can mean levers bottoming out before reasonable braking occurs and could easily be dangerous.
One negative I thought about the frame was the positioning of the bottom hole of the internal routing tube for the rear brake cable through the down tube, which seems to require a big bend to take the cable underneath the bottom bracket. If it was a bit higher only a slight bend would be needed to route it straight along the top of the chainstay.

I wonder what Spa are doing to correct the problems, and whether they are happy with them once corrected?

Rob.

Brucey
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby Brucey » 11 Feb 2014, 2:06pm

goodlife34 wrote: ....Spa supplied the wheels and were quite negative about discs when I spoke to them, but I already had the frame and was never very happy with the rim brakes on my old Ultra Galaxy, despite trying Kool Stop pads, Sheldon Brown's setup advice and Tektro 720 cantis on the front. Braking was good in the dry, but only adequate in the wet...


FWIW the 720 gives an idiot-proof setup (with horizontal brake arms the straddle angle is unimportant) but this also ultimately limits the MA you can achieve. A mid-profile brake can be almost x2 powerful, but is much fussier about set up. I wouldn't advise anyone with cantis to ditch them (on power grounds alone) without trying a mid or low profile canti first.

I can understand why Spa are reluctant to push disc brakes; they presumably get a steady stream of punters whose heads have been filled with cycle magazine guff and may therefore expect them to be a panacea for all ills. In addition there is a new set of skills for rim brake users to learn if they are to avoid problems. Plus when manufacturers screw up the details and they have to do a recall it is hardly likely to create huge enthusiasm either.

I own bikes with both rim and disc brakes and I can't see me going for discs on a light-to medium touring bike anytime soon; not unless it is the kind of touring bike that is basically like a converted MTB.

If there is a tight bend in the cable run it may be worth looking into introducing a reshaped V-pipe into the run; these have a much thicker liner to them than most cables, so can be expected to run smoother for longer, provided you can keep the water out (use a little heat shrink for this).

An LBS to me charges about 25% more than online prices for 'the same bike' and when people (with few skills past mending a puncture) ask me why they should go there I explain that if they have problems in the first few months, the LBS will sort it out FOC, as well as setting up the bike properly to start with. So if cable runs are rubbish, disc mounts haven't been faced, BB threads are wonky, hubs not adjusted correctly etc then they get sorted out OK. If this needs doing (and it does, often...) then the price premium is worth every penny.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

hazeyblue
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Joined: 10 Jan 2013, 5:05pm
Location: Merseyside

Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby hazeyblue » 11 Feb 2014, 5:31pm

Valbrona wrote:Disc mounts could easily be misaligned not least because the tooling to do this job is pretty costly. But poorly routed brake cables would be more obvious. Anyone care to say how the brake cables are routed on these bikes?

Oh, and Dawes generally do not respond to emails from end consumers, at least based on my experience.


With you on the non-replying of e-mails. I made a couple of spare-part related queries, both of which ignored (after receiving the automated "we'll get back to you" service). However, they replied in no time once I'd politely pulled them up on Twitter.

Valbrona
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby Valbrona » 11 Feb 2014, 6:06pm

Not being a disc brake person, I also wonder how much the type of brake housing impacts upon performance. I understand that compressionless housing is quite expensive.

I would guess that Spa are routinely facing the disc mounts on their recalls ...
I should coco.

FarOeuf
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby FarOeuf » 11 Feb 2014, 6:29pm

goodlife34 wrote:It's early days, but I'd say discs are clearly better, but setup (and bedding in) is absolutely critical. Slight misadjustment can mean levers bottoming out before reasonable braking occurs and could easily be dangerous.


I have these discs, and also initially found them pretty poor and could easily pull the levers to the handlebar. But then I took them to bits and realised how they work. My setup steps are :

1. with the caliper mounting bolts loose apply the brake lever and then tighten the mounting bolts. this should get the caliper parallel to the disc
2. screw-in the inner pad till it touches the disc, then back off until it no longer touches the disc
3. screw-in the outer pad to the disc, then back-off to the same gap as step 2

it depends how much lever travel you prefer, I think I only backed the pads off 1/4 of a turn. once you're used to it, it only takes a few minutes to adjust the brakes when lever pull is not to you liking. definitely a huge improvement over 'as supplied' state. I think step 2 was the key step I was missing initially, as the inner pad doesn't move, and it's the outer pushes the disc against it. so the inner pad must/should be set first, and really that's what determines lever travel.

cheers,

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RickH
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby RickH » 11 Feb 2014, 11:53pm

FarOeuf wrote:
goodlife34 wrote:It's early days, but I'd say discs are clearly better, but setup (and bedding in) is absolutely critical. Slight misadjustment can mean levers bottoming out before reasonable braking occurs and could easily be dangerous.


