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Shimano Roller brakes

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  • PDX Randonneur
    The Shimano Roller brake is a hub brake that functions like a drum brake, although with a completely different braking mechanism that is closer to a coaster
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29 1:00 PM
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      The Shimano Roller brake is a hub brake that functions like a drum
      brake, although with a completely different braking mechanism that is
      closer to a coaster brake in design.

      Strengths:

      -more or less indestructible
      -weatherproof
      -easy to install and remove
      -easy to adjust
      -easy to relubricate without removing the wheel
      -nothing to wear out (the brake "pads" are steel)
      -a very smooth and graduated brake action
      -more than enough power on a rear brake with a long pull brake lever

      Weaknesses:

      -heavy
      -janky
      -will overheat on a hot day during long downhills
      -the grease will catch on fire if you overheat it enough
      -subject to fade in power as it heats up
      -the fade reverses suddenly once it gets hot enough, causing an
      unexpected and dangerous spike in brake power
      -will drip nasty black grease on the carpet
      -needs to be relubricated regularly
      -needs to be cleaned out every once in a while
      -much more sensitive to cable routing than rim brakes
      -the front version is only sold with a power modulator in the hub
      (here in the states) that is widely despised by users

      The main problem with the roller brake is that shimano specs them for
      short pull brake levers when they really need a long pull lever. For
      straight bars I would recommend the avid speed dial levers. For drop
      bars you will want the tektro v-brake levers or the dia-compe v brake
      levers (if you can find some). The janky is mainly caused by the
      cooling fin rattling around, and if you epoxy it to the hub body you
      can get rid of most of it. The newer roller brakes have much larger
      cooling fins and should be less prone to fade and overheating than the
      older ones. I found that automotive brake grease works just as well as
      the expensive shimano grease.


      --
      R.R.
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