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Thread: Brake upgrade?

  1. #1
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Brake upgrade?

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    I have a 1980 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 that I have upgraded and use for loaded touring (see pics). The original brakes are Dia Compe single pivot calipers. They have worked okay but now I am considering installing Tektro R539 dual pivot calipers. The bike does not have cantilever bosses so that eliminates cantis as an option. Would installing dual pivots be a better option than the single pivot brakes to increase braking under heavy load or should I leave well enough alone. I have read a lot of threads here and have not found an adequate answer, but I would certainly like to hear experience opinions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OndrejP_SK's Avatar
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    If you want improvement with minimal investment buying better brake pads can do more than replacing the brake calipers.

    Replacing the calipers and using them with sh!tty brake pads won't help much, so even if you buy the Tektro calipers, do yourself a favour and buy also better brake pads.
    Ondrej P. from Bratislava, Slovakia
    biketouringbratislava.blogspot.com - resources for travellers

  3. #3
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Thanks. I've got Kool stops on it now, but will the dual pivots be a better option or will I not see a marked difference in braking power?

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    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    FWIW, I've found that even the inexpensive Nashbar dual pivot calipers are a significant improvement over good+ quality single pivot brakes from yesteryear.

    Also, as mentioned, go with the Koolstops too.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Want to buy new brake calipers? Paul's racers are a nice beefed up centerpull ..
    you do need a cable hanger then, .. they are manufactured in California.. ($$)

    option of a bolt on mount means fitting is just getting the right reach..
    made in 2 reach versions , and 2 colors.

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    Yes, get the Tektros with Kool Stop pads. You will notice an improvement in braking, plus they will be easier to maintain with cartridge pads and accurate adjustment.

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Want to buy new brake calipers? Paul's racers are a nice beefed up centerpull ..
    you do need a cable hanger then, .. they are manufactured in California.. ($$)
    I hate to admit, but those Paul brakes are sexy as all get out, and they stop great as well. If you can afford the 'Made in California" prices, you won't regret them.

    Koolstops can make a world of difference between poor braking and going over the handlebars. Of course, so can set-up. Modern dual pivots do help a bit as well. If you only have a little money, new brake pads are the best bang for your buck. More than that, Tektro brakes are always great values, although the stock pads can be lacking (just another excuse for Koolstops.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    I installed them on my Voyageur 11.8 and they were a noticeable improvement over the stock brakes, which had a bit of flex.




  9. #9
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Chris_in_Miami;14615775]I installed them on my Voyageur 11.8 and they were a noticeable improvement over the stock brakes, which had a bit of flex.

    Are your Tektros short reach or medium? I have 700c rims and i think I may need the medium ones. But if I can get by with short, I can find a pair on ebay cheap. thanks.

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    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    These are model 521, I believe they're classified as a long-reach. As you can see, they're plenty of reach on the front, and the pads are a little lower in the rear, but not quite bottomed out. I'm using 700c wheels.

    I modified the rear brake by replacing the main bolt with one from a donor front brake (an unbranded Tektro) so it would fit the undrilled brake bridge with a standard nut. The previous owner had already drilled the fork for a recessed mount, so that was simple. I'm pretty sure that nutted brakes are much easier to find now.

  11. #11
    Just ride it. MrPolak's Avatar
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    I used Tektro dual pivots with good results on my Cannondale Synapse. I found that Ultegra long reach dual pivots have a smoother action, though, for not a whole lot of dough. They can be found on eBay.

  12. #12
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I think I will go with the Tektro's. I can find them with nutted attachment so I don't have to drill out the fork crown hole. Plus I read that they were a little more user friendly with wide tires and fenders. As far as the Paul's centerpull my headlight is mounted where the brake cable would be located.

    Another question: anybody know what the compatible Kool stop inserts are for the Tektros?

  13. #13
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Chris_in_Miami,
    have any more excellent photos of that beauty? Brings back memories and yea, those long reach Tektros look great against those lugs.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Chris_in_Miami,
    have any more excellent photos of that beauty? Brings back memories and yea, those long reach Tektros look great against those lugs.
    Ha, thanks robow! A friend of mine found this one at a thrift shop for $15, and it looked like it was barely ridden. He set it up as a fixie for a while and then passed it along to me. I still have the original parts, but it's quite a bit lighter than 11.8 kg now. The geometry is almost like a hybrid - 54cm seat tube with a 58cm top tube.








  15. #15
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Yea, that top tube would really stretch you out, thank God for threaded stems back then. I really like those older vintage tourers. Just lovely, thanks for sharing.

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