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VO center pulls

Old 08-02-10, 03:07 PM
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chewybrian 
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VO center pulls

Forgive my vintage ignorance, but I know you guys know these things.

Do THESE (new Velo Orange center pull brakes) not require any special braze-ons? I thought the old center pull brakes needed special posts, sort of like cantilever mounts.

If I'm right about the mounting, then how would this brake set compare to new 105 or Ultegra? Are there any advantages/disadvantages of either system?

The only reason I prefer these is looks. It's for a new steel bike, not vintage. The use would be rando, so all-weather dependability would be nice; don't have to be the cutting edge of performance.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:31 PM
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Try the Tektro R538. They're nice. I know their is a lot of hatred on this forums for Tektro, but I have these on my Franklin. They work great. Plenty of room for fenders and the quick release on them will easily slide a 32mm tire without having to defalte them. Dul pivot brakes offer as good or better stopping power then center pulls. IMO
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Old 08-02-10, 03:39 PM
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I think those new V-O brakes might make sense for a rando bike as you'll have plenty of clearance for tires and fenders. Of course, you could find on eBay used Weinmann/Dia Compe 610 brakes for a fraction of what these V-O brakes cost (though you'd have to deal with getting the hardware to mount them on a frame set up for recessed brakes). These new brakes copy the style of traditional center-pull brakes, which mount to the fork crown and brake bridge, not to special frame studs. You'll see some custom applications of putting Mafac or Weinmann centerpulls directly on to frame studs, but those are relatively unusual (and pricey!). The Weinmann 999 center pull, of which these are a revised version, dominated the market for a good chunk of the 1960s and 1970s. They have their fans and their detractors. The V-O brakes just came out, so we'll see how well they're received and how well they work.

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Old 08-02-10, 03:45 PM
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Why bother with reproductions when the Weinmanns are still made?
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Old 08-02-10, 03:49 PM
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1) VO may be selling them, but they're Gran Compe brakes, made by Dia Compe.

2) Brazed-on centerpulls are exceedingly rare - in 35 years, I've seen ONE bike with 'em: a Peugeot PY-10CP that I still wish I'd bought.

3) The word on the street is that long-reach dual pivots (like the above-mentioned Tektro) don't work as well as centerpulls: less power, more flex, poor modulation and less fender clearance. They ARE easier to set up, tho'.

4) Why bother with Weinmanns, when it's still easy to get the best centerpulls made: MAFAC. Yeah, I know, "they squeal and flex and... yada yada" Lose the old rubber-and-rag brake blocks, get some Koolstops and they work just great. Quiet, great modulation, enough braking power to stop a train. Oh, and they're way lighter than Weinmanns or Dia Compes. What's not to like? 'Sides, MAFACs got class, IMNSHO. They were good enuf for Anquetil, Pou-pou, Thevenet, et al, so...

SP
Bend, OR

Last edited by bobbycorno; 08-02-10 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:51 PM
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https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=9533

Diacompe branded for $50.

Edit - VO has the correct bolts for old bikes - very handy.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Forgive my vintage ignorance, but I know you guys know these things.

Do THESE (new Velo Orange center pull brakes) not require any special braze-ons? I thought the old center pull brakes needed special posts, sort of like cantilever mounts.

If I'm right about the mounting, then how would this brake set compare to new 105 or Ultegra? Are there any advantages/disadvantages of either system?

The only reason I prefer these is looks. It's for a new steel bike, not vintage. The use would be rando, so all-weather dependability would be nice; don't have to be the cutting edge of performance.
No, they mount up the same as road bike brakes, but with different hardware. see pics.




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Old 08-02-10, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sciencemonster View Post
https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...ls.php?id=9533

Diacompe branded for $50.

Edit - VO has the correct bolts for old bikes - very handy.
The link was nice, but that particular brakeset was crazy long reach, which I don't think would fit the bike. I guess the VO set or something like it could fit, which still leaves me wondering about how these kind of brakes work, in general. They must have had some positives, to be popular for 10 or 20 years. Do they stop well, in the rain, too, are they easy to adjust and maintain, etc.?
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Old 08-02-10, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
4) Why bother with Weinmanns, when it's still easy to get the best centerpulls made: MAFAC. Yeah, I know, "they squeal and flex and... yada yada" Lose the old rubber-and-rag brake blocks, get some Koolstops and they work just great. Quiet, great modulation, enough braking power to stop a train. Oh, and they're way lighter than Weinmanns or Dia Compes. What's not to like? 'Sides, MAFACs got class, IMNSHO. They were good enuf for Anquetil, Pou-pou, Thevenet, et al, so...

SP
Bend, OR
Weinmann/Dia Compe 750 have a fair amount more reach than Mafac Racers. Of course, there are Mafac Raids, but those are hard to find and pricey when you do (and I kick myself for selling a pair for about $35 a couple of years ago).

Neal
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Old 08-02-10, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Though you'd have to deal with getting the hardware to mount them on a frame set up for recessed brakes...
5-second chop with a Dremel.

-Kurt
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Old 08-02-10, 04:57 PM
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The VO centerpulls are not exactly the same as Weinmann and Dia-Compe brakes. VO says that they are CNC machined like the Paul brakes. I have no experience with CNC machined brakes but they claim that there is less flex in the arms. They are too pricey for me, but they look fantastic.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:17 PM
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millions of cheap bikes with no braze ons at all had similar brakes. The only issue that might require some work is the rear cable hanger. That depends on your seat post bolt.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:20 PM
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Am I the only one who's concerned that they're CNC rather than forged? Forging mitigates the potential weak areas caused by possible inclusions or porosity in the original casting. It also produces a grain which conforms to the shape of the finished object so you don't have the grain separation problems that machined castings are susceptible to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forging and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casting_defects

I'm not saying that they're going to fall apart or explode or whatever, but brakes take a lot of stress and are somewhat important. For the money, I'd find a set of OLD Gran Compe centerpulls or at least something which makes metallurgical sense.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cinco View Post
I'm not saying that they're going to fall apart or explode or whatever, but brakes take a lot of stress and are somewhat important. For the money, I'd find a set of OLD Gran Compe centerpulls or at least something which makes metallurgical sense.
I haven't seen a pair of Paul Racers shatter. Yet.

