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Vintage Brakes?

Old 07-14-21, 08:02 PM
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road195 
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Vintage Brakes?

Hello, I wanted to ask what, brakes given the two brands other than Campagnolo do you like and why. Choice between Galli and Modolo. Mid eighties build, time to ponder. Thanks
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Old 07-14-21, 08:18 PM
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Universal made some really cool Squadra, single pull in a dark grey. Strong springs. I used them and loved them. Per Velobase
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Old 07-14-21, 08:34 PM
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I like to match the calipers with the levers. My Modolo Speedy levers feel so good in my hands on my Miyata.



... with kool-stop pads for Modolo, of course.
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Old 07-14-21, 08:55 PM
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-----

found that the Galli lever seems to have the longest reach in the industry

anyone with smallish hands would have trouble reaching them from the drops

---

Modolo products are produced by the firm OMMAS - no relation to the brand OMAS

prior to settling upon the Modolo name they produced their brakes under the OMMAS one

this model of OMMAS lever bears a striking resemblance fo the Fratelli Pietra model 301:














OMMAS / Modolo was founded by Adamo Modolo in 1952
-----

Last edited by juvela; 07-14-21 at 09:39 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 07-15-21, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I like to match the calipers with the levers. My Modolo Speedy levers feel so good in my hands on my Miyata.



... with kool-stop pads for Modolo, of course.
I also love the Speedy levers. They were very good quality and had a really nice shape to them. They also had really nice Modolo pantographing (The older Speedy with the Modolo name diagonally pantoed on the top front of the lever) and some drillium with knurling going down the front of the lever. I remember buying Speedy levers to replace the MAFAC LSX levers that I messed up in a crash in the early 80's, and was surprised by how really nice they were for being levers from a mid model brakesef. Frankly, I think the Speedy lever design was in a much higher level than the Speedy calipers, which were quite thin in section and flexy.

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Old 07-15-21, 09:08 AM
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I'd go with Modolo as well, assuming Galli and Modolo are your only choices. Modolo calipers assemble differently than Campy and its variants though. I'd spend a little time tearing them down and putting them back together before mounting them on a frame. Also, Modolo Corsa are ubiquitous, but they are the very lowest end of the lineup. They work, but don't inspire confidence. The lever bodies are also plastic (maybe good for a weight weenie build). I'd look for something more upscale, like those Speedy's on SurferRosa's Miyata.
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Old 07-15-21, 04:08 PM
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Mafac Racer because they work very good and have lots of adjustment opportunity. The levers are as comfortable as any and they are NOT drilled (I do not trust drilled levers anymore). Not fussy on the half hoods, though.


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Old 07-15-21, 06:38 PM
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mid 80's?
I'd go with Shimano. I've got some Ultegra SLR sidepulls that I bought in '89, and they are great! Worlds better than my Campy Record brakes of the 70's.

Steve in Peoria
(to be honest, my Weinmann centerpulls are at least as good as the Campy Record sidepulls too)
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Old 07-16-21, 07:27 AM
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I've always been fond of Campagnolo's cam-type caliper release. After Campagnolo's patent lapsed, you could find them on other brakes, e.g. SunTour Superbe, various Gran Compe models, and even Shimano. Zeus worked around Campagnolo's patent by mounting the release differently:
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Old 07-16-21, 08:00 AM
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New Gran Compe 450B...or Zeus 2000!
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Old 07-16-21, 08:04 AM
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Thanks, for all input. I next need to determine arm reach?
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Old 07-16-21, 08:05 AM
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^^^^^ +1; Cam release is useful when a wheel goes out of true mid-ride, for example, after hitting a pothole.
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Old 07-16-21, 10:07 AM
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oh... almost forgot...
maybe consider the Campy Monoplanar sidepulls, just for the novelty and cool factor?
Maybe not as cool as the Delta brakes, but easier to deal with and possibly better performance.




one downside of these is that there isn't a quick-release in the caliper.
To be honest, if you are running 23mm tires, a QR isn't always needed. I think the contemporary Campy brake levers had a QR built into them.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 07-16-21, 04:14 PM
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I use either good old Weinmann Vainqueur 999 or Shimano aero levers, because the reach on most other levers, particularly Modolos, Campagnolos, or Mafacs, is just a bit too long to enable me to grab the brakes quickly and hard in a panic stop, if I am on the drops. For best brake performance and control, I use high-quality modern cables and KoolStop pads. I gave up steel rims decades ago, and they were the first thing I gave away when I started rebuilding my newly-acquired Carlton.
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Old 07-16-21, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by road195 View Post
Thanks, for all input. I next need to determine arm reach?
Lots of other great optionsroad195 but I thought you were limited to Galli and Modolo?

