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Long Reach Side Pull Brakes

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Long Reach Side Pull Brakes

Old 12-25-14, 08:02 PM
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mrv 
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Long Reach Side Pull Brakes

howdy
I've got a bike project I'm working on. A Nishki frame frame built for 27in wheels, where I want to run 700mm wheels. Primarily because I've got several sets of 700mm wheels, and equally important so I can run fatish tires for light touring and dirt road riding.

Originally I was wanting to go nearly full vintage Shimano 600 (i've got the brake levers, FD, RD, BB, HeadSet, and short reach brakes) - well, like the title says I need long reach brakes, and I found out the other day the head set stack height doesn't work for my frame/fork. So less and less of the groupo is getting used.

My questions for the mechanics:
Are the vintage brakes more of a pain than they are worth? I've got a set of 80's Shimano long reach brakes on a single speed cobble-project, and I'm finding them to be finicky. (I'm willing to admit I need to visit my LBS if I'm screwing up the brake set up.)

Do the TRPs provide twice the stopping power at the twice the price?

here's the choices I'm mulling over....
#1 : vintage Shimano - about $70
#2 : TEKTRO R539 - about $70
#3 : TRP RG957 - about $150

thanks.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:25 PM
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first, if it were me, i'd go with the 27" wheels. 28mm and 32mm (fattish?) are readily available. from 1" (panaracer) to 1x1 3/8" (kenda).

but, if 700c is a must, i'd go with vintage single pivot shimano 600. looks like the arabesque model?

what's wrong witht the headset? fork too short?

i've got a '79 trek 710, done up in a mix of mid 80's shimano 600. i've evidenced no pain from any of my 80' thru 90's single pivot brakes. for me, they don't get much simpler, neither shimano, campy, or dia-comp.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-25-14 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:40 PM
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Vintage brakes work just fine and for a long time if set up well. Redrawn cables and lined casing, modern pad materials and an understanding to how to center them are the leys. Their power will be limited mostly by the leverage the dimensions create. A lot of younger wrenches haven't had to learn how to set up classic single pivot side pulls for max performance since these days they are mostly found on cheap and/or old worn bikes. Usually the finicky aspect is the centering. With calipers of any basic quality the centering isn't hard to do. If needed this can be described later.

As to whether the TRPs provide twice the power of the lower cost calipers. NO. Given the same set of dimensions (levers are the same, the reach and pad placement are the same) the power will be very nearly the same. If the leverage (that's all most calipers are) lengths are the same... Only when there are additional design elements like a cam driving the arm's movement will the clamping leverage change to any large degree. The usual reasons for higher caliper costs are materials, finishing and marketing. With the last item the most important. Andy.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:59 PM
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Older -- ie. single pivot -- brakes aren't any more finicky than modern brakes.

There are two keys to setting them up easily.

1- you need the ability to hold the front end of the pivot bolt while you tighten the mounting nut. Many brakes have flats for a 12 or 13mm cone wrench behind the spring. If you're don't have these flats they may be more of a pain, but there are workarounds.

2- the brakes are prone to opening unevenly causing changes in centering when open, with one shoe rubbing the rim. The fix is to lube the points where the spring meets the arms, because the spring slides up and down there as the brake opens and closes.
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Old 12-25-14, 09:08 PM
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thanks for the speedy replies. i was looking at this earlier today: Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Sidepull Brake Service

My initial setup (on the single speed) I was struggling with the centering (just like @Andrew R Stewart says). It seemed as though I had use the brake housing to keep the cable side spaced away from the rim properly (the above image for the front brake shoes the cable WAY tight / short). I re-did the rear today and I think -- think -- I have it properly centered now. The rear brake seems to be working correctly and I can flip the lever to open brakes.

I completely agree on the hype - Looking at the TRP vs Tektro, the geometry looks the same, both are forged aluminum. Since I'm hung up on the vintage groupo idea, I'll go with the Shimano 600 from the '80s.

ALSO: I've got no 27in wheels to use. That means a buying a wheelset, another set of tires that are dedicated to one bike (can't swap tire around when I need/want). And less chance of fenders if the Nishiki becomes a commuter bike.

Thanks again and Happy New year!
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Old 12-25-14, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
2- the brakes are prone to opening unevenly causing changes in centering when open, with one shoe rubbing the rim. The fix is to lube the points where the spring meets the arms, because the spring slides up and down there as the brake opens and closes.
--> That is new, good info! I will clean those points and hit them with a bit of grease!
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Old 12-25-14, 09:15 PM
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Are you aware that Tektro also has the less expensive R559 LR calipers? You could have a brand new set of F&R brakes for $70 total.

