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Mafac Racer Brake set - Vintage..?

Old 08-11-16, 04:53 AM
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Mafac Racer Brake set - Vintage..?

I picked up an all original Le Jeune the other day and, wonder of wonders, it is my size and affordable.

I am just getting into the bicycle but the Mafac brakes have me stumped. Have a look at the calipers, levers, head set bracket and yokes. They are all alloy and seem to be better quality than the other Racers I am familiar with.

Can anyone help me with vintage of the brakes? Thanks and I like my gas pipe steeds, which are inexpensive and just as much fun to ride as the top enders that have come my way, over the years...
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Old 08-11-16, 05:35 AM
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They look like CLB racer course brakes, VeloBase.com - Component: CLB Racer Course

I just picked up a Follis yesterday that I believe is the 172 model that has those brakes:
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Old 08-11-16, 06:14 AM
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They look like CLB racer course brakes, VeloBase.com - Component: CLB Racer Course

I just picked up a Follis yesterday that I believe is the 172 model that has those brakes:
Ask and yee shall learn - thanks for the heads up on that. My interest in my new/old LeJeune just went up a notch, or two. That said, I so see small differences, making my set newer, probably. Next task...

Identify the bicycle's vintage and model. What to do today? Split some wood, break the law, have a brew and clean up the LeJeune. Hope what is under the dried grease/oil is shiny...

By the way, I like your new/old Follis - seems as if we were both having fun yesterday.
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Old 08-11-16, 06:34 AM
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I didn't know anything about these brakes until yesterday when I started a thread on my "new" Follis, .

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...65-follis.html

This is a really neat bike. Based on some research I did, I'm fairly certain it's a Follis 172 model which means it has a Reynolds double butted main triangle.

I like the old parts; they push my knowledge base. Now I'll need to track down a stronglight crank remover . . .

This is the 2d fairly old vintage bike I picked up this year. I bought and refurbished an Olmo gran sport from 1960 earlier this year,

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ran-sport.html

Yeah if I find a bike that is old enough, I'll tend to pick it up on CL. There aren't a lot of older European bikes floating around where I live, though, in the midwest. This was first Schwinn and then Trek country.
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Old 08-12-16, 11:34 AM
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Randy-

Replacement CLB lever covers are available through the Yellow Jersey in the U.S. here.
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Old 08-12-16, 01:00 PM
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Randy-

Replacement CLB lever covers are available through the Yellow Jersey in the U.S. here.
Now that is interesting and thanks for the heads up. Sadly, I used to have an original set in grey. I have no idea where they are today:-(

Of course, the hoods alone will add close to $80.00 CND, shipping included and without importation tax, in case there is any. None the less, I think it is worth my time and effort, not to mention a couple of hundred dollars, to build the LeJune up and it is nice to know that such a hard to find item is not hard to find at all:-)

And, there is one other very interesting piece of information I will share soon. I swapped out the original wheels for a set of period and model correct tubulars that I just happened to acquire a coupe of years ago. Anyone care to guess how much weight came off of the bicycle with just that one move..?

Tune in later for the answer, but I want to have pictures to prove it happened and the fork is not bent!
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Old 08-12-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Anyone care to guess how much weight came off of the bicycle with just that one move..?
About 3 pounds?
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Old 08-12-16, 01:58 PM
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About 3 pounds?
Were you in my side yard a few minutes ago? Must have been, cause you just about nailed it...

The Le Jeune, with 27" Rigida chrome plated steel 27" rims, weighed in at 28 pounds ten ounces...

The Le Jeune, fitted with 700c tubulars, tipped the scale at 25 pounds two ounces.

Savings in weight = 3 pounds 8 oiunces! Now, try this and you will get an idea of how the weight of a wheel impacts ride quality...

Pick up a wheel and hold it by the axle ends. Try to tip the wheel from side to side. Now, give that wheel a good spin and try to tip it again. Surprising, isn't it?

As the weight of the wheel goes up, as in the case of a steel rim with a heavy tire, the wheel will become increasingly difficult to tip, one way or the other. That is a gyroscopic effect and you have to multiply that by two (cause there are two wheels - OK). So...

A heavier wheel set will have a detrimental impact of ride quality, robbing the rider of the bicycle's available agility. Give it a try. You will be more than surprised!

Anyway, the Le Jeune with tubulars and a better look at me, after a day of bucking and splitting a bunch of birch for firewood...
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Old 08-13-16, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Were you in my side yard a few minutes ago? Must have been, cause you just about nailed it...

