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brakes for P-38

Two questions:
1) How well do hydraulic brakes work on a P-38, esp the rear, and who makes the best for the application?
2) Is there a disk brake kit for the rear wheel for better mountain braking performance?

Thanks for any help.........Mark

1) You are probably thinking of hydraulic disc brakes. I remember reading that Tim Brummer has used the Hayes hydraulic disc brake with very good results. You would need to have a disc brake mount brazed on the rear of your frame. Lightning could do this for you, or perhaps someone local.

As far as I know, Tim Brummer has only used the Hayes disc on the rear. The front fork is not built robustly enough to use a disc.

I have used Magura hydraulic RIM brakes on my Lightning bikes for many years with excellent results. No need for disc brake mounts on the frame, or a new set of wheels. Also less need for fiddling around than disc brakes. But the disc brakes may be better for wet weather braking.

2) I do not know of a ready-made kit for using disc brakes on a Lightning. The only tricky part is having a disc brake mount brazed on the rear end of the bike. This needs to be done very carefully. Add a disc-compatible wheel and you are set.

Hope this helps some,
Joel Dickman

Can the hydraulic brake line from the lever be installed on the left side of the front brake so it doesn't have chain clearance problems?

Can the hydraulic brake line from the lever be installed on the left side of the front brake so it doesn't have chain clearance problems?

Yes, you can connect the hydraulic line going from the lever to the brakes on either the drive side or the non-drive side as you see fit. I use a ziptie on the little length of line going from one side of the brakes to the other to keep it away from my chain too.

I really like the Magura rim brakes a lot, and think they are worth the extra money they cost. At first I had to learn how to purge the brake lines of air bubbles when first setting the things up. Once I figured out how to do that it has been smooth sailing.

The rear brake on the P38 benefits the most from the hydraulic brake, because of the longer and twistier cable routing problem. But once you have a rear Magura brake, you get spoiled and have to get a front one too.

As far as I can tell, the cheaper HS11 brakes work just as well as the HS22 and HS33 models.

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman

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