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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

A braking solution.

I'm using the BMX LX to illustrate a little trick I invented for getting a few mm more reach on caliper brakes.



As you can see above, I have added the spherical washer set from an old set of V-brakes to this ordinary road pad. Note the washer that touches the slot in the brake arm: it is the spherical one, and you can see the considerable angle the other washers are making to it.

So take the old set of brakes and remove the hardware:



Here I'm using some hashed pads. Compare to the semi-decent Kool-Stop (non-salmon, alas) that is about to receive the washers and nut:


You just mount the hardware as you would on a V-brake installation. In most cases you will need to use the thin spherical washers between the pad and caliper (for fitting purposes, there's a thick and a thin concave spherical washer; the convex spherical washers are identical)

A nice comparison of the old pad and the new pad:


And finally, a big picture of the finished product on the BMX LX. Dig that Factory Kuwahara sticker and the crazy Weinman brake from the innocent Auto-Mini.

Oh, special big bonus picture of version 1.0 of the LX, showing the old Shimano 600 front derailleur now mounted. This doesn't do any gear-changing right now: preliminary testing of the new two-brake version of the BMX LX in the real world (read: rode around the skate park for a while) showed that chain derailment was a chronic problem (see also Millar, David). No derailment so far in the brief testing with the front derailer acting as a chain guide.

The bike rides really nicely, but its rear derailleur hangs very low. I think I would want to change to a road derailleur (shorter cage) before going seriously off-roading.

The future for this bike will hopefully feature a demented 64/52/low triple setup, allowing a ridiculously wide range of gearing capable of taking this bike from trails to time trials.

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