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  1. #1
    Senior Member thehugoball's Avatar
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    Not in love with Campy brake setup, please help!

    Hi, had a great brake setup with Shimano Exage aero levers and Tektro dual-pivot brakes that I moved over to another bike, so I decided to make my lovely Italian bike, even more Italian, and splurge on Campy replacements. However, the feel and modulation is awful compared to the previous setup. I'm running C-Record levers, set up as aero, to Record, single pivot brakes. The calipers are almost brand new, very clean and the springs are very, very strong, and response is stiff as hell. Any thoughts? Should I replace the levers with some newer Modolos? What can I do to make these brakes feel like butter, without resorting to non-aero!
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  2. #2
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    It's not only the levers or even mostly the levers, it's the single pivot brakes. If you are used to double pivots, any single pivot is going to require significantly more hand pressure for the same stoping power.

    On top of that, Campy's earlier brakes had the reputation of not being as powerful as even their single pivot competition. In fact they were grimly referred to as "speed modifiers", not brakes, by many riders.

    If you want to run Campy brakes, get one of their newer designs or learn to live with the high effort ones you have now.

  3. #3
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    Other than using good quality low friction housings, there isn't much you can do. They are what they are. Brakes have moved to lighter action springs over the years and as we've gotten used to that the old stuff feels very hard by comparison. If you feel up to it, you might remove the return springs and weaken them a bit by bending the legs inward, but this risks breaking them, so proceed with due care.

    Any more modern brake will feel lighter, including those made by Campy less than 10 years ago, and that's entirely your decision. The other things you can do to improve modulation is to make sure the central pivot is correctly adjusted and lubed, and that the shoes meet the rim either perfectly flat, or toed in no more than about 1/32". Also put a dab of oil where the spring legs meet the arms to reduce friction which can cause the brakes to open off center.
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  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Aero levers have the leverage, [leverage increased = more lever travel, less cable pulled]
    I have Shimano (no brifter) levers on my bike with the same kind of brake
    Mr Merckx won all those Mountain race stages , and races in general, using .
    and they stop the bike adequately.

    Note the Campag Brifter mech is repairable and as such removable,
    you can buy the carbon brake lever set without the Brifter mech,
    Or you can seek out a lower market used lever set and take out the mech.

    some of the older swichable either or levers worked better not aero.
    as the cable slid over a curved ramp to exit under the tape , adding cable drag

    try the lever set up with the cable running out the top of the lever .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-18-10 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Mr Merckx won all those Mountain race stages , and races in general, using .
    and they stop the bike adequately.
    Well, sure, and riders before him won on single speed bikes with rod operated brakes and solid rubber tires.

    You can be certain if Eddy Mercks were racing today he would be on the latest carbon fiber wonder bike just like every one else.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the sellers of the gear determine what the young racers do their job on, they are the hired hands .

    Spend freely if you wish. Your buying is why they give stuff to the teams,
    Its advertising, sales promotional as much as product development.

  7. #7
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    I'm one of the funny ones. I'm not found of the new stuff, then again I never had a problem with the old stuff.
    If the cable is lined cable and your using a quality stainless (beefy) internal cable that is lubed with a light oil (I hate dry) and the single pivots are greased and adjust for no play and barely any drag, the only thing left is to mod the spring. Aero levers on older brakes never did do them justice and more usual than not made them feel stiff and mushy and unsafe in one fell swoop. Modding the spring will help that but your still going to have to apply more pressure than a comparable dual pivot brake from today. I personally don't have issues with my ancient modolo and campy brakes (with the requisite Scott Mathhauser pads) but some just find them unusable.
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  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    which levers are you using? can you post a pic? are they early C-Rec that have a finny little plate you need for aero? if so and the plate is missing the feel/function will be awful

    also you said the calipers are almost brand new. are the pads 20 something years old brand new too? are they correct size and not overly worn? try some new brake blocks before swapping out the calipers.

    PS when you toss the calipers in the trash bin let me know so I can fish them out.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member thehugoball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    which levers are you using? can you post a pic? are they early C-Rec that have a finny little plate you need for aero? if so and the plate is missing the feel/function will be awful

    also you said the calipers are almost brand new. are the pads 20 something years old brand new too? are they correct size and not overly worn? try some new brake blocks before swapping out the calipers.

    PS when you toss the calipers in the trash bin let me know so I can fish them out.
    yes, they are the older C-record levers, with the little plates, which are not missing. I put brand new Salmon Kool Stop blocks on the brakes, and they are fine. Based on what people have said, I think I just need to go back to some dual pivot/aero level setup and be done with it. That being said, the calipers are not going in the trash!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member thehugoball's Avatar
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    What do people think of Chorus dual pivot brakes? Would they work well with Modolo aero levers? Both are for sale on ebay.
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  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tektro has a Campag knock off brake lever, current Campag brake calipers have No quick release eccentric lever.

    the QR is a button in the lever, so you will be served best by having that combinarion.

    I have no clue as to the Modolo lever that you refer to..

    you don't need a dual pivot brake on the rear wheel, in fact the current pro Campag sets (record) don't use one.

    G forces when you apply the front, unweight the rear wheel, so skidding it becomes really easy.
    a locked up wheel is a bike not in control of the rider. going down is on the horizon..

  12. #12
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehugoball View Post
    However, the feel and modulation is awful compared to the previous setup. I'm running C-Record levers, set up as aero, to Record, single pivot brakes. The calipers are almost brand new, very clean and the springs are very, very strong, and response is stiff as hell. Any thoughts? Should I replace the levers with some newer Modolos? What can I do to make these brakes feel like butter, without resorting to non-aero!
    Which generation Record calipers are these? The ones designed for non-aero levers (without built-in return-springs), do have very strong springs to overcome any cable-friction AND to pull the lever back. If you use these calipers with aero-levers, then your hands will have to overcome TWO springs to close the brake, leading to a very heavy feel with little clamping force.

    What I've found to improve feel on these calipers is to replace the spring with a lighter/weaker version.

    Also have you verified that the calipers move smoothly without binding? Unclamp the cable and squeeze the caliper by hand and feel how they move.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-18-10 at 03:43 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member thehugoball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post

    Also have you verified that the calipers move smoothly without binding? Unclamp the cable and squeeze the caliper by hand and feel how they move.
    The calipers definitely move smoothly. Not sure what generation they are. I'll post a pic as soon as I can. Replacing the spring sounds like a good idea. Thanks.
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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'd re route the cable ,so as to go out of the top of the brake lever , un aero it.
    that will lower friction in the system, and cost little.

    and maybe get a hand exerciser , you don't use much muscle on a keyboard ,
    unless its a Piano.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-18-10 at 07:28 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the sellers of the gear determine what the young racers do their job on, they are the hired hands .

    Spend freely if you wish. Your buying is why they give stuff to the teams,
    Its advertising, sales promotional as much as product development.
    All true but I'm not buying what the racers use, unless the teams are providing 105 and Ultegra dp brakes from 5 or 10 years ago.

    However, having used both good quality single pivot brakes with non-aero levers and current dual pivot brakes with aero levers and/or brifters I'm convinced the new ones are much better and easier on the hands. It's not all just marketing hype.

    Sure any decent single pivot will lock both wheels but that's not the issue.

  16. #16
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Any half-decent single-pivot will lock the rear, but I never locked the front till I had a dual-pivot on there.

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