Avid Brakes


Santana has worked with the good folks at Avid for many years. Their powerful rim brakes are standard equipment on every tandem we sell. After Avid introduced an 8-inch disc brake, many tandem owners (and a few builders) attached this inexpensive single-bike component to their tandems. Because these brakes looked pretty cool, other builders ignored Avid’s published warnings against installing this brake on a tandem. Meanwhile, Santana had tested Avid’s mechanical disc against our tandem-specific brake protocol (published and disseminated since 1998), and immediately agreed with Avid that their brake was only adequate for singles. Specifically, in repeated real-world testing not one Avid brake survived a 500-foot descent on our short (.7 mile) and steep (15%) test course. Even when upgraded with a 10-inch rotor, Avid’s most powerful cable-operated disc faded into ineffectiveness after just over half a mile. Further—after a backup brake was used to rein-in the runaway tandem—we found that the Avid’s plastic pad-adjustment knobs and a non-replaceable internal nylon bushing had melted, which forestalled further use. While Santana continues to encourage our friends at Avid (now owned by SRAM) to produce a disc brake adequate for tandems, their “Ball Bearing” mechanical disc (an effective brake for single bikes) is not a safe choice for tandems.

WARNING - While many builders and dealers have installed Avid's disc brake on a tandem, this use is not sanctioned or recommended by Avid, and voids the manufacturer's waranty.


Understanding Braking
Power vs. Heat
Disc Brake Technology
•••Mechanical vs. Hydraulic
Avid Brakes
Hierarchy of Braking Power