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Glazed brake shoes


I have done just under 200 miles of gentle-ish shakedown running on my newly restored 99 engined 650 SS bicycle and have so far been underwhelmed by the SLS brakes. I have done some repeat braking from speed in order to warm up the linings and bed them in but have seen no improvement. I have recently had the machine up to over 70mph (indicated) so progress has not been over gentle.

The front hub was skimmed after the wheel was rebuilt and the shoes re-lined to suit in a road compound by Saftek in Cleckheaton.

On inspection this week the front shoes were found to be glazed over a majority of both shoes’ surfaces. I contacted Saftek, who replied that glazing means the linings are too hard, which they said was odd because the lining used was a fairly soft moulded grade. Saftek offered a soft woven grade as an alternative.

Has anyone on the forum had similar issues and/or have some advice on how to improve the braking with the current shoes? For now, I have sanded off the glazing and cleaned shoes and hub, but have yet to venture out again due to the quantity of salt on the roads locally.

Is chamfering the leading edge or running grooves into the linings likely to improve matters?

Thanks in anticipation.


I find that the brakes need to be very closely adjusted to perform, So centering the brake and holding on tight before doing up the axle very important. A slightly distorted brake plate will not help. Many bar  levers have a pivot /nipple centers over 7/8th inch ,no good. I bought a secondhand set of used  shoes for spares to be re-lined ,putting them in  has given me a very good brake. The linings are sintered  (metal flecks can be seen) and the trailing shoe lining  has been cut back to about 2/3rds the length.!!.  I  check lining thickness and put the thickest one on the leading shoe. But cant with the cut back set. In theory this should not make any difference ,but it does.I fit metal slippers to shoe ends to reduce slop , it appears to improve the leverage of the cam.  I use a slightly longer stainless lever on the brakeplate. I  bed brakes in with lots of heavy work. and regular adjustment. 


 ...use the brake hard to bed in, several good squeezes to reduce speed; light rubbing and gentle use hardends the resin.   I have the woven solution in my big single and find it a smooth  progressive brake, ideal for road use.




Thanks both, much appreciated. I have already centred the brake and retightened the spindle. When some rain has washed away the current shedloads of salt on the roads on my favourite route to the country lanes, I shall give the brakes a good seeing to!

In reply to by alan_smith1


Like a lot of people in the club I got my shoes relined by Villiers. Woven linings. I now have the best brakes on a british bike that I have ever owned. My brother worked at Mintex Cleckheaton, I worked at Belaco (Ferodo) in Leeds in the early '70s. Linishing asbestos linings on a belt sander.....



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