FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


(See below for more questions.)


What do I do about brake chatter or shudder?

\"Brake Chatter\" (also known as \"Brake Shudder\") refers to the fore-aft fork oscillation that can occur when braking hard with cantilever brakes. The brake pads alternatively grab and then release the rim in rapid succession, causing the fork to flex for and aft and the bike to feel like it is vibrating violently. It occasionally occurs with dual pivot brakes, but most of the time it\'s with cantilever brake systems. Cross bikes are particularly vulnerable, since tires are not big enough to dampen the vibrations.

Brake chatter is caused by the interaction between the components - The cable, cable guides, brake arms, brake pads, rims, headsets and hubs. The bigger the frame, the bigger the rider and the harder the braking, the more easily that brake chatter can occur. What can you do to minimize it?

  • Start with the basics: your bike should be properly adjusted. Loose brake arms, wheel bearings and headsets absolutely contribute to brake chatter. Headsets should be adjusted to the tight side of the range.
  • Brake pad toe-in: The more that brake pads are toed in, the less easily the brake can grab the rim.
  • Brake Pad length: The longer the brake pad, the more it can grab so hard as to start the oscillations.
  • Rim/brake residue: Gummed up brakes contribute to brake chatter. This may come from a variety of sources - road tar, for example, or riding through oil-soaked gravel.
  • Brake pad choice: Some brake pads are more \"grabby\". Kool-Stop has an excellent reputation for brake pads that are less likely to grab.
  • Shortening the cable reach. Have your shop get the kind of canty brake cable mount that connects to the fork rather than hangs off the headset. This reduces a source of flex that can induce the oscillations.
  • Tire Pressure: Overinflated tires contribute to a host of handling problems (without reducing rolling resistance). Inflate your tires to the low end of the recommended inflation range.
  • Brake flex: The more the brake arms flex, the more an oscillation can develop.
  • The lighter the fork, the more pronounced the brake chatter, which is why Waterford tends to be more conservative on canty brake fork design.
  • When all else fails, linear-pull (v-brakes) dramatically reduce brake chatter.

Question List

Choosing Your Waterford

Do you want a racing bike, recreational bike or both?
What kind of maintenance does my Waterford need?
How big a tire do you want to fit on your bike?
How do you go about choosing your Waterford?
What if my seatpost slips during rides?
How versatile do you want your bike?
What kind of handling do you want?
What do I need to do to prevent rust and corrosion?
Why do we measure our seat tubes 'center to top'?
What do you want to carry?
How big a load do you want to carry?
If I'm a 180 pound rider, why does it matter whether my load is 15 pounds or 25 pounds?

Geometry and Fit

How does Waterford perform factory fittings?
What is toe-clip overlap and why do we avoid it?
My Fit Kit recommends a 538mm top tube. Nobody offers stock geometries in these sizes. What's my best fit?
Can't you just build a bike based on Fit Kit® measurements?
Why are your seat angles so steep on small frame sizes?
Why is there toe clip overlap on track geometries?
Why does Waterford recommend 650C or 26" wheels on selected sizes?
Why does Waterford sometimes recommend 650C or 26" wheels?
What if I want to change from a steel fork to a carbon fork or vica versa?

Materials & Construction

Retrofitting S&S Couplers?
What makes Waterford's Tubesets so Special?
Why Steel?
How much do color choices affect durability?
Lugs vs. TIG - Which is best?

Paints and Finish

How do I apply touch-up paint?
Why don't we Chrome Plate all Waterfords?
How do color choices affect durability?
Why not internal cable routing?
Wouldn't clearcoat over bare metal work?
Why not clearcoat only?
What's wrong with a matte finish?
Why can't I just give you a paint code to select custom paint?
Choosing a Finish

Upgrading Your Waterford

What kind of composite fork can I install on my Waterford?

General Information

Where do I find my serial number?
What does my serial number mean?
What is the difference between Gunnar and Waterford
What is the difference between 14-, 22- and 33-Series models?

Assembly & Care

What common dimensions are there for Waterfords - threading, bolts etc.?
My head tube is somewhat out of round. What kind of problem is it?
Which clamp diameter should I use to for my front derailleur
Clamp-on or braze-on front derailleurs.
What kind of care do I have to give my Waterford to prevent rust from forming?
How do I prevent my composite (carbon fiber) seatpost from slipping?
How long a seatpost do I need?
How do I get a good fit when installing downtube shift adapters?
How do I apply touch-up paint?
How do I apply replacement decals?
How do I remove my chainstay protector?
Should I use my Waterford on my Windtrainer?
Why did we go from 27.4mm to 27.2mm seatposts?
Why don't we install dropout adjusters on bikes that have adjuster holes?
I have an older model 1400 or 2400 off-road frame. What kind of front deraileur do I need?
What if I want to install a 1" for on a 1 1/8" head tube frame?
Threading: What is it for eyelets, rack mounts and so on?

Repair & Restoration

Why can't I just have Waterford touch up my frame instead of completely repainting it?
Is it worth it to restore my old Paramount, Raleigh or other classic road bike?
Can Waterford spread my dropouts on my old bike?
What does it take to retrofit my bike with S&S Couplers?
Will Waterford put its decals on a Paramount restoration?
Can I change the geometry on my existing frame?
I have a dent in my top tube, should I be concerned?
I have a chrome Paramount with damage to the chrome. Can you re-chrome it for me?

Buying / Selling a Waterford

How can I sell my Waterford?


Can I order a 1 inch steerer disc brake fork?
How can I get a disc brake fork with the ride of my classic steel rim brake fork


Does Waterford provide Warranty Coverage?


What do I do for a stuck seatpost or bottom bracket?
What should I do to prevent high-speed wobble and shimmy on my bike?
What do I do about brake chatter or shudder?
How do I reduce brake squealing?
How do I prevent my rear wheel from pulling under heavy climbing or sprinting?
What if I experience chain suck on my Off-Road frame.

Log in and Using this Web Site

Does my Waterford Login connect me to the Forum?


What's the fork threading on the 1960's Paramounts
What do the markings mean found on the bottom bracket of Paramounts from the 50's to the 70's?