Classic & Vintage - Stopping power?
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03-25-11, 05:11 AM
I have a question that's been bugging me for a while.
Other than the name cache, is there a real difference between, say Athena and Record brakes from the 90s? I ask, because the price of them NOS on eBay is wildly different.
I've ridden bikes with both and I can't tell the difference. Am I missing something?
03-25-11, 10:23 AM
If you can't tell the difference, then chalk it up to marketing. As a youth, I used to be obsessed with power. But after a few laps with the Pros at Willow Spring race circuit, it became clear that to go fast, you have to be silky smooth with the power and the brakes. Keys to great braking performance are true/smooth rims, brake pads, and distance between brake pads and rim. For most riders, it's best to use 100% front brake under dry condition. As you get better with brake modulation to the point that the rear wheel will barely touch the road under heavy braking, you'll want to learn to trail-brake going into the turn. This will allow you to carry more speed into the turn, and make micro adjustments as you hit the apex.
When it comes to modern bicycle brakes, technique is much more important than weight or minor differences in design. Switching to a wider tire will also give you a more predictable braking performance. Large tire translates to lower psi. And since the mass is constant (or 1lb higher from the larger tires), the contact patch between the tire and road will also increase.
03-26-11, 02:41 PM
Cheers Furballi. You pretty much confirmed my thoughts. I understood most of that, and as someone who ride's a motorbike I'm pretty used to modulation. Aside from trying for light enough tyres, I don't sweat the weight too much. I just wondered what the advantage was. I bought an NOS Moser Pro '97 the other week, and the brakes on it (avanti) feel amazing. The rims are campy and have that SWT, so maybe the combo's good, but I was just wondering how a similar era set of record brakes could improve performance, and also wondering if I'd want any more braking power.
03-26-11, 02:52 PM
Playing the name game is OK if you want a complete group, or have considerable faith in a certain model of brake.
I've got a set of Daytonas and a set of Chorus and a set of Veloce, all from the same era.
I doubt I can tell the difference.
I can tell between my single-pivot 105's and my other dual-pivots (Ultegras, Tektro's)
Though they're different, it doesn't affect my ride other than being a little more sensitive on descents with the 105's.
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