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  1. #1
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    Vintage Mafac Levers Help

    Hi I need help identifying some Vintage Mafac Brake Levers i stumbled upon on ebay. Their design kinda in between the suicide levers of the past and the new cyclocross top mount inline levers that we see nowadays. Here is the ebay link (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=110339877924) the levers are mounted on some bars. I saw them and i thought they were pretty interesting. Have any of you had any experience with them?

    thanks in advance,
    luis

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    I think the levers are Mafac Randonneur levers designed to be used when riding on the tops of the bars. I think the bars may be incorrect as randonneur bars would give the levers more room to move through their arc.

    I have a set of Mafac Randonneur levers that have shorter arms than the ones shown although they are basically similar. My set has a white plastic lever arm.

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    are your levers equipped on a bike? if they are, do you like them?

    im just asking because i had never seen those levers and theyre similar to the suicide levers except that they stand alone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    No, my levers are not on a bike although i've had them for about twenty years. I think my levers are actually called Mafac Guidonettes. They were designed to be used with randonneur bars. I do have an appropriate bike and have often been temped to fit them but, as yet, it hasn't happened.

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    Senior Member SingeDebile's Avatar
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    I finely gave up and bought some, ive been very unsure of weather I will really like them or not. I bought the 'nicer' all alloy ones. I will post my impressions once they are mounted.
    bike bike
    ,/(looking for high end steel frames in the larger then life sizes of 68-70cm)
    69cm Romic 'Sport Tourer/Porteur'

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eLJardins View Post
    Hi I need help identifying some Vintage Mafac Brake Levers i stumbled upon on ebay. Their design kinda in between the suicide levers of the past and the new cyclocross top mount inline levers that we see nowadays. Here is the ebay link (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=110339877924) the levers are mounted on some bars. I saw them and i thought they were pretty interesting. Have any of you had any experience with them?

    thanks in advance,
    luis
    Those are MAFAC "Guidonet" levers -- CLB and other companies also made levers like this . They're actually quite nice and if you're someone who likes to brake from the bar-tops they are much nicer than the so-called "suicide" lever extensions that used to be common on low end bikes. They don't have the dead feel of the suicide levers -- you have good control and modulation with guidonets.

    Unfortunately, yours aren't the more desirable all metal guidonets -- yours are the plastic covered ones. The plastic on these always cracks. I've never seen a set since the 1960s that wasn't cracked. They do have a metal core so they are still functional, though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kbpfister's Avatar
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    I've been trying to acquire a pair of the alloy version guidonnets for some time, I was stalking a couple of auctions on ebay, one I got outbid on and the other I missed the end of the auction because I actually had to do some work all of sudden and was too late getting back in, and those ended up going for 10.50!! I'm still upset about it, stupid job.

    If anyone has a pair lying around I am def. interested.

    Incidentally I was informed by some forum members that Guidonnet apparently is french for like fruit of the bar or berries of the bar.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kbpfister's Avatar
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    Also, look closely at the pictures, it looks as those the levers are cracked in a couple spots to me, which is super common with the plastic version, or at least common with all the plastic levers you see on ebay.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbpfister View Post
    I've been trying to acquire a pair of the alloy version guidonnets for some time, I was stalking a couple of auctions on ebay, one I got outbid on and the other I missed the end of the auction because I actually had to do some work all of sudden and was too late getting back in, and those ended up going for 10.50!! I'm still upset about it, stupid job.

    If anyone has a pair lying around I am def. interested.

    Incidentally I was informed by some forum members that Guidonnet apparently is french for like fruit of the bar or berries of the bar.

    velo orange released some Dia Compe Guidonnet Levers for $30. check them out theyre pretty sweet.

    http://www.velo-orange.com/diacogule.html

  10. #10
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    I've got the Mafac metal ones on my wife's bike, and one uncracked plastic one (left) on my bike. On my bike, I ran the cable thru to a Mafac drop bar lever, so it's like an old fashioned cyclocross set up.

    We love them. Perfect for touring/city driving - which we do a lot of.



    I used to ride just without the left drop lever, but when I got all the rubber bits, I couldn't resist showing them off so I put the second lever on and ran the wire thru. It's pretty useless, as the Guidonnet Lever gets in the way if I go down into the drop on the left side. But, sometimes you have to make sacrifices for style.
    Last edited by sciencemonster; 10-16-09 at 08:07 AM.

  11. #11
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencemonster View Post
    I've got the Mafac metal ones on my wife's bike, and one uncracked plastic one (left) on my bike. On my bike, I ran the cable thru to a Mafac drop bar lever, so it's like an old fashioned cyclocross set up.

    We love them. Perfect for touring/city driving - which we do a lot of.



    I used to ride just without the left drop lever, but when I got all the rubber bits, I couldn't resist showing them off so I put the second lever on and ran the wire thru. It's pretty useless, as the Guidonnet Lever gets in the way if I go down into the drop on the left side. But, sometimes you have to make sacrifices for style.
    Those aren't quite the "Guidonnet" style lever. Guidonnets look like this:


  12. #12
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    Well, I don't know what you would call them, then.

    Both the metal set and this plastic one bend out (or forward with the way they are mounted now.) The metal ones tail off more at the ends. They don't do a full on 90 degree turn like in your picture, but they do turn that way. I tried mounting them on North Roads, thinking they were for upright bars, but they protruded off to the side in a weird way. They fit like a glove where they are now. Fit you hand, I mean.

    When I'm near a camera tomorrow, I'll post a pic from above - you can see what I'm talking about form that angle.

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