New to MTB’ing and Utah

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  UTRidges 8 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #99084

    Hi,

    I guess new to MTB’ing is a little bit of a stretch, but going from New England to Utah is so different that it feels like it’s all new to me.

    I bought a fairly inexpensive Diamond Back a month or so ago just to see if I was going to like it and so far love it. I fully expect that I will upgrade next year when the budget allows and my skills improve.

    I went for a ride in Yellow Canyon today and while coming down kind of a rough section of double track (avoiding some loose rocks and gravel) my front brakes went out. I had both breaks slammed to the handle bars and couldn’t stop. After riding the thing out, I finally came to a flatter section and was able to ride up on a bank and stop. My back brake was smoking and smelled like I had left the paring brakes on. After a few "tweaks" I was able to reset the front brakes and get them to work. Obviously, this is a concern.

    So here are my "nubie" questions:

    1) Did I do to enough damage to the rear brakes to where I should replace them?

    2) Is there a bolt on upgrade I should consider for both disc brakes?

    I’m middle aged (47) and packing some LB’s (235+/-) so I thinking that I need more stopping power.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  • #99085

    I think you currently have disc brakes, but can you confirm that?

    If so, and if they are cable and not hydraulic, then check out Avid BB7. If they are hydraulic, check out Avid Elexir, Juicy or Formula Oro (from ebay, they’re discontinued)

    Other than that, just go faster, and don’t use the brakes so much 😃

  • #99086

    Hey Maddslacker,

    I do have mechanical disc brakes.

    What’s the benefit of the upgrade? Bigger disc, better quality parts…. And are they typically "bolts ons". While I’m pretty mechanical, I would rather ride em then wrench on them.

    Also, I like the advice to go faster and brake less. I was following that mantra a few weeks ago when this happened. I have another similar scrape from my ass to my ankle. Crashing sucks!

    Image

  • #99087

    Wow, looks painful 😢 . Where do you live in Utah? (I’m in the SLC area)

  • #99088

    Bigger/better rotors and pads will not heat up as quickly and will provide more stopping power for a longer time.

    Check out your LBS and see what they say regarding upgrading/adjusting the brakes.

    Crashing: It’s just life’s way of saying "Ride better" ;) (Unfortunately, it keeps telling me over and over again 😆 )

  • #99089
    "bjnix04" wrote

    Wow, looks painful 😢 . Where do you live in Utah? (I’m in the SLC area)

    I’m in West Jordan right now but I’m moving to Lehi on Friday. My family moves out here from New Hmpshire in three weeks. It’s been kind of a long pull with out them.

  • #99090
    "Jared13" wrote

    Crashing: It’s just life’s way of saying "Ride better" ;) (Unfortunately, it keeps telling me over and over again 😆 )

    I agree although I don’t heal nearly as fast as I used to. I took up skiing a few years ago and feel if you don’t crash occasionally you’re not improving your skills. The same goes for MTB’ing. That said, I would prefer that my brakes work when I need them.

  • #99091
    "Jared13" wrote

    Crashing: It’s just life’s way of saying "Ride better" ;) (Unfortunately, it keeps telling me over and over again 😆 )

    Haha, so true. I got into the sport earlier last month, but raced Bmx when I was younger, so I knew I’d eat it at some point. So, when it finally happened, I mean it really happened… front tire went off a balance log and I went flying, I was actually releaved and laughing because I didn’t have to worry about the first crash happening any more 😆 god we are a crazy sort, eh?

    kyroush 😎

  • #99092
    "UTRidges" wrote

    [quote="bjnix04":i2dywmtz]Wow, looks painful 😢 . Where do you live in Utah? (I’m in the SLC area)

    I’m in West Jordan right now but I’m moving to Lehi on Friday. My family moves out here from New Hmpshire in three weeks. It’s been kind of a long pull with out them.[/quote:i2dywmtz]

    Orly? South Jordaner here, where do (did) you ride?

  • #99093

    Welcome to Utah. I had somewhat the same experience in moving here (from Switzerland) 15 years ago — sometimes if felt like I had to re-learn it all for local conditions.

    My guess is you have 2 problems — cable slippage (or possible stretch), and brake fade. I am old school, and still ride with cantilevers, being too Luddite even for V-brakes! LOL and usually, if I have a problem, it is that the cable has slipped under hard braking — perhaps a good case for hydraulics? I have never experienced significant brake fade on a bicycle, but that is the reason disk brakes were invented (for aircraft) in the first place. A larger disk gives more surface area from which to dissipate the heat, and possibly different pad materials might stand up better. Don’t know what options there are for your particular brand of brakes, but for motorcyclists and auto racers, that makes a big difference.

    I think that, before spending big bucks on a major brake upgrade, I would be sure that the cable adjusters are really torqued down, and that you start your ride with them properly adjusted.

    Our local conditions often provide much greater traction than what you are used to, which means you can brake harder, and, combined with your not inconsiderable mass, may be overstressing your brakes. On long descents, perhaps not riding the brakes, but letting the bike roll freely, and then braking harder to bring the bike speed back under control would give them a chance to cool better — the bike is also easier to control over bumps etc when you are not on the brakes. So maybe brake harder, but for shorter intervals?

  • #99094

    [/quote]

    Orly? South Jordaner here, where do (did) you ride?[/quote]

    So far, I ride Corner Canyon a couple times a week, I’ve ridden Yellow Fork Canyon a couple of times, Mueller Park and Big Spring up past Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. I’m planning on hitting Glenwild tomorrow early.

  • #99095
    "bsheidler" wrote

    Welcome to Utah.

    My guess is you have 2 problems — cable slippage (or possible stretch), and brake fade.

    Thank you bsheidler.

    I’ve actually had it back in the shop for the breaks under warrantee the first time they went out. That time, they replaced the front caliper. I adjust the cables often but I think that (as you noted) I was riding the break too much but I’m also convinced that it’s not a high quality bike and given my size and riding style, I needed to upgrade. The Avid kit is due on Monday.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • #99096
    "UTRidges" wrote

    I think that (as you noted) I was riding the break too much

    As for braking, I employ a style similar to when I drive in the mountains: let it coast until you can’t stand to go any faster, then brake hard, but controlled, for a few seconds…repeat as needed. This allows the brake parts to cool in between rather than just getting hotter and hotter as you ride them nonstop.

  • #99097

    Just a quick update, I bought and installed the Avid BB7’s and finally got to take it out yesterday up Corner Canyon. There was a huge difference in stopping power. With the added confidence I wasn’t riding the brake all the way down the hill making for a much better ride.

    Thanks for the recommendation maddslacker!

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