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Campagnolo Delta Brakes - The Greatest Worst Brake Ever

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Campagnolo Delta Brakes - The Greatest Worst Brake Ever

Old 08-10-19, 09:48 PM
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I'm surprised someone hasn't thrown a Delta plate on an AX for April Fools.

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Old 08-11-19, 06:36 AM
  #27  
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Not a fan of the Delta's appearance.

To me, they stick out like a broken nose on most bikes. Just odd design choices.
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Old 08-11-19, 06:44 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Shimano's Delta style AX just looks a bit too mechanical, bordering on crude to be a top of the line brakeset for the time it was sold. If they only cleaned up the design a bit, especially at the back plate area and cable adjusters. They would have most likely sold more of it and it might have made the brakeset more popular with C&Vers as a result.....
Perhaps to do that AND actually stop the bike might have been too much to take on...
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Old 08-11-19, 11:25 AM
  #29  
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"Speed Modulators"
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Old 08-11-19, 03:15 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
"The Deltas seem to hit a particular sweet spot for a generation of people who were young and in love with bikes but, alas, lacking the means to fully indulge their pro-level passions. Now those kids are older, with a bit more money, and they look to assemble the dream bikes of yore, to be ridden at L’Eroica or, in some cases, not to be ridden at all."

Pretty much describes most of us vintage guys riding vintage bikes. I ride the bikes I could not afford when I was young.
Yep, pretty much true!

I remember working in a shop with a few delta equipped bikes. Back then although they were finished nicely, we used to curse how long it took to properly adjust. In fact, because the cable had to be cut and trimmed to literally less than a centimeter we would cut them and then solder the ends to keep it clean.

Very few racers ever used them, but it is pretty incredible and wonderful what a collectors item they've become for working so poorly even in comparison with other brakes of the time.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:36 AM
  #31  
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Love'm and they do stop. I do admit to not being able to adjust the Croc d'Aune Delta's that I once had although I didn't put that much time into adjusting them as I did with my Record examples.

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Old 08-12-19, 04:22 AM
  #32  
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I raced Deltas for a season or two; they didn't seem any better or worse than the Super Record side pulls. One of the sources in the article was Mark Reidy, a former teammate of mine and incredibly fast.

Last edited by nomadmax; 08-12-19 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 08-12-19, 04:59 AM
  #33  
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A local guy I see often at club rides has a Colnago with Delta brakes. Great looking bike and the brakes look classy. I doubt braking is a big deal on our modest roller coaster terrain when we're averaging 15-17 mph. I'll ask him about his bike next time I see him. He appears to be in his 70s, in great shape. I hope I'm doing that well 10-15 years from now when I'm his age. I think he's Italian or Sicilian, so he may have some firsthand knowledge about the components.
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Old 08-12-19, 11:46 AM
  #34  
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Does someone want to explain why Deltas are hard to get going right? I've never used them.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:05 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Does someone want to explain why Deltas are hard to get going right? I've never used them.
Setting them up, and the toe in, are a pain...some models, and I forget which years are which, use a wonky sized allen in an unusual size. They're great brakes as far as function when properly set up, and offer some really neat vertical adjustments. Many of the comments you hear about deltas are from those that never used them. They weren't popular because of weight, cost and PITA factor for shops - who rec'd easier to work on brakes.

Getting pads for them now is a challenge, and if you lose the plates - have fun. They're also a bit hard on cables.

They're a really cool, interesting part, and they amply strong...it's always fun to use them on rides. As far as aesthetics...they're undeniably sexy and unique.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:50 PM
  #36  
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Actually, that IS quite a different mechanism than Shimano used, looks like a real Rube Goldberg contraption. Form over function. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but the whole New Age "pyramid" phenomenon was in full swing during the early 80's. Were the Campy designers burning a bit too much incense back then?

With my luck, I would be terrified riding around with brakes that could be trashed with one nail stuck in the back tire.
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Old 08-12-19, 01:30 PM
  #37  
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The one on the right looks like it has experienced tire wear!

I too, don't find them attractive. The look bulbous to me, compared to others. my favorite are the monoplanar's. Still stylish and functional with a hint of being functionally symmetric.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:06 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
Love'm and they do stop. I do admit to not being able to adjust the Croc d'Aune Delta's that I once had although I didn't put that much time into adjusting them as I did with my Record examples.

Note in Gary's image, at least two versions of caliper, and three versions of lever.
(I think that is the bulk of them)
Note the variation in clearance.
He has set them up correctly where the side upper arms are flush with the main body, not sunk, not proud. Good work.
Where these get tricky is that the optimal mechanical advantage is in a narrow range of the mechanism, go outside that and curious results.
Wear the pads too much, less power.
not toe them in properly, noise.
(easier with the later holders that have an allen key set screw to assist in toe in.

