One Lever, Two Brakes: SlidePad

When it comes to brake pad replacement on your average recreational cyclist’s bike, you will find that more often than not, the rear brake pads are replace well in advance of the front, and sometimes even more than once before the front is even touched.

Why? Well, whatever the reason, most cyclists who don’t fall into the enthusiast category, for whatever reason feel safer when applying the rear brake compared to the front. Regardless of the reason, using only the rear brake results in braking that may feel more safe to the rider, yet lacks in power due to the fact that you are only using one brake, and that more braking power comes from the front brake than rear.

So how do you get recreational riders to use both brakes without clubbing them over the head and forcing them? The creators of Slidepad think they have the answer, and it involves removing one brake completely.

Sort of.

See how Slidepad works after the break!


(for the mechanics out there, try to ignore the frayed, and uncrimped brake cable!)

The genius behind Slidepad, is that the user applies only the rear brake just like they normally would. There isn’t even a front brake lever, so braking operation is simplified as one rear brake lever controls both brakes. While the front brake is still there, it is now controlled in tandem by the rear brake, operated by the Slidepad.

Obviously, when you replace cartridge brake pads, you insert them from the back of the carrier. This is due to the fact that if the slot was in the front of the carrier, the natural motion of braking could cause the pad to eject from the carrier. Slidepad harnesses this potential disaster, and actually encourages it, only the rear brake pad is tethered to the front brake via a standard brake cable. As the rear brake pad engages the rim, eventually it is pulled forward in the sliding track of the carrier, then actuating the front brake through the attached brake cable.

In addition to applying both brakes at once, Slidepad also works as a sort of ABS, as in the event of the rear wheel leaving the ground as if you grabbed too much front brake, the front brake is instantly released which will likely prevent an unwanted endo.

 

Slidepad will be available for sale in June 2011, and will retail for $59.99 and will be sold in three different colors. No word on whether $59.99 includes the additional brake cable, housing, and noodle, but my guess would be that it does.

Comments

Joshua Murdock - 05/16/11 - 10:29pm

A simple, elegant solution. I like it.

nh - 05/16/11 - 10:31pm

That is a great idea.

Androo - 05/16/11 - 11:13pm

I came into this wanting to dislike it, but that actually is a pretty good idea. Not a huge fan of the proprietary brake pads that you need, though – a metal sliding insert designed to take standard cartridge pads would be nicer (and I think would actually promote adoption, since I doubt many bike stores will carry this for a while, unless major OEMs get on-side).

greg - 05/16/11 - 11:26pm

this has been done before (hasn’t everything?). first time i’ve seen it incorporated into a canti, it’s been sidepulls before.
the whole caliper would slide forward on an elongated pivot, pushing on a spring. opposite the spring would be another cable and housing that fed to the front brake.
i think it’s great for the non-enthusiast (the great majority of people).

Jeff B. - 05/16/11 - 11:28pm

re: Androo

How about they get 5.10 on the rubber?

Kieselguhr Kid - 05/17/11 - 11:31am

The nice thing about your typical bike brake system is you have redundancy. In the even that one of the brakes fails you have a second brake. This is especially important on cheaper bikes and non-enthusiast bikes as they tend to be less well maintained. I see a lot of people riding around with one set of brakes disconnected.
With the Slide pad system failure in either the front or rear brake brake could result in a failure of both brakes.
If the front cable snaps or slides in its pinch-bolt the pad will be ejected from the slidepad holder and you will have either very minimal or no braking.
If you put a brakepad under the rim due to poor adjustment on the rear you loose both front & rear braking. If you do the same on the front will it pull enough cable to eject the slidepad in the rear?
If the user disconnects the rear brake to change a flat and forgets to reconnect it before riding off they loose all braking, if they do the same in the front will there be enough slack in the cable for the slidepad to be ejected from it’s holder?

Larry - 05/17/11 - 1:00pm

Like many bicycling “innovations,” this looks like another case of a solution in search of a problem, especially at 60 bucks. For 30 bucks, I’ll install my system, which consists of removing your rear lever. You’ll see that it has the same benefits as this one:
1) Only one lever – check.
2) Maximal braking ability on clean surfaces – check.
3) Rider becomes comfortable with front brake – check.
4) Rider unable to adequately control braking over uneven surfaces – check.

Ron - 05/17/11 - 1:44pm

Howdy–

In addition to neglecting the front brake, non-enthusiasts aren’t too big on clenaing and maintenance. Between the sliding pads and the extra housing, that system will be contaminated and non-functioning within months. Then riders won’t be able to use the front brake even if they want to.
Happy Trails,
Ron

Michael - 05/19/11 - 4:20pm

I love this idea! Can’t wait to try one out.

Kyle - 05/19/11 - 6:17pm

Re: Joshua, NH, Androo, Greg — Thanks!

Re: Kieselguhr Kid and Ron:

Slidepad technology was created for the non-enthusiast and introduced to make the bike user friendly so that more people ride. Because of this, it was designed it require little or no maintenance and takes various user “mistakes” into consideration.

The Slidepad itself is built with very tight tolerances so that dirt is continuously pushed out the front as the slider slides forward. There is no oil or grease, so contamination and dirt doesn’t stick to the components. We use a low friction, high strength material that slides very well even as contamination enters in the system. For this reason, the system operates very well over hundreds of miles of normal recreational use.

If the front brake were to fail, the back brake works as a backup. Slidepad has a stopper screw in the front of the guide, which eliminates the possibility of the pad getting ejected from the guide.

Thanks!

-Slidepad Technologies

Paul - 05/27/11 - 12:59am

So no more skids or nose wheelies, LAME!

KEITH - 10/06/14 - 2:07pm

I just bought a Jamis that has this for girlfriend. Laready doesn’t work. Front brakes don’t work at all and waste of money. Now I have to bring it back to the shop. Horrible idea.

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