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Old 05-27-11, 09:40 PM   #1
craggen
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A few questions re: Going from center pull to sidepull rear brakes?

So I am looking into possibly replacing my rear brakes on my Gitane TDF. Now I have Shimano Tourney's, and they are ok, but not that good in comparison to the other components. Don't know too much about the pros cons of either, or how easy/hard it would be, or even what brands or models to look for. Any help would be appreciated!!
Here is a pick of the current setup:

Last edited by craggen; 05-27-11 at 09:41 PM. Reason: pic too big
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Old 05-27-11, 11:17 PM   #2
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With a vintage Gitane, Mafac Racers are just about mandatory.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:53 PM   #3
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With a vintage Gitane, Mafac Racers are just about mandatory.
+1 Or MAFAC Competition. If you absolutely must have sidepulls then I would say Weinmann 500's.
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Old 05-28-11, 12:51 AM   #4
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And switch brake shoes to Koolstops.
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Old 05-28-11, 01:44 AM   #5
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Okay, I am checking ebay for Mafac racers. Found some starting at $1? Does this seem right? O_o

Oh and the guy who I bought the bike from said that the wheel in back was smaller than 700c, so when he put the bigger wheel on there, he had to change out the brakes. Thus the Tourney's. Will the Mafac's be affected by this?
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Old 05-28-11, 02:04 AM   #6
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Mafacs are great brakes... their weakness is in the hardware as the stock hangars are flexy and should be replaced with something stiffer and they were often paired with steel rims and had pads that were nothing like Kool Stops.

Install these with better hardware and Kool Stop pads and you may be astounded at how well they work... there is good reason why early cyclocross riders preferred Mafac Racers.

Set up a friend's Peugeot for a mountain tour and used the stock Racers and upgraded the hardware and pads... these worked great.

And they are mandatory on a Gitane...
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Old 05-28-11, 02:12 AM   #7
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Mafacs are great brakes...
And they are mandatory on a Gitane...
Haha

I found these on eBay, they look okay?

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Old 05-28-11, 03:13 AM   #8
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Haha

I found these on eBay, they look okay?
Yes, but they are missing some key hardware that to locate separately will probably cost more than you would think. Look for complete calipers with the straddle wire.
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Old 05-28-11, 03:54 AM   #9
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could I not use the wires I already have on the rear setup? I probably wouldn't do the front ones right away.
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Old 05-28-11, 04:47 AM   #10
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Believe it or not, one of the best operating vintage road bicycle brakes I have used are the Mafac Racer or Competition. Incidentally, I have sets of each, complete with all cable guide brackets, if interested. You can send a PM to discuss.

Switching to side pulls, provided they can reach the rims braking surface, is a simple thing to do. Take the old brakes off. Bolt the new ones into place. Install cables. Line-up pads and tune for feel. That's about it but I would still stick with the Mafacs, were I the OP.
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Old 05-28-11, 05:16 AM   #11
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Mafacs are great brakes... their weakness is in the hardware as the stock hangars are flexy and

Install these with better hardware and
65'er, what pieces are you talking about here? Replace what hardware?
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Old 05-28-11, 05:42 AM   #12
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^ Those Mafacs are missing their straddle cables with the all-important bobbin, which fits into the arm without the clamp.

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Old 05-28-11, 05:53 AM   #13
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^ Those Mafacs are missing their straddle cables with the all-important bobbin, which fits into the arm without the clamp.

Neal
Have a look at the pic in the OP, if I were to just replace the rear brake setup with those mafac's from the ebay listing, could I not use the hardware/cables that are already there? I know if I were to do the fronts, I would need more stuff, but the rear brake is what I am mostly concerned about atm!
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Old 05-28-11, 05:54 AM   #14
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Believe it or not, one of the best operating vintage road bicycle brakes I have used are the Mafac Racer or Competition. Incidentally, I have sets of each, complete with all cable guide brackets, if interested. You can send a PM to discuss.

