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Old 08-17-06, 01:06 PM   #1
billkat
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What to replace the Weinmann 610/999s with?

Back in 1974, I bought my first decent road bike with my summer earnings as a teen. I couldn't afford the all-Campy Raleigh, so I chose the next-in-line International. It was nearly all-Campy except for the Weinmann brakes.

I have upgraded/replaced many of the components over the years, including pedals, seats, rims, etc. But one mechanic told me years ago that no other brake had the long reach of the Weinamans 610, so I couldn't swap them out.

is this true?
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Old 08-17-06, 01:35 PM   #2
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First I'll say that I used to ride with a guy back in the '70's who had an International, and that's one of my favorite all time bikes.............As far as replacing the Weinmanns, are you saying they're worn out and you want to replace them with another set of centerpulls, or do you want to go with another type of brake? The International was classified as sort of a light tourer, so it was designed with things like fenders in mind. For this reason, there's a good bit of brake reach necessary to reach the rims from the frame/fork, maybe more than a set of modern dual pivot "long reach" brakes would have, I don't know. All you can do is measure the necessary reach (you'll probably need more for rear than front) and see if you can find some brakes you like that will work. If you just want to replace the brakes with centerpulls, there are Weinmanns regularly available on ebay. For more ideas, too, you might post this on the Classic and Vintage forum, there are guys there who will undoubtedly have some thoughts on this-

edit: the bike is probably designed for nutted brakes instead of the more modern recessed type at the frame/fork mounts, so you'll have to figure a way around this if you're able to go with a modern brake. I definitely wouldn't re-drill a Raleigh International to fit new brakes. And if you're modernizing, I'd advise keeping all the old parts..............and btw, new kool stop salmon pads on the Weinmanns and aero style brake levers should give you noticeably better braking performance, and would be a relatively easy change to make.

Last edited by well biked; 08-17-06 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-17-06, 04:47 PM   #3
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If it were mine, I would replace the cables (including housings) and pads and keep the calipers. To boost your leverage by 10%, replace the handles with aeros. Weinmann 999/610s are good calipers!
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Old 08-17-06, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billkat
Back in 1974, I bought my first decent road bike with my summer earnings as a teen. I couldn't afford the all-Campy Raleigh, so I chose the next-in-line International. It was nearly all-Campy except for the Weinmann brakes.

I have upgraded/replaced many of the components over the years, including pedals, seats, rims, etc. But one mechanic told me years ago that no other brake had the long reach of the Weinamans 610, so I couldn't swap them out.
I get asked about this a lot...so much that I have a boilerplate response in my Eudora "Stationery" file:
---------------------------------------------
A caliper brake system consists of 4 parts:

•The levers
•The cables
•The calipers
•The brake shoes

All of these parts are upgradable. Many people think first of replacing the calipers, but, in fact, this is the least likely part to make any real difference. A caliper is a simple leverage unit, and there's not all that much to one.

In the case of older bikes, it can be difficult to find a new caliper that will even fit.

The other 3 parts are much more likely to yield real improvement.

•The levers

Older designs had the cables exit up from the front of the brake levers, arching over the
handlebars. The newer style, where the cable exits out the back of the lever and runs under the handlebar tape is referred to as "aero" because it eliminates the wind drag of the exposed cables.

Aero levers are generally a major improvement over the older type. The pivots are located differently, making it possible to get fairly serious braking from the position where the rider's hand is on top of the lever hood. Traditional levers would permit the use of this position for gentle deceleration only.

Additionally, the better aero levers have better internal cable routing, so there's less cable friction. I particularly recommend the Shimano Tiagra units we sell for $39.95, including cables. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakes.html#leversdrop

•The cables

Older cables used metal-to-metal contact as the inner cable slid through the spiral-wound steel housing. Lubricant was by grease, if the mechanic was conscientious.

Modern cable housings have a Teflon or similar lining. The better inner cables are stainless steel, and are "die drawn" to make them smoother. The result is greatly reduced cable friction, so more of your finger strength is transmitted to the caliper, rather than wasted overcoming cable friction.

•The brake shoes

Modern high-performance brake shoes also make a considerable difference. The very best is the ugly salmon-colored material originated by Scott-Mathauser, and now sold under the Kool Stop name. See: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html

All the best,

Sheldon
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Old 08-17-06, 05:44 PM   #5
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I would say that probably the best replacement for the Weinmann 999s, taking into account that the bike is already set up for centerpulls, and the issue of fender clearance, would be the late 70's Shimano 500 series centerpulls.

The Shimano 500s provide fantastic performance that rivals that of the 999, without the 999's poor modulation or excessively spongy feel.

The 500's design also eliminates the need for setting up the 999's traditionaly finiky (PITA to be more exact) cable yolk, and also has a built-in quick release. Plus, the near identical shape and design of the 500s make them near drop-in replacements.

Although the Shimano 500s, like the 999s, were more common on lower mid -range machines, they are nothing short of excellent.

Attached is a photo of one that I have mounted on a Fuji that I've been working on.

I've noticed that these calipers don't show up on eBay too frequently though . The one in the photo came off a late '70s Nishiki International.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 08-17-06, 06:05 PM   #6
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I replaced the Weinnmans on my wife's Raleigh with MAFAC Competitions after I changed it over to 700c tubular wheels. They have slightly more reach than the Weinnmans and they work very well after I added Koolstop pads and spent a lot of time getting them set up just right. They don't squeal at all. I think they're much better looking than the Weinnmans. I don't think I've ever seen a set of those Shimano 500s.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369VNpklt
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Old 08-17-06, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
I don't think I've ever seen a set of those Shimano 500s.
Neither have I, save for the ones I own. Never seen them for sale either.

-Kurt
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