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Hope RX4 Discs Not Warranted For Tandem Use

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Hope RX4 Discs Not Warranted For Tandem Use

Old 10-16-20, 09:32 AM
  #26  
DangerousDanR
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Glad to hear that the RX4 calipers seem to be working. My issues with Hope's E4 brakes showed up when I was making a panic stop from 45 MPH on a steep hill with a very strong tail wind. I suspect that there is probably more than a slight difference between your full up weight and the close to 500 pounds we, the bike, and our luggage weighed at the time.
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Old 10-16-20, 01:01 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Rained out from Hurricane Delta this weekend. So didn’t do the ride with the long descent.

Today however did a 1000 foot vertical descent and tried to really abuse the brakes.

On a descent that we’d normally do 35-40 miles an hour, I dragged the brakes continuously and kept the speed around 10-15mph, and pedaled to add to the load on the brakes.

After a full 5 minutes of dragging the brakes, there was no fade, no odor, no change in the brake lever feel or travel, and when I did let it run at the steepest portion just at the end, we were able to stop quickly from 40mph or so.

I’m not sure this answers how well the brakes will do on a very long technical descent. However, the fact they stood up well to this intentional abuse makes me pretty confident.
Many thanks for doing this, especially considering there is a non-trivial risk to yourselves in doing a test like this. We are grateful and appreciate your efforts.
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Old 11-04-20, 08:46 AM
  #28  
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Just to confirm the experience of a few others in this post:

Saint 4-piston front and rear with full metallic/sintered shimano pads
+
ST-R785 brifters
+
Magura "MDR-P" E-bike floating 203 discs

Best combination of braking I have experienced in 20 years, including long downhills with constant brake application. Even after 10 minutes of dragging the brakes, the stopping power at the bottom of hill is excellent.
additionally, the e-bike floating rotors do not warp significantly and only rub lightly and for a minute or so after heavy use.
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Old 11-05-20, 02:07 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Msteven View Post
Just to confirm the experience of a few others in this post:

Saint 4-piston front and rear with full metallic/sintered shimano pads
+
ST-R785 brifters
+
Magura "MDR-P" E-bike floating 203 discs

Best combination of braking I have experienced in 20 years, including long downhills with constant brake application. Even after 10 minutes of dragging the brakes, the stopping power at the bottom of hill is excellent.
additionally, the e-bike floating rotors do not warp significantly and only rub lightly and for a minute or so after heavy use.
Thats great! Thanks for letting us all know!
Good to see the new Magura discs being put to the test on a tandem. I have not seen them being used on a tandem before.

It's also interesting to see that the Saint calipers work with the ST-R785 STI's. The fact that they seem to work well with the 8000, 7000 and the 785 STI's indicates that they use the same/ a similar piston design.
It would be cool if the upcoming 12 speed STI's remain compatible with the SAINT calipers. That would make a really sweet, electronic 2x 12 wide gear range setup of STIs combined with a XT/ XTR derailleur.
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Old 11-05-20, 02:11 AM
  #30  
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Msteven Did you consider using the 220 mm version of that rotor? Or did you lack the clearance for it?
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Old 11-06-20, 03:15 PM
  #31  
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Magura rotors

Originally Posted by rocknrollin View Post
Msteven Did you consider using the 220 mm version of that rotor? Or did you lack the clearance for it?
I did not consider 220mm. the CoMo frame is set up for 203 without caliper spacers. the 785 lever pull is maybe 30 to 50% more than the ultegra hydro levels I have on another bike with stock road calipers, but not even close to bottoming out on the handlebars.

Regarding the 2x12. we currently run a 3x11 XTR system. what is imperfect with this is the road chainring c-c dimension does not match the XT(R) chainring c-c dimension, so dropping from the center ring to low ring has to happen under zero load. The road center ring is a couple of mm right of center compared to the mountain bike center ring. A 2x12 would be interesting, a 50/34 and 10-50 12s would be similar ratios to our 52-39-30 and 11-42.
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Old 11-06-20, 04:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
”Seem” is not “does”. Physics is an experimental science. Conjectures can be tested. (Which is why physicists sometimes mock the merely observational disciplines as mere stamp collecting (attributed to Rutherford whose own Nobel was in Chemistry, not Physics, likely because the Nobel committee didn’t fully grasp what he had accomplished in transmutation.)
So, people who tout new brakes need to show that they do resist heat fade during sustained use to ******** speed on a long hill. Thorn in the U.K. and Santana in the U.S. do this in selecting brakes for their tandems. (I have no connection with either company. I do own an old Santana, with rim brakes.)

