Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Good vintage centerpulls?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Good vintage centerpulls?

Old 05-24-19, 06:37 PM
  #26  
gugie 
Crapmaster Emeritus
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,358

Bikes: JP Weigle'd Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh Competition 650b'ed, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 83 Lotus Classique, 78 Centurion ProTour, 73 Raleigh Grand Sports

Mentioned: 776 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 34 Posts
Worst centerpull brakes: MAFACs set up poorly with old pads
Best centerpull brakes: MAFACs set up properly with new salmon pads.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Likes For gugie:
Old 05-24-19, 08:40 PM
  #27  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13,341
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 936 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Worst centerpull brakes: MAFACs set up poorly with old pads
Best centerpull brakes: MAFACs set up properly with new salmon pads.
Not quite, Best Mafac's have your brazed-on mounts. Yes, copies of the French constructeurs but it works.
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 05-24-19, 08:45 PM
  #28  
bwilli88 
Senior Member
 
bwilli88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kampong Cham, Cambodia but I have quite a few in Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,768

Bikes: Bikes in USA; 73 Raleigh Supercourse dingle speed, 74 Raleigh Grand Prix SS, 78 Raleigh Supercourse, 83 Centurion Pro-Tour, 82 Raleigh RRA.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I prefer Dia-comps over Weinmanns as they have an extra coil on the spring.
__________________
My Cambodia bikes; ?? Zunow, 81 Centurion Pro Tour, 85 Gazelle Mens Market bike, ?? Maxwell Allroad, 12 Fuji Stratos.
bwilli88 is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 09:02 PM
  #29  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 14,205

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
For me, with those extra degrees of freedom in setting up the pads, the Mafacs have it over all of them!
Road Fan is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 09:10 PM
  #30  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,891

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 24 Posts
Another nice feature of MAFAC brakes is that the straddle wire cable is infinitely adjustable. I've always set them up - at least for myself - with a shorter straddle wire on the front then the back. This ups the mechanical advantage a little on the front brake, and evens out the feel. Once upon a time the Weinmann double fixed end straddles were sold in several lengths, allowing the same sort of tuning, but that time is gone.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 09:21 PM
  #31  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
I kind of like the look of the Mafac Racer. I hadn't actually seen a picture of them that I remember. The fact you can adjust them seems like a plus too.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 09:46 PM
  #32  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,899

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1639 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 60 Times in 51 Posts
Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Agreed about the importance of good pads. Even good modern dual pivot sidepulls can perform poorly with lousy pads.
Mafacs were the good (symmetrical) dual pivots. The Racers and their siblings (probably mostly the siblings) recorded more TdF wins than any other brake for many years.

Fun observation: if you look closely at "real" dual pivot in action, you will see that the brake pushes the rim to one side during hard braking. The lever arms are different. I set my brakes up to not push the rim but it means my pads sit different distances from the rim.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 11:01 PM
  #33  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 23,505

Bikes: http://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 69 Posts
CLB-2's.

...if you don't mind weird hardware, proprietary pad holders, and a self-energizing design that can throw you over the bars if you're too eager with them.




Meh, probably not the best choice in the first place then

-Kurt
__________________
cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 11:19 PM
  #34  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,362

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1713 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
How's about the Gran Compe 450?

Sorry- this is the only pic I have of them right now...


Grail Brakes by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 11:34 PM
  #35  
TenGrainBread 
Senior Member
 
TenGrainBread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,763
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 660 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 41 Posts
While not as special as they sound, the first gen Dura Ace centerpulls I have perform well after an overhaul and new pads.
TenGrainBread is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 11:41 PM
  #36  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,891

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Mafacs were the good (symmetrical) dual pivots. The Racers and their siblings (probably mostly the siblings) recorded more TdF wins than any other brake for many years.

Fun observation: if you look closely at "real" dual pivot in action, you will see that the brake pushes the rim to one side during hard braking. The lever arms are different. I set my brakes up to not push the rim but it means my pads sit different distances from the rim.

Ben
Dual pivots were mostly a way to reintroduce "dual pivot" centerpulls to the market, while making it appear that they were something new and cool. They were an incremental improvement over the Altenberger side actuated dual pivot brakes. Those were just normal centerpulls converted to side actuation, which left one arm with poor leverage. Shimano shifted that poor arm's pivot to the center, improving it by increasing the MA. Even so, they were mostly a rehash of old centerpull tech.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 12:03 AM
  #37  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 23,505

Bikes: http://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
How's about the Gran Compe 450?
I was really tempted to mention the GC450's, but I've only had a chance to own a set. Never had the chance to use them.

-Kurt
__________________
cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 05:37 AM
  #38  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I was really tempted to mention the GC450's, but I've only had a chance to own a set. Never had the chance to use them.

-Kurt
I had never heard of CLB so thanks for that picture. I actually like the look of the CLB-2. I'm not sure what they would look right on, but I like them.

I found this picture when I searched for CLB. A guy would almost have to have a bike built just so he could use them.


