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  1. #1
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    Brakes, single vs dual pivot

    I have single pivot brake calipers (Wienmann '79) on an old bike. They work but would I be better off with dual pivot brakes? Will I need to replace the levers?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Switching the single pivots on my two older bikes over to long reach dual pivots was one of THE BEST upgrades I ever did. And no you don't need to replace the levers or even the cables and housings if they are in decent shape.

    Tektro is one of the few makers that produces a wide variety of longer reach dual pivot calipers. And the Tektros are what I went with. The ones I got had the pads that came with holders and replaceable shoes. I soon found that the Tektro pads were the same junk that Shimano likes to use and that with heavier riders quickly galls the rims and picks up balls of aluminium from the rim that stick in the pad and quickly begin to ruin the rim. One day with one set was enough to hear and see this beginning. I stopped riding that bike (had roughly 5 or 6 bikes in the fleet at the time ) until I received some Koolstop salmon shoes to slip into the holders. Never looked back. When I got the second set shortly after I ordered up about 3 sets of Koolstop replacement shoes so I'd have spares and swapped the shoes out before the bike turned so much as an inch with the new brakes.

    Aside from the pad issue the mechanical aspects of these calipers was excellent and I highly recomend them. It turns white knuckle stops into easy medium pressure stops. A nice change when you ride and brake from the hoods almost all of the time like I do.
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  3. #3
    Gear Hub fan
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    There is one disadvantage to dual pivot brake calipers. They are more sensitive to rims which are not true and have side to side wobble. Make sure that your rims are reasonably true as part of upgrading.
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  4. #4
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Switching the single pivots on my two older bikes over to long reach dual pivots was one of THE BEST upgrades I ever did. And no you don't need to replace the levers or even the cables and housings if they are in decent shape.

    Tektro is one of the few makers that produces a wide variety of longer reach dual pivot calipers. And the Tektros are what I went with. The ones I got had the pads that came with holders and replaceable shoes. I soon found that the Tektro pads were the same junk that Shimano likes to use and that with heavier riders quickly galls the rims and picks up balls of aluminium from the rim that stick in the pad and quickly begin to ruin the rim. One day with one set was enough to hear and see this beginning. I stopped riding that bike (had roughly 5 or 6 bikes in the fleet at the time ) until I received some Koolstop salmon shoes to slip into the holders. Never looked back. When I got the second set shortly after I ordered up about 3 sets of Koolstop replacement shoes so I'd have spares and swapped the shoes out before the bike turned so much as an inch with the new brakes.

    Aside from the pad issue the mechanical aspects of these calipers was excellent and I highly recomend them. It turns white knuckle stops into easy medium pressure stops. A nice change when you ride and brake from the hoods almost all of the time like I do.
    +1.

    I swapped some old Shimano 600 single pivots for Tektro R556 brakes (w/ cool stop salmon pads) and the difference was night and day.

  5. #5
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    +2

    I put Tektro R730 Quartz calipers and R200a levers on an old steel bike, Koolstops too, and wish these were available 20 years ago. And as BCRider says, they make brakes for every kind of use. Decent quality for very little money.

  6. #6
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    I switched from Weinman single pivot to Shimano 105 dual pivot (long reach). The best upgrade I've made. Braking is so much stronger and more controllable that you can go faster.

  7. #7
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    Another vote for dual pivots. They won't stop you faster since any half-decent single pivot brake will lock both wheels if require. But, dual pivots will provide the same level of braking with significantly less hand pressure and are far less tiring on long decents and more controlable in regular riding. They are also much easier to center and keep centered than single pivots. Tatfiend is correct that they are a bit less tolerant of out-of-true rims but that shouldn't be any problem if your wheels are in reasonable condition.

    Both Shimano and Tektro offer long reach dual pivots and both work well. I'm not as down on Tektro's brake pads as BCRider and current Shimano pads are pretty good but Kool Stop Salmons trump them both and are a worthwhile upgrade to any brake.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    There is a significant difference between how a Wienmann single pivot brake works and a Campagnolo single pivot.

    but yea you can likely gain with even a low cost double pivot front caliper, there is more leverage..

    though switching to centerpull calipers of the same era , have gained favor again,

    they were what they had on race bikes at the time Tulio began selling his sidepulls.

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