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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 08-14-19, 01:04 PM
  #51  
jethin
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I’d like to try them, but there’s only so much plasma I can “donate.”
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Old 08-14-19, 02:09 PM
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There is lot of rumour-ish bull**** thrown around the net about these brakes. Frankly - I do not understand all the talk about them being difficult to set up. What is the problem? I just do not get it... It is a brake and if you have a look at it you will understand how it works and what to do. I thought younger generations were "plug and play" - not us old guys!?

And not having enough stopping power? I just do not get that either. I have never seen a case where brakes were the limiting factor when having to stop. The bicyclist, the tires, the road surface - yes - but the stopping power of the brakes - I call bull****.


If you do not like Deltas - do say they are ugly and/or heavy. Not that they are difficult to set up and not having enough power because that is just utter nonsense. That is just whining and uneducated blabber.

I am actually not a Delta brake fanboy. I like them well enough because I used a pair for many years on my race bike. I like how they look and they perform well and nowadays I use them for period correct builds. They take no longer to set up than any other brake if you have basic understanding of mechanics.




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Old 08-14-19, 02:48 PM
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I started this thread about these brakes because I wanted to hear the opinions of our forum members and hear of the experiences using them. Obviously, different members have different opinions and have had different experiences with them. That doesn't mean that they have poor set up skills and are throwing around bull****. Perhaps, rather than spew a bunch of vitriol and inslults, you could give us your setup tips and guidance so that others may enjoy a better braking experience.

Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
There is lot of rumour-ish bull**** thrown around the net about these brakes. Frankly - I do not understand all the talk about them being difficult to set up. What is the problem? I just do not get it... It is a brake and if you have a look at it you will understand how it works and what to do. I thought younger generations were "plug and play" - not us old guys!?

And not having enough stopping power? I just do not get that either. I have never seen a case where brakes were the limiting factor when having to stop. The bicyclist, the tires, the road surface - yes - but the stopping power of the brakes - I call bull****.


If you do not like Deltas - do say they are ugly and/or heavy. Not that they are difficult to set up and not having enough power because that is just utter nonsense. That is just whining and uneducated blabber.

I am actually not a Delta brake fanboy. I like them well enough because I used a pair for many years on my race bike. I like how they look and they perform well and nowadays I use them for period correct builds. They take no longer to set up than any other brake if you have basic understanding of mechanics.
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Old 08-14-19, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
It is a brake and if you have a look at it you will understand how it works and what to do.
Someone once said "that is just whining and uneducated blabber."

Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
I have never seen a case where brakes were the limiting factor when having to stop.
I hope you're referring to Deltas specifically. Because there are a whole lot of Wal-Mart bikes and dried out pads out there just begging to differ.

Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
Not that they are difficult to set up and not having enough power because that is just utter nonsense.
Pray, enlighten us as to your Delta setup. I'm sure we'd all like to get the same stellar performance from them that you do.

-Kurt
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Old 08-14-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Someone once said "that is just whining and uneducated blabber."



I hope you're referring to Deltas specifically. Because there are a whole lot of Wal-Mart bikes and dried out pads out there just begging to differ.



Pray, enlighten us as to your Delta setup. I'm sure we'd all like to get the same stellar performance from them that you do.

-Kurt
Hi Kurt,

Not having English as my native language does not hinder me from sensing your sarcasm. I believe I will enlighten the ones that are interested - yes - my next build in line do actually incorporate Delta brakes anyway (a Bianchi Proto Caurus). If you would have taken your time to check what I have written here on BF you might have noticed my threads being full of information on how to build bikes and that I am happy to share my tips and tricks.

In the below link you will find a summery of project threads and the links to find them:
Styggno1's 2018 bike chronicle
And this is from the year before:
Styggno1's 2017 bike chronicle

So - Kurt - are you ready to get some Deltas installed?
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Old 08-14-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by styggno1 View Post
Hi Kurt,

Not having English as my native language does not hinder me from sensing your sarcasm. I believe I will enlighten the ones that are interested - yes - my next build in line do actually incorporate Delta brakes anyway (a Bianchi Proto Caurus). If you would have taken your time to check what I have written here on BF...
Then enlighten us.