Here’s the scenario I worry about. You have a familiar long descent with hairpins connected by tangents. Conventional technique is to coast as fast as you dare in the straights, brake hard for the bends, then use the higher speed in the following straight to let the brakes cool. Fancy stuff on the brakes ought to let them cool faster when they aren’t being used, sure, so you reach the bottom under control and able to stop at the intersection. Especially with some practice on it.

Now, suppose you have to follow a loaded coal truck or a camper caravan down that hill much slower than you can coast and you can’t pass. So you are using the brakes in the tangents, too. Will their little fins be able to dissipate heat under continuous use, plus going even slower in the bends? Show me that they can. We have descended some truly scary paved roads in Europe where we really did have to brake the whole way down and stopped frequently to allow brakes, of various designs over the years, to cool. And I’m not including the marquee mountains and cols like Ventoux and Tourmalet, which don’t require continuous braking. Some narrow twisting little road in the Dolomites can be scary challenging if the bends come right on top of each other.

Thing is, as tandem teams get heavier, they become less willing and able to climb up into the high country to find these descents, so their expectations of brakes are diminished. They regard quick two-finger stopping from the hoods as an adequate test. Then they turn their tandem into an electric motorcycle and discover that they’ve still got plain old crappy bicycle brakes intended to help an ectomorphic bike racer get through a hairpin, not brakes that the loaded coal truck needs.
I appreciate your post, especially in reference to empirical data and objective observation and conclusions.

Well, let's see. You get behind the hypothetical coal truck and realize your options:
1) Pass the truck and continue your descent as normal.
2) Pull over and wait for the dangerous condition(s) to pass.

Why on earth would you, on a loaded tandem, knowing what you know about tandems and brakes, then choose to ride your brakes behind said coal truck until your hydraulic fluid boils and your brakes fail? Would you ride the brakes down a hill in a car under the same circumstances?

If so, your problem is not your brakes, but your inability to use them, lack of braking knowledge, and inability change behavior based on current conditions. This does, however, place a higher burden on the riders to know the pitfalls of tandem braking on extended descents. Should the consumer be expected to have a higher level of proficiency? I guess only the lawsuits and courts will decide.

I find it rather funny that this issue is under such heated debate with a "new, really awesome technology" that replaces the tried and true drag brake. Sometimes we don't evolve after all.

PS Ha, ha! Spot the pun!
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Old 07-29-21, 04:18 PM
  #33  
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We’ve now had the chance to ride the bike in the Appalachians in NC for the better part of a year. The descents are not hugely long, rarely more than 1500 foot drop, but often steep(15-20% grade) and twisty.

We’ve experienced no brake fade or overheating issues. We do tend to descend fast, only breaking for corners, but for us, the RX4’s appear to be more than adequate.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:12 AM
  #34  
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hi merinextralight
may i ask what rotors and pads you use ?

our tandem is set up similar to yours, although with a titanium frame (cycleschinook)
we use the red pads for the front and the blue ones for the rear brake combined with 180 mm swisstop rotors;
last weekend we had to descend 10km/1000m on a fireroad, so i had to brake all the way (took us 25 minutes)–there was enough braking power, no fading ;

for the road setup we use shimano xt rotors, which are fine, but from feel i prefer the swisstop ones

thanks andreas
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Old 08-17-21, 06:13 AM
  #35  
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hi merinextralight
may i ask what rotors and pads you use ?

our tandem is set up similar to yours, although with a titanium frame (cycleschinook)
we use the red pads for the front and the blue ones for the rear brake combined with 180 mm swisstop rotors;
last weekend we had to descend 10km/1000m on a fireroad, so i had to brake all the way (took us 25 minutes)–there was enough braking power, no fading ;

for the road setup we use shimano xt rotors, which are fine, but from feel i prefer the swisstop ones

thanks andreas
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Old 08-17-21, 07:05 PM
  #36  
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We’re still using the original Pads that came from Hope.

