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Old 09-28-11, 09:06 PM   #1
cpsqlrwn
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Seeking Information/Knowledge About Delta Brakes

I don't know very much about Campy's Delta brakes. I think they were released at various different times in the late 80s and early 90's and pulled off the market at other times when there were issues. From what I have seen on eBay, certain versions of the brakes are apparently more valuable and my guess is that this would be due to certain versions of the brakes being better designed mechanically. From a mechanical and perhaps weight perspective, which versions (years) of Delta brakes were superior, why were they better, and how can I recognize those particular brakes without having them torn apart to inspect the inside. In other words, what physical characteristics can I look for to identify the better versions of these brakes? Thanks for any and all input.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:59 AM   #2
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From what I recall, they all sucked bigtime. There are a few diehard
fans of them on here, but I'm not one of them. Those guys say that if you
set them up right, they work well.

I never saw/experienced any that worked very well, and in fact, they
were kinda dangerous IMO. Also, look here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...y#post11875712

and follow the discussion for a couple of pages.

But hey, I'm old and can't remember **** anyway.
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Old 09-29-11, 04:42 AM   #3
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I have a pair on one bike mostly because I got them cheap. I learned from this forum that apparently there was a an issue with them early one which is what lead to the Cobalto brake (basically fancy SR caliper). looking at my Campi Catalouge 18 it seems the original version had a QR on the top of the brake where the cable went in, but this was replaced with a bellows covered adjusting barrel and the QR moved to the lever.

I set up the pair I have and they seemed to work OK, but that is not a bike I ride often. I am not sure what causes the huge difference in price other than condition. the rear cover plate takes alot of abuse, especially if the bike is ridden/raced in the rain. so finding a et with nice cover plates can be hard.

the Croce deAnue brake is often refered to as a Delta also. there are differences between the two but I am not sure if it functions better or worse than the C-Redcord brake.

OK so what is a Delta thread without pics??



Another frustrating about these brakes is the need for a 3.5 (or is it 2.5) Allen to tighten the cable anchor.







I gleaned this pic from Velo Base, it is listed there as a Delta prototype and as you can see it has the QR on top.



http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...m=117&AbsPos=7
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File Type: jpg DSC_0413.jpg (84.2 KB, 283 views)
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Old 09-29-11, 05:55 AM   #4
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This is the only picture I have right now. Looks to me like the outer casing could be cleaned up pretty well. Bike is due in today. I will be selling these as I have no desire to keep them so if anyone wants to contact me about them, please PM.

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Old 09-29-11, 06:10 AM   #5
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I have two bikes with them, one Croce d'aune and one with the last generation Record.
The last version has 5 pivots, bianchigirll is show an early version with 4. The last version is much better for stopping than the Croce. They are probably the best brakes that I have on my bikes.
The only disadvantage of these brakes is that they are heavy and a bit more difficult to adjust. They will need a 3,5 mm allen key, which apparently is difficult to get in the US (here in Holland they are easy to find).
Prices I don't know, the Croce d'aune's were a present from a friendly bikeshop.
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Old 09-29-11, 08:17 AM   #6
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The different versions also grew more pivots in their mechanism supposedly to improve their progressive feel and clamping power. I know they have at least two versions, one with 4, then a later one with 5 pivots. Not sure, but the earliest ones could have had fewer pivots.

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Old 09-29-11, 09:55 AM   #7
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I had some later 91 is 5 pivot record deltas. They worked well. Stronger that single pivots but not as good as modern dual pivots. Modulation was good also. They really sucked running cables. Most cable cutters wouldn't fit so you had to pre cut the cable and try to feed it through the clamp. Make sure you have some extra cables handy because you will probably cut one too short it have it fray on you.
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Old 09-29-11, 10:19 AM   #8
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The different versions also grew more pivots in their mechanism supposedly to improve their progressive feel and clamping power. I know they have at least two versions, one with 3, then a later one with 5 pivots. The earliest ones could have had fewer.
It is clear from looking at the Campy catalogs that Deltas first arrived on the scene in 1984 along with the first generation of C-Record, Victory, and Triomphe. In 1986, Delta brakes were removed from the C-Record group and replaced with the Super Record style brakes with the blue stones (Cobalto). In 1987 Delta brakes came back with some modifications and this is the year of my brakes. The changes are evidenced by hardware changes above the large brake housing where the cable enters. In late 1987 (probably 1988 model year) Chorus and Croce D'Aune were introduced with Croce getting a different version (not the same as Record) of the Deltas while Chorus got the beautiful monoplanar brakes. 1988 also saw some modifications to the Record Delta brakes as evidenced once again by changes to the hardware above the brake housing. I am sure that internal mechanical modifications were being made at various times throughout Delta's lifetime, but the catalogs don't address the pivot features you mention. They continued with very similar appearance (only Record and Croce D'Aune) until being replaced by Record dual pivot calipers in 1993. Even when ergo shifters were first introduced in 1992, the brake levers were paired with Delta calipers for that one year of ergo shifters. 1992 was the last year for Deltas. I had no idea they had that long a run... 8 years(1984 to 1992) with one year off in 1986.
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Old 09-29-11, 10:39 AM   #9
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The easiest way to tell C-Record Deltas from Croce d'Aune Deltas is to look at the back. Records are completely enclosed. Croce's are not. Check eBay. There is almost always several sets of each up for sale, so you can look at the pics and get a better idea what I mean.

