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  1. #1
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    Need some advice on a quality long reach road brake

    I'm Building up a vintage frame and I'm having trouble finding a quality road brake set with at least a 60mm reach.
    Changing out he 27" wheels for set of 700c Velocitys.
    Any advice on a set of modern hi-qaulity road break set would be much appreciated.
    ~John

  2. #2
    AEO
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    tektro is the only maker.
    R538, R730 and R736

    are you sure you need 60mm?
    I had a 27" road frame that took 35mm tires with fenders, but the brake only needed 55mm or so, because the brakes sit further outwards compared to measurements taken with a ruler that sits flat against the fork.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    tektro is the only maker.
    R538, R730 and R736

    are you sure you need 60mm?
    I had a 27" road frame that took 35mm tires with fenders, but the brake only needed 55mm or so, because the brakes sit further outwards compared to measurements taken with a ruler that sits flat against the fork.
    I took the measurement from the front and rear brakes calipers that I had on the bike before I stripped it down and sent it out for powder coating.
    I measured from the middle of the mount bolt to the middle of the break shoe with the caliper compressed to about the width of 19 mm velocity wheel.
    ---The bike, a 83 Miyata, came with the dual pull Dia Compe calipers which I've been using on the bike for about 2 years with these wheels and suprisingly they were able to adjust to the smaller wheel easly. Any way, when i got your reply i happened to be on the Tektro website checking out thier brakes. I think i might be able to get a 57mm reach to work but won't really know until i try.
    Would you consider Tektro brakes good quality?
    Thanks for your reply!

  4. #4
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    AEO;

    According to Tektro the brakes you listed are 47mm to 57mm reach. If the OP truly needs >60mm then the Tektro R556 and R365 are about the only choices and are listed as having a reach of 55mm to 73mm.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/tektro-r556/15-152

    I am in the process of assembling a bike with the R556 brakes and will be trying them with Kool Stop Salmon pads as recommended by Harris Cyclery.

    Another, much more expensive, alternative is the Paul long reach centerpull brake. Listed as 57mm to 70mm reach and both Velo Orange and Rivendell seem to like them a lot. IMO they would give a more retro look to the bike.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...g-reach/15-135
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  5. #5
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    tektro brakes arent bad, but they typically arent light. On an 83 Miyata, I wouldnt worry too much about weight so i'm sure they'll do just fine
    Professional mechanic for 9 years

  6. #6
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    AEO;

    According to Tektro the brakes you listed are 47mm to 57mm reach. If the OP truly needs >60mm then the Tektro R556 and R365 are about the only choices and are listed as having a reach of 55mm to 73mm.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/tektro-r556/15-152

    I am in the process of assembling a bike with the R556 brakes and will be trying them with Kool Stop Salmon pads as recommended by Harris Cyclery.

    Another, much more expensive, alternative is the Paul long reach centerpull brake. Listed as 57mm to 70mm reach and both Velo Orange and Rivendell seem to like them a lot. IMO they would give a more retro look to the bike.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...g-reach/15-135

    this is what happened when I bought R556 when I thought I needed 60mm reach.
    I don't have the bike with me anymore, but that's a 700x35mm on there.


    If the bike really needs 60mm reach, but ends up needing only 55 or so, then the R556 will be fine too.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  7. #7
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    If you haven't bought anything yet, you might consider the Dia-Compe 750 centerpulls. You can get them from Harris cyclery, Rivendell, probably Velo-orange, and anybody should be able to order them for you. The super-expensive Paul brakes are based on the Dia-Compe, and are doubtless slightly better. But the Dia-Compe are affordable, and work very well. I have them on my commuter bike, and on the whole, I definitely prefer centerpull to sidepull, especially for long reaches. They're easier to center, don't require much in the way of fiddling, and work well. You'll need a cantilever sort of cable hanger for centerpulls, but it's not hard to do.

  8. #8
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    Can you still get diacompe 730 sidepulls? 53 to 71 reach.

  9. #9
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    I personally went with Tektro R556 myself, ride with them everyday. No problem so far, didn't change the pads out either. Dual pivot brakes, once set up properly they have lots of stopping power.

    Also, depending on your bike frame design, you can get the Tektro R556 in either a recessed or nutted style set up now. Before this wasn't the case, I had to buy a set of R556 recessed and a cheaper set of Tektro brakes that still used nuts and swap out the mounting bolts myself. That was such a pain in the butt.

    Look at this BF post.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...00c-conversion
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  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
    Can you still get diacompe 730 sidepulls? 53 to 71 reach.
    By golly, you can!
    http://www.seattlebikesupply.com/item/107768

    Although I wouldn't call those "quality". They were barely adequate for Schwinn Varsities 30 years ago.
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  11. #11
    pmt
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    I just used a piece of aluminum U-channel with notches for the seatstays, plus a piece of aluminum bar as a tab from the U-channel up to the original brake bridge. That way I could use any regular brake I wanted.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmt View Post
    I just used a piece of aluminum U-channel with notches for the seatstays, plus a piece of aluminum bar as a tab from the U-channel up to the original brake bridge. That way I could use any regular brake I wanted.
    Basically you made up the equivalent of a "drop bolt" for mounting a normal reach brake lower. Fine until you want more fender clearance or the ability to fit larger tires. I personally prefer the look of brakes with the correct reach range for the frame and wheel diameter they are being fitted to. Drop bolts look like a kludge to me.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  13. #13
    pmt
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Basically you made up the equivalent of a "drop bolt" for mounting a normal reach brake lower. Fine until you want more fender clearance or the ability to fit larger tires. I personally prefer the look of brakes with the correct reach range for the frame and wheel diameter they are being fitted to. Drop bolts look like a kludge to me.
    Nope, not a drop bolt. I guess I should post a picture. No trouble at all using SKS Raceblade fenders; I'm not likely to need tires larger than 28 anytime in the future, considering that I use 23s.