88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 07:13 AM
  #39  
BFisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: NEPA
Posts: 277
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 27 Posts
@88Tempo,
Lots of good suggestions and information in this thread. One more thing to consider that I didn't see mentioned is that if you go with Mafacs, the original levers' grip reach is a bit longer than most other levers and can be too much if you've got smallish hands.
BFisher is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 07:13 AM
  #40  
gugie 
Crapmaster Emeritus
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,358

Bikes: JP Weigle'd Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh Competition 650b'ed, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 83 Lotus Classique, 78 Centurion ProTour, 73 Raleigh Grand Sports

Mentioned: 776 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Not quite, Best Mafac's have your brazed-on mounts. Yes, copies of the French constructeurs but it works.
Besides stiffening up the brakes, those braze-on posts take away one degree of freedom from setting up the brakes, which makes them easier to adjust, I've found.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 07:37 AM
  #41  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,405

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1699 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
How's about the Gran Compe 450?
They certainly would win the beauty contest, and the pads are just as adjustable as the MAFAC "Racer" pads. Too bad they're hard to find.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 07:38 AM
  #42  
tkamd73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 439

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400t, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1988 Trek 400 Elance, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1991 PDG Paramount OS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
These work quite well on my Supercourse, NOS Gran Comps
Tim

tkamd73 is offline  
Likes For tkamd73:
Old 05-25-19, 07:44 AM
  #43  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
@88Tempo,
Lots of good suggestions and information in this thread. One more thing to consider that I didn't see mentioned is that if you go with Mafacs, the original levers' grip reach is a bit longer than most other levers and can be too much if you've got smallish hands.
Well I have the hand size covered last time I bought gloves the only ones that fit were XXL. I have no idea how my brother got gloves to fit when he was riding. His hands are quite a bit bigger than mine.

This is probably all academic anyhow since it all depends on whats in the big bin at the co-op. It was educational so thanks for all the info everyone.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 08:01 AM
  #44  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,362

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1713 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
They certainly would win the beauty contest, and the pads are just as adjustable as the MAFAC "Racer" pads. Too bad they're hard to find.
Is there a way to mill or lathe down "regular" pad stems?

I guess I'd do it, but it seems like a whole lot of "work" to spin the pad on sandpaper...
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 08:51 AM
  #45  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 23,505

Bikes: http://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by 88Tempo View Post
I had never heard of CLB so thanks for that picture. I actually like the look of the CLB-2. I'm not sure what they would look right on, but I like them.

I found this picture when I searched for CLB. A guy would almost have to have a bike built just so he could use them.
The CLB-2 is a phenomenal looking centerpull, I won't deny that. That's half of the reason I chose them . The integrated spring makes it look very tidy and eliminates the spongy feeling characteristic of the Weinmanns and Dia-Compes.

I did have a pair of the CLB sidepulls as well. In factory finish, much less impressive. They're definitely lightweight in the French sense though. Never did quite trust them.

-Kurt
__________________
cudak888 is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 08:57 AM
  #46  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,132

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3617 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
They certainly would win the beauty contest, and the pads are just as adjustable as the MAFAC "Racer" pads. Too bad they're hard to find.
I like them a lot as well and have a pair in my parts bin. Finding brake pads for them is no easy thing but I'll need to figure out that problem.

The gran compe in post 42 are also excellent. That's what I'm running on my 1982 Trek 720 (and that's why the 450s are in my parts bing while I figure out how to get brake pads for them).
bikemig is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 09:29 AM
  #47  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,891

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Is there a way to mill or lathe down "regular" pad stems?

I guess I'd do it, but it seems like a whole lot of "work" to spin the pad on sandpaper...
Probably some clever machinist could figure out a way, or maybe there is some standard way of doing this that any machinist would know? Doesn't sound like fun to spin them down with sandpaper. I'd be inclined to drill and tap the end of the brake pad stud, and insert a screw. The put that bit into the chuck to turn it down. Or something like that.

What diameter are the pad studs anyway? 6mm instead of 7? I don't think I've actually worked on a GC450 since the 80s. There's a new reissue version of the GC450, and they sell replacement pads, but they appear to be standard 7mm size now.

Wouldn't it be easier to just replace the inserts the old school way, and keep the holders? Seems like one of the Weinmann inserts that Koolstop sells would fit.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 09:40 AM
  #48  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,891

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 24 Posts
Should be noted that the Gran Compe GC540 is a short reach brake, and the GC610 is a medium reach brake.

There weren't a lot of short reach centerpulls ever made. They were out of fashion by the time that short reach became standard. Another great one that comes to mind is the Zeus 2000. It was a very pretty and finely finished super deluxe racing centerpull. About 20 years too late to market...

These from velobase are standard (medium) reach. IIRC they did come in short reach, but maybe I mis-remembered. (EDIT: seems that there was one size only, but it was between short and medium reach. Minimum adjustment 45)


If we go by looks alone I definitely vote for Mafac. They were not finely finished, but still the prettiest from a sculptural point of view, IMO. And the levers remind me of Babar.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 05-25-19 at 09:51 AM.
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 09:47 AM
  #49  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 9,151

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, Rocky Mountain Cardiac

Mentioned: 144 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 598 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 33 Posts
Again, I repeat my praise for Mafac brakes but one thing does bug the hoha out of me - the half hoods...



__________________
Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"
randyjawa is offline  
Old 05-25-19, 09:54 AM
  #50  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,891

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1718 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 24 Posts
Somehow the half hoods never bugged me. They are more comfortable if you wrap them in.

Probably any sort of hood was considered deluxe when Mafac introduced those... When I started working in a bike shop, a lot of bikes didn't have brake hoods at all. Riding the hoods wasn't a big thing.
Salamandrine is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.