Home TRIALS CAR Fiddle brakes by Grant Campbell

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Fiddle Brakes are one of the most important bits of a trials car. They give the ability to lock up a wheel, which enables much better turning, better control descending hills, traction control by slowing or locking the spinning wheel, and if the car cocks a wheel and is in danger of rolling, the ability to lock the offending wheel, continue forward and bring the car back to earth!

On the first two cars I built, I used cable operated drums, simply because VW handbrakes are always pretty good, and the wheel cylinders available are always too small. Drums are high maintenance, low return, and are really not worth pursuing.

Inboard brakes allow the back end to be quite a lot narrower, give the opportunity to continue driving the car if an axle/CV breaks and lessen the unsprung weight - an important factor even in a low speed trials car.

These Toyota calipers are the best thing since sliced bread on my car. I used to have Honda Motorcycle calipers but they were never all that satisfactory. The discs are also Toyota, machined smooth inside to fit the CVs. 'Top Hat' shape allows clearance for starter. Caliper mounts are reversed, the normal mounting bracket is cut off and new mounts welded on the opposite side. See next pic.