As for 3.5mm allen wrenches, Bondhus (sp?) makes 'em and I think you can order them form them on-line. Or you can go to Harbor Frieght. Last time I looked, they had a fairly cheap allen wrench set that included a 3.5mm. Either way is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a Campy one.

Deltas are the Rolexes of brakes in terms of appearance: some people love the look; some people think they are garrish; everyone thinks they are expensive.
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Old 09-29-11, 10:52 AM   #10
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They really sucked running cables. Most cable cutters wouldn't fit so you had to pre cut the cable and try to feed it through the clamp. Make sure you have some extra cables handy because you will probably cut one too short it have it fray on you.
Yes, but if you compress the brake without a wheel in the way, you have a bit more room to work with when cutting the cable. The clamp screw tends to fray the end, so you only get one chance to get close enough to use the barrel adjuster to fine tune after cutting. It does take a 3.5mm hex wrench but a 9/64" will work if you don't have one.


You can see here how close to the clamp the cable has to be cut. While being a pain to set up the cable, they're one of the most adjustable brakes out there IMO. The pads can be rotated to match the angle of your rim, there are set screws to adjust toe in, etc. They take more time and attention then anything else out there but IMO if that time is taken to do it right, they perform great and you can't deny the beauty of these brakes!
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Old 09-29-11, 10:52 AM   #11
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Here's my show and tell pics on my own set with my Weinmann's version of the Delta next to it for reference:



Nice things to note:
They are beautiful, very sleek and sculptural. A pefect brakeset to put on that 80's/early 90's Italian "Grail" bike you might be building up
In NOS form, the quality is almost jewel-like. Campagnolo really put in some money into the finish work for these brakes.
Most people who used them don't seem to consider them as "death brakes" as many times rumored out there, so I suspect that they work good enough to keep most out of trouble.
They will certainly get your bike noticed as the brakes are still considered as must haves especially for 80's Italian bike enthusiasts.

"Bleh" things to note:
As noted the Campagnolo version is quite heavy, maybe at least a third more in weight than the Weinmanns. I think the version I have is the third version that Campagnolo issued. And proportionally, they are much bigger than the other two Delta brakes of the time. Making them smaller might have improved their "aeroness"??
The aluminum alloy used on the cover and body seems to be softer than most, as they get scratched so easily. Road grit thrown off by the tire treads tend to "sandblast" the anodizing and etch/scratch the aluminum itself. Most used Campy Deltas will have this damage to some degree.
The unsealed caliper housing tend to catch and trap a lot of dirt thrown from the tires (Modolo and Weinmann's idea of including a rubber sealing jacket for their "pro versions" must have come up because of this very reason). regular cleaning should be done to keep things working smoothly. Not easy to get behind the mechanism to clean it out as the pivot/spring assembly needs special tools and care to disassemble.
What makes these a bit difficult to tune up is the way the cable clamp is situated right above the tire. Not much working space to manipulate the cable with the wheel on plus there's always the problem on how much cable to leave dangling above the tire.
Spare parts are very expensive. I tried to bid on replacement wheel guides and the NOS set went for somthing like 75 - 80 bucks! I've also seen the little rubber bellows on the top of the calipers priced at just as much! The cost of getting my set to the condition I want them to be has slowed down efforts to put them on one of my bikes.
The pad toe-in mechanism on my version seems needlessly over the top compared to other brakeset. I suspect most just set these to maximum adjustment anyway, so what's the point with the screw-in adjusters.
Some earlier versions seem to experience cracking at the knurled cover retainer collars. Lots of theories why it happens but I don't think anything conclusive. A problem cause all these parts cost lots of money to replace.
It's also a wonder why Campagnolo decided to cheap out on their company logos on the brake calipers. Thay are just silkscreend in Campy blue on to the face of the caliper covers under the anodizing instead of casting or engraving them on. Result is, most of these logos have faded away just from UV exposure or the sandblast effect from the wheels. Unfortunately, Delta brake seekers use this as a sort of gauge on how to price used ones so many expect big price breaks on logo-less examples, even though the rest of the caliper is in general fine condition.

