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MAFAC Racer part

Old 02-02-22, 04:19 AM
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Spellscape
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MAFAC Racer part

Hi all

This aluminium washer have crack but still holding. Do I need to replace it with bike specific part or any similar sized washer will do?
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Old 02-02-22, 07:08 AM
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a) any similar that will fit will do;
b) don't ride it, if it brakes that could be sudden and severe in effect; and
c) that doesn't look like a Racer part (they don't have serrations and scallops), and the shoe says "RADER" - more pics please...
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Old 02-02-22, 07:28 AM
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It's 2 different Racer versions from Randonee and Mixte

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Old 02-02-22, 07:37 AM
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I believe the upper photo is a CLB Racer brake.....

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Old 02-02-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Spellscape View Post
Hi all

This aluminium washer have crack but still holding. Do I need to replace it with bike specific part or any similar sized washer will do?
The yellow highlighting seems to be obscuring the view somewhat. Is the “crack” the faint diagonal line across the top of the washer? Unsure of what exactly would have caused the damage to the washer. I agree that the washer doesn’t look to be a part on an “original” Mafac RACER brake caliper. I’m not a Mafac expert but the top photo looks more like a “knock off” / clone perhaps from the Soviet era? Not familiar with CLB Racer brakes.
Im also not a bicycle engineer so I can’t say how unsafe it would be to continue to ride the bike with the cracked washer. It does seem unlikely that the compression of the brake shoe post against the washer would cause further damage. However, if the brake shoe failed to be held securely and somehow migrated into the spokes of a turning wheel, catastrophe could be the result.
I guess I’d be looking for a replacement part or maybe fabricating one.
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Old 02-02-22, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sovende View Post
The yellow highlighting seems to be obscuring the view somewhat. Is the “crack” the faint diagonal line across the top of the washer? Unsure of what exactly would have caused the damage to the washer. I agree that the washer doesn’t look to be a part on an “original” Mafac RACER brake caliper. I’m not a Mafac expert but the top photo looks more like a “knock off” / clone perhaps from the Soviet era? Not familiar with CLB Racer brakes.
Im also not a bicycle engineer so I can’t say how unsafe it would be to continue to ride the bike with the cracked washer. It does seem unlikely that the compression of the brake shoe post against the washer would cause further damage. However, if the brake shoe failed to be held securely and somehow migrated into the spokes of a turning wheel, catastrophe could be the result.
I guess I’d be looking for a replacement part or maybe fabricating one.
It's 2 different brakes both supplied with Nordstar and Meral bikes.
On photo not cracked part - just illustration for what part I part.
what I really didn't knew is that CLB made also Racer brakes. ( They only have Racer and France words on both front and rear)
I surely will replace washer. Just wanted to check is it supposed to be specific (not counting dimensions) part or any metal washer will do.

Last edited by Spellscape; 02-02-22 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 02-02-22, 08:48 AM
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There's a short history of CLB on this facebook post for those interested in some of the history. I don't know this for a fact but I suspect by the 70s CLB was trying to get a bit of a halo from MAFAC by making brakes very similar to the various MAFAC models and naming them for confusion (or perhaps it was the other way around - anyone know? juvela ?)

For some reason the link is not showing even though it is in my post: So with apologies to the original author for quoting:

