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Why do Weinmann centre pull get abad rap?

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Why do Weinmann centre pull get abad rap?

Old 05-06-16, 10:50 AM
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Universal Mod 61 cleaned up well and were the alternative for a lot of Italian top of the line bikes BITD, although this is a French bike vintage 1972.
[IMG]LC_FrntBrk_01 , on Flickr[/IMG]

I prefer the hangers of the Universal brake set too.

[IMG]075_PaTrek, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 05-06-16, 11:05 AM
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I have Weinmann 601/750 center pull brakes on several bikes, and all work just fine. No bad rap from me. However, here's the model of Weinmann cp brakes I like best:

I just wish they had longer reach.
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Old 05-06-16, 11:05 AM
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I always considered the Weinmann centre-pull to be good brakes. However, during the boom, we constantly had to educate consumers on their merits, primarily a s a result of their association with Dia-Compe.

During the first years of the boom, the general feeling among consumers was that anything Japanese was 2nd rate compared to European. The Dia-Compe clones were on virtually every Japanese bicycle and initially were considered inferior, simply because of their nation of origin. The similarity to the Weinmann centre-pull get not escape the consumer and many considered to be a rebadge, inferior, Japanese brake. We were constantly telling prospective buyers that the the Dia-Compe were the copy and that the Weinmann on the Raleigh Grand Prix that they were considering was a quality, Swiss product.

The other thing that hurt Weinmann was the other half of the reciprocal agreement, the Dia-Compe safety lever. These first appeared on Dia-Compe and Weinmann brakes and consumers immediately noted the poor stopping power compared to MAFAC and Universal equipped bicycles. However, they erroneously associated the poor performance to the brakes rather than the safety levers. MAFAC and Universal didn't adopt safety levers until much later. The average consumer loved the concept of safety levers but not the performance and the reputation dogged Weinmann for a long time as a result. The best performing safety levers we ever had were the Shimano on the Sekine, but this was because the levers were positioned at the factory using jigs to ensure optimum performance.

In our local there was a legitimate performance concern with Dia-Compe on the Apollo models. The brakes were spongy and this was eventually traced to lighter gauge cables. We never had this with the Weinmann on the Raleigh and CCM.

On a head to head comparison with MAFAC Racers and Universal 61, I always considered Weinmann 999 to fair well, with the major drawback being the levers themselves. Safety levers often resulted in hoods not being spec'd and eliminating the most comfortable riding position. Even when hoods were used, they were so hard that cyclists preferred the MAFAC half hood. The Universal were luxurious with their full, soft hoods and had the added advantage of cable adjusters. Weinmann had a nice feature with the dimpled levers that resisted hand slip in the rain but few rode in the rain and MAFAC had lever grips.

MAFAC could outperform both Weinmann and Universal due to the larger pad area and a more intricate design that allowed fine tuning, but this complexity also made them more laborious to set up and they often came out of adjustment as a result. A performance orientated cyclist who like to tinker was more likely to choose MAFAC.

Overall, the Weinmann were quite good, once you ditched the safety levers and installed decent hoods. I'd consider them on par with Univesrsal. They could be considered to be slightly ahead or behind MAFAC, depending on how performance oriented you are and how much you like to tinker.
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Old 05-06-16, 11:15 AM
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When they first came out, they were the best brakes available, or close to it. They came in two quality levels, the ordinary ones (which were quite nice) and the Luxe version, which had a thick anodized coating with the model name and number screened into the anodized coating. Really nice brakes. The pair below is on my ca 1959 Allegro.

Like many other bike components, their excellent reputation allowed the manufacturer to sell a lot of them, and rather than devoting R&D to making a better brake, they elected to 'improve' the brake by making it cheaper to manufacture. The Luxe version was discontinued, the pads got smaller, and so on. I don't think the stopping power of the caliper diminished over time, but the smaller pads had a negative effect. It also didn't help that a lot of these were used on bikes with chromed steel rims. Add to that Dia-Compe's addition of extension levers (turkey wings), supposedly a safety improvement, and indifferent maintenance, you can see why their reputation suffered. But they were manufactured with minimal design changes over 25 years, which is a pretty good run.
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Old 05-06-16, 11:38 AM
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It should be pointed out that during the bike boom days of the 70s, Weinmann centerpulls and centerpull brakes in general did not have a bad rap. Quite the oppposite. Everyone wanted them.

In fact, I distinctly remember a lot of my friends dreaming of the day when they could get a good bike: a bike with centerpull brakes. I'm sure there were different opinions among the tiny racing community of the time, but the average bike riding kid was accustomed to really bad sidepull brakes that did not stay centered and barely stopped the bike. I was beyond stoked when I got my Weinmann equipped Super Mirage in 1978. It was like a dream come true.
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Old 05-06-16, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
They got a bad wrap because the root cause of poor performance was assigned to the brake manufacturer and not the pad material. This is a common occurrence with a lot of products. Most people don't take the time to find the root problem of issues and are quick to assign blame to the symptom(s). Typically they identify a behavioral problem and then jump to solution space without determining the problem statement (poor friction between the pad and the braking surface). Either way they get new pads and the problem is solved without identifying the real problem. Contributes to the GNP and helps retailers stay in business to the point where replacement problem parts are not available, you have to buy a complete assembly.
Reminds me of a review I read the other day while tire shopping. The reviewer gave a tire dismal marks because they couldn't figure out how to work the presta valve.

As for Weinmann CP's, I have only good things to say about them. They are abundant and affordable, and work great with good pads as mentioned. I like to use the kind that allow toeing in without bending the brake arm.
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Old 05-06-16, 06:15 PM
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Only grief I've had is the cable housing stop on the rear of my '77 Raleigh Record was shorter than the one on the '71, and since they both hang on the seat post pinch bolt, the shorter one was more likely to kink than the longer one. I say ,"Was," because I found another long one and replaced it. Really more of a problem with the frame not having a brazed-on cable stop than it is with the brakes themselves.
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Old 05-06-16, 07:32 PM
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Weinmann center pulls are great with Koolstop v-brake pads on them. The domed washers on the pads make toe-in easy and the pads have more surface area than the originals.
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Old 05-06-16, 08:05 PM
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i was STUNNED and amazed how well these Weinmann's worked after i refurbed this '85 Peugeot. They were original to the bike, and so were the pads. I just put some MTB brake pads on the brakes. Snugged up the cables, work GREAT. I'm not sure why folks are saying they are hard to adjust.
I like them as much as my long reach TECTROs on this old NISHIKI refurb: https://goo.gl/photos/pScVbUyA2WPD5Va69
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