an Item called a tandem brake splitter that allows a
tandem captain to control two brakes with one lever. It
installs inline to your cables and is available from any
bike store who can order from Quality Bicycle Products(a
well known wholesaler). It costs about $25 and is a
simple solution for the two brake one lever thing. It
does not provide "balance" betweeen the brakes
but you can adjust that easily with the cable barrels at
the hubs. If you have "Vs" then you will need
to score an inline cable adjuster at the same time. I now
intergrate the cable splitting/joining on the frame using
cable stop braze ons and a cable clamp nut and bolt. This
is simpler and lighter but requires braze ons.
We have been making some two into one brake levers for some time, for use on pedal prix trikes, where the rules require two separate braking systems, and that each braking system must be symmetrical about the vehicle's centre line. (Note:- No allowance for non symmetrical vehicles!) This done simply because the there is a very wide range of designs, and some of them do not use centre point steering. Depending on weight distribution, it is possible with many trikes to lift the rear wheel under braking, if the brakes are powerful enough. Thus using a rear brake, can be quite detrimental to the steering control of the trike, under emergency braking (i.e. where you need it most), due to the back wheel skiding. Thus I personally prefer only two front brakes. I also prefer to have them independently operated because it gives me the power of both hands for an emergency stop, the easy ability to hand signal with either hand when braking for a corner, and the ability independently modulate the braking on each front wheel, for braking on uneven surfaces, and for additional steering control at high speed, on loose surfaces. However some riders also like to have a rear brake, esp. if they carry large amounts of luggage, or simply like doing handbrake turns for quicker and sharper turning, not to mention the fun of long, controlled high speed slides on slippery surfaces. (for some people I know, this fun is greatly enhanced by the presence of mud and water - the more the better it seems!) So recently we managed to get some two into one levers commercially made, and this at least saved us the hassle of modifying existing levers for cable brakes ( the hydraulic systems are a little easier to fiddle with). However we have just been testing a new two into one cable brake lever, and some unknown reason, this particular brake lever out performs the standard separate brake levers! Needless to say we have put in an order for a quantity of these levers, and I will announce when we have them available. We are also looking very closely at this particular lever to discover it's secret, so we can get some single levers made which are just as effective, yet also have the locking button we need for a hand brake. If there is one type brake I hate, it is rim brakes, as I find the brake blocks a pain in the backside to adjust, they wear out quickly, they destroy rims, they are less efficient in the wet, are dependent on the rim condition (grab on dents and joins, rub if the rim is buckled) and look agricultural! Thus the only rear brakes we offer on our production trikes are disc brakes, and we have been fitting quite a few to trikes which have been equipped with the Rohloff 14 speed rear hub. We have also been making adaptors for the SRAM 3x7 hubs to take a disc brake for some time, and have ordered a number of the new SRAM Dual Drive 3 x 8/9 hubs with disc brake mounts. While I would not fit a rear brake to my own trike, as I think it's useless extra weight and complication, I can see the benefit in extra braking on our tandem trike, where there is more weight on the rear wheel, and less weight transfer forward under braking, because of the long wheelbase, so we do list a rear brake option for the GTT Tandem Trike............
Thursday, 29 January 2009