Bicycle Braking Systems

Topics: Disc brake, Drum brake, Brake Pages: 13 (4156 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Bicycle Braking Systems

Year 11 Engineering Studies

Merewether High School

Nathan Dunshea


In this report a comparison of three Braking systems; Calliper, Drum and Disc will be made on a variety of areas including – *
* Effectiveness
* Performance
* Features
* Materials
* Frictional Components
* Difference from comparable car systems

An Orthogonal and Pictorial drawing will also be provided on a selected section of one of the braking systems being compared.

Bicycle Braking systems are a means of which we are able to halt the movement of a bicycle through the expulsion of kinetic energy. The Kinetic potential energy that is present in a moving bicycle is converted in to 3 different forms of energy; heat, sound and light. This is done through the resistance of a wheel to move when a brake applies a frictional force against the spinning movement of a wheel. Three different types of brakes are generally used on bicycles today; the Calliper, Drum and Disk systems. These three popular braking systems have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages that persuade the population to purchase them. 2: Calliper Brake Diagram

2: Calliper Brake Diagram
3: Disc Brake Diagram
3: Disc Brake Diagram
4: Drum Brake Diagram
4: Drum Brake Diagram

I used the Internet to research pictures, articles and suppliers of Braking systems in order to access the appropriate information needed for this report. Results:
Effectiveness, Performance, Features Comparison
10: Cross-Section of a bicycle drum brake
10: Cross-Section of a bicycle drum brake
The effectiveness of these Braking systems will be a measure of their ability to perform over a period of time. It is necessary for these brakes not to only perform well once, but over many instances, including moments of hard excessive braking. In today’s modern bicycle, many things will affect the braking systems ability to be effective. The weather, wear and tear over many uses, as well as the type of braking taking place can all have adverse effects on brakes. Drum brakes are not the most popular style of brake for a bicycle. This could be accredited to their effectiveness over time compared to both calliper brakes and disc brakes. Drum Brakes are typically very heavy, complicated to perform maintenance on and are often subject to brake fading. Break fading can be defined as the loss of braking force able to be exerted by the braking system at any point, and this often happens due to overheating as a result of consistent hard braking. Drum brakes are unable to dissipate heat anywhere near as efficiently as disc brakes as the frictional forces that turn kinetic energy into heat are all enclosed within the drum itself, which is often housed at the hub of the wheel. In fact, many companies have been forced to put warning labels on their hubs to make sure children aren’t unaware of the heat generated, and subsequently burn themselves. This makes them particularly susceptible to brake fading, something that both disk and calliper brakes don’t have a great problem with. In adverse weather conditions, the drum brake can show of its unique asset both the disc and calliper brake does not have. The Drum brake is fully enclosed, and therefore is not affected by rain, mud and other substances that may impede the frictional force exerted on the wheel.

12: Disc brake to be fitted to a Mountain Bike
12: Disc brake to be fitted to a Mountain Bike
Disc Brakes are very popular on Mountain Bikes, which require thick wheels and are often subject to muddy terrain. Because the disc brake is mounted to the hub, a certain clearance from the ground is maintained at all times, generally keeping mud from obstructing the pads and disc. If water is to get stuck under a disc brake’s pad, there are generally holes through which it can quickly escape so to not compromise the friction produced in the...
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