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Drum brake maintenance on velomobiles

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Forum Name: Building
Forum Description: Anything to do with building HPVs
Printed Date: 23 July 2019 at 10:35am
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Topic: Drum brake maintenance on velomobiles
Posted By: antonin_d
Subject: Drum brake maintenance on velomobiles
Date Posted: 06 November 2018 at 3:28pm

I am now the happy companion of Quest #266 and I discover the joy of drum brakes! Being new to the thing, I have a few questions.

At the moment braking is not very sharp, it takes a while to stop even when riding at relatively slow speeds. The Quest has around 20,000km of use so I assume I could try changing the pads - but it is not an operation that is even mentioned in the maintenance guide for the Quest (they only explain how to oil the mechanism). Is that something worth looking into?

Also, at the moment braking is completely silent until the bikes comes to a stop, at which point there is a fairly loud "SQUEAAAK" noise, which is not exactly reassuring! Any idea what it might be?


Posted By: atlas_shrugged
Date Posted: 06 November 2018 at 8:40pm
Antonin welcome to Velomobile land.
Most velomobile drum brakes are Sturmey Archer - either 70mm or 90mm. They normally last a long time. You would be able to order replacement brake shoes but check with in case the shoes are a special type. have some good maintainance videos so check these for how to remove the front wheels. I will try and get some Quest owners to give a better reply.

Posted By: AlanGoodman
Date Posted: 06 November 2018 at 9:07pm
I would at least have a look at the shoes and make sure there is plenty of meat on them.
I think you need to drop the whole suspension assembly out to get at them but I never needed to do it and no longer have a velomobile.
The XS I had was fitted with the optional 90mm drums which I understand are significant improvement over the standard 70mm drums. 


Posted By: Yanto
Date Posted: 07 November 2018 at 9:55am
Firstly congratulations on getting the Quest, it was me who crashed it way back when hence the black nose!

As said above they brakes last a long time and require little maintenance.  However, if these are the original shoes then they have done a lot more than 20,000km so may need replacing.  They can be replaced by removal of the spring washers but it is more normal to replace them by changing the whole back plate assembly, these are available from" rel="nofollow -  to ensure perfect compatibility, or other sources of them, perhaps" rel="nofollow -  ?

They also could be just glazed and need the glaze removing and the drums slightly roughening.

Whether it's a replacement or de-glaze then the strut has to be dropped by undoing the nuts on top of the wheel well and undoing all the ball joints on the steering plate, then remove the wheel, it is a PITA on an enclosed wheel velomobile!

If you do Facebook then joining" rel="nofollow - ref=bookmarks  here will be beneficial as all previous owners are members of the group.

Ian, racing again No 6.

Posted By: antonin_d
Date Posted: 29 December 2018 at 5:57pm
Thanks a lot for your replies and sorry for not posting back earlier (somehow email notifications did not get through)!

I have checked the brake shoes: they look thick enough, but a bit glazed indeed! Sanding them a bit helped.

Posted By: blogwat
Date Posted: 31 December 2018 at 8:57am
Hi Antonin
here is a link to a vid about changing drum brakes on a Quest it may be of some help to you" rel="nofollow -  

when your up to your waist in aligators they forget to tell you you've got to clear the swamp

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