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RE: [CF] Hills and rim brake overheating danger?

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  • James & Ute Grayson
    Hi Tommy, There are several factors to consider; the length of the 4 blocks, the steepness of the road, the total weight (bike + rider), the condition of the
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 4, 2009
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      Hi Tommy,



      There are several factors to consider; the length of the 4 blocks, the
      steepness of the road, the total weight (bike + rider), the condition of the
      rims, & the condition of the brake pads. However, all is not lost.



      Instead of applying both the brakes constantly, consider alternating front
      and back. That way, one wheel is cooling down about half of the time. It
      also means that if you must stop abruptly, you have a second brake in
      reserve. It works for me; it may work for you.



      Jim



      From: verdant_c, Thursday, December 03, 2009 1:14 PM



      Hi all,

      I've spent most of my life as a commuter cyclist in relatively flat areas.
      I'm now in San Francisco and have to contend with some pretty major hills. I
      have one hill on the way to work that is a very steep descent for about four
      blocks. Because of stop signs and iffy intersections, I have to come to a
      complete stop at several points. I've read on many occasions that braking
      continuously on a long hill can overheat the rims, but how long is long? Is
      this more for cyclists in truly mountainous areas with descents measured in
      miles or should I be concerned as well?

      Thanks!
      Tommy



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • George Keagle
      Tommy: Good luck in your commuting endeavor in San Francisco. If you can dodge the bullets those hills will keep you trim and fit up into your 80 s and
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 4, 2009
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        Tommy:

        Good luck in your commuting endeavor in San Francisco. If you can dodge the bullets those hills will keep you trim and fit up into your 80's and beyond.

        A poster advised you practice alternating front/rear brake use which is a good suggestion. I've driven big trucks between teaching contracts and have found biking has improved my trucking skills and trucking has improved my biking skills in dealing with hilly conditions.

        Here is a worthwhile bookmark:

        http://bicycletutor.com/

        I bike in Iowa, relatively flat by your standards, but pull two types of trailers often. Therefore, like you and your steep hills, I find brake pads and chain tend to wear out faster on my pullin' bikes, so I stock repair parts for brakes and drive train. Needless to say -- especially in your territory -- chain and derailleur lubrication will pay huge dividends if pursued assiduously.

        Stay topside!

        Geo. Keagle




        ________________________________
        From: verdant_c <verdantsf@...>
        To: CarFree@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, December 3, 2009 3:14:00 PM
        Subject: [CF] Hills and rim brake overheating danger?


        Hi all,

        I've spent most of my life as a commuter cyclist in relatively flat areas. I'm now in San Francisco and have to contend with some pretty major hills. I have one hill on the way to work that is a very steep descent for about four blocks. Because of stop signs and iffy intersections, I have to come to a complete stop at several points. I've read on many occasions that braking continuously on a long hill can overheat the rims, but how long is long? Is this more for cyclists in truly mountainous areas with descents measured in miles or should I be concerned as well?

        Thanks!
        Tommy







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bill MacLane
        ... I ve ridden in mountains on all kinds of roads & slopes most of my life and never had nor heard of bicycle breaks overheating. ( you are not planning on
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 5, 2009
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          On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 verdant_c <verdantsf@...> wrote:
          >
          > ....I'm now in San Francisco and have to contend with some
          > pretty major hills. I have one hill on the way to work that is a
          > very steep descent for about four blocks.... I have to come to a
          > complete stop at several points. I've read ... that braking
          > continuously on a long hill can overheat the rims


          I've ridden in mountains on all kinds of roads & slopes most of my life and
          never had nor heard of bicycle breaks overheating. ( you are not planning
          on riding with the brakes engaged against the rims constanly ?) About the
          only concern is that brake pads need replaced more often. You'll also find
          the more you ride hills you'll need to adjust your cables more often to keep
          the brakes the way you like them. So unless you are super huge, ride
          extremely fast down very steep slopes with frequent hard stops you should
          have no problems riding and braking normally.

          Regards,
          Bill
        • verdant_c
          Thanks for the help everyone:)! Happy cycling, Tommy
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 6, 2009
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            Thanks for the help everyone:)!

            Happy cycling,
            Tommy

            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Jym Dyer <jym@...> wrote:
            >
            > > I'm now in San Francisco and have to contend with some pretty
            > > major hills. I have one hill on the way to work that is a very
            > > steep descent for about four blocks. Because of stop signs and
            > > iffy intersections, I have to come to a complete stop at several
            > > points. I've read on many occasions that braking continuously
            > > on a long hill can overheat the rims, but how long is long?
            >
            > =v= Four blocks shouldn't be a problem, just so long as the rims
            > aren't falling apart anyhow.
            > <_Jym_>
            >
          • Christopher Miller
            I think your Bill s point is pretty solid. I see no problem greater than the rubber (or polymer facsimile thereof, as the case may be) being rubbed off at a
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 7, 2009
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              I think your Bill's point is pretty solid. I see no problem greater than the rubber (or polymer facsimile thereof, as the case may be) being rubbed off at a faster rate.

              But if they DO happen to overheat and actually catch fire, just think how KEEEWWWWLLLL!!! you'll look to the kids on the sidelines!

              On 2009-12-05, at 11:59 AM, Bill MacLane wrote:

              > I've ridden in mountains on all kinds of roads & slopes most of my life and
              > never had nor heard of bicycle breaks overheating. ( you are not planning
              > on riding with the brakes engaged against the rims constanly ?) About the
              > only concern is that brake pads need replaced more often. You'll also find
              > the more you ride hills you'll need to adjust your cables more often to keep
              > the brakes the way you like them. So unless you are super huge, ride
              > extremely fast down very steep slopes with frequent hard stops you should
              > have no problems riding and braking normally.
              >
              >
              >

              Christopher Miller
              Montreal QC Canada



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jym Dyer
              ... =v= The danger with overheating isn t to the brakes themselves; heat is conducted away from the brakes by the metal rim. If the rim gets too hot it could
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 7, 2009
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                > I see no problem greater than the rubber (or polymer facsimile
                > thereof, as the case may be) being rubbed off at a faster rate.
                >
                > But if they DO happen to overheat and actually catch fire,
                > just think how KEEEWWWWLLLL!!! you'll look to the kids on the
                > sidelines!

                =v= The danger with overheating isn't to the brakes themselves;
                heat is conducted away from the brakes by the metal rim. If
                the rim gets too hot it could actually make the innertube burst.
                Sadly, flat tires don't make you look k3wl. Stuffing the spokes
                and baskets with gasoline-soaked newspapers and setting them
                ablaze might look k3wl, but again, this must be weighed against
                the prospect of a flat tire.

                =v= Overheating is more of a concern when you're carrying a lot
                of weight downhill, which is why Xtracycles and touring tandems
                often have hub brakes or disc brakes. Even so, I figure if the
                V-brakes on my folding bike's 20-inch wheels didn't overheat
                going down San Francisco's Twin Peaks while towing a trailer
                with people on it, our friend verdant_c's rims should be able
                to handle four blocks in that city.

                =v= Of course, if he were to bike across the bridge and up to
                Fairfax, then west to Repack Road, that'd be different. ;^)
                <_Jym_>
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