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  1. #1
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    Default Front brake stopping power - knuckle vs iron head?

    Looking to add a front brake 21" wheel on my pan, and pondering between old knuckle style drums that go on a star hub, or an earlier sporty drum front wheel. I currently run a mini drum And it isn't worth more then staying still at a stoplight. Wondering if anyone has had experience with either of these 2 drums, which has greater stopping power, and any pros/cons of either. Thanks for your feedback!

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    the sporty drums look If you polish it up

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    I've got a springer front brake, and it's alright but not great. I'm putting a k-model drum on my next bike so we'll see how that goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doesy View Post
    I've got a springer front brake, and it's alright but not great. I'm putting a k-model drum on my next bike so we'll see how that goes.
    So you have the knuckle or pan style bolt on drum? Seems much smaller then the iron one, so I'm thinking it might be better then my mini drum, but not as good as the iron one, right?

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  6. #6

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    as far as oem, sporty drum will stop better between the two. If you would like to actually stop, then modify for dual leading shoe like dragstews showed above, or get a euro or early japanese DLS front drum brake. Early larger honda ones are cheap and look like triumph brakes and stop. BUTTT its not american. So if you are only going between the two, go with ironhead brakes.

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    I currently have a knuckle on a VL springer and it doesn't really stop too well...I made the cam a little bigger to and it does work but its hard to squeeze, i also have the ironhead on my other bike and it stops better, you need to fit the shoes well so as not to have them vibrate...ironhead is the better brake for sure...depends on the look you are going for, and what you have on the rear. I have a juice 54 on the rear, so between the two its tough with little brake power

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    basically it comes down to brake pad surface and brake leverage. you can increase braking by increasing the surface that contacts the drum at the point you hit the brake. some of the brakes that have only a single pivot point on each shoe will contact in a non uniform way. thats why the dual leading type are better because both brakes actuate. now. once you get the surface area figured. the next issue is leverage/force applied to the shoe against the drum. you can increase pressure by lengthening the arm going to the assembly. one factor you will have to account for tho is the brakes will heat up faster and start to fade with a hard brake. so you would want to drill the backing plate and add an air scoop.

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