With regards to new brakes and improved stopping, I'd say that, generally, yes, new brakes are stiffer and stop better than vintage brakes. Twice as good? Well, no, proba ly not that much, but it really depends on comparative quality.
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Old 12-25-14, 09:43 PM
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ah, so "finicky" is a centering problem? ahhhh.

as mentioned, centering single pivot brakes can be frustrating. i won't attempt to explain how to do it because others have and have done it better than i can, so i'll just say that i think it stems from what seems to be a foolproof way of centering them, but is not. that being, to hold both brake pads against the rim and tightening the brake fixing bolt. doesn't work that way, for reasons already given.
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Old 12-25-14, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
... i think it stems from what seems to be a foolproof way of centering them, but is not. ...
I don't think that anyone had issues centering the brakes. You'd know that in a flash. The problem that frustrated folks is that they didn't seem to hold center well, which had people keep recentering them ad-infinitum because it seemed that the center bolt had moved.

Even a large number of professiinal mechanics were unfamiliar with the issue of the spring needing to slide where it drove the arm, and the effects of friction there. The issue is still with us in many of the V-brakes which use long leg external springs.

The issue isn't centering, it's not being suckered into doing it more than once.
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Old 12-25-14, 09:57 PM
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I had a pair of Tektro R539 "long reach" brakes on my "rain bike" and they worked very well. The OEM pads are pretty mediocre but a set of Kool-Stop Salmons (same "Dura Type" pad design as Shimano) solved that problem.

One problem you may have is the mounting style. The R539's use recessed nuts. You frame may have been designed for external nuts and have to be modified by drilling the rear face of the fork crown and the front hole (ONLY the front) of the brake bridge to accept the recessed nuts. Or, you can do a couple of work arounds that we can detail if needed.

Shimano also made long reach dual pivot brakes in 105 (BR-1055SC) form and these came in both external nuts and internal nut form depending on the year of manufacture. Currently they offer R650 and R451 long reach dual pivots in recessed nut format.
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Old 12-25-14, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I had a pair of Tektro R539 "long reach" brakes on my "rain bike" and they worked very well. The OEM pads are pretty mediocre but a set of Kool-Stop Salmons (same "Dura Type" pad design as Shimano) solved that problem.

One problem you may have is the mounting style. The R539's use recessed nuts. You frame may have been designed for external nuts and have to be modified by drilling the rear face of the fork crown and the front hole (ONLY the front) of the brake bridge to accept the recessed nuts. Or, you can do a couple of work arounds that we can detail if needed.

Shimano also made long reach dual pivot brakes in 105 (BR-1055SC) form and these came in both external nuts and internal nut form depending on the year of manufacture. Currently they offer R650 and R451 long reach dual pivots in recessed nut format.
Tektro R559s are dual pivot and available in either recessed bolt or nutted styles.
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Old 12-25-14, 10:38 PM
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I was so happy with a pair of the Tektro dual-pivots that I got a pair for another bike as well. I'm just a DIY'er, not a real wrench, so bear that in mind. I recall having to scratch my head over the reach specs and mounting styles in order to get the right thing for each bike.

With that said, both of the old bikes had crummy dia-compe brakes, early 80's vintage. Perhaps due to a combination of design and metal fatigue, I noticed that the brake arms were somewhat flexible. Now I suspect that stopping power is due to a combination of the mechanical force ratio between the levers and the brakes, and force that is wasted on compression and flexing of components that include the cable housings and the brake arms themselves. The modern brakes seem a lot more secure when making hard stops. Both bikes already had fresh cables and housings.

I don't know if it's the official technique, but I filed flats onto my old brakes, so I could center them with a cone wrench. The Tektro's have that feature built in.

I wouldn't mind knowing where to learn more of the finer details of brake centering. The v-brakes in my household seem to be the worst for holding center, so I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong, or simply how to do it right would suffice.
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Old 12-25-14, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post

I wouldn't mind knowing where to learn more of the finer details of brake centering. The v-brakes in my household seem to be the worst for holding center, so I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong, or simply how to do it right would suffice.
If your V-brakes have springs that reach out hand push the arms directly about an inch or so up the arm, read posts Nos. 4 & 9. and you shouldn't need to readjust so often.

Most people are so focused on balancing the springs, that they forget that friction also plays a part. The springs are very consistent, but friction changes, so that's where to put your attention.
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Old 12-25-14, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
If your V-brakes have springs that reach out hand push the arms directly about an inch or so up the arm, read posts Nos. 4 & 9. and you shouldn't need to readjust so often.

