My wife's bike, an old Nishiki International I've refurbished, has brake problems. We've got new Dia-compe aero levers going to two old dia compe centerpulls. The front centerpull is NOS, the rear is older but in fine shape. The brakes suck. They're super mushy, low power, and they barely even return after being squeezed. They don't just suck, for all intents and purpose they simply don't work.
Now before you just say centerpulls just plain suck, I have the same dia-compe centerpulls on my fixie and they work great. I like centerpulls and have used them with fine results and the ones on my wife's bike are in better shape than the ones on my fixie. The cable-routing is fine, no major excess or lack of housing, the housings are new and so are the cables. I actually have replaced the cables twice. The first install I used teflon stuff, the brakes sucked so I suspected maybe cheap teflon rubbing off and gumming up the housings so I redid everything with regular cables and housing and it's exactly the same.
My fixie has non-aero levers but I can't imagine that would make a huge difference in performance of the centerpulls. Any ideas what might be going on? I'm considering going to new sidepulls but I don't know if I could find ones with enough reach first of all, and 2nd none of this makes any sense. The brakes basically don't work and I have ridden centerpulls happily. I don't see how it could just be the brakes themselves. Am I missing something? Could the levers somehow be screwy?