Author Topic: Brake feathering topic  (Read 528 times)

Offline mal

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Brake feathering topic
« on: October 26, 2019, 09:29:43 AM »
Since brake feathering is an important technique in flatland (for those who still use brakes anyway) i thought that it would be really helpful to gather all related knowledge in one topic..
So subjects could cover:


 -Brake pad's material.
 -Brake pad's angle/adjustment.
 -Brake's spring tension.
 -Rim types (chrome/colored/anodized).
 -Feathering technique (1/2/4 fingers on the lever).
 -Brake pad distance to the rim.
 -Lever trigger cushion,like hockey tape etc.
Please share your knowledge and techniques!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 09:33:27 AM by mal »

Offline Voodoo

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Re: Brake feathering topic
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 06:25:45 AM »
Since brake feathering is an important technique in flatland (for those who still use brakes anyway) i thought that it would be really helpful to gather all related knowledge in one topic..
So subjects could cover:


 -Brake pad's material.
 -Brake pad's angle/adjustment.
 -Brake's spring tension.
 -Rim types (chrome/colored/anodized).
 -Feathering technique (1/2/4 fingers on the lever).
 -Brake pad distance to the rim.
 -Lever trigger cushion,like hockey tape etc.
Please share your knowledge and techniques!

Good idea. I love this stuff.


I do not fear the brake. I embrace the brake.

I've found black Odyssey Ghost Pads to be easiest for set up and feathering without having to do any serious process of fine tuning.
Clear pads are awesome for street work. I find them exceptionally crappy for flatland. ESPECIALLY in this day of awesome freaking brakes. Back in the day of side-pull brakes, I used to hunt and hunt for a decent pad that would actually stop the bike. Now, a lot of times the brakes work TOO WELL. So I have actually tried to downgrade my brakes in ways. A harder, "crappier" pad actually works better for feathering. With that said, sometimes a hardcore brake with sealed bearings inside (like the Demolition Vulcan V2) is almost too much. I downgraded to a 17 dollar Odyssey Springfield in the rear and it feathers much easier. The Vulcan was like a vice on the wheel.

As far as distance goes, I tend to LIKE my pads as far away from the rim as possible. I like having lots of slack and really being able to squeeze. BUT, for flatland / feathering, you tend to have more control over the feathering when the pad is closer to the rim. It seems like it should be the opposite. But it isn't. When the pad it closer to the rim, it hits quicker and you don't squeeze as hard. It kinda' sucks having to do the opposite of what I actually like...but I've been able to get used to it.


Here is more BMX paradox / hypocricy - I love chrome rims. I grew up riding Peregrine wheels and now ride chrome GSport Rollcages and Ribcages. However, I recently built a set of wheels with some new Odyssey Quadrant rims that are just annodized black and they are 1000% better for feathering. So much so that as much as I like chrome wheels, it looks like the chrome GSports and going to be getting retired for black GSports.

I don't use anything on the levers (tape, rubber, etc.). I've actually never even tried it. Might help. But as far as levers go, I'd stay away from anything that is designed in a way that puts the lever too close to the grips / bars and limits travel. I'd go with something like an Odyssey Monolever or similar. Lots of travel to mess with. There are lots of levers out there that are designed in a way that has short travel (think old school Odyssey RX-3 lever design)..and I think it just sucks. You don't have enough control with a short-travel lever like that.

So to sum it up for me - 
*Harder / "crappier" pad to downgrade from today's awesome brakes
*Pad somewhat close to rim and limit leverage / squeeze
*Anything not chrome is going to feather easier with more control
*Levers with travel.

If I can think of anything else, I will add to this book-length reply I have written. Hah.  :P
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 06:34:59 AM by Voodoo »
I will buy your spotless frame from you and beat it up.

Offline mal

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Re: Brake feathering topic
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 09:41:50 AM »
great info!
.
i agree,i intentionally downgrade my brakes too,since the 90s! I think most flatland tricks just need the reduction in speed,just to let you correct the balancing point and not to fully stop the wheel.
I firstly realized that when i got the ACS BOA in the 90s,that was all the hype then,and i quickly switched to the cheaper Diacompe Bulldog just because the BOA worked too good!It really bite as a boa!(It had a huge profile as well for front wheel use,way too bulky)


Now i angle my current brake pads so that the rear end of the pad is touching the rim first,so that less contact is made and the wheel doesn't get locked easily (and by pulling the brake more,more contact occurs=more stopping power).Maybe the brake pads i am using are too ''good'' for flatland (classic 90s GT ones) ,because they lock the wheel easily even on feathering (i have chrome rims)..


I am also experimenting with how many fingers i use on the lever,still can't decide if 1 or 2 is better,on some tricks 1 is better because i can hold the bars tighter,on others 2 fingers give me more balance as i use the levers in conjunction with the grip as a balancing (actual) lever.I don't know if that makes sense!


But i've noticed that some flatlanders (like Paul Osicka) use all 4 fingers on the lever,maybe they know something more than i do,i will definitely try that one.It makes sense in the concept i wrote above,that the lever works both as stopping device and as a lever in conjunction with the grip,to help lift/lower the bike's angle while balancing on the front wheel..


I will also try hockey tape on the lever,i ve seen this one on both chad degroot and paul osicka's bikes,never thought about that either,except the other day that my fingers got sweaty after riding in the sun and the lever slipped when my finger tried to trigger it on one trick.


I will get a pair of black sun envy rims soon for the new school bike i am building (currently on the big daddy i used before going away from flatland) and also the odyssey springfields that come with the ghost pads. I ve heard only good words about them.So i think i will not get full wheel stops on feathering with the black rims and ghostpads. (Are springfields low profile enough for use on the front wheel?)

.
I also think of getting a new set of tech-77s again,thats the lever i always used,but also because i don't know if there is a better alternative out there for flatland,i ve missed a lot of new lever releases on the years i was out of bmx!Can you suggest something better with the same lever length? (full size that is),i am 100% open to new technologies and designs!.


I am always on the hunt for the magic sweet spot,the one where triggering the brake will just slow the bike down but pulling it hard will fully stop the wheel for tricks that need that,like some bar flip switches!

 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 10:18:26 AM by mal »

Offline Voodoo

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Re: Brake feathering topic
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2019, 06:20:28 PM »



Thanks, man.


I forgot about the BOA! I used one of those as well as an 860 on the front of my Haro Masters.
Funny...

[/size]The rear first on the pads (if you're using classic style pads) is a good idea. When they are toed front first, you tend to get chattering instead of smooth braking.[size=78%]
[/size]
[/size]I never paid attention to how many fingers I used on my levers until a couple years ago. I just did it before without a second thought. I actually use three fingers a lot of the time. After realizing it and trying other configurations, I feel like I have a better squeeze on the bars / lever at the same time by using three fingers. Sometimes my pinky finger is on the grip, sometimes it's just kind of floating there. [size=78%]

[/size]I would say it's absolutely possible to get a Springfield working in the front without issue. They don't have any more profile than an Evo II. [size=78%]

[/size]Check out the Odyssey Monolevers and M2 levers. The "mid" size is the most Similar to the Tech 77. They're decently priced and have good travel. The design is pretty damn good as well. They also come with replacement bolts and replacement washers.  [size=78%]



I will buy your spotless frame from you and beat it up.