Despite these issues, the brakes are still worshipped by many and go for lots of money NOS and used. Campagnolo eventually abandoned the Delta design maybe because it was just to much trouble to come up with a final fix for them.

As for its Swiss cousin I have in the pics, the general concensus for the Wienmanns is, to avoid them. It's weak braking performance (which is suppsed to be very similar to the Modolo Kronos) supposedly puts it in the "death brakes" category....but they still look kinda nice, don't they, and at usually just a third of the price.

Last edited by Chombi; 09-29-11 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 09-29-11, 11:41 AM   #12
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Cool mechanical aspect of design for these brakes is the progressive mechanical advantage that they provide. You can set the pads relativly far from the rims (more tolerant of bent rims, broken spokes) and when you first pull the lever they function with low Mechanical Advantage so the pads move fast (with reduced force) to make contact the rim. As the caliper is further actuated, the mechanical advantage increases, they travel less but gradually become more powerfull. I would suspect that to get them setup right you need to have the internal linkage geometry such that you are in the highest mechanical advantage region just a bit before max caliper pull. Doesnt seem like such a design is very tolerant of pad wear however. If you adjust cable to make up for worn pads, you are messing with where you are on the progression curve. (Is there some other pad wear adjustment maybe??)

I have a set of modolo kronos that I used to ride on a dedicated time-trial bike. They looked fantastic, light and aero but unfortunately braking performance was in the "death brake" category and squealed horribly. I was always a bit suspicious that the pad compound used on the Kronos was unsuitable, might be an interesting experiment someday to try to re-fit them with modern compound pads and see if they can upgraded to merely chronic braking performance.
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Old 09-29-11, 12:02 PM   #13
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Cool mechanical aspect of design for these brakes is the progressive mechanical advantage that they provide. You can set the pads relativly far from the rims (more tolerant of bent rims, broken spokes) and when you first pull the lever they function with low Mechanical Advantage so the pads move fast (with reduced force) to make contact the rim. As the caliper is further actuated, the mechanical advantage increases, they travel less but gradually become more powerfull. I would suspect that to get them setup right you need to have the internal linkage geometry such that you are in the highest mechanical advantage region just a bit before max caliper pull. Doesnt seem like such a design is very tolerant of pad wear however. If you adjust cable to make up for worn pads, you are messing with where you are on the progression curve. (Is there some other pad wear adjustment maybe??)

I have a set of modolo kronos that I used to ride on a dedicated time-trial bike. They looked fantastic, light and aero but unfortunately braking performance was in the "death brake" category and squealed horribly. I was always a bit suspicious that the pad compound used on the Kronos was unsuitable, might be an interesting experiment someday to try to re-fit them with modern compound pads and see if they can upgraded to merely chronic braking performance.
I think it was the affect of pad wear on the mechanical advantage rate that stumped the Delta brake designers and left them at a sort of design dead end.........so went the Delta brakes....
Bet that they really thought that they were finally rid of the sidepulls when the thought up these Delta brakes....Wrongo!....

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Old 09-29-11, 12:06 PM   #14
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I gleaned this pic from Velo Base, it is listed there as a Delta prototype and as you can see it has the QR on top.



http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...m=117&AbsPos=7
man do you even know what this version is worth?!? it's a few thousand, i dropped by a shop in toronto where i know the guy, and he got ahold of a pair of these, i got to touch them and inspect it and whatnot, the last pair on ebay went for over 3g's, it's supposed to be really rare.
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Old 09-29-11, 12:25 PM   #15
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man do you even know what this version is worth?!? it's a few thousand, i dropped by a shop in toronto where i know the guy, and he got ahold of a pair of these, i got to touch them and inspect it and whatnot, the last pair on ebay went for over 3g's, it's supposed to be really rare.
I think the selling price on the so called "Delta prototypes" were pushed up just because of their implied ultra rarity. Not saying that they are not rare, but it would certainly be nice if the guy paying 3Gs for them will get something from Campagnolo to confirm such. I doubt if they work as good or better than the later versions though, so they are more for displaying on a shelf with oher bicycling engineering curious than anything else.

