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    Modern brake caliper works on vintage roadies?



    I tried asking this question in Bike Mechanics forum but didn't really get a clear answer on this. Anyways, will this modern brake caliper works on a vintage road bike? They seem interchangable, but want to make sure before I go ahead and order.

  2. #2
    The Brave Descender High Fist Shin's Avatar
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    Very likely not because modern brakes require frames with recessed mounting and vintage frames required nutted brakes (in most cases). Got any pictures of your current brake setup?
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    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I've made them work a few times, with labor.

    The front one on the fork is generally not that big a deal, you just drill out the back hole, NOT the front, and it goes right on. Make sure the reach is sufficient for your wheels BEFORE you drill.

    On the back brake bridge, much trickier. You need to drill out the FRONT hole, but access to it is very limited because of that pesky seat tube. I've done it in about 1-2 hours, carefully, with a Dremel tool. The difficulty isn't making the hole big enough, it's doing it squarely and evenly so the brake caliper lines up with the bike frame...If I had one of those right-angle drills, it would be simple.

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  4. #4
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post

    On the back brake bridge, much trickier. You need to drill out the FRONT hole, but access to it is very limited because of that pesky seat tube. I've done it in about 1-2 hours, carefully, with a Dremel tool. The difficulty isn't making the hole big enough, it's doing it squarely and evenly so the brake caliper lines up with the bike frame...
    You can buy yourself some wiggle room by drilling the front hole a little oversize or straight through from the rear and doing the final alignment bu shifting the caliper on the half-moon spacers. If you go back to nutted brales just change out the rear spacer to one that hasn't been drilled to receive the flush-mount allen bolt and you're good to go.
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  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    before you go off and start drilling out forks and brake bridges, how old is you bike?
    does it have recessed brakes already? if so the switch is painless.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Has anyone successfully swapped mounting bolts, putting older-style nutted bolts on a modern brake which came originally with a recessed system? Fortunately, my one bike which really begs for dual-pivot brakes, the Bianchi, already has short-reach recess-mounted sidepulls.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Hello since the 'head' of the mounting bolt on most daul pivot brakes is "blind" (for lack of a more tech term) it would be hard to switch it.

    unless one is derperate for daul pivot (which I personally see no great benifit in) there are pleanty of good quality older brakes around.

    ashon, what kind of bike do you have and what is the current brakes? OH btw welcome to forum
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    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post

    unless one is derperate for daul pivot (which I personally see no great benifit in) there are pleanty of good quality older brakes around.
    ummm... many times the brakeing power of an old single pivot caliper is not a benefit?
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    well certainly braking power is always benificial. what I thought I was saying is, I see no real advantage to dual pivot brakes. unless one really wants them because of looks yes get them. otherwise there are plenty of other brakes to chose from to get better brake preformance. and you do not have to take drill bits and grinding tool to your frame.

    and actually we do not even know what the OP is up to. does he have old mafac, or diacompe center pulls? in which case a nice pair of dia compe or shimano side pulls may fill his need and with modifying his frame.

    as for me, I am seriously contemplating ditching my record dual pivots in favor of the older Chorus 'monmoplaner' calipers. I like their function and style much better. for that matter (athough I do not think they come in nonrecessed) the original Athens brakes are some of the best stopping brakes around.
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  10. #10
    formerly turdsandwich j. hughes's Avatar
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    Sometimes you don't even need to drill the front if you use the short recessed nut and push it up from the bottom of the steerer.
    #3 Method
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ra-e.html#recessed

  11. #11
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    I went through this last night as I was putting some Shimano 600 Ultegra stuff on an 84 Bianchi late in the wee hours of the night. I did a quick search online - and ended up swapping the rear brake to the front and installing the recessed nut inside the fork crown. I then put the front brake on the rear and for now - I just used the recessed nut to hold it in place. It was free and although I have not yet ridden the bike - it appears to work perfectly.

  12. #12
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Has anyone successfully swapped mounting bolts, putting older-style nutted bolts on a modern brake which came originally with a recessed system? Fortunately, my one bike which really begs for dual-pivot brakes, the Bianchi, already has short-reach recess-mounted sidepulls.
    I did it with super long reach Tektro R556 calipers and an inexpensive set of Tektro 800a, explained in this thread. The only issue I encountered was the tiny fixing nut (I can't remember it's function - to prevent the post from rotating while adjusting the large nuts maybe?) damaged some threads on the post, which in turn chewed up some of the aluminum threading in the caliper arms. Probably not a big deal, unless you plan to swap posts regularly.

    I'm not positive, but this swap might also be possible with shorter reach Tektros as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Hello since the 'head' of the mounting bolt on most daul pivot brakes is "blind" (for lack of a more tech term) it would be hard to switch it.

    unless one is derperate for daul pivot (which I personally see no great benifit in) there are pleanty of good quality older brakes around.

    ashon, what kind of bike do you have and what is the current brakes? OH btw welcome to forum

    Hello, mine is a 80's Miyata. I've read Sheldon Brown's website and talked about how a brake lever will greatly improves the brake power than a caliper, is that true?

    Anyways, here's my brake setup and seems like mine is the traditional nut style, not the recessed mounting. Worth time time to replace my current brakes to the moderns ones?




    Thanks
    Last edited by ahson; 08-19-09 at 01:38 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    okay you have traditional nutted brakes, not recessed.

    you said : "I've read Sheldon Brown's website and talked about how a brake lever will greatly improves the brake power than a caliper, is that true?"

    and yes I think so (I agree with the late Sheldon). New brake levers will give you more benefit (braking
    power) than new calipers. What you want are brakes levers with areodynamic cable routing. The other suggestion I'd make is to replace your brake shoes with something a bit a) fresher and b) better braking compound. I'd suggest kool stop pads, it'll do wonders.

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    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    I think before i did any of this drilling & swapping that I would try mounting more modern brake pads.

  16. #16
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Also, replace the cables with slick stainless and the housing with the new teflon lined stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek View Post
    okay you have traditional nutted brakes, not recessed.

    you said : "I've read Sheldon Brown's website and talked about how a brake lever will greatly improves the brake power than a caliper, is that true?"

    and yes I think so (I agree with the late Sheldon). New brake levers will give you more benefit (braking
    power) than new calipers. What you want are brakes levers with areodynamic cable routing. The other suggestion I'd make is to replace your brake shoes with something a bit a) fresher and b) better braking compound. I'd suggest kool stop pads, it'll do wonders.

    Marty

    I am thinking about the Shimano R400 brake lever. Question is will it fits on the vintage handler bar?

  18. #18
    Senior Member vettefrc2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahson View Post


    I tried asking this question in Bike Mechanics forum but didn't really get a clear answer on this. Anyways, will this modern brake caliper works on a vintage road bike? They seem interchangable, but want to make sure before I go ahead and order.

    Yes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    I think if you combine the stainless steel cable with the modern lined housing with the koolstop pads with the aero levers you will be more than satisfied with your braking power. The best part is all of that should cost you less than $40.

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