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  1. #1
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Fix or replace Modolo Speedy brakes?

    I have my '88 Tommasini back into fighting shape and love riding it except for the (truly scary) Modolo Speedy brakes. I think they are named "Speedy" because even after gripping them as hard as you can you are still traveling at a high rate of speed.

    I think new brake pads are in order (the ones on the bike are the originals, I think, and they're as hard as rocks). But I've been warned by a local expert that the brakes aren't going to be that good even after I'm done.

    Would I be better off finding some vintage Campy Record brakes and selling off the Modolos? I know I'd have to pay for the upgrade, but the rest of the bike is Campy Record, and if the Campys of the era were really that much better I would go ahead and go through the upgrade. Or are Campy Records of the era really not much better?

    I know I could just get new brake pads and try but thought I'd figure out if it is going to be worth the trouble...

    Thanks,
    BB
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 12-09-07 at 09:58 PM.

  2. #2
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    From my understanding, the Campy brakes of the time aren't much better.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    I have a few sets of modolo speedy brakes, the pimpy gold ones. I've always thought that they stopped well and I weigh 230 lbs. I'd suggest keeping them and running new pads and cable housing, you will be amazed at how much of a difference new housing makes compared to old stuff. I have campy pads, but I think the salmon Kool stops are the best.

  4. #4
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Suntour Superbe
    72 special CNC ___________ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) __73 Holdsworth Record
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  5. #5
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    The only good thing I can say about Speedy's are they work better than Flash's and the other lower level Modolo's.

    Main thing is those sintered pads suck and ruin rims. Speedy's with some decent pads like Kool Stops will be a big improvement. With that said I pretty much hate Modolo's except for the Professionals.

    I would go Campy Record, but if on a budget start with pads.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the advice.

    You're saying there is a Kool-Stop pad I can get into the Modolo holder? Somebody told me that my only hope was to find some NOS Modolo pads but if Kool Stop makes a pad that fits I'm happy to go to my LBS and figure out what works.

  7. #7
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    You won't be able to use the Modolo holders. Just buy the Kool Stop that is complete with a mounting stud.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    Main thing is those sintered pads suck and ruin rims..
    +1 I was deciding whether to trash a pair of Speedy's a couple of years a go. Switched out the "sinterized" pads with modern ones, and also to aero levers. They now brake acceptably; a huge improvement.

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    My Bianchi came with Modolo Speedy brakes. I replaced the pads with KoolStops, the calipers with Campagnolos, and the handles with Shimano aeros. My observations:

    1) You definitely want KoolStop salmon pads and modern low-compression brake cable housings.
    2) Aero brake handles will improve your braking leverage by about 10%. You also want brake handles which fit your hands comfortably. (Campagnolos, Modolos, and Mafacs are great if you are holding the brake hoods, but they have too long a reach for my tastes when my hands are on the drops. Weinmanns, Shimanos, and a few others give me much more braking confidence.)
    3) I cannot recommend older Campagnolo sidepulls above their Modolo counterparts. The best conventional single-pivot sidepull caliper set I have found was a set of early 1980s Gallis.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  10. #10
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    If changing the pads doesn't give you the advantage you want I would look at getting a set of the Tektro brakes/levers. They are way better than dealing with period correct pricing. The levers come in small or large size depending on your hands.

    You can buy 4 sets of brake hoods for the price of one pair of NOS Campagnolo/Universal/Modolo hoods.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Modolo Hoods generally sell for 20 to 30 dollars (depending on model, colour) on ebay.

    Personally I wouldn't do anything to the speedy's other than new pads.
    Some of the Modolo brakes ( Professional, Master Professional) were seen as upgrades
    to campagnolo back "in the day".

    marty
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I've got a set of Modolo Master and they stop very well. I would say they are the best brakes out of all my bikes next to the hydro discs on my MTB.
    They also work well in the rain.
    Maybe change up the pads before throwing them out.

  13. #13
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
    Suntour Superbe
    I can't believe no one else likes these. I have early 80's sets on 2 bikes with 2 different brands of pads, one nutted, one recessed, and they both stop better than any other single pivots I've tried.

  14. #14
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I have my '88 Tommasini back into fighting shape and love riding it except for the (truly scary) Modolo Speedy brakes. I think they are named "Speedy" because even after gripping them as hard as you can you are still traveling at a high rate of speed.

    I think new brake pads are in order (the ones on the bike are the originals, I think, and they're as hard as rocks). But I've been warned by a local expert that the brakes aren't going to be that good even after I'm done.

    Would I be better off finding some vintage Campy Record brakes and selling off the Modolos? I know I'd have to pay for the upgrade, but the rest of the bike is Campy Record, and if the Campys of the era were really that much better I would go ahead and go through the upgrade. Or are Campy Records of the era really not much better?

    I know I could just get new brake pads and try but thought I'd figure out if it is going to be worth the trouble...

    Thanks,
    BB
    Saw in your sig that you've got a Davidson. Sweet!

    My Modolos are on my Davidson, and having run them with Modolo levers and with Shimano 7401s (Aero, pre SLR) I concur with the others who recommend replacing the levers. The leverage ratio will change in your favor. One thing to watch for is that your calipers have beefier springs than that modern stuff. If you can remove the lever springs, if the levers you get are so equipped, you'll be better off. Also, it's better if the levers you get were intended for single pivot brakes--you'll get slightly better leverage.

    Now as it turns out, your Modolo levers are awesome when paired with cantilevers, as I've used them that way on a drop bar mountain bike, so don't throw them away!

    It does help to keep in mind that before SLR and dual pivot, brakes were intended only to slow you down. That light effort stuff came out and suddenly people were wanting stopping from their brakes, whether it was a good idea or not (think of a tight peloton). So ride with a pre-SLR mindset and you should be fine.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Speedy+Shimano Aero Levers+New Cables = Pretty Good Stopping!



  16. #16
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga_mueller View Post
    Speedy+Shimano Aero Levers+New Cables = Pretty Good Stopping!


    Hey!

    You again! Someone resurrected an old thread you started where you were wondering what you had--now that I can see the fork crown, probably not an Impulse. More likely a Discovery (production) or Signature (custom). No telling that without measuring and having a geometry chart.

    Great choice on the respray--team colors at my house are red/yellow decals.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ga_mueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melville View Post
    More likely a Discovery (production) or Signature (custom)
    It's a Challenge. No respray!

  18. #18
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    master pros all the way!
    "dont worry charlie ,ive got an angle!!"

  19. #19
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Hey, nice vintage Davidson!, and thanks, all, again, for the advice. I already put new cables on the Tommasini when I got it, so that's done. I like your idea of combining new levers + Kool Stop pads so I will have to give that a try. I really do enjoy riding the bike, so I do want to improve the braking.

    Here is some more Davidson connection -- when I bought the bike, I took it in to Elliott Bay Cycles because the headset was frozen when I got it and Bill Davidson was working that morning and spent nearly an hour going over the Tommasini with me. He stopped me from doing a bunch of stuff that he said really didn't need to be done, had the mechanics there do a few things I didn't feel comfortable doing (like fix the headset), gave me some great tips on how to do some of the work I did on my own, and advised me on some of the parts that I replaced. He also warned me at the time that I wasn't going to love the Speedy brakes....so, here I am, with a nicely restored bike, looking to get it to the next level.

    As I've posted here before, Bill's partner, Bob Freeman, is a big vintage bike fan and the shop in downtown Seattle is filled to the brim with interesting vintage bikes. Worth a visit.

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