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Thread: Bicycle Brakes???

  1. #1
    Hello everyone,
    I am the chief engineer for the frame group from the Marquette University team and I was wondering if any of you guys out there has used bicycle brakes as your FSAE car braking system. Some members in my team had the idea of using them, but brake fade concerns me a lot. This is our first time racing with a brand new team, and I know having a good braking system is very important.
    These bicycle brakes are very light, only 520g total, like this one http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/produc...hfxmaghd.shtml
    Do you guys think that could handle the different events or do you guys think it will start fading fast? I would prefer going to like a motorcycle braking system, but they are really into this bicycle system, any suggestions would be appreciated and we are all excited to be racing at Detroit this year, expect a ligt/ simple car from us.

  2. #2
    We've used a mtb brake on our last car in the rear. Mind you, the car only weighed 125 kgs. We did have problems with brake fading especially at higher speeds than is usual on a FSAE/FS competition. The discs were also bended after a while, so I would not advice you to use such a system. There is also a doubt on the quality of the calipers, so we decided to use motorcycle calipers on those discs. To be short:

    Go with some rear motorcycle brakes, those will suit the general FSAE car perfectly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Costa Mesa, CA
    You're gonna die. Some teams have a hard enough time stopping with kart brakes... and a FSAE car is a lot closer to the intended use of the kart brakes.

    However, don't take it from me. You should do the analysis for yourself and make decisions based on that analysis. That's all that really matters. I could be wrong and you could cause a revolution in FSAE design.


  4. #4
    Thanks for the reply guys, I agree with you guys in that those mountain bike brakes wont do the job, thanks.

  5. #5
    One of the FStudent teams (I forget which) used Hope MTB rear calipers this year.

    They couldn't get any data from Hope to do their system analysis, in the end they had to reverse engineer and rig test everything to determine if they were stiff enough, could handle the expected hydraulic pressure, and if the available pad material was suitable.

    So, it can be done, but it's not easy...
    Regards, Ian

  6. #6
    chief engineer??? dont you mean engineer in training...bike brakes work great on bikes, but so do pedals. They are way too thin for our loading and would fold up like a wet noodle
    Mike Duwe
    UWP Alumni

    Former Drivetrain Leader and Team Captain

  7. #7
    I don't think they are to thin to be used on a FSAE car. The only problems we had, was when we used the car for speeds way above design speeds, in combination with other problems concerning our brake system... I think you can use them, just be sure to calculate it through. It all depends on the total package, as does everything.


  8. #8
    FTABP - Formula Teams Against using bycle Parts.

    Haha, sorry, I don't want to contiunally follow this post with burns, but these cars aren't supposed to be made with components from Huffy.

    The functionality of a bike disc brake is there, but not the performance. You could try and show up with them, but good luck making it to design semi's.
    U. of Waterloo 07 Techincal Director
    HPD - Electrical LMP2

  9. #9
    At first, I thought this was a ridiculous idea- then thought about it for a minute. It could actually work if applied correctly:

    Modern downhill brakes are pretty beef, check these out.

    If you made a really light car, and had beefy downhill bike brakes in the rear, it might work out well. That being said, I wouldn't put them on there without fully investigating if they'll hold up or not.
    Matt Giaraffa
    Missouri S&T (UMR) FSAE 2001 - 2005

  10. #10
    Is it worth it to look into, sure if you really want to know why it wouldn't work. It really is a simple thermal analysis, how much heat will those small little pieces of aluminum be absorbing braking your 500 lb (light car with driver) car from 50-60 mph... make no mistake about designing your car for lower speeds. Brakes are the one thing on a car in my mind that ALWAYS need to be overdesigned. Its really basic, if you can't stop because the things are faded or worse, cracked and non existant, the driver will get hurt or die or things will get nasty real fast. I have seen wheel/upright assemblys torn off FSAE cars at comp because the brake rotor design wasn't beefy enough to absorb and dissipate the heat (luckily no one hurt)... and those rotors were much beefier than any mountain bike brake I have seen. Again, do the analysis and you should reach the conclusion, but seriously don't skimp on your brake system ever.
    2003-2008 UF FSAE

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