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  1. #1
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    Need some brake suggestions

    I bought an old used bike. The bike is great. However I've noticed the braking system isn't as responsive as other bikes I've ridden. The bike is using non aero, non hooded road brake levers on drop bars. The brakes are side pull calipers, the cables look pretty old (although I have no sense of what a bad cable looks like), and the pads are very hard, and dried out.

    If I were to upgrade this braking system to be more modern and more responsive, what is the best way to go about this. Should I just replace the disposable parts, cables and pads? Or should I consider upgrading the actual braking components as well? I really like this frame so I don't mind spending money on new components, but I would like to make sure it is a worthy upgrade before spend the money.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    I was in a similar situation with an old bike. I took the brakes apart and cleaned them, replaced the pads and the cables. The bike now brakes as never before.

  3. #3
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Old bike, new brakes ... ain't gonna happen. Most likely you're talking about a 27" wheel. If you try to installed modern brakes designed for 700c wheels you're going to have a reach issues unless you get special long reach calipers. I'd go with the thorough cleaning as a first attempt.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdufstuff
    I bought an old used bike. The bike is great. However I've noticed the braking system isn't as responsive as other bikes I've ridden. The bike is using non aero, non hooded road brake levers on drop bars. The brakes are side pull calipers, the cables look pretty old (although I have no sense of what a bad cable looks like), and the pads are very hard, and dried out.

    If I were to upgrade this braking system to be more modern and more responsive, what is the best way to go about this. Should I just replace the disposable parts, cables and pads? Or should I consider upgrading the actual braking components as well? I really like this frame so I don't mind spending money on new components, but I would like to make sure it is a worthy upgrade before spend the money.

    Thanks for any help.

    In my experience, kool stop salmon brake pads and aero style levers are very worthwhile upgrades for older brake systems. Your older caliper brakes, while they're probably single pivot, will work noticeably better with this setup; aero levers are more ergonomic, particularly when braking from the hoods, and they actually give you better leverage because of a different pivot design at the lever. Cane Creek SCR-5 or Tektro levers (Tektro makes the Cane Creeks I believe) aren't very expensive, well worth it in my opinion. Replace the cables, too-

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater
    Old bike, new brakes ... ain't gonna happen. Most likely you're talking about a 27" wheel. If you try to installed modern brakes designed for 700c wheels you're going to have a reach issues unless you get special long reach calipers. I'd go with the thorough cleaning as a first attempt.
    I have 700c wheels.

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