Choosing the best brakes

Choosing the best brakes

Bacchetta offers a variety of different brakes to ensure optimal stopping power on whatever kind of terrain you are riding. Both caliper brake options work on the CA3.0, Corsa A70 and CA3.0 Basso (with 451mm wheel) and are designed with cable routing on the non-drive-side of the bike. This ensures that the brake arm doesn't interfere with the chain.

For the performance rider who is looking for good stopping power and very low weight, the X-Eyed caliper brake is the perfect choice! At 115g (not including pads, that are sold separately), these brakes are ideal for rims that are 22mm wide or narrower. If used on wider rims, you may have to shave the pads to get an ideal throw in the lever. Speaking of levers, these brakes need to be paired with a road pull lever like the Tektro FL750 or the Paul Canti Lever.

x-eyed brake

For the recreational rider who is less concerned about weight but still doesn't need the stopping power of disk brakes, the Bacchetta Dual Pivot brakes are ideal. While heavier at 168g, they are actually more powerful than the X-Eyed caliper and will work on your wider rims. They are also a more affordable option for those wanting a recumbent-specific brake.

dual pivot brake

Finally, for the best stopping power at the expense of more weight, get disk brakes! We offer TRP Spyke brakes on all of our bikes. The Spyke offer easy adjustment and quiet operation, and should be paired with mountain bike levers such as the Eclipse MT2.1.

spyke brake

When ordering disk brakes for an after-market upgrade, it is important to (a) get the correct mounting adapters, and (b) make sure your cables are long enough.

Both brakes on the Bacchetta bikes are IS mount. On the rear, you need an IS20mm adapter to use a 160mm rotor. If you want to go with a 140mm rotor, the IS0mm adapter is perfect. On the front, if you are using the Carbon Johnson fork and want 160mm rotors, you will need the adapter to convert from flat mount to post mount. If you have the aluminum fork, the IS0mm adapter is perfect for 160mm rotors.

Bacchetta bikes are long...long enough that a standard brake cable will not be long enough to reach from the lever to the rear axle. So, we make tandem-length cables available to ensure that your brake conversion isn't stopped short by a short cable! (ha...see what we did there?)

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us...we love hearing about your bikes and adventures!


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All Bacchetta handlebars require a flat bar lever. However, flat bar levers are available in road pull and mountain pull. If you pair a set of Avid mountain bike levers with either of the caliper brakes, they will feel mushy and not be as powerful as a road lever with the correct pull.

Dana Lieberman

Hi Dana,
Thanks for your article about brakes. Honestly it left me with a lot of questions.

For one thing why do I need to pair a certain brake lever with a certain brake? I have an idea that its mostly about mazimum cable pull, but it seems like there are a lot of reasons to choose different levers, and I’ve seen so many combinations of levers and calipers and I really don’t understand exactly what the dynamics are. It used to be pretty clear to me that you couldn’t put a road bike lever on a straight handlebar, but what’s the best lever for Bacchetta handlebars?

Another thing that really left me puzzled is how much stopping power do I need? I think everyone needs the maximum amount because who doesn’t want to be able to stop? On my strada I believe I have the stock brakes and levers, and I find if I adjust them correctly and pull them hard I will skid both my tires. (An antilock braking system would be a better choice for me but I don’t think it’s available.) However in Chicago where i ride there are times when I need to stop fast. Would a disc brake be an advantage, when I’m already skidding?

Thank you in advance for your insights,

Josh Samos

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