(New here. Maybe you can tell from the name. Can't seem to change it for good. Call me fourtyfour then...)
I've had no luck on the net, these forums and in my LFBS on this subject, but it seems there are users of IG hubs / roller brakes in here!
I recently built my summer bike (I live in Canada) with a SG7R46 hub and a IM45 brake (with a Avid FR5 lever and new cabling/housing).
Got issues, and I wonder which are due to my failings, and which are expected:
A) hub is draggy. Enough that the pedals will spin when pushing the bike, as if a fixed hub (except the lightest touch will stop them). Also when freewheeling on the stand, it freewheels not long...
B) brake is not braky. Feels firm enough on the stand, but once riding it, lever feels spongy, with much force applied for unsufficient power. Certainly can't lock the wheel, and doesn't feel secure.
Tried tightening/slackening to no avail. Just changes the point at which it starts being spongy.
I'm starting to think the lever might be at issue. It has less advantage than the shimano lever I have (35mm vs. 42 from pivot to cable attach). Don't think it's enough, though...
Any insights, experiences, much appreciated!
Hub gears can be draggy especially grease lubed ones like Nexus / Alfine. If you have a particularly free spinny BB then it might drive the pedals on when there’s no resistance.
The brake - dunno. Found pulling the actuation arm close to the bite point then tightening the cable made it work with tekro road levers.
Did you buy the brake new? Used ones might simply be worn out or destroyed by lack of grease.
@Howard Thanks for your reply.
Brake was bought new from store. Could be old stock, though. I've ordered a new Shim-approved lever and grease, see if it helps.
My only experience of roller brakes was on Subway 8s when I work in Halfrauds and they never ever felt like a good brake.
So, bought a legit shimano lever, in case it was the culprit. Set the cable distance to recommended. Result is clearly better but still not exciting. It's spongy, never sharp, feels like pulling quite hard for moderate power.
That’s what they’re like. They’re rubbish, to be honest. I borrowed a mate’s Electra to nip out and do a quick job a few weeks back, equipped with roller brakes. Car pulled out on me, I pulled both levers and basically fuck-all happened. They’re cheap and virtually maintenance-free but for anything other than gentle pootling around town they’re fucking useless.
@jj72, Interesting. I've read people saying cable flex is important (and my cable setup is all-housing with no frame stops), but your refering to "both levers" means there was a front roller - which should have little flex! Another theory goes to dust...
They’re made for slow bikes which are owned by people who probably won’t know how to/want to maintain them. like Dutch bikes or rental bikes etc.
They’re a compromise thing. Low maintenance but poor performance.
I would throw it in the nearest skip and get a proper brake on there. It’s not worth messing around and spending money on when you can get really effective braking from modern calipers/discs/v brakes/hydros which can be bought for very little
Low maintenance but poor performance.
Low maintenance but poor performance.
Nah this isn’t really true. They stop you fine. The braking surface is metal on metal. The issues they have is heat dissipation and or weight, and that they need periodic replenishment of the grease inside that stops them from corroding up. After they’ve corroded, then hah yea, they won’t stop you :)
So, follow-up from my OP...
I've replaced the generic Tektro lever with Shimano-approved-for-roller-brakes. Also added grease (no discernable effect). It does work better with the new lever - I'd say about as good as an unremarkable V-brake.
I was actually glad to have it for the annual Tour de l'île as it was pouring rain and long downhills.
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