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.