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  1. #1
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    Long reach brake calipers?

    Hey everyone,

    Here is the situation. I recently got my hands on a Trek 2010 Pilot 2.1 frame that I plan to build up as a commuter bike/bad weather road bike etc... We got to looking at it and discovered that when you install a regular brake caliper on it such as a shimano 105, that the pads cannot be adjusted down far enough to meet the rim.

    The rim is centered in the dropouts, and the pads are down as far as they go. We got to digging and found this frame was sold with a generic long reach brake caliper. I found the tektro 559 long reach calipers that look like they should work, but my question is is there any way to get a regular caliper to work. I would much prefer being able to run something like a 105 or ultegra brake on the bike as I am far more confident in the stopping power of those brakes than the tektro.

    So what solutions are there to my problem?

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Shimano makes "long-reach" (47-57mm) versions of their dual-pivot sidepulls:
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...6&category=882
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...0&category=882

    I've used these on a couple different bikes and they are some of my favorite brakes.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  3. #3
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    I use Tektro long reach brakes with Koolstop pads on my Gunnar. They work as well as the Ultegras on my other bikes. They have a nice shiny finish.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    The Tektros really are good brakes, I know a few who ride them and love them. Shimano also makes some longer reach brakes but it really depends on how far of reach you need. Check the link Jeff Wills posted above and see if they are long enough reach for you if you must have Shimano.

  5. #5
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    Cane Creek on my Gunnar. Nice brakes.

  6. #6
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    The first Shimano brakes Jeff linked to are Tiagra level (4XX series) components but will work every bit as well as 105 or Ultegra at significantly less cost. The second link shows brakes that the Universal Cycles site says are "Sora" but the series number (6XX) and the price suggests they are Ultegra level. Both are "long reach" (47 - 57 mm) designs in the modern idiom.

    Now, when you say you need a longer brake reach, how long do you really need? These days "short reach" brakes (37-47 mm) calipers are by far the most common and "long reach" (47 - 57 mm) are still available, as Jeff noted above, and used on light touring and other less-racy types of road bikes. You mentioned Tektro 559 calipers and these are VERY long reach (55 -73 mm). If you really need that much reach, Shimano doesn't make anything that long and there is no way to adapt any Shimano brakes to this use.

    As noted, Tektro does indeed make fine brakes and they are OEM on a lot of otherwise quite expensive bikes. Keep in mind that if you really need calipers as long as the Tektro 559, the braking power, i.e. the hand effort needed to achieve a given braking level, will be higher than any shorter reach brake since their leverage isn't as good. It's not a fault of Tektro but inherent in the design.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by laxpatrick View Post
    Cane Creek on my Gunnar. Nice brakes.
    According to Sheldon, Tektro does/did manufacture brake gear for Cane Creek. They're fine.

    I have not used them yet, but for half the price of those Shimano brakes, Nashbar has a Taiwanese mid/long (47-57mm) dual-pivot brake set here. The Nashbar set looks like a copy of some Italian Miche brakes.

  8. #8
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Interesting description in that Miche link....'made in Italy'....but those calipers are made by Tektro. As are the Nashbar long reach calipers.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

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    Thanks guys,

    I believe the gap that we have to cover is around the 5mm range. The frame is at the bike shop and it is gona be about a week before I can get a chance to really verify that.

    I don't want to be seen knocking tektro, some of their stuff is pretty good, its just that I have used and like the shimano products and would like if possible to go with one of those.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb09 View Post
    Thanks guys,

    I believe the gap that we have to cover is around the 5mm range. The frame is at the bike shop and it is gona be about a week before I can get a chance to really verify that.

    I don't want to be seen knocking tektro, some of their stuff is pretty good, its just that I have used and like the shimano products and would like if possible to go with one of those.
    If the gap is only 5 mm and you have used short reach brakes as the initial quide, then Shimano's long reach brakes will work.

  11. #11
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    if it's a really close thing and your heart is set on using a type of brake that has a reach that is too short. it's always possible to file the slots a little. that should drop the pads a little more at the expense of a little work and safety. i probably wouldn't do it.

    i only suggest it so you don't think we don't have any imagination.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 01-12-13 at 09:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Before you buy any brakes, MEASURE the actual reach you need. It takes about 2 seconds and will save a lot of headache.

    If you really want to run a 37/47mm brake I suppose you could try drop bolts but IMO that would be really silly for such a short distance. A 47/57 brake will work just fine.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    If you really want to run a 37/47mm brake I suppose you could try drop bolts but IMO that would be really silly for such a short distance. A 47/57 brake will work just fine.
    I don't think the OP is insisting on 37-47 reach brakes but wants to use Shimano calipers. What is not clear is why he referenced those Tektro 57-73 mm ultra long reach brakes if he doesn't need anything that long. If 47-57 mm reach is adequate, he has a lot of choices including at least two Shimano models.

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