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keep mud off your bicycle's brake shoes
  [vote for,

Town cyclists stop reading now.

When cycling through thick wet mud, I find that unless I'm going particularly fast (bound to end up horizontal) I collect a fair amount of it on the wheels, which then collects at the next nearest obstruction, my brake shoes. When I then apply the brakes, they're next to useless with all that crap lubricating the wheel rim.

So I need a little pair of mudguards right in front of the brake shoes, rather like a snowplough (US: snowplow) so that the rapidly collecting mud can instead spray off to the sides in an eyecatching whizzy fashion. Pedestrians in the country watch out. Your clean trousers are safe no longer!
lewisgirl, Jun 09 2001


       one alternative is disc-brakes because they are very powerfull and also only affected by mud deeper than 12 inches   

       but i would also like to note that mud is worse when combined with dry leaves which forms a concrete-like substance encasing the top of your forks and your brakes and preventing movement (this happened so badly to my friend that we had to disconnect his brakes and spend 10 minutes digging at it with a stick)
chud, Jun 09 2001

       Peter, few 'adult' bikes come with them...kids' bikes usually do. Never understood why, except possibly that for racing bikes, they're extra weight that isn't wanted, and other types of bikes copied the style.   

       The mudguards <as the original idea> would have to actually be touching the wheel to scrape the mud off, and would cause drag. If they didn't, there'd still be a layer of mud and it'd mung the brakes anyway...I once saw a band-brake, a kevlar rope that squeezed a metal rim <kind of like a second tire mount next to the one the tire was on> when applied. They said it worked in water with no trouble.
StarChaser, Jun 09 2001

       To prevent drag, instead of contact mudguards, you could spray a stream of some non-lubricating cleaning fluid on the rim at a spot before the brake.   

       And I'm Californian and I've never spelled snowplough with "ow".   

       (of course, being from Southern California, how often do I even spell snowplough, really?)
globaltourniquet, Jun 09 2001

       Do you think it would work if instead of the mudguards being in contact with the wheel, the closest part of them was a brush? Peter, normal wheel mudguards don't seem to be standard over here either. But the stripe of mud up my back is the least of my worries. Last time I went cycling I came off three times into stinging nettles, once into a canal (fully in, head to toe soaked), and once on a main road in the city. All in the space of one afternoon. It was great fun!
(gt, the snowplow reference is probably because I was taught to read when very very young in Toronto, as I think I've said elsewhere on the site!)
lewisgirl, Jun 09 2001

       Never teach a young Torontulan to read?
globaltourniquet, Jun 09 2001

       Mud! Thick red clay mud packing up between the brake pads and the rim until the latter no longer turns. Maybe very stiff-bristled brushes would scrape the mud with minimal drag, or perhaps--as lewisgirl suggests--plough-shaped tough plastic squeegee gadgets would be better. They might be mounted on pivots--maybe extenstions of the brake braze-ons--so that a rider can squeeze a lever and scrape the wheels for a while and then release them.   

       For Peter: stinging nettles, family Urticaceae: our western USA species is Urtica lyalli, Bane of Barelegged Fishermen, and grows chest-high on marshy streambanks under trees. The stinging is mildly painful but transient. Poison ivy and poison oak, family Anacardiaceae, contain irritant oils to which sensitivity in humans varies widely. Weeping blisters can last for a week or more in susceptible individuals.
Dog Ed, Jun 10 2001

       well, my friend did suggest that I might deserve a green beret for my efforts that afternoon. Out of "blood, sweat and tears" I am happy to say the only thing I didn't do was cry. Mephista, I am nowhere near competent enough to ride downhill - that is a recipe for disaster. Anyway, there aren't many big hills around Birmingham. I'm happy with canals - flat, usually with a reasonable path,and the added frisson of excitement caused by proximity to water (lewisgirl is a Pisces). Thanks for the botany lesson, Dog Ed, I'll remember that. My problem is that as well as getting the slight red blotchy rash one associates with nettles, I also seem to feel the tingling all over my skin. I suspect I may be a little bit extra allergic to it. Meph, you really are underestimating my novice status on a bike. I think I would probably be safer on your suggested tightrope than I would on a 'less is more' bike going downhill. However, if I do it, I'll make sure I put the pictures (and the subsequent x-rays) on the net for you all to see!
lewisgirl, Jun 10 2001

       Mud bikes are quite different to the California inspired MTB. Ideally they have one gear (often a fixed gear so there is no frewheel action), disk brakes, mud tyres with a profile that sheds mud and some form of mudguard mounted high up off the tyre. Problem solved.
MichaelW, Feb 04 2002

       baked - i just got some new pads with a little wedge on the leading edge to clear mud and water off the rim when theyre pulled
chud, Jul 05 2002

       I just had this great idea, and here it is, 17 years old. I think the wedge is better than the squeegee or razor blade (my 2 ideas). They would deploy with the brake in advance of the pad to improve pad grip.
bungston, Feb 11 2018

       Now, if only there were a system for clearing bits of cyclist out of the brakes of 4x4's ...
8th of 7, Feb 11 2018

       // I just had this great idea, and here it is, 17 years old. //   

       And I thought of it on my own today - glad I checked before posting as a "new" idea.   