the rotors are Shmino XT 203’s
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Old 04-25-22, 08:58 PM
  #37  
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I have ST-R785 di2 brifters and BR-R785 calipers with 203 rotors on our new tandem. Rode a short but steep downhill yesterday and before the bottom the brakes were making all kinds of noise which stopped quickly once I stopped braking. I'm assuming this was from the caliper heating and then touching the rotor, but it also could have been the rotor heating, warping slightly when hot, and then straightening with cooling. Never had this problem on our old tandem running Magura MT6 calipers (which are 2-piston)
Either way, I'm thinking I should go to a 4-piston caliper and Shimano Saint or Zee sound like a good option, and upthread it sounds like this should work. My question is related to Shimano and their 2 different brake hoses. The lever-caliper combo came with BH59 hose with a banjo, and the Saint brakes use BH90 hose. So do I need to change out all of the brake hose, or can I just swap the caliper with the existing banjo?
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Old 04-29-22, 10:22 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Chilepines View Post
I have ST-R785 di2 brifters and BR-R785 calipers with 203 rotors on our new tandem. ... Either way, I'm thinking I should go to a 4-piston caliper and Shimano Saint or Zee sound like a good option, and upthread it sounds like this should work. My question is related to Shimano and their 2 different brake hoses. The lever-caliper combo came with BH59 hose with a banjo, and the Saint brakes use BH90 hose. So do I need to change out all of the brake hose, or can I just swap the caliper with the existing banjo?
I have been using the ST-R785 + Saint 4-piston calipers successfully. You can use a Ti-Cycles hose adapter to join two shimano hose types together. Works well and i have been running this for 2 years now. The fully metallic pads can make some terrible noise, so I switched to organics on the front, left the metallic on the rear.

https://www.ticycles.com/components/...e-line-coupler
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Old 04-29-22, 09:37 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Msteven View Post
I have been using the ST-R785 + Saint 4-piston calipers successfully. You can use a Ti-Cycles hose adapter to join two shimano hose types together. Works well and i have been running this for 2 years now.
Thanks - good to know this works. I suspect the BH59 banjo will work but if not this sounds like an easy solution.
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Old 05-19-22, 11:41 AM
  #40  
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Brake update - Shimano Zee calipers replacing the BR-R785 calipers worked as a straight swap. The banjo is apparently the same across brakes and hoses.
For some reason, though, Shimano does not include a banjo bolt with the brake caliper. That just makes no sense since Shimano has several different banjo bolts, so you'd think they would include the right one with the caliper. Had to order the bolt separately.
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Old 05-24-22, 08:35 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
We’re still using the original Pads that came from Hope.

the rotors are Shmino XT 203’s
Xt +xtr ice tech rotors are not up for tandem mountain use. The alu between the rotor melts at high temperatures. Seen myself on halfbikes on 2000 altimeter single track descent. The heavier the rotors the better.
Even 220 rotors with 4 pot brakes get too hot on singletrack downhills if you do not stop to let the brakes cool down. Rotors bent, pads glaze, hoses can melt. I use an extra magura hs33 in the rear with andra vbrake rim. This helps to dissipate heat better.
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Old 05-26-22, 06:16 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by longpete View Post
Xt +xtr ice tech rotors are not up for tandem mountain use. The alu between the rotor melts at high temperatures. Seen myself on halfbikes on 2000 altimeter single track descent. The heavier the rotors the better.
Even 220 rotors with 4 pot brakes get too hot on singletrack downhills if you do not stop to let the brakes cool down. Rotors bent, pads glaze, hoses can melt. I use an extra magura hs33 in the rear with andra vbrake rim. This helps to dissipate heat better.
Can’t really comment on very technical single track. I can say in our experience they’ve worked well for fast steep road descents, and some relatively easy single track.

I think the answer for any particular team is going to depend on a number of factors, not the least of which is how fast you descend.
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Old 05-26-22, 09:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I think the answer for any particular team is going to depend on a number of factors, not the least of which is how fast you descend.
Again someone says in previous comment that even special bimetal disks melts under conditions that a drum would take without a problem. Of course it depends on total weight and "a number of factors" but most people just want to know that they are ALWAYS safe going downhill. Both rim and new age "disc" brakes use a caliper, the same physics, but the heat capacity of new age disc is mediocre, perhaps comparable if using a heavy downhill mtb disc, and even then as the previous comment states "ice tech rotors are not up for tandem mountain use". Advances in brake tech have not been safe for tandems, saying or even hinting otherwise is misleading. Perhaps your team is light weight and needs to do the race thing, good for you. We are not heavy for our height, but overall heavy, and under tour conditions, just heavy. "Disc" brakes are unsafe and everyone should just ignore the bike industry banter otherwise.
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Old 05-27-22, 09:08 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
"Disc" brakes are unsafe and everyone should just ignore the bike industry banter otherwise.
They're not unsafe if you keep in mind their limits. Same goes for tubeless. With rim brakes I had inner tyres that melted. With inner tyres I had tyre ventiles ripped of(even with a lot of talkum powder). I regularly brake tandem chains. In the mean time I recognize the sound the chain makes before breaking. And no, chainbreak was not caused by shifting mistakes. Brake pads sometimes not even last 1000 km. Rotors have to be changed more frequent. Cassettes and chains wear twice as fast. Same for fork bushings. Tyre carcasses are not stiff enough. Inherent to riding tandem. A tandem needs more attention. Special parts for tandems? Not a lot.. Luckily bike industrie is interested much more in Ebikes. A lot of developments there are very useful for tandems also. eg wheels up to 180kg max weight., tyres etc.
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Old 06-02-22, 06:03 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
Again someone says in previous comment that even special bimetal disks melts under conditions that a drum would take without a problem. Of course it depends on total weight and "a number of factors" but most people just want to know that they are ALWAYS safe going downhill. Both rim and new age "disc" brakes use a caliper, the same physics, but the heat capacity of new age disc is mediocre, perhaps comparable if using a heavy downhill mtb disc, and even then as the previous comment states "ice tech rotors are not up for tandem mountain use". Advances in brake tech have not been safe for tandems, saying or even hinting otherwise is misleading. Perhaps your team is light weight and needs to do the race thing, good for you. We are not heavy for our height, but overall heavy, and under tour conditions, just heavy. "Disc" brakes are unsafe and everyone should just ignore the bike industry banter otherwise.
IMHO, this is just way over the top, and a gross generalization. We’re not light, and we ride fairly aggressively. Last weekend we did a twisty descent with sustained 15 % grade. Even with a decent amount of braking it wasn’t a trick to hit 50mph. Braking was never an issue.

