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.
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.