I have these discs, and also initially found them pretty poor and could easily pull the levers to the handlebar. But then I took them to bits and realised how they work. My setup steps are :

1. with the caliper mounting bolts loose apply the brake lever and then tighten the mounting bolts. this should get the caliper parallel to the disc
2. screw-in the inner pad till it touches the disc, then back off until it no longer touches the disc
3. screw-in the outer pad to the disc, then back-off to the same gap as step 2

it depends how much lever travel you prefer, I think I only backed the pads off 1/4 of a turn. once you're used to it, it only takes a few minutes to adjust the brakes when lever pull is not to you liking. definitely a huge improvement over 'as supplied' state. I think step 2 was the key step I was missing initially, as the inner pad doesn't move, and it's the outer pushes the disc against it. so the inner pad must/should be set first, and really that's what determines lever travel.

cheers,

One thing I would add is that, unlike rim brakes, any in-line cable adjuster (or taking up slack before securing the cable bolt) should only be used to take up cable slack. The brake mechanism should always be against the limit stop except, of course, when you operate the lever. If the cable is not letting the mechanism return fully you risk running out of travel before you've applied enough pressure to brake hard.

Rick.

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531colin
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby 531colin » 12 Feb 2014, 8:24am

Goodlife 34 specifically mentions using Avid BB7 disc calipers for his bike build.....I'm not clear what calipers other contributors are referring to.

Are there significant differences between say the BB7s and the (Shimano?) calipers that Dawes fit? I'm thinking of things like....
ease or range of adjustment,
tolerance of un-faced disc mounts
braking power when set up and run in.....this is an emotive subject, a bit like carbon fibre, and we are all shaped by our own experiences.
For example, I would be looking for a disc brake as good as a Vee brake....I have tried CR720.

FarOeuf
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby FarOeuf » 12 Feb 2014, 9:59am

531colin wrote:Goodlife 34 specifically mentions using Avid BB7 disc calipers for his bike build.....I'm not clear what calipers other contributors are referring to.

Are there significant differences between say the BB7s and the (Shimano?) calipers that Dawes fit? I'm thinking of things like....
ease or range of adjustment,
tolerance of un-faced disc mounts
braking power when set up and run in.....this is an emotive subject, a bit like carbon fibre, and we are all shaped by our own experiences.
For example, I would be looking for a disc brake as good as a Vee brake....I have tried CR720.


I'm talking specifically about the same BB7 discs. There appears to be lots of people (myself included) who struggle to get them adjusted properly. Mine are now (once properly adjusted) easily as good/better than V-brakes, and I find them quicker and less messy to adjust.

cheers

Brucey
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby Brucey » 12 Feb 2014, 10:03am

the current Dawes bikes appear to be fitted with BR-R517 calipers.

Image

these are an updated version of the BR-R515 caliper which (along with several other models) was subject to a recall notice last year.

http://cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/nl/index/news_and_info/news/voluntary_recall_by.download.-mainParsys-0010-downloadFile.html/Web_Recall_EN_120813_RZ.pdf

The BR-R517 has (allegedly) independently adjustable pads and mounts to either a post mount or an IS mount via an adaptor. In theory it should be roughly equivalent to a BB7, if they have done it right. However the BR-R517 normally ships with resin pads; I dunno if these are what Dawes specced but (provided the discs are not 'resin pad only' type) for wet weather use and pad longevity I'd risk the squealing etc and go for sintered ones in a mechanical caliper. The pads appear to be the same pattern as XTR-M985 ones, but do check this before purchase.

You can see the dealer manual for brake setup, user manual and spares diagram here;
http://si.shimano.com/#seriesList/25

In the user manual it suggests that you check for worn linings before you ride the bike, but it doesn't even tell you how to adjust the brake; it refers you to the dealer for 'any adjustments not in the user manual'. So shimano don't want you to adjust your own brakes then.... :shock:

If you read the dealer manual you can get an idea of why this is, and this may lie at the root of the trouble with the Dawes fitment. Basically if the caliper isn't centred exactly over the rotor (which it won't be on some mounts ever, or if badly adjusted) then the brake might work fine for a while but then once the pads wear (which IME won't take long in wet weather with resin pads) the disc will hit the caliper body, not the pad, and your brakes will rub and/or not work properly any more. Shimano recommend that you allow a different wear allowance on the pads depending on what tools/methods are used to centre the caliper.