-Kurt
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Old 08-02-10, 05:35 PM
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If they were CNC'd it would be from a near net shape forging or an extruded bar. No one casts anything these days on bicycles. Forgings are a bit better than extrusions apples to apples but both are waaay better than cast. . Hey ilikebikes, what is that bike in the pic?
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Old 08-02-10, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post

4) Why bother with Weinmanns, when it's still easy to get the best centerpulls made: MAFAC. Yeah, I know, "they squeal and flex and... yada yada" Lose the old rubber-and-rag brake blocks, get some Koolstops and they work just great. Quiet, great modulation, enough braking power to stop a train. Oh, and they're way lighter than Weinmanns or Dia Compes. What's not to like? 'Sides, MAFACs got class, IMNSHO. They were good enuf for Anquetil, Pou-pou, Thevenet, et al, so...

SP
Bend, OR
+1

First thing I do on all my bikes is toss the brakes and slap Mafac Racers on. Oh, and I take off the horns and bells too - won't be needing those!
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Old 08-02-10, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
If they were CNC'd it would be from a near net shape forging or an extruded bar. No one casts anything these days on bicycles. Forgings are a bit better than extrusions apples to apples but both are waaay better than cast. . Hey ilikebikes, what is that bike in the pic?
My first thought is that if they were set up to do rough forgings, why wouldn't they just reproduce the old GCs? It'd probably add a bit to the price but I can't see how that'd matter for such a low-volume special-interest item as this. Since CNC is easy/cheap and forging is hard/expensive, them doing both wouldn't make sense to me. I'd go with the extrusion theory, but you never know - that metal had to be cast at some point and sometimes marketing wins over engineering. A machined extrusion still retains the grain issue, though. I'm not sure how much that'd bother me, realistically, but I am starting to get interested in their specific manufacturing process. I could always use some more useless information .
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Old 08-02-10, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I haven't seen a pair of Paul Racers shatter. Yet.

-Kurt
Paul racers mechanically are more close to Mafacs. I think they look a bit kludgy too, but that is just a design opinion.

These brakes from VO appear nice, my guess the reason for the machining vs. cast, forge, is tooling, code is cheaper than hard tooling.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
The link was nice, but that particular brakeset was crazy long reach, which I don't think would fit the bike. I guess the VO set or something like it could fit, which still leaves me wondering about how these kind of brakes work, in general. They must have had some positives, to be popular for 10 or 20 years. Do they stop well, in the rain, too, are they easy to adjust and maintain, etc.?
The stop well, work in the rain, and I find them easy to adjust and maintain.

Bicycle Quarterly devoted an entire issue to brakes and did a nice job of covering all the different designs. The centerpull is the standard that all other designs are measured by. The modern "dual pivot" sidepull is actually the same design as centerpull calipers with one arm moved over to the same side of the bike making housing and cable attachment easier.

The centerpull has better leverage than sidepulls as well as providing much better tire and fender clearance.

Centerpulls that are mounted on frame posts are especially strong.

The one mistake the centerpull manufacturers made was to make their otherwise great brakes affordable for every level of bike. Bike snobs (and I was one) couldn't understand why a recreational/touring bike with Campy components would have the same brakes as a Sear Free Spirit. I had to have a Campy sidepulls and yes, I found out they didn't work as well.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:14 PM
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I am a little scared by cnc'd components, but then I remind myself that it's just old superstition. I'm almost positive that anything less than a set of Campagnolo Record was not forged. The old DiaCompes were certainly not forged.

I wouldn't have used centerpulls back in the day because they weighed a lot more than Campagnolo Record brakes. At one point I was even using DiaCompe to save a few grams, that was a silly idea. Centerpulls were for tourists that really needed to stop. I could get the rear wheel off the ground with NR brakes, I'm not sure what else I would want.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
Brazed-on centerpulls are exceedingly rare - in 35 years, I've seen ONE bike with 'em: a Peugeot PY-10CP that I still wish I'd bought.
LOL! Next time you're in a big bike shop, go look at the BMX Freestyle machines!

Someone will sputter, "No, those aren't centerpulls, they're U-brakes." Rrrriiiiiiiight, and 29er is different from 700C.

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Old 08-03-10, 06:52 AM
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At $150 for the pair, I'd probably just buy Paul's Racer brakes.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:16 AM
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It looks to me that the new VO centerpulls are straight from Dia-compe's catalog.

https://www.diacompe.com.tw/product_View.asp?nid=804

Too rich for my blood, but I also have a decent supply of old calipers for the time being.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
It looks to me that the new VO centerpulls are straight from Dia-compe's catalog.
I think they make it clear on their website that they're Dia Compe brakes and not something unique to VO. I like the looks of them much more than the industrial-looking Paul Racer, but as others have said, there are plenty of vintage Wienmann and Dia Compe sets out there so I don't see them in my future either.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:43 AM
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I'm not criticizing VO at all, I'm a fan, just too poor to be a customer!

Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
I think they make it clear on their website that they're Dia Compe brakes and not something unique to VO. I like the looks of them much more than the industrial-looking Paul Racer, but as others have said, there are plenty of vintage Wienmann and Dia Compe sets out there so I don't see them in my future either.
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