-Kurt
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Old 08-14-19, 03:58 PM
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I will - thru a build thread.
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Old 08-14-19, 04:35 PM
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Didn't find Deltas any tougher to set up than other centerpulls ('long as you have a 3rd hand). Wasn't happy to shell out for the Delta specific 3.5mm allen wrench, but I was fortunate enough to pick the Deltas up before they went through the roof. Once the "cool & new" factor wore off I was happy to trade them away for some equally cool, but much lighter cobalto calipers.

If I recall correctly the cobaltos weighed about half as much?!
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Old 08-15-19, 12:08 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Danny S View Post
Didn't find Deltas any tougher to set up than other centerpulls ('long as you have a 3rd hand).
I know no other centerpulls where the cable has to be cut to precise length *before* i can mount a wheel to check it actually *is* the correct length? Also, with Deltas, the correct position of the paralleogram matters a lot.

Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I hope you're referring to Deltas specifically. Because there are a whole lot of Wal-Mart bikes and dried out pads out there just begging to differ.
Deltas performing worse than those of a Wal-Mart bikes and dried out pads, that is about as true as saying a bike with toeclips is unrideable. Big Mig won on them, as did Delgado or Fondriest. Show some respect!

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Old 08-15-19, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
Deltas performing worse than those of a Wal-Mart bikes and dried out pads, that is about as true as saying a bike with toeclips is unrideable. Big Mig won on them, as did Delgado or Fondriest. Show some respect!
The act of winning a race on Deltas and the act of preparing a bicycle so it stops safely are two completely different things. Show some logic!

-Kurt
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Old 08-15-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
The act of winning a race on Deltas and the act of preparing a bicycle so it stops safely are two completely different things. Show some logic!

-Kurt
I'm pretty sure Big Mig didn't set up his own brakes, but he managed to bring his fat a** safely to the bottom of the Monte Grappa with them, which, i'm sure, would be a challenge for some paceliners even with discs
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Old 08-15-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
I'm pretty sure Big Mig didn't set up his own brakes, but he managed to bring his fat a** safely to the bottom of the Monte Grappa with them, which, i'm sure, would be a challenge for some paceliners even with discs
Fair point. I still don't see where it correlates with my point though.

Until someone posts up a workflow for setting up Deltas that works or improves braking performance for 80% of everyone who tries it, these are just anecdotes.

Also really surprised that there's been exactly one mention about Kool-Stop pads on Deltas so far...

-Kurt
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Old 08-15-19, 12:36 PM
  #63  
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Nothing new under the sun

Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Campy seems to have borrowed heavily from the design Shimano used for their AX brakes circa 1982:



The Delta and the AX came about in the mid 80s. Both shamelessly copied the Sunbeam center pull from the 1930s.

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Old 08-15-19, 01:03 PM
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Inside of the 3rd gen. You can see how if the bottom anchor bolt moves to far up that the brakes can lock up


The purpose of this hook is to center the brake cable as it enters the top of the delta brakes, otherwise the cable "angles" over to the brakes


the hook from the drive side, you can see how it pivots on the seat binder bolt



Ok, so here are my thoughts... My Delta's don't stop well, or at least they didn't until I changed the oem pads (early 1990's era) which had aged and gotten hard with new black Kool-Stops.....now they work very, very well.

As far as setting up, I've never had a huge problem but being there were 5 generations maybe some of the earlier ones were harder? I know that the first gen were discontinued very early on so I'm not sure many have survived to today. Gen 2 & 3 were a three pivot bolt design (mine are Gen 3). IMO the hardest issue is getting the pads close to the rims (hoping your rims are TRUE!! because the design flaw of the Gen 2 & 3 is that if the pads have to travel too far until they reach the rim then there is the possibility of the parallelogram inverting and creating an inverted 'V'. If this happens the brakes will lock up and you'll have a devil of the time trying to "unlock' it. I've never had this happen other than reading about it and "fooling" around with them on the repair stand. Gen 4 & 5 resolved this issue with the 5 pivot bolt design.

