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  1. #1
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    Is this a common problem with Campy brake bodies?

    Working slowly on dismantling the bits that came off my new Masi. I came across something I'd not seen in my brief history with this stuff. The broken bit was captive to the double layers of handlebar tape. As there was no evidence the bike had been ridden in years, I'm guessing this was that way for quite awhile. Are such breaks (no pun intended) common with Campy brakes?

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  2. #2
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    Are such breaks (no pun intended) common with Campy brakes?
    Crash damage, or Godzilla tightened the lever onto the handlebar w/ a breaker bar.
    Not good.
    The levers are not the only bits & bobs that took a really bad whack, time for a thorough check of all alignment on the frameset.
    Bars bent?

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 07-08-14 at 07:13 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Never seen one break before. But I agree that it looks like it took a sideways hit some time in its life. Cast alloy. Kind of brittle.

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    Ouch, as Bandera said, time to double check more.
    This is not common.
    You should be able to locate a replacement, probably a whole lever will be cheaper than just the body.
    I don't know if the frame got bent, best to check anyway.
    But I would check to see if the handlebars are tweaked.

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    I've seen an awful lot of them with small splits in the top corners, but a big chunk like that is probably from a crash.

  6. #6
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    One of the levers has a scratch, but that's not at all unusual. The bars (Cinelli Giro d'Italia) seem straight to me (my RRB had an obviously bent bar - this one is straight). The paint on the frame is original and in excellent condition. If the lever body was damaged in a collision, it must have hit it just so. If it's from an impact, my guess is it's more likely the bike fell over.

    This wouldn't happen if the clamp was just overtightened, would it? That was the first thing that came to mind, but I saw no dents, scratches, or other evidence on the bar that large clamping forces had been applied.

  7. #7
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    If the lever body was damaged in a collision, it must have hit it just so. If it's from an impact, my guess is it's more likely the bike fell over.
    That would be "fell over" from a very great height.
    A helicopter might be necessary since those are among the most crash-survivable levers in cycling history, or a "just so" blow from John Henry's mighty hammer.

    Clearly checking the alignment of the fork/frame & attendant bits & bobs is a waste of time.
    Proceed.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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    I want suggesting that there is no chance the frame was damaged. If it was bad enough to break the lever body, I would think there would be some visible evidence in the paint.

    Shipping damage is another possibility, I agree. The bars were removed from the frame for shipping. They seemed adequately padded.

    I will consider the possibility that the frame was damaged, and will have it checked out.
    Last edited by smontanaro; 07-08-14 at 09:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    It looks like over torquing the bolt with foreign object wedge between the bar and the brake body may have been the culprit. In all the years of riding Campagnolo equipped bikes I never came across anything close to that kind of damage. Mike
    85 Gios Professional-95 Cinelli SC-97 Merlin Extralight-06 Colnago C 50- 71 Peugeot PX 10-74 Peugeot Mixte-73 Peugeot Mixte

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    Looking at the area of the break I see only one colour right across the broken area. That type of one colour rather than an area of lighter colour near an area of darker colour indicates that the break was sudden and not a crack that progressed to a final break. Barring any other damage to the bars or brake body I'd guess that someone really torqued down on the mounting of that lever body. It's also possible that before tightening that the body was twisted slightly and was resting a bit on the clamp band. Tightening the body then caused it to be overly stressed to the point of failure. Being that this piece was held in place by the bar wrap I'd say that the tightening took place after the bar was wrqapped. Perhaps the original owner moved the lever slightly after wrapping the bar?

    Cheers from Miele Man

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    I've also seen it before but not a pice that large. It was on a shipped bike.
    I am looking for an early 70s Fiamme Red label wheelset on Camp Record LF.
    Fiamme research institute: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/781480

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Could also be a flawed casting from the factory......like bubbles in the casting causing a weak area where it eventually cracked from the wedging forces coming from the handlebar..... Even the great Campagnolo can sometimes suffer lapses in QC once in a while.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I may have a spare one of those, Skip. Emphasis on "may". Have to look. Send me a PM if you like.