The Le Jeune, with 27" Rigida chrome plated steel 27" rims, weighed in at 28 pounds ten ounces...
Well, my PX-10 came to me with the exact same Rigida Crolux 27-1/2" wheels. Kept wondering why it was so dang heavy.
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Old 08-13-16, 09:54 AM
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Well, my PX-10 came to me with the exact same Rigida Crolux 27-1/2" wheels. Kept wondering why it was so dang heavy.
Get rid of those wheels, well rims only, and you will be amazed at the difference in ride quality.
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Old 08-13-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Get rid of those wheels, well rims only, and you will be amazed at the difference in ride quality.
Yeah, it'll get a few replacements this year, have to replace the rims with alloys, may go to 700c and run 1-1/8" tires with them; need to replace the steel AVA bars with alloy, and the steel seatpost. Then it should run about 21 lbs. Right now it's near 25, just enough to be annoying!
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Old 08-13-16, 10:23 AM
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My PX10, as pictured, came in at 22lb 14oz...

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Old 08-13-16, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
My PX10, as pictured, came in at 22lb 14oz...

That's a beauty. Are those 27's or 700c? I've been pricing vintage rims, but good alloys are quite pricey these days, so I'm searching for whole bikes with decent rims. It sucks, but I got rid of a Fuji last year that had 700c Super Champion clincher rims. Sold it then for about what the rims alone go for now. I had no idea they were that valuable.
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Old 08-13-16, 04:08 PM
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The right front brake pad holder on the Lejeune is on backwards: the front end should be closed, to keep the pad from coming out during braking.

Hasn't happened yet on this old gal, but why push your luck?
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Old 08-13-16, 04:43 PM
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The right front brake pad holder on the Lejeune is on backwards: the front end should be closed, to keep the pad from coming out during braking.

Hasn't happened yet on this old gal, but why push your luck?
Worry not. I have built up quite a few vintage road bicycles, and I never ride one until I have gone through it, ensuring it is road worthy and safe to ride. That said, I do thank you for the warning.
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Old 10-20-16, 02:54 AM
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The MAFAC Racer brakes are probably from around '70 -> Mafac III I have Racer brakes on my '79 bike and I love 'em. Great brakes! Best of that time back then, I might say.
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Old 10-20-16, 02:58 AM
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Front '79 in uncleaned/unrestored state.
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Old 10-20-16, 05:43 AM
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The MAFAC Racer brakes are probably from around '70 -> Mafac III I have Racer brakes on my '79 bike and I love 'em. Great brakes! Best of that time back then, I might say.
Mafac Racer center pulls are really nice working and, to me, looking brakes. That said, the ones on the LeJeune are not Mafac, but ClB and in great shape to boot.

As for the other question, regarding wheel size, the PX10 is fitted with 700c tubulars. These days, all I use on older bikes is tubular wheels, those that would be period and, if I can find a set, model correct.
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Old 10-20-16, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Get rid of those wheels, well rims only, and you will be amazed at the difference in ride quality.
This summer I nabbed a Jeunet for a song and drove 120mi because it had a Mavic tubular wheelset with Normandy hubs. Spiffed and trued they are now on my Trek 760 helping it into the 19's wearing Tufo S33 Pro 21mm sewups. That bike is totally tweaked for speed and handling now.
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Old 10-20-16, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Were you in my side yard a few minutes ago? Must have been, cause you just about nailed it...

The Le Jeune, with 27" Rigida chrome plated steel 27" rims, weighed in at 28 pounds ten ounces...

The Le Jeune, fitted with 700c tubulars, tipped the scale at 25 pounds two ounces.

Savings in weight = 3 pounds 8 oiunces! Now, try this and you will get an idea of how the weight of a wheel impacts ride quality...

Pick up a wheel and hold it by the axle ends. Try to tip the wheel from side to side. Now, give that wheel a good spin and try to tip it again. Surprising, isn't it?

As the weight of the wheel goes up, as in the case of a steel rim with a heavy tire, the wheel will become increasingly difficult to tip, one way or the other. That is a gyroscopic effect and you have to multiply that by two (cause there are two wheels - OK). So...

A heavier wheel set will have a detrimental impact of ride quality, robbing the rider of the bicycle's available agility. Give it a try. You will be more than surprised!

Anyway, the Le Jeune with tubulars and a better look at me, after a day of bucking and splitting a bunch of birch for firewood...
I am not an engineer. I accept that a heavier wheel will have more resistance to deflection (side-to-side, or off plane as you wish), but would it not make the bicycle more stable - even though less maneuverable?
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Old 10-20-16, 05:54 PM
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but would it not make the bicycle more stable - even though less maneuverable?
Indeed it would add to the feeling of stability, while detracting from the agile feel that I tend to associate with better ride quality on bikes that I like to ride. However...

My Bianchi Touring sports a set of 700Cx32mm tires. With Lady Luck on my side, that bike, those big tires and I might see a lot of kilometers this winter, mon!-)
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