CLB : The lightest brakes-set made in 70' •
CLB , standing for Charles Lozier Bourgoin this creator of the brand, is a company that you maybe never heard about. However, from 1930 to 1951 CLB was one of the giants of the brakes and brakes levers in Europe and especially in France.
The story starts before WWII where a shift occurs from old pre-WWI steel brakes to alloy brakes. The equation was to provide a brake using alloy to be lighter but with the same braking efficiency than steel. Indeed steel was much stiffer than alloy, so using the same old shape of brakes calipers was leading to poor braking efficiency.
In Britain LAM was the leader of the market, proposing a very good alloy brakes calipers but also the first set of hood brakes levers, which give an ultimate increase in terms of comfort. Founded in 1931 in St Chamond near Saint Etienne ( Middle East France) CLB used these innovations to provide absolutely outstanding brake sets. One of their first released was the Professional and Alp Comp sets. Between 40' and 50' CLB was the favorite and became a standard on all daily and professional build. Why? Because their efficiency was far beyond competitor, these brakes were used by professionals such as Percy Stallard who later become a bicycle shop still using and promoting CLB brakes on his build
Percy Stallard was a legend of his time, cycling as professional with participation in three consecutive world championships (1933–1935). Later in his life he explored and pushed limits of cycling by achieving things which have never been done before such as in 1965, where he rode the Theodul pass near Zermatt between Switzerland and Italy. The pass is 10,976 feet high and Stallard made it in less than 15 hours in snowy conditions. Later RSF (Rough Stuff Fellowship - See article
) confirmed that he was surely the first cyclist to achieve this exploit.
In the middle 50' CLB was at his top, offering a side pulled alloy brake calipers, with a unique quick-release, a cable adjuster and brass bolts. These brakes were a perfect answer to present needs, with post wars destruction, roads were in very bad condition and punctures were common. The quick released prove himself really useful on post-WWII tour de France.
But while focusing on the side pulled brakes, CLB left an entire corner to another brand who will become a giant in 1970 1980 MAFAC. Embracing the center pulled market, MAFAC slowly starts to become more popular than CLB. In late 1960 CLB decided to orient his work on weight savings.
In late 1970 CLB, after years of work and innovations, offer a pair of brakes named CLB Professionel, the short-reach only weight 129 gr ( See photo 4). Some versions were even closed to 102 gr: "I have two different versions, that are looking the same from distance, but when you take a closer look you'll find the following differences: Vers. 1: everything made out of aluminum except the spring Vers. 2: main bolt made out of steel, also the cable adjustment screw. Other screws have a shiny surface but are not magnetic, so maybe out of stainless steel or titanium. Weight difference to Vers. 1: +26 gr. " Fightfooter (Velo Base User) To complement this amazing product CLB was manufacturing a duralinox cable housing which only weights 85 gr a set. " Added to CLB's "Compact Professionel" brake calipers and levers, the cable set completes the super lightweight brakes concept CLB was famous for " Chombi (Velo Base User). This set was even used by Jeannie Longo in 2008 Olympics game.
But be the lightest was not enough to stay in the race. CLB firstly loose his french market against MAFAC and Britain market against WEINMANN. A short entry in the US market was not sufficient to save the brand from the end of all major brands in Europe (Simplex, Huret, Maillard ...). CLB is bought by SACHS in 1984 and directed to VITUS to work on aluminum frames. But after few years SACHS simply closed down the manufacture, and in 1997 SACHS will be bought by SRAM, and moved the production in Taiwan in 2013.
We were not able to find any photo of Charles Lozier Bourgoin, which is really sad considering the amount of work this guy did for our pleasure, innovating for the standard of today. So if you guys find one, or even have more information to had to the CLB legend please comment or drop us a message.


Last edited by markk900; 02-02-22 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Can't insert FB link for some reason
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Old 02-02-22, 09:05 AM
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Old 02-02-22, 09:10 AM
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I didn't read through the whole post, but I have a few dozen of these washers, along with other Mafac brake parts. Happy to drop a set of four in the mail to you, no charge. Just let me know where, via private message!
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Old 02-02-22, 09:19 AM
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Actually I forgot that havent posted my Mixte here
So here it is. Actually CLB on brakes can be seen on handlebars
Starnord Mixte
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Old 02-02-22, 10:05 AM
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Often erroneously confused ....CLB RACER ....and ....MAFAC RACER = not the same
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Old 02-02-22, 10:06 AM
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I need forMAFAC
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Old 02-02-22, 10:52 AM
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@markk900 amazing post!! I did not know all that history, but I always sorta liked that CLB stuff remains little-known among the French bike fanatics. Unlike the well-known MAFAC and whatnot, it's still relatively easy to get period-correct CLB stuff affordably, because nobody knows who they are.

And my Vitus 979 still has the CLB logo cast into the bottom bracket! I thought it was very cool to see that.

But that brake of the OP's - it's definitely a CLB racer. It should have CLB logo somewhere on it. I know because I have one!
That said, a MAFAC washer will also work.
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Old 02-02-22, 12:42 PM
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scarlson The CLB Racer 73 brakes on one of my Frenchies has no CLB logo anywhere, and from the catalog page I posted there were some years of the CLB Racer at least that also had no logo on them. I saw a number of pictures of CLBs online and many did indeed have the logo, so perhaps by the time of this bike they had dropped it.

Spellscape You had asked if you need the washers for MAFAC - It appears not. I suspect you don't need them either for CLB, but if you have them or can get them they seem to serve a nice purpose.
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Old 02-02-22, 12:48 PM
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Cracked part
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Old 02-02-22, 12:51 PM
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Old 02-02-22, 05:31 PM
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FYI: there should be plenty of MAFAC stuff around - I think you already had an offer for washers free of charge......I would not worry overly about the cracked one but get a new one sooner rather than later. Also orient the existing washer so that the crack is not being pressed down on by the brake shoe holder. Should last a while.
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