In truth this kind of thing can happen with quite a few disc brakes but it is more likely with some than others. If the moving pad has little or no adjustment then every time the brake is adjusted it might be necessary to move the caliper body and eventually the disc will hit the side of the caliper slot, quite often well before the pads are worn out.

In addition to the above (and as noted in another post above) it is important to have the operating arm pretty well on its stop when the brake is off. It would be easy to run out of travel in the arm if you were to use the cable adjuster alone to allow for pad wear etc.

hth

cheers
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reohn2
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby reohn2 » 12 Feb 2014, 11:00am

I'm a bit surprised at goodlife34's problems setting up his BB7's and STI's,I've been using the same set up on three bikes over the last 5 years without problem.
goodlife34 are your calipers the road version(silver)as the MTB version(black) has a different cable pull intended for flatbar V brake levers?

The quickest way I found to set up BB7's is:-
1,release the cable pinch bolt so you're sure the arm is at it's stop.
2,back the adjuster wheels off to their stops
3,slack off the caliper bolts just enough to allow the caliper to wobble on it's concave convex spacers,and float inboard/outboard in it's elongated slots.
4,wind in each adjuster until the caliper is locked onto the rotor with the rotor central in the caliper slot,this ensures the pads are contacting the rotor squarely.
5,tighten the caliper bolts.
6,back off each adjuster equally until the wheel spins freely without the rotor rubbing the pads,if you're unable to see if pads are backed off equally shine a torch though the caliper slot whilst looking through the otherside.
7,pulling the cable with a pair of pliers on the free/dead end tighten the cable pinch bolt.
8,operate the brake lever a few times to push outers against any stops,then repeat step 7.
Everything should now be working fine,but pads can be backed off a click or two depending on how much free play the individual prefers in the brake lever.
I've never had a situation either on the tandem or solo where the brake lever has ever come even close to bottoming out on the h/bars.
New brakes/pads I find do need a bedding in period of a 100miles or so before reaching optimum,this period can be shortened by a ride on wet muddy roads or by holding the brake slightly on,on a couple of longish or steep descents.
Once run in,BB7's are the best brakes with fantastic modulation,that I ever used on a bicycle easily out braking anything else I've used,the braking on our tandem is second to non :).
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sm1
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby sm1 » 9 Mar 2014, 9:56pm

I bought a Dawes SG last summer, has the Shimano discs. They were awful when I collected the bike - levers back to the bars but bike could still be pedalled. Had to hassle Spa to adjust several times which saw some improvement (trade off between levers on bars and brakes rubbing). I hoped they would bed in and improve, which they did but not as much as I'd hoped. Then came the caliper recall (ended up costing me time and money to get the replacement calipers fitted. As other have said Dawes don't want to communicate with their customers, even when they've sold what amounts to a defective bike). It is my experience the discs provide no more stopping power than v-brakes and are more hassle to set up. Given the option again I'd go for v-brakes.

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horizon
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby horizon » 9 Mar 2014, 10:02pm

And now could all those people who accuse other forum members of being behind the times in not embracing disc brakes please step forward. I accept it's not the whole story but it's part of it.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

reohn2
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Re: Dawes Disc Brake Voluntary Recall

Postby reohn2 » 9 Mar 2014, 10:35pm

horizon wrote:And now could all those people who accuse other forum members of being behind the times in not embracing disc brakes please step forward. I accept it's not the whole story but it's part of it.

?
I for one,am a disc brake enthusiast but haven't said anyone is ''behind the times'' not using discs, just that I find discs more reliable than V's,cantis or calipers,especially in wet weather,where disc brake performance is unaffected and there's no rim wear to boot which is another plus.
I also find that disc brake pads last far long than rim brake pads used in similar operating conditions.

I'm not aware of anyone else on the forum claiming v's etc to be ''behind the times''

The Shimano recall is something that doesn't affect me as my three sets of disc brakes are all BB7,I find it incredible that company such as Dawes doesn't have more concern for the safety of it's customers,so I'd say it's not so much disc brakes where the finger should be pointed,more the callous nature of such a well known company such as Dawes.
The term ''it's not what it used to be'' springs to mind where Dawes is concerned.I for one would look elsewhere for fear of Dawes not fulfilling their guarantee should I have any problems :? .
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