Some of the things I've read over the years indicate that because there are so many parts in the delta brake (I think somewhere between 70-80 pieces) and the high polish of the exterior caused the brakes to be both heavy and complicated to manufacture and therefore expensive. Once the dual pivot brakes came out the laws of economics (expensive, small volume & shrinking market) contributed to their demise. One of my favorite quotes from back in the day (I can't remember where I read it) was "... never have some many parts been employed to create such mediocre performance..." Ouch!! that's gotta hurt.

Nonetheless.. they are one of my favorite brakes to use and they always get compliments!

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Old 08-15-19, 10:53 PM
  #65  
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One thing that I do not really like about my Deltas is that they have a tendency to collect a lot of road dirt and grit inside their casings. I still remember how long it took for me to flush out all the crap in it when I was cleaning it after I just acquired the brakeset. Modolo (Kronos) and Weinmann (Delta Pro) had a good idea of providing a full rubber cover on their Deltas, that mostly sealed them from road detritus and moisture....
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Old 08-15-19, 11:32 PM
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"I don't see why they should be harder to set up.." -- "..hardest issue is getting the pads close to the rims"

that is true, also i don't see why mastering classic greek should be hard, when the only hard issue is to learn the grammar, and the vocabulary.
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Old 08-16-19, 02:23 AM
  #67  
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Campy Delta "4 Pivot" Brakes

Originally Posted by shoff535 View Post

Gen 2 & 3 were a three pivot bolt design (mine are Gen 3).
I've got 3 sets of these brakes (only one set came installed on a frame); 2 sets are "5 Pivot" types (Gen. unknown 4 or 5), and one set are "4 Pivot" like pictured above. Unless I'm utterly confused; why are they called "3 Pivot" when there are obviously 4 separate pivot points on this generation? I don't know if mine are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Gens. Getting ready to install the older set on my 80's Gion Italia frame, so I'm curious to see what the difference in performance is between"3"/"4" pivot and "5" pivot versions. I've really had no problems with set-up of newer style; but yes, a true wheel goes a long way to making it a simpler task, and trimming cable properly. Of course aesthetics are always in the eye of the beholder (or "beer-holder"). I still prefer the monoplanar (Chorus) calipers over many higher end sets of the era, but now dual pivots; at least up front.
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Old 08-16-19, 02:36 AM
  #68  
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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.
Quote from Robbyville: " 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." I've done some mods for mine, but this previous point holds true, as well as, needing true rims and keeping the cable/housing entering on a straight line (I've done the "through the seatpost" thing). Otherwise, I'm still okay with them.

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Old 08-16-19, 04:08 AM
  #69  
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Where we're going you don't need brakes

I have always understood that the Delta and AX groupset were designed to be used on TT bikes. And most TT coursesaare short and flat and stopping effectively was secondary to the drag coefficients of the groupset . The AX differing in reduced outers and the Delta with fairings on the calipers and the rear mech. The rest of the groupos components aeroed much the same as each other. Besides the design nearly bankrupting Campagnolo the advent of aero bars was a hundred times more effective in reducing drag.
I have both a Delta group on a 1984 Holdsworth and a AX on a 1980s TT EG Bates and my Shimano 105s bike stops much better than either - especially in the rain.
I don't like shortened cables. I always have a few loops of cable beyond the fastener. I almost drilled a hole in the front plate of the Delta to accommodate my loop hangup. But cut it off once I'd trued the pads in. Cutting it beforehand sounds like asking for trouble IMHO.