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    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Here's my theory. The original owner, being a racing wannabe, living in a small Indiana town, saved up and bought himself a Masi. One day he rode up alongside a group of smug Italian Pros and ….

    Looks like a casting flaw and/or, that lever had been dropped or whacked. Notice the chip out of the top corner. And what looks like a casting void in the material.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    I may have a spare one of those, Skip. Emphasis on "may". Have to look. Send me a PM if you like.
    Same here....

    Check with Scott first, but if his cupboard is bare, pm me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    One of the levers has a scratch, but that's not at all unusual. The bars (Cinelli Giro d'Italia) seem straight to me (my RRB had an obviously bent bar - this one is straight). The paint on the frame is original and in excellent condition. If the lever body was damaged in a collision, it must have hit it just so. If it's from an impact, my guess is it's more likely the bike fell over.

    This wouldn't happen if the clamp was just overtightened, would it? That was the first thing that came to mind, but I saw no dents, scratches, or other evidence on the bar that large clamping forces had been applied.
    Good that the bars are intact. I would not assume though that the levers have only been mounted on these bars, 30 years plus is lots of time for things to happen.
    As stated earlier, a gorilla mechanic is always a possibility. One of the things as a mechanic long ago I looked at when a customer complained of bar/stem creeks was the brake levers. I have seen lots of curious stuff. Not all with tools should apply them to a bike.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I fail to see a casting void. My guess is that it was hit with high impact from the side. I highly doubt it resulted from over torquing the bolt. The boken part looks like it was not in contact with the bar but with a space between the edge and the bar surface. The edge may have been hit from the "outside," leaveraging against the body which failed with the angled surface shown. The impact was distributed over some area, hence not a small chip but a large one as shown.

    Here is an example of a Universal base that was too tight:


    and here is an example of another one that experienced a large impact:

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    No .. very rare .. you win

    you can probably hide it under the tape job on the bars .

    FWIW suntour Superbe of the era, was such a close copy they are interchangeable

    I swapped levers onto the bodies ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-09-14 at 09:06 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I did a measurement between the Suntour and Campagnolo bodies and found a couple of 10ths of an inch differnece. Not enough to notice. I think the Suntour was a bit longer between the bar and the cable hole. Why would I do such a crazy comparison? I was interested in know if Rootboy's leather hoods would fit both. The answer is likely, yes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
    I fail to see a casting void.
    Triangulate between the broken piece and that chip in the upper corner and look at that black spot near the corner.
    May just be a spot of grunge. Dunno.

    Also, check out the dings on that bar just below where the edge of that piece would have hit had it been whacked. Definitely looks like it was hit and even dinged the aluminum below it. Pretty weird. I wonder if some ham fisted mechanic tried to "adjust" (with a mallet) the lever angle with them tightened in place? Who knows….

    BTW, SJX, that pic of that Uni lever body is ugly. I've seen them crack up near the cable barrel, but nothing like that. I might have to go back mine off a bit!
    Last edited by rootboy; 07-09-14 at 10:58 AM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    @rootboy - The second pic is what happened when I hit a car at 21 mph.

    The Uni base is susceptible to failure as the band pulls the base against the bar and the bar acts like a wedge pushing the sides out. I don't know if it is just me but the Uni bases just look weak in design in this area. Not nearly as robust as the Camagnolo and some others. The material looks too thin and the lack of smooth radius' just screams "give me a reason to fail!"

    Now that I look at the bar more carefully, I think my logic is supported. look at the deformation of the surface of the bar where the edge of the broken part may have hit as well as the mark on the bar above where the small chipped out section is. They don't look like the shear like marks I would expect from being over tightened but rather an orthogonal impact impression.
    Last edited by SJX426; 07-09-14 at 10:27 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    "orthogonal impact impression."

    I had one of those once….

    got dain bramage from it.

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