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  1. #1
    Float, HAMMER, jog markg's Avatar
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    I am riding a mid-70's old-school Columbus SP steel frame bike that I need to replace the brakes on. The bike originally came with Campagnolo Nuovo Record "normal" reach brakes (what now would be considered long reach) with non-recessed hex nuts. I got the frame as a castoff from a friend quite a few years ago (ok maybe 15) and built it up with what I had lying around in my junk box (I was married-with-children poor at the time). Bike never got ridden much and was stored away. Fast forward to the present: I've started riding again, mainly as cross training for my running, but also starting to ride to work. The LONG-reach diacompe brakes I put on it way back when are not in the best of shape, and worse, the front caliper is actually a bit too long - it works, but the brake pads ride slightly to inside of the rim, though not by much. I desparately need new brakes, but that style brake is pretty hard to come by, and am looking for suggestions. Here is what I have found so far:

    1) Search Ebay for old Campy Record or similar. I LOVED the feel of Campy Nuovo Record brakes whan I had them in my younger days. Problem with Ebay is I've tried bidding on 3 different sets (Modolo, old Dura Ace, and Sun Tour Superbe ) now, and have gotten sniped at the last second in all three auctions (grr...). Also it's hard to know what the going price on say a set of Campy NR calipers.

    2) Harris Cyclery shows the dual-pivot Shimano A550 as available with nutted threads. Are these still available? I have not been able to find this style anywhere else. And what is the quality? Pictures I saw looked like the adjusters were plastic.

    3) Drill the fork crown and either buy two recessed front Shimano calipers. Or a set of the Tektro dual-pivots and just use the front caliper (I could probably live with the Dia Compe in the rear). For that matter, I could probably buy 2 sets of the Tektro's for the price of a pair of the better-quality shimano calipers.

    4) It looks like Tektro also makes a really cheap single-pivot long-reach caliper (520A?) with nutted mount. But I wonder how well they really work.

    Am I missing other options? The final one may be to just write off this bike and purchase a new bike. But I really like the ride of this bike (just has that "familiar" feel), and also really don't have the bucks to make a major purchase at this point.

  2. #2
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    You could try here: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/main.htm

    or some of the many other classic bike sites on the Web.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    You should have a pretty good idea of what Campy NR brakes go for on eBay after losing three auctions. Don't give up so easily. It's an auction. You don't win every time.

    Late model brakes aren't really suitable for your bike because you need nutted mounting. It can be done, but why not put the correct brakes on it?

    I paid $150 for a nice used Super Record set with levers. One of the quick release levers was rusty, so I bought a bag of four replacements for $12. It's a lot of money, but how much does a new set of Campy brakes cost?

    I have never tried them, but I think Campy Gran Sports are pretty much the same brake, but with an inferior quick release. There is much less demand for them, so you can get them much cheaper.

  4. #4
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    Why not do it? The bike isn't a highly valued collectible and drilling the fork crown will give you a wider choice of much better performing brakes. One minute with a 5/16" (or 8mm) drill bit will make recessed nut front brakes fit your fork. For that matter, the same drill bit will make recessed nut rear brakes fit too. Apparently, you are aware of this option but for those in our audience who aren't, let me remind you that you only drill the rear face of the fork crown and the front face of the rear brake bridge. BTW, the Tektro long reach DPs work well and are a super deal at the price. I've never seen their nutted SP brakes so I can't offer an opinion.

    I believe the Shimano's A550 are Sora level. Not fancy but certainly functional. Ask Sheldon about the plastic parts but I'm sure they work fine anyway.

  5. #5
    Float, HAMMER, jog markg's Avatar
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    Yes I knew of drilling the fork from Sheldon's site. However I did not know the feasibility of drilling the rear brake bridge. Anything I need to watch out for (besides drilling all the way through)? You're right that there is no collector value in this bike (except possibly that it was one of the first frames Bill Holland and Joe Bell painted at the old Casa de Oro Bike Shop), so I really don't care about restoring it - I just need something to ride that is halfway decent.

  6. #6
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    There is no trick to drilling the fork except, as we've both noted, don't drill too far. You aren't enlarging the hole much so go slow and let the existing hole align the larger bit.

    The rear brake bridge is trickier. I've had to turn the 5/16" bit with a Vice Grip to drill it since the seattube doesn't allow a drill motor or hand drill sufficient access. It's slow since you only get about 1/4 of a turn at a time but quite do-able. A close-coupled 90 drill adapter might allow the use of a power drill but I don't have one. Again, stop after the first side is complete.

  7. #7
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markg
    1) Search Ebay for old Campy Record or similar. I LOVED the feel of Campy Nuovo Record brakes whan I had them in my younger days. Problem with Ebay is I've tried bidding on 3 different sets (Modolo, old Dura Ace, and Sun Tour Superbe ) now, and have gotten sniped at the last second in all three auctions (grr...). Also it's hard to know what the going price on say a set of Campy NR calipers.
    That's really easy. First go to the advanced search function on ebay. Then check off the completed auctions button. Finally type in campagnolo NR or SR brakes. All the closed auctions for the past 30 days will appear. You will have a great idea of the street price on Campy brakes.

    After you check the going price for you item, then when you find a fair Buy It Now auction buy it. Don't place a bid hoping to get it cheap. Use the BIN if the price is fair. Viola, Campy brakes for your ride. Way too many guys get caught up in the thrill of the hunt on ebay and miss out.

    Tim
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  8. #8
    Senior Member awunder's Avatar
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    Actually, Sheldon's site used to recommend not drilling the rear bridge at all, but getting two fronts. The front brake should have enough spindle to fit on the rear bridge and leaving room for a nut instead of the allen bolt.

  9. #9
    stay free. frankstoneline's Avatar
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    You could find some older calipers for nutted brakes. I have a set lying around, they arent anything fancy but they will work, you're welcome to them though you will need to find a nut for the back of one of them. PM me if you would like them.
    xoxo David
    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    katana's out frank! always be ready.
    <edited>

  10. #10
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    I really hope he is not still looking for brakes.

  11. #11
    I make stuff up
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    No kidding SweetLou!

    awunder, what prompted you to revive a thread from September '05?
    It's around here somewhere . . .

  12. #12
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPhil View Post
    awunder, what prompted you to revive a thread from September '05?
    deficient number comprehension
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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