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Old 09-29-11, 12:56 PM   #16
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I think it was the affect of pad wear on the mechanical advantage rate that stumped the Delta brake designers and left them at a sort of design dead end.........so went the Delta brakes....
Bet that they really thought that they were finally rid of the sidepulls when the thought up these Delta brakes....Wrongo!....
Chombi
Not terribly convenient but it might work to add shim washers between pad holder and the arms to adjust for pad wear?

Kronos brakes have pad inserts that slide directly into the arms (no separate pad holder). No way on them to shim pads or to set toe for the pads.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:12 PM   #17
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Both Bianchigirll and Chombi have great posts with information on Campy's famous (or infamous) Delta brakes.

For additional information, you can also go here:

http://www.campyonly.com/roadtests/delta.html


The have lots of good info, pics and diagrams.

I would love to get a set of Deltas on my 1989 Bottecchia.



Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 09-29-11 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:19 PM   #18
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For additional information, you can also go here:

http://campyonly.com/roadtest/delta.html

The have lots of good info, pics and diagrams.
That link's not doing it for me.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:25 PM   #19
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I've got a fairly early set of Deltas, 1987s, which are the 4 pivot style (some call them 3 pivot). If set up by someone who knows what they're doing, with some tow, they are the equal of most other brakes on the market and certainly stop you sufficiently. I can't ever get them that good, but I have a shop that does. They're stronger than any single pivot sidepull I have and are about equal to the era's competing dual pivot brakes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I wouldn't want them on every bike, but I'm glad I have a set and they're certainly unique.

Negatives - if you try to adjust them internally, you will likely need new cables as they are a PITA to slip back through the little feed. Weight. Harder to set up than a sidepull and maybe even worse than cantis.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:42 PM   #20
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Both Bianchigirll and Chombi have great posts with information on Campy's famous (or infamous) Delta brakes.

For additional information, you can also go here:

http://campyonly.com/roadtest/delta.html

The have lots of good info, pics and diagrams.

I would love to get a set of Deltas on my 1989 Bottecchia.


I think your bike looks great with those Monoplanor brakes on it.
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Old 09-29-11, 01:47 PM   #21
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That link's not doing it for me.
try this:

http://www.campyonly.com/roadtests/delta.html
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Old 09-29-11, 01:51 PM   #22
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I think your bike looks great with those Monoplanor brakes on it.
Thank you Bianchigirll

BTW, I have now started on my Bianchi collection...just not a vintage one though.
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Old 09-29-11, 02:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Both Bianchigirll and Chombi have great posts with information on Campy's famous (or infamous) Delta brakes.

For additional information, you can also go here:

http://www.campyonly.com/roadtests/delta.html


The have lots of good info, pics and diagrams.

I would love to get a set of Deltas on my 1989 Bottecchia.


Nice bike!...I still remember longing for bikes like Bottechias back in my college days. Yours look mich classier than the black and white ones I uesd to see in the bike shops back then though. I'm still waiting for the day I can dive into an Italian C&V project bike. I suspect the Deltas will be my starting point.....
Careful what you wish for on your bike though....after Delta brakes you'd centainly be itching for a full C-Record group on it to follow through. That's just the way things go with these special bike builds.

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Old 09-29-11, 02:11 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
Not terribly convenient but it might work to add shim washers between pad holder and the arms to adjust for pad wear?
These would have to be curved or flexible being that the back side of the holder is curved for angle adjustment. Now, my question(s) is(are) how much travel before rim contact is needed to achieve said mechanical advantage? I set mine like i would a "normal" brake with minimal clearance. Should I adjust them out to take advantage of this I wonder? Could this be the root of people thinking they lack braking power?

Edit - should have checked the link! http://www.campyonly.com/roadtests/delta.html

?s answered!

Last edited by Andycapp; 09-29-11 at 02:17 PM. Reason: got more info
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Old 09-29-11, 02:32 PM   #25
cpsqlrwn
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Much better, thank you!
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