Cyclists in panic stops sometimes squeeze the front brake lever too hard, causing their rear wheel to rise off the pavement. It was a fact of life in the 70s, 80s and today, and a major part of the instructions we gave with every bike we sold was how to brake properly to avoid front wheel stands. Despite that, our customers didn't always understand or embody the fine points of proper braking.
The shop owner could do at least a minor front wheel stand on most any bike we sold, all equipped with caliper brakes, without causing any damage to the brake or frame/fork. And when you're considering selling a very high-priced, allegedly superior-performing brake to your customers, you take it out and try it yourself first. How well does it stop? How well does it handle in a panic stop?
IMHO opinion Phil, in that place and time, should have known that single bikes in a panic stop can do a front wheel stand, and his brake should have been built to safely handle such an occurence. Phil himself acknowledged the brake shouldn't have failed in a panic stop, and redesigned the brake to try to prevent such failures.
I had enough confidence in the brake and my own braking skills to continue using it myself---it had great modulation and worked very well in rain/snow. But we didn't have enough confidence in the design to carry the brake in the shop and sell it to our customers.
On Tue, 30 Apr 2002 20:31:30 -0700 (PDT), Dennis Johnson
>"He tried to stand the bike on the front wheel"
>I can't believe that this is what the front brake
>assembly was "designed" to withstand. Perhaps now,
>when people will subject all kinds of products to all
>kinds of abuse for which they were not designed, but
>not in the "pre-product-liability-lawsuit-happy"
>Not saying that perhaps Phil shouldn't have designed
>it stronger, or that it perhaps didn't have a design
>flaw.. but I (in the same place and time) probably
>would not have anticipated a "front wheel stand".
Paul C. Brodek
Hillsdale, N.J. U.S.A.