So if you want a brake that you can drag down a mountain continuously at 15 mph, drums are likely your best answer. That in no way means that disc brakes can’t be safely used on a tandem. Worst case scenario,if you’re paying attention at all, is stop for the brakes to cool for a few minutes. That said, riding steep twisty descents in the Appalachia’s we’ve never had to do that.
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Old 06-06-22, 08:38 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
most people just want to know that they are ALWAYS safe going downhill..
If such people exist, I'd recommend they find a different sport. *ALWAYS* takes in way too much territory.

Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
"Disc" brakes are unsafe and everyone should just ignore the bike industry banter otherwise.
It's not just "banter", tandem OEM's are placing their corporate liability on the line with their component builds. No established OEM is going to risk their financial well being with a questionable parts specification.

As a separate datapoint, a local team recently returned from a multi-month tour of Mexico and Central America. They toured on a full suspension Ventana while carrying a light touring load. Both riders are light and fit. The local roads and glorified cow paths frequently had grades of 20+%. They consumed countless brake pads and a set of rotors, but had not a hint of brake failure.

My personal experience is we had at least two non-catastrophic tire failures due to heating with rim brakes. Since switching to disks on the new Co-Motion this issue has disappeared. YMMV.
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Old 07-06-22, 02:24 PM
  #47  
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As stated above it's how you use your brakes. No rotor will stand up to abuse.
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Old 07-06-22, 02:25 PM
  #48  
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And now 10, meaning 10 posts

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Old 07-22-22, 07:14 AM
  #49  
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So I have to give an update, and a bit of a disclaimer to my previous comments. After two years of use, I needed to replace the brake pads on the Hopes. When I went to do it, the pistons just would not retract, even trying to force them back. According to the mechanic the seals on the pistons were shot, leading to contamination and the problem. So they either needed to be completely rebuilt or replaced.

Given that we needed the bike for a planned multi day gravel tour, and the unavailability of replacement Hopes in the needed time, we ended up going with Shimano XT brakes

the XT’s are working ok. When I was discussing options with The Calfee rep they said they are currently spacing tandems with 2 pot Shimano mountain bike brakes without issue.

I’ll likely put Hopes back on eventually. Compared to XT’s, the Hopes modulate better, and take less hand pressure for the same stopping power. And while the Hope’s died an early death, they never failed in the sense of failing to stop the bike.

Obvioulsy the higher heat load from the Tandem contributed to the Hope’s demiise. However, the Calfee rep and the LBS both thought that my delay in replacing the original pads, and having never re bled the brakes contributed to their failure

Given that the Hope’s meet all our needs, and work with our setup, If I can do a bit better than the two years next time with some better maintenance, I’m willing to accept that. And this time I can get the red anodized version!
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Old 07-22-22, 08:18 AM
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longpete
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
However, the Calfee rep and the LBS both thought that my delay in replacing the original pads, and having never re bled the brakes contributed to their failure
I think that's nonsense. Could you still brake before you tried to change the pads? Breaking= moving pistons. That the heat damaged the seals this is possible.
Did you trie to push the pistons out without brake pads attached? If that worked put some brake fluid on them and push them back, (move them out a few times, push them back and clean off oil.
Brakes with dot u have to bleed once or twice a year.
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