Switching to side pulls, provided they can reach the rims braking surface, is a simple thing to do. Take the old brakes off. Bolt the new ones into place. Install cables. Line-up pads and tune for feel. That's about it but I would still stick with the Mafacs, were I the OP.
I would love to discuss this with you, but I do not have 50 posts, so I can't pm you You can PM me your email, then I can get back to you that way!
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Old 05-28-11, 06:02 AM   #15
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Have a look at the pic in the OP, if I were to just replace the rear brake setup with those mafac's from the ebay listing, could I not use the hardware/cables that are already there? I know if I were to do the fronts, I would need more stuff, but the rear brake is what I am mostly concerned about atm!
No, that wouldn't work for Mafac brakes. Your existing brakes use a different type of straddle cable with different ends to connect to the calipers. They do look like the type that would fit in a Weinmann/Dia Compe centerpull if you wanted to go in that direction.

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Old 05-28-11, 06:13 AM   #16
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No, that wouldn't work for Mafac brakes. Your existing brakes use a different type of straddle cable with different ends to connect to the calipers. They do look like the type that would fit in a Weinmann/Dia Compe centerpull if you wanted to go in that direction.

Neal
Darn, I guess that was too good to be true
On a side note, let's say I can't find any mafac's, and I just wanted to replace the brake pads on my rear brake with Kool Stop ones, what would I need? There are a bunch of different kinds. I would ideally like to replace the shoe and the shoe holder.
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Old 05-28-11, 06:16 AM   #17
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Kool Stop Continentals will give you lots of braking power:



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Old 05-28-11, 06:56 AM   #18
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Mafacs are great brakes... their weakness is in the hardware as the stock hangars are flexy and should be replaced with something stiffer Set up a friend's Peugeot for a mountain tour and used the stock Racers and upgraded the hardware and pads... these worked great.
The stock hangers are fine. They don't bend at all in the direction of pull. There is only a slight deflection toward the head tube under extreme pressure. I've tried using heavier hangers and it made no perceptible difference.

MAFAC centerpulls may be mandatory for a '70s Gitane, but that looks like a later frame to me because it has brazed on cable guides.

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Old 05-28-11, 07:44 AM   #19
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I would love to discuss this with you, but I do not have 50 posts, so I can't pm you You can PM me your email, then I can get back to you that way!
Just go to my website, MY "TEN SPEEDS", and email me through there.
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Old 05-28-11, 08:22 AM   #20
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...that looks like a later frame to me because it has brazed on cable guides.
That's what I am thinking too, I was just doing some sleuthing online and found that the 70's models cable runner things are strapped on or look like there is metal wrapped around the frame. Whereas mine has them welded on. I posted pics of my bike on the Gitane forums and am waiting a response. I am interested to hear what they say
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Old 05-28-11, 10:58 AM   #21
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Brake cable clips.
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Old 05-28-11, 11:30 AM   #22
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The stock hangers are fine. They don't bend at all in the direction of pull. There is only a slight deflection toward the head tube under extreme pressure. I've tried using heavier hangers and it made no perceptible difference.

MAFAC centerpulls may be mandatory for a '70s Gitane, but that looks like a later frame to me because it has brazed on cable guides.
I must be a princess when it comes to things like this...

With nice wheels and Kool Stops Mafac racers are very decent brakes and consider them to be among the best centre pulls... the stock hangar for the head tube is too flexy (for my tastes) and makes the brakes feel mushy... have found that using a better hangar (Shimano / Dia Compe) really improves feel and performance and these also come with an inline adjuster and release which is also a plus.

The stock rear hangar is not nearly as bad but I still prefer a stiffer hangar with an inline adjuster and release.

The other nice thing about Mafac centre pulls is that you can adjust the straddle which affects the mechanical advantage so you can really tune them to the levers you are using.
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Old 05-28-11, 11:41 AM   #23
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I just started riding with side pull Tourneys and seem great but I think a lot has to do with the outer cable as well. I started with the cheap stuff and the brakes were mushy till the lever went all the way to the bars.
So I changed to super rigid Jagwire cables and WOW what a difference.
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Old 05-28-11, 12:04 PM   #24
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With a vintage Gitane, Mafac Racers are just about mandatory.
Perhaps Spidel:

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Old 05-28-11, 02:22 PM   #25
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I must be a princess when it comes to things like this...

With nice wheels and Kool Stops Mafac racers are very decent brakes and consider them to be among the best centre pulls... the stock hangar for the head tube is too flexy (for my tastes) and makes the brakes feel mushy... have found that using a better hangar (Shimano / Dia Compe) really improves feel and performance and these also come with an inline adjuster and release which is also a plus.
Placebo effect, perhaps?

I know you have dial indicators.

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