I have a set of Monoplaner brakes with the corresponding levers on my Serotta. The calipers are the cheaper Mirage version (not as much bling). Not sure about the levers. I love the look of the calipers, but I think the levers are kind of clunky. They work well though.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:05 PM
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How about Dura Ace, the first generation came out circa 1974, if that's old enough. They are very good quality.
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Old 07-17-21, 05:17 AM
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The best brakes I own , and I have a lot of the brakes mentioned above, are the Gran Compe NGC 400 with Aero levers that came on my Medici. Coming to a complete , controlled stop , even on a down hill , is easy. When I bought the bike , the owner had a box with the original Campy SR brakes but I never put them on the bike after the first time I rode it. The bike is a 1982 so I’m guessing they are mid eighties brakes. The calipers are exact copies of Campagnolo but seem to work better, not quite sure why. I think second in line for stopping(not looks) is the Mafac Racers on my Mondia. The Mafac can be adjusted perfectly but take a bit longer to set up. Once adjusted properly , they stop very well. I also agree about Universal brakes , they work well too. There are quite a few brake choices for a vintage bike and some are better than others, but set up and brake pad choice are crucial for success , regardless of which brand.
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Old 07-17-21, 05:28 AM
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I have never owned or tried the two choices.
I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the Superbe Pro on my 760. Very effective and smooth operation
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Old 07-17-21, 07:26 AM
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What is the issue with Galli, levers, in the hand to big as in out further? Larger block depth sitting out further than others? I like the Modolo Race brake?
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Old 07-17-21, 09:20 AM
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Im using Galli levers on a build.
But what hoods will fit?



also gold ano Galli on another bike
(Sorry, Not a great pic)


But I would use the Modolo levers on an 80s build, the Galli looks 1970s to me.
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Old 07-17-21, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Im using Galli levers on a build.
But what hoods will fit?



also gold ano Galli on another bike
(Sorry, Not a great pic)


But I would use the Modolo levers on an 80s build, the Galli looks 1970s to me.
Those look similar to Universal or Balilla lever bodies. I seem to recall some modern reproductions of these.
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Old 07-17-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Those look similar to Universal or Balilla lever bodies. I seem to recall some modern reproductions of these.
I have repops for a set of Universal levers (from Rustines). But they seem a tad small for the Galli, by my measurement. And at $55USD I did not order a set for a trial in 'trying to make them fit'. Maybe someone with stronger hands or better dish soap could get them on.


Le vlo - Rustines

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Old 07-17-21, 02:02 PM
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If you don't mind the "modern" or "period-incorrect" appearance of aero levers, I do appreciate the 10-15% increase in leverage they afford.
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Old 07-17-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by road195 View Post
What is the issue with Galli, levers, in the hand to big as in out further? Larger block depth sitting out further than others? I like the Modolo Race brake?

Wow - this is a really Great Question.
For starters, I have relatively large hands & long fingers, so this is not an issue for me:
I have 2 bikes w/ Galli (one in final build), one with Universal & one Modolo.
I went out and tried to take measurements to answer the question, but found that shape of bar, placement of the brake lever on the bar, rotation position of bar, kinda made the numbers meaningless. And with original hoods, repop hoods and no hoods = measuring the dimensions of the actual metal bits wasn't accurate enough. (sorry, not disassembling bikes for measurements, hahaha)

My only experience with a Ballila brake lever hood - a relatively intact, transparent set - was that it was long enough, but slightly too small to slide onto the 'body' of a Universal or Galli.

for my Galli brake levers i'm at the decision point of altering a cheap set of some new hoods, or continuing the search for an original in 'nearly new' or a reproduced replacement.

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Old 07-17-21, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
If you don't mind the "modern" or "period-incorrect" appearance of aero levers, I do appreciate the 10-15% increase in leverage they afford.
The OP mentions mid-'80s; aero brake levers are perfectly period-correct. They were standard on my '86 Ironman.
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