Holdsworth Italia

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Old 08-16-19, 07:36 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
I have always understood that the Delta and AX groupset were designed to be used on TT bikes.
As far as i know, C-Rec with the Deltas were supposed to be the full-scale replacement/successor for the superrecordo, and they kept the older SR alongside it in the catalogue based on early pro riders feedback. but i stand to be corrected (now that i think of it, "C-Record" may actually mean "Crono Record").
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Old 08-16-19, 10:04 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
give us your setup tips and guidance so that others may enjoy a better braking experience.
Thanks "Bill", that's the way I feel regarding nearly everything cycling related on this site. I often learn something here as long as it relates directly to first hand experience and knowledge; be it riding, wrenching, and/or historical knowledge.
When it comes to these brakes, I pretty much use the same manner of setup that I do for most calipers. I don't know how others do theirs, but this has worked for me on various makes and models of brakes. Starting with mounting/centering the caliper for proper engagement to the rim. I mount the unit snug enough to avoid any undue movement of the unit on the bridge/fork (side to side, up down, etc.), but "loose" enough to still pivot the unit on the mounting bolt with some effort. This allows me to "clamp down" on the rim and have the caliper somewhat "center" itself to the wheel. I have the pads fairly well aligned on the rim before hand, and leave them just loose enough so that the pads will "self seat" themselves to the braking surface when clamping to the rim. Clamp down hard with the levers strap in place and tighten the pads as they sit if properly aligned. Tighten the mounting bolt, remove the strap on the lever and see if pads make proper simultaneous contact with the rim; tweak the caliper positioning if necessary and retighten mount nut. Unless something with the wheel build is amiss (too much bearing play, rim out of true, etc.), this should get you very close to a perfect setup; adjust pads for better braking surface alignment if necessary; keeping in mind that the entire caliper assembly will "flex" slightly (some more, some less) and change the contact angle of the pad to the braking surface when applying a fair amount of braking force. I always pre-adjust for this "flex" by having the front off the pad biased very slightly downward, while still maintaining full contact to rim, since braking force will cause the pad to "nose up" to a degree during braking. With "articulating" pads that can adjust for "toe/camber" angle, I do the same procedure, but since they can be tweaked to a greater degree; I'll determine after test riding if further adjustments are necessary and/or beneficial. On these types I'll put a very thin wedge/shim between the pad and the rim (does not cover the whole pad surface, only top, bottom, front, or rear depending on need), clamp down and strap the lever, and loosen the pad just enough for it to "self align" to shim/rim for a more positive engagement to the rim and/or to reduce/eliminate noise and/vibration; retighten and test. I use my brass "Shim-In-A-Can", or regular thin sheet paper for on the road adjustments. I'm no bike mechanic, but it has worked for me in the vast majority of times with various braking systems. It is rare that I have to make adjustments more than a couple times after initial setup. With the Deltas I never really had any problems, nor did they take much more or less time than other brakes. If I could fit Deltas to my old Raleigh Sports I'd do it because those OE steel calipers are the ones I spend the most time messing around with, and I'm never satisfied; usually end up leaving a much wider space between rim and pad, and I can never get really good simultaneous rim contact. That's all I've got.
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Old 08-16-19, 10:10 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by HPL View Post
I've got 3 sets of these brakes (only one set came installed on a frame); 2 sets are "5 Pivot" types (Gen. unknown 4 or 5), and one set are "4 Pivot" like pictured above. Unless I'm utterly confused; why are they called "3 Pivot" when there are obviously 4 separate pivot points on this generation? I don't know if mine are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Gens. .....
Technically, you are correct. The convention that I've followed is that even though the cable anchor bolt is also a pivot point, it's not counted because it is "dual purpose"; additionally, the "pivot points" generally are referred to as axles.

more info can be found at this site where the different iterations are discusses (as well as the pivot points)

campagnolo delta brakes: Campagnolo delta brakes

and for those ambitious enough to rebuild there's here is a good link

https://www.bikehugger.com/posts/the...o-delta-brake/

Here is a link to an blog post by Calvin Jones (Park Tool) on setting up Deltas

http://promechanics.com/resources/tutorials/brkdlta/

Last edited by shoff535; 08-16-19 at 11:15 AM. Reason: added more info
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Old 08-16-19, 10:22 AM
  #73  
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I was at my old home last month and found a bike I rode when in early high school; I had somehow mounted 2 calipers to the rear bridge, one in front of it and the other in back. I have no idea of how I ever got them adjusted (if I even did!). During my "Dr. Frankenstein" days. I need to get a picture (and maybe a patent) of that insanity!
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Old 08-16-19, 10:53 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I agree worst brake ever! Send all the ones you're not using to me for proper disposal
How's that "trash can" of Deltas filling up for you? I'll help you bring them to the "recycling" center.
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Old 08-16-19, 02:46 PM
  #75  
Choke 
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
I know no other centerpulls where the cable has to be cut to precise length *before* i can mount a wheel to check it actually *is* the correct length?
I don't cut the cable first. I put it through the slot and run it off to the side of the tire and once I'm satisfied that the length is correct and everything is tightened down I cut it with a Dremel cut off disc.
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