    Plus, it's not permanent, so if I ever wanted to switch to a long-reach caliper that doesn't stop as well, I can always move it up or take it off. But for now, I like brakes that stop on a dime. When pacelining 1cm behind a group of riders, you don't want squishy brakes.

  14. #14
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    pmt, I'd love it if you posted a picture.

    How good are the Tektros? I have experience with the long reach Weinmanns and Dia Compes, both single pivot sidepull and centerpull, and they're barely acceptable. I have a feeling the Tektros are better.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  15. #15
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I went to the Tektro long reach dualies from longer reach single pivots on two older bikes. The difference was like night to day. I just wish I'd learned of the Tektro dual pivot calipers sooner. In both cases it was money extremely well spent.

    One "fly in the ointment" was the pad material though. Like the much hated Shimano brake pads the stock Tektro material tends to gall and pick up metal from the rim and produce that nerve shattering grinding sound. The calipers I got in both cases were the ones with the cartridge pad holders. A switch to Koolstop salmon colored refills not only stopped the galling but increased the amount of friction for a given lever effort.
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  16. #16
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    I converted my '81 Schwinn Voyageur from 27" to 700c. While I didn't try it, I'm confident the Dia Compe G500 brakes had the reach. I wanted stronger brakes and went with the Tektro R365. I use the VO red pads in front and Kool Stops in the rear (no particular reason why). I would've chosen the R556, but at the time it wasn't available in a nutted model and I didn't want to drill my chrome frame/fork.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    pmt, I'd love it if you posted a picture.

    How good are the Tektros? I have experience with the long reach Weinmanns and Dia Compes, both single pivot sidepull and centerpull, and they're barely acceptable. I have a feeling the Tektros are better.
    The Tektros on my Raleigh Competitions are the best brakes I've ever used, by far. I switched to Kool Stop Salmon pads without ever even trying the Tektro pads.

    I had to use a standard reach in the front and extra long in the rear. The rear brake is less powerful because it has less mechanical advantage due to the long arms, and that works out perfectly.


  18. #18
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    "Although I wouldn't call those "quality". They were barely adequate for Schwinn Varsities 30 years ago."


    Varsities had sidepulls. Paramounts and Raleigh Internationals had Weinmann centerpulls, of which the Dia Compes are clones.

  19. #19
    pmt
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    Ok, here's the pics. The aluminum bar holds the brake, but the U-channel really holds it all in place. It's solid as a rock and braking is perfect.

    IMAG0071.jpg
    IMAG0072.jpg
    IMAG0073.jpg

  20. #20
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    This is pretty nice but I'd be looking to make it out of some solid square section material or at least box section tubing. If you look at the last shot I can clearly see that the braking forces have bend the side of the U stock inwards and forward. And when I look at the first picture again the flat heavier plate bit also looks to have a bend in it that is consistent with the deformation I'm seeing in the U section.

    You've got a good idea going but it's missing that last little bit. For example simply turning the U channel so the solid "cap" is on the bottom would provide two solid points of support for the caliper. The original bridge above and the solid "cap" of the U channel below. Now the joiner plate is just that, simply a plate that joins the channel and the bridge. All the braking loads are supported top and bottom by the frame's bridge up high and the solid cap of the U section below and it's highly unlikely that your caliper will be able to generate the force needed to really tweak anything. Not to mention that it would also be more rigid and thus less prone to setting up any howling or squealing issues.
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  21. #21
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    Tektro R538's are my typical choice for a 27" to 700c conversion, and yes, I drill the frame.

    If you need REALLY deep calipers with a wide mouth, then Rivendell Silvers are the way to go. Both of those setups are high quality, great braking action, and will last for decades. Watch eBay and you can generally pick up a pair of R538's with a set of their matching levers (also excellent) in either polished alloy or painted black for under $70 shipped. Such a deal!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
    Tektro R538's are my typical choice for a 27" to 700c conversion, and yes, I drill the frame.

    If you need REALLY deep calipers with a wide mouth, then Rivendell Silvers are the way to go. Both of those setups are high quality, great braking action, and will last for decades. Watch eBay and you can generally pick up a pair of R538's with a set of their matching levers (also excellent) in either polished alloy or painted black for under $70 shipped. Such a deal!
    Per Rivendell their Silver brakes are basically the Tektro R556 calipers with Kool Stop pads and pad holders IIRC. Whether to go with the Silvers or the R556s would depend on which mounting hardware I needed as the Silvers are recessed nuts only while the Tektro calipers are available either with recessed or external nuts.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    No one answered my question. But a consensus seems to appear that the Tektro dual pivot sidepulls are better than the old Weinmann and Dia Compe centerpulls. Yes, no?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  24. #24
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    I think so, Tom. And they make a nice, neat install, especially when you drill out a radiused washer on the back side for the nut to seat in:


  25. #25
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    No one answered my question. But a consensus seems to appear that the Tektro dual pivot sidepulls are better than the old Weinmann and Dia Compe centerpulls. Yes, no?
    I guess that means that you're ignoring me. So be it.

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