Most people are so focused on balancing the springs, that they forget that friction also plays a part. The springs are very consistent, but friction changes, so that's where to put your attention.
D'oh! I don't know how I missed, or mis-read your posts. Thanks!
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Old 12-25-14, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
...
With that said, both of the old bikes had crummy dia-compe brakes, early 80's vintage. Perhaps due to a combination of design and metal fatigue, I noticed that the brake arms were somewhat flexible. Now I suspect that stopping power is due to a combination of the mechanical force ratio between the levers and the brakes, and force that is wasted on compression and flexing of components that include the cable housings and the brake arms themselves. The modern brakes seem a lot more secure when making hard stops. Both bikes already had fresh cables and housings.

I don't know if it's the official technique, but I filed flats onto my old brakes, so I could center them with a cone wrench. The Tektro's have that feature built in. ...
i just took a look at my "crummy" , dia-comp 400 (mid-level at best) and gran-comp II (top level) brakes from the early 80's that i purposely bought for one of my new rides. just because i love the darn things.

anyway, mine have the flats already machined into the spring holder, it's mounted on the main shaft in front surface of the fork. but even if they weren't there the main shaft is easily held in place by a wrench on the double nutted affair at the front of the main-shaft.

and BTW, i agree, they are flimsy.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-26-14 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 12-25-14, 11:59 PM
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You will find any of the Shimano dual pivot brakes superior to the earlier single pivot brakes, with the newer dual pivot calipers being even more stiff than the early dual pivot calipers.

The difference to clear when properly set up single pivot and dual pivot brake sets can compared side by side on comparable bikes with similar/the same tires.

I'd recommend an upgrade to Shimano dual pivot brakes if you are building. You will be able to feel the difference. I don't have any experience with other brands of brakes (other than Suntour), and the dual pivots are superior in stiffness, and braking power to both Suntour and Shimano single pivot brakes. I'm in the process of replace the Shimano and Suntour single pivot brakes with Shimano duel pivot calipers on both my latest bike, and the bike I'm restoring to give to my son.
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Old 12-26-14, 06:53 AM
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@RoadGuy - For the Nishiki I need nutted brakes - I've already painted the frame, so too late to do more drilling (or at least I don't want to drill it now...). If I can find Shimano long reach, nutted, dual pivot, I might go that way. You've got me thinking about the TEKTROs seriously. Again.

The single speed frame I mentioned I did drill for the rear brakes to get the recessed nut installed - before I used it as a powder coating practice piece. Not it's my single speed beater "yard bike". The fork on the single speed was already set up for recessed brakes. (There's photos HERE in case you're wondering what kind of Franken-cluster I put together. It'a a yard bike, for riding around the yard, an n+1 kind of thing....)
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Old 12-26-14, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Tektro R559s are dual pivot and available in either recessed bolt or nutted styles.
Yes, but they are only available in "super long reach" form (53 - 73 mm) and that is likely to be too long for most frames that require the usual long reach range of 47-57 mm. The R539's are the more common long reach style.
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Old 12-26-14, 07:43 AM
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I think that early Shimano 105 (and RX100) came as short reach and long reach and the parts are/were available to use them as recessed nut or external nut.

The early Shimano dual pivots were also wider, and might be a better bet if you are planning on running wide tires.
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Old 12-26-14, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, but they are only available in "super long reach" form (53 - 73 mm) and that is likely to be too long for most frames that require the usual long reach range of 47-57 mm. The R539's are the more common long reach style.
All we know is that he has a Nishiki frame made for 27" and that he wants to fit 700c "fattish" tires. For you to be talking about what's likely means you either really know your sh*t or you're just full of it!

So tell us, how much drop and clearance does the OP need?
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Old 12-26-14, 09:02 AM
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B57 Road Brakes
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Old 12-26-14, 09:50 AM
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The Really toothy star washer on the mounting bolt really helps single pivot brakes stay centered.

When Placed between Brake and Frame
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Old 12-26-14, 10:01 AM
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+1 on the Tektro long reach brakes. I have a set on my '81 Univega conversion to 700c and they work great.
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Old 12-26-14, 10:37 AM
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Push the envelope , go centerpull .
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Old 12-26-14, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lee kenney View Post
Push the envelope , go centerpull .
- gah! no more choices! i already suffer from severe analysis-paralysis. another choice will make me apoplectic.
@RoadGuy - According to Grant at rivbike.com, Shimano seems to be done with new long reach (57mm) brakes. I'm checking my eBay options.
@Fiestbob - thank you for the advice! I'm always enjoy getting your input here on the boards. i'll see what i can come up with.

I'll take come measurements, as a few of the comments got me thinking I should double check my brake mounting center to rim dimension so I don't waist time & money buying the mid-range reach (57mm) and I end up needing a bit more reach. I think I checked it - but I've got several projects going on at once since winter riding requires a lot of motivation.
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