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Old 01-10-18, 09:28 PM   #1
mobilemail
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85 'Dale ST400 brake upgrade

I would like to upgrade my ST400's brakes to dual pivot, and it so happens I have a set at home...but they are recessed nut, and the ST400 has external nut brakes. So I thought I would ask before I have a manic episode with a drill...

Can I safely drill out the brake bridge for the 8mm recessed brake nut? Or do I pretty much need to give up the idea of using these brakes and cough up the dough for nutted Tektros? If this was a steel frame, I would already be done with the conversion by now.
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Old 01-10-18, 10:12 PM   #2
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I would like to upgrade my ST400's brakes to dual pivot, and it so happens I have a set at home...but they are recessed nut, and the ST400 has external nut brakes. So I thought I would ask before I have a manic episode with a drill...

Can I safely drill out the brake bridge for the 8mm recessed brake nut? Or do I pretty much need to give up the idea of using these brakes and cough up the dough for nutted Tektros? If this was a steel frame, I would already be done with the conversion by now.
I rescued an old ST frameset that someone drilled the rear bridge out for recessed nuts. Not pretty, don't do it. Just find a nutted set and call it a day.
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Old 01-11-18, 07:28 AM   #3
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Actually, it's OK to drill out both the brake bridge and the fork to take recessed nutted brakes if you do it correctly. On the brake bridge, the best way is to use a new, sharp drill bit intended for metal (not wood) the same size as the recessed nut and turn it by hand only the back side of the bridge with a vise grip or plumber's pliers. The front side toward the brake caliper can remain the same size; you only have to ream out the side towards the seat tube to give the nut a place to go. Even better if you can locate a Dia Compe washer that's radiused for the brake bridge on one side and large enough for the recessed nut to fit on the other.


Nesteel makes a good point, however: done sloppily, this could be a disaster. On my current ST, I use nutted Tektro R539 brakes.
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Old 01-11-18, 01:52 PM   #4
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Actually, it's OK to drill out both the brake bridge and the fork to take recessed nutted brakes if you do it correctly. On the brake bridge, the best way is to use a new, sharp drill bit intended for metal (not wood) the same size as the recessed nut and turn it by hand only the back side of the bridge with a vise grip or plumber's pliers. The front side toward the brake caliper can remain the same size; you only have to ream out the side towards the seat tube to give the nut a place to go. Even better if you can locate a Dia Compe washer that's radiused for the brake bridge on one side and large enough for the recessed nut to fit on the other.


Nesteel makes a good point, however: done sloppily, this could be a disaster. On my current ST, I use nutted Tektro R539 brakes.


That pretty much covers what I did do cover up the previous ugliness on the brake bridge. Sandwiched the brake bridge between to radiused washers; one with the stock size brake stud hole, the other drilled to accept the recessed brake nut.
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Old 01-11-18, 08:52 PM   #5
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I used the new front brake on the rear with a regular nut. Enlarged the hole in the rear of the fork and used a long recessed nut with the other (rear) caliper. I got the long recessed nut at the LBS, they had a variety of lengths.
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Old 01-12-18, 08:50 PM   #6
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1) Nutted set of silver or black Tektro R539s dual pivot calipers. The silver is smooth and has a lovely polish. The brake caliper springs are a nice rate and operate smoothly. Price won't break the bank.

2) Shimano R400/600 recessed nut dual pivot calipers (especially if you have a Shimano-equipped bike, like an '85 ST400...like me!). If you have a drill bit set that's halfway decent, some patience, and a drill, find the match (I forget offhand) via lining ones up and carefully drill out the backs of the brake bridges. I'll go it from either side of the seat tube, double-checking with the brake caliper nut to see when I'm done. The fork crown is thicker, but you can get the best angle. Phil's Tenacious oil or whatever standard oil you have helps. I've done this many times and the results are good. Calipers come in polished silver, painted matte-ish silver, and painted matte-ish black. I have the polished and they look stellar on my ST.



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Old 01-12-18, 10:47 PM   #7
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I have an 84 ST400. I got standard recessed Tektro 539 brakes and reversed them. I drilled the front fork rear hole and got an extended recessed nut. Put the rear brake on the front with the long recessed nut and the front brake on the rear with a standard nut. Donít drill the rear brake bridge! Mine brakes like a sports car. Itís very easy, although I was a bit nervous drilling into my fork.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:38 AM   #8
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I have an 84 ST400. I got standard recessed Tektro 539 brakes and reversed them. I drilled the front fork rear hole and got an extended recessed nut. Put the rear brake on the front with the long recessed nut and the front brake on the rear with a standard nut. Donít drill the rear brake bridge! Mine brakes like a sports car. Itís very easy, although I was a bit nervous drilling into my fork.
I think that is the best solution I've heard yet! Thanks for sharing! Now to start my search for the long recessed nut. So happens I'm going to a bike swap tomorrow, maybe I'll get lucky.
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Old 01-13-18, 09:06 AM   #9
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I've got a bunch of them, yours for the price of postage.
PM me if the swap meet doesn't have what you need.
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Old 01-13-18, 12:25 PM   #10
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The long brake nut should be available somewhere as they are employed with today's raft of thick-crowned carbon forks. Best of luck!
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