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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 89 with the drum brakes in front and rear. Bike had 7K miles on it and had been sitting for a couple years when I got it. The braking is very poor in both front and rear. I'm going to be 90% offroad and I'm stil worried the braking won't be good enough. I bought new pads and put them on, but the thickness of the new ones is about the same as the old, and very little cable adjustment difference was needed or braking improvement. Looks to me like the drums may need replacing, especially up front. Anyone else had to replace front drum by 7K miles? It's not grooved, but the little gauge on the hub says the pads are 2/3 gone when engaging the brake with new pads, so I'm assuming the drum is worn down. Also looking at the price the drum looks like it's $200 which is way more than I want to spend. Any other ideas for how to improve this? Good news I guess is won't be flying over the handlebars anytime soon from braking too hard. I saw a post on converting to disc brakes, but this was a very cheap bike and the bike budget is small so that's not a viable option for me.
 

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What does the friction surface of the drum look like? Should be clean metal. Any rust/crud/oil will ruin the brakes.
 

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Friction surface is clean and dry. Had some brake dust on it when I opened them up and changed the pads which I wiped out with a dry rag...
 

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How clean was your dry rag? Was it treated with a chemical to pick up dust or increase absorbancy? Had the surface of the rag you used to wipe the drum previously touched your hand? Natural skin oils can be enough to reduce braking effectiveness--drum surfaces should be cleaned with brake cleaner. Shoes should be cleaned with filtered, dry air. Never touch friction surfaces on either.
 
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