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 Post subject: Better brakes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:10 am 
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:06 am
Posts: 4
Hi,

I recently bought a vintage colnago junior which came with Campagnolo drivechain but modelo flash brakes. The brakes are very poor despite being in great condition, there is very little leverage on the hoods and the calipers aren't great. Can anybody recommend a better brake set or are they all relatively poor compared to modern sets? Thanks


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:05 am 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:51 pm
Posts: 178
Location: Kingston
I've had Modolo brakes performing very well (Speedy rather than flash, but I don't think they're very different).

Worn pads and worn rims can seriously affect braking. Kool Stop after market pads for Modolo brakes are available and work very well.

Old brake cables can get corroded. New stainless inner wires and new housing can seriously improve the feel.

Poor cable routing, badly cut outer ends, kinked cables, missing ferrules and sticky pivots can all contribute to bad braking.

All that said, they won't be quite as good as modern dual pivot calipers and the ergonomics, especially riding on the hoods isn't as good.


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:24 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9308
Location: New Forest, UK
I was amazed with the improvement on an old set of Weinmanns from new cables and outers. Try that first junking the brakes.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:17 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:13 am
Posts: 75
Location: Lancaster
Inner and outer cable replacement first and new pads first I'd reckon. If your wheels are chromed you'll never get decent braking (or should that be I have noticed a significant decrease in braking on a chrome rim over any other surface). Then after you've changed those maybe it is the brakes


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:28 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:06 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice the cables look fine but I might change them anyway before looking for calipers. I had another look there and it also seems the shape of the leavers and bars aren't helping, I'd have to be in the drops to get any decent leverage.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:35 am 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:24 pm
Posts: 791
Location: N.Staffs
+1 for koolstop. 30 year old rubber gets hard and glazed. Cables also a good idea


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:08 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 47
Gaz_9 wrote:
I'd have to be in the drops to get any decent leverage.


This is the crux of the matter, old brakes were designed to work from the drops. Changing pads, inners and outlets will no doubt improve things,but, if you are looking for modern levels of “stopability” while braking from the hoods you are likely to be disappointed,

Of course this view may be the result of me being rubbish at fettling :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:21 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:11 pm
Posts: 1180
Location: Left Coast of Canada
DSH wrote:
Gaz_9 wrote:
I'd have to be in the drops to get any decent leverage.


This is the crux of the matter, old brakes were designed to work from the drops. Changing pads, inners and outlets will no doubt improve things,but, if you are looking for modern levels of “stopability” while braking from the hoods you are likely to be disappointed,

Of course this view may be the result of me being rubbish at fettling :roll:


No, I think you are right on. I can get lots of power from my vintage brakes from the drops, but not so much from the hoods. Definitely support the idea of new kool stops (salmon) pads. I'd also suggest adding a little chain oil to the cable where it runs inside the housing if its in good shape to help reduce friction on brake release.

I've toyed with the idea of trying the modern TRP/Tektro brake levers with vintage calipers to see if they improve braking from the hoods. I have them on a Miyata Triplecross I built up as a drop bar bike, and they seem to work pretty well with some modern cantilevers brakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:56 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:32 pm
Posts: 51
Yes try a good/new set of cables, and also brake blocks. If the brake calipers themselves are in good condition then braking should be fine.

To be honest, in my 25+ years of cycling, having tried all manner of brakes, from basic Miche, to cheap and expensive Shimano 105 to Dura-Ace and Campagnolo Mirage to Record dual pivots, I have found that in terms of braking performance, all of them are virtually exactly the same!
Of course, people 'in the know' will tell me, yes well you haven't tried the new Dura-Ace/Record whatever, they are amazing and better than any previous brake system; but then I do, and I find it is exactly the same as anything else.
I suppose when you see the basic construction of a brake caliper, there is nothing much to go wrong, or indeed anything in the more expensive calipers that might help braking; yes, Dura-Ace has nice ball bearings in the pivots, but overall the basic design is one that works, end of really.
It is funny because when you read the magazine reviews of brake calipers, say for example, a test of Campagnolo Record they compare them to the previous years they always say they give much better braking. It seems the marketing nonsense has always been there :)


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 Post subject: Re: Better brakes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:51 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
Posts: 2164
Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
Yep. It's a fashion industry full of hype.

Having said that, I don't miss Wienmann 500 with suicide levers and steel chrome rims when it's sleeting.


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