A brake for the watchmaker capable mechanic.

Soldier the end of the fresh wire before cutting down to length just at and beyond the pinch bolt really helps, use flux!
Stainless cables? Silver soldier.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:09 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Note in Gary's image, at least two versions of caliper, and three versions of lever.
(I think that is the bulk of them)
Note the variation in clearance.
He has set them up correctly where the side upper arms are flush with the main body, not sunk, not proud. Good work.
Where these get tricky is that the optimal mechanical advantage is in a narrow range of the mechanism, go outside that and curious results.
Wear the pads too much, less power.
not toe them in properly, noise.
(easier with the later holders that have an allen key set screw to assist in toe in.

A brake for the watchmaker capable mechanic.

Soldier the end of the fresh wire before cutting down to length just at and beyond the pinch bolt really helps, use flux!
Stainless cables? Silver soldier.
I must say that your observation skills are pretty damn good! I don't always solder the ends but that is due to laziness - soldering is pretty much mandatory. And.... the 3.5mm Allen Key was a nasty thing for Campagnolo to do.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:09 PM
  #40  
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Old 08-12-19, 11:40 PM
  #41  
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Passed a dude on a recent retro ride that featured some pretty hairy gravel descents. I asked him, "how are those Deltas going?" He replied, "they don't stop!"
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Old 08-13-19, 01:15 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Passed a dude on a recent retro ride that featured some pretty hairy gravel descents. I asked him, "how are those Deltas going?" He replied, "they don't stop!"
Hahaha, if they're not adjusted properly pulling on the lever can only be a suggestion to the calliper to slow things down.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 08-13-19 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 08-13-19, 09:29 AM
  #43  
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I use one finger, the same as with my Record side pulls on another bike.
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Old 08-13-19, 03:10 PM
  #44  
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I love Deltas, I have them on 5 bikes. They are a PITA to set up but when done properly they work fine IME. I have taken to replacing the pads/holders with modern Campy ones, I think that really helps.

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The Delta brakes were fussy. Often one had to use narrow tires. Guys were training on 25's and 28's- the bigger tire often a problem. Esp the Specialized Turbo with the raised center rib..
Record Deltas don't have much clearance, but Croce d'Aune Deltas do. They mount differently than the Records and that makes all the difference in the world....so I prefer the CdA version over the Record.

This tire measured 31.8mm. It helped that Sig. Losa was wise enough to make the brake mount so that the pads would be all the way down in the slot.

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Old 08-13-19, 08:47 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Not for me. I guess I'm one of the few that always thought they were ugly, from a purely design standpoint. They seem to work OK if set up correctly.
I'm with you Salamandrine.... aesthetically, I always viewed them as bloated in appearance. So, coupled with the struggles to get them adequately adjusted, and no improved performance (even adequately adjusted), I never really understood the lusting and the drooling. To each his own though.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:59 PM
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I managed to tune mine to a very mediocre performance level. That is, they performed as well as a junker 1990's Walmart bike with petrified pads.

So, they were usable, anyway. I've never been a big fan of powerful brakes. Seems all they do is make you go slower, amirite?
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Old 08-14-19, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
I managed to tune mine to a very mediocre performance level. That is, they performed as well as a junker 1990's Walmart bike with petrified pads.


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Old 08-14-19, 09:03 AM
  #48  
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They tend to thrown onto contemporary lugged steel frames which are delicate in appearance, and they just crush them, visually. They don't look all that wrong on something more beefy. True for most of the C-Rec group parts.
Can't say they work any worse than other stuff of that period. I hate the fiddly adjustment more than their braking performance, but then i have a soft spot for parts that achieve a simple task sort of half-assed by doing it very complicated (*cough* Cambio Corsa *cough*)...

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Old 08-14-19, 09:06 AM
  #49  
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I have a pair of the last generation .. five pivot points and they stop really well. I think better than the super record of the era. But yeah .. they are hard to work on and a pain in the ass.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Bicycling Magazine has posted an article about the Delta brakes. I've always been smitten by their appearance but have never tried any.

THEY WERE A DESIGN MASTERPIECE AND A MECHANICAL NIGHTMARE. WHY WE CAN’T STOP OBSESSING OVER THE DELTA BRAKE.

https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...o-delta-brake/


Bill, what did you want out of this thread? You're not known for starting trolling threads, and perhaps have sworn a duty to fight trolls wherever they are.
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