Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brake Pad Friendliness And The Splintering Bell Sweep

1. Little things make a difference for different people. Sometimes, these little things go unnoticed. As an example, look at those protrusions on this Jagwire brake pad holder. One wonders what possible use could two shark fin like elements contribute to cycling enjoyment.

Well, it turns out that only when you begin to install conventional brake pads do you realize the slight effort needed to hold it in place at the brake bracket while tightening the screw and washer with an Allen key.

One of the sillier uses for these little things is that they let you hold on to something to keep the shoe with the pad in place while you're tightening the screw. Some kind of human factors engineering right there.

2. I love my Bell Sweep R helmet.

Used for less than a season, I was disappointed when things started falling off its shell as I inspected it this morning. Like this piece of foam!

What the hell? Are you kidding me? It has never taken a spill, not even dropped, neither do I have huge ugly fingernails.

How can something protect your head by compression when the very thing separates from the shell and falls off to the ground? I truly must admit that I haven't been ridiculously checking every inch of my helmet after every ride, but I figure I must have missed seeing a crack. And the shell-foam bonding has failed here too.

While I wonder if I can get away with it and keep riding (I do have another helmet as backup), is there any guarantee that expensive helmets are any safer or better in design?


Anonymous said...

The fins serve as a heat sink to dissipate the heat from braking and move it away from the rim.

Fritz said...

I've always wondered about those fins. I thought of the heat sink explanation too, but I'm dubious about that.

mollycameron said...

Bluenoser called it.

The fin was designed to assist in wheel changes.

Remember the older Campagnolo and Mavic brake blocks? They had small metal wire "fins" designed to guide the wheel in.

Kept riders from banging the brake blocks out of adjustment or, out of the pad holder entirely!

Deltaentropy said...

Same thing happened to my bell sweep exactly. I dont think its unsafe since I doubt I'll ever crash on just the back of my head, but its certainly something Bell should be aware of and fixing in their next release.

3cross said...

Having gone over the bars going about 35 and breaking a Bell SweepR I can say it is what has allowed me to type this. It did a great job! Bell has a replacement policy where they replaced it for $30 with an identical model. You might want to check with their warranty people. I always go directly to the manufacture on warranty items and get a better response.


Anonymous said...

Bell used to have a $30 crash replacement policy, that is. Since they were absorbed into Easton Sports (same parent company as Giro), they shifted to Giro's policy, which is something like 30% off of retail for crash replacements. That's something, but is still more than you'd pay for a new one if you bargain hunt a bit online. Bell "grandfathered" in my '06 Sweep R after a crash last summer and sent me a new one for $30, but they said that for '07 and later they no longer offered that. I do love that helmet though, and I may well owe my life to it as well.

That said, sounds like you guys are experiencing manufacturing defects, so the crash replacement policy probably has nothing to do with it. Good luck.

3cross said...

WOW After I sent my post I went out and looked at my helmet and if it wasn't white and silver I would think the pictures are of my replacement helmet. It is missing the exact same piece. I would think that this is a manufacturing defect since it seems to be common and at the same location on the helmet.
The helmet they did the $30 replacement on was a 07 model and I think the book that came with it stated the $30 policy.