       Mainly out of my disdain for disc brakes on road bikes. I don't do much dirt riding but discs are supposed to have better performance in rain. An extension to the bracket that holds the rim brake shoes to hold a kind of wiper against the rim, seems a simpler retrofit.
a1, Oct 20 2023

       Disc brakes are better in wet conditions. I didn’t really want disc brakes on my new bike but there wasn’t a rim brake option so I have disc brakes now and, having got used to them, I rather like them. What irritates me about them is that when I have to do maintenance on them, like bleeding the hydraulics, this will be harder than any rim brake maintenance which is all pretty easy
hippo, Oct 20 2023

       Disc brakes work really well in wet conditions but man are they loud!
21 Quest, Oct 20 2023

       // LOUD //   

       So I've heard.
a1, Oct 20 2023

       [hippo] I agree. I've always found rim brake(s) more than adequate. And as I often ride a fixed gear, I can say be rim brake, singular and rarely used. Kinda miffed that many of the bikes I've considered for purchase lately are only available with discs, and I crossed them off the list for weight and maintenance reasons.
a1, Oct 20 2023

       [a1] The weight penalty is pretty minimal now to be honest, and you can get better wheels for your bike which aren’t compromised by having to have a braking track on the rim. The maintenance is something I’m not looking forward to but if I have to learn how to bleed disc brake hydraulics then I will. If the bike you really want only comes in a disc variant then just get it - it’ll be worth it!
hippo, Oct 20 2023

       //What irritates me about them is that when I have to do maintenance on them, like bleeding the hydraulics, this will be harder than any rim brake maintenance which is all pretty easy//   

       Will it be harder? In my relatively limited experience of disk brakes on bikes, it was maintenance free through 2 sets of pads at least. Certainly a lot easier than motorbikes because of the complexity of 6 pistons and 3 disks, and the fact that they had to use high-temp tolerant hydraulic fluid which absorbs water from the air. No such issues in bikes.   

       Cable brakes have always been a pain in the neck for me since i raced mountain bikes in the mid 90's to now. The worst were cantilevers, with big rubbery relatively flexible pads clamped in place with a pair of shaped washers and two nuts, you needed three hands. V brakes were an improvement, but of course they run much closer to the rim. Nowadays manufacturers like low spoke counts and the local ruffians don't know how to true a wheel so they get unhooked.   

       //Disc brakes work really well in wet conditions but man are they loud!//   

       They shouldn't be. You're getting an oscillation in the pad/disk interface somewhere. Either something's loose, something's bent, or something was made with poor tolerances.   

       Check the rotor for bent-ness. Then clean off the rotor with some brake-kleen. Contamination is often an issue. You may want to sand off the surface of the pads too. 400 grit is a good starting point.   

       Check the caliper is centered, wrap some cardboard around the rotor, loosen the caliper, pull the brake to clamp and then tighten up. Check the wheel is aligned in the frame, a misaligned wheel can cause a lot of issue.   

       //I've always found rim brake(s) more than adequate.//   

       For most situations. But, dumping all the heat of braking into the rim is unwise in high performance situations. Down hill mountain biking or descending big drops on road bikes causes the rim to heat up, leading to the air in the tire expanding and possibly blowing a tire at exactly the wrong moment. Also, it's a matter of time before you wear through the rim.   

       //weight and maintenance reasons.//   

       On the bike i use for transport I have a Sturmey Archer drum brake. 0 maintenance in 6 years so far. Weighs a fair bit but it looks absolutely bomb proof.
bs0u0155, Oct 20 2023

       That would've been very helpful information to have lol sadly, the bike was stolen and I never bothered to replace it as I got a car shortly after.
21 Quest, Oct 20 2023

       // the bike i use for transport I have a Sturmey Archer drum brake. 0 maintenance in 6 years so far. Weighs a fair bit but it looks absolutely bomb proof. //   

       Sorta like my grocery getter. Coaster brake, "beach cruiser" style aluminium frame, fat knobby tyres, fenders, rack, and belt drive. I'm not fast on it, but it gets the job done.
a1, Oct 20 2023

       //sadly, the bike was stolen//   

       I had a lovely bike. A black Raleigh Sports, Brooks saddle and chrome fenders that came from the US assembled/licensed AMF Hercules, totally unique. Caught the theft on camera, what looked like one of the construction crews working on house flips in the neighborhood. Took a few seconds with a brushless DeWalt angle grinder and cut off wheel. Electohydraulic rebar cutters are even faster and almost completely silent. Theft is so fast with modern power tools that the only defense is an unappealing bike. I provided the police with the best possible toolset to make progress: video of the theft, the bike's serial number and several photos of what was a completely unique bike. It was such an easy win, that bike was on its way to a pawn shop or Craigslist ad as I reported it. Any level of real police work gets it back with good evidence to actually convict, but no. Just a number for insurance purposes and move on.   

       //Sorta like my grocery getter.//   

       Transport category vs race replica. Everything that turns people off bikes is usually a racing feature: too many gears make for endless adjustment and fast wear, lightweight wheels buckle easily, high bottom brackets for corner pedalling make for uncomfortable seat heights... it goes on.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2023

       You think you're smart, eh? You think you hurt me by soiling my trousers? Well I, the unstoppable, anticipated you clever little ruse and have made myself immune to it. You cannot soil my trousers: you're too late!
Voice, Oct 25 2023


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