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Resilion brakes - anyone know them?

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Resilion brakes - anyone know them?

Old 01-06-11, 12:58 AM
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Dawes-man
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Resilion brakes - anyone know them?

I have a 1950 Thanet Silverlight that was originally made for braze-on Resilion brakes. Unfortunately, someone whose hands the frame passed through decided not to bother with finding a set and had the fork crown and rear seat stay bridge drilled for caliper brakes. He also fitted the frame with 27" instead of the 26" wheels it was designed for.

This is the machine:

[IMG]
1950 Thanet Silverlight by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

If you look closely you can just make out the holes meant for mounting the brakes These are the same type of Resilion brakes as found on old Sunbeams of the 1930s, whereas almost all the Resilions that come up on eBay are the clamp-on type, which can't be used on a Thanet due to the clamps being shaped for different shaped seat stays and fork legs.

This is what someone has done to the fork in order to fit standard caliper brakes - the Resilion mounting holes are plainly visible:

[IMG]
1950 Thanet Silverlight by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

When I first saw that the hole had been drilled through the decorative T I thought it was strange - 'Why design something like that when it was going to be hidden by a brake!? When I eventually realised the bike was designed for Resilions & 26" wheels it all clicked and frankly it made me feel sick. I don't know which came first, the bother of getting a set of Thanet-correct Resilion brakes and then needing 27" wheels for calipers to reach the rims, or the bother of getting nice, period-correct 26" wheels and then needing calipers to work with 27" wheels but I suspect the former.

Bad me, but I rather lost interest in the Thanet after that and so it stayed for about a year, during which I sometimes considered selling it as is. Then, a few weeks back, I had a Japanese 30s to 50s English lightweight restorer/collector friend around to visit. He has several Resilion-equiped machines and we talked at length about them and the Thanet and he encouraged me to return the machine to original spec. He also mentioned there was a very nice pair of 26" Conloy sprint wheels on eBay. He also suggested that I start buying Resilion parts, saying that it would be good to have all the cables and levers ready for the day when I managed to find a set of braze-on Resilion cantilevers. And so it started. I bought the wheels and have been buying Resilion parts here and there. All I need now is the cantilevers and to have the vandalised frame repaired.

To my question... I'm cleaning up a front brake lever and cable and it seems to me that there is no way of removing the cables from the splitter. Looking inside the splitter it seems the 2 individual cantilever cables are crimped into a metal crimp (?) with the single lever cable crimped between them. Is there a way of dismantling the cable set or were they always sold as one piece? In other words, if any one of the 3 cables broke, did you used to have to buy a whole new cable assembly?

An interesting thing to me is how the cantilever-end cables each have a little telescopic springs at the ends, meaning the cantilevers themselves were springless.

The lever and cables:

[IMG]
The lever disassembled with the cable set detached. by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

The telescopic cantilever springs:

[IMG]
IMG_5114 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

Inside the splitter - you can just see the end of the lever cable wire and a corner of the metal crimp:

[IMG]
The crimped end of the lever cable is visible, as is a corner of the metal crimp. by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

Last edited by Dawes-man; 01-06-11 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 01-06-11, 01:27 AM
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Just, wow. I hope someone can answer your question. That is an awesome bike.
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Old 01-06-11, 01:33 AM
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i'm sorry I cannot offer any incite, but i'm really interested in seeing how this turns out.
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Old 01-06-11, 10:40 AM
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No insight from me either, though I must admit to wondering who was outbidding me on all the Resilion brakes on ebay!

I think I would just fill that hole in the fork crown with JBWeld or the like, or even Bondo; reshape with knife and riffler files, and paint. I don't suppose I could get it perfect, but as long as the new paint matches the existing paint I think it wouldn't be too hard to get it so the hack job isn't apparent any more.
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Old 01-06-11, 11:17 AM
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Hi Dawes man. You are on the right track with Ebay (UK) I have never had a Resilion equipped bicycle so I have not taken too much notice but the parts do come up on Ebay occasionally.
I didn't realise that their was different methods of mounting the cantilevers to the forks, good luck on restoring a classic machine.

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Old 01-06-11, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
No insight from me either, though I must admit to wondering who was outbidding me on all the Resilion brakes on ebay!

I think I would just fill that hole in the fork crown with JBWeld or the like, or even Bondo; reshape with knife and riffler files, and paint. I don't suppose I could get it perfect, but as long as the new paint matches the existing paint I think it wouldn't be too hard to get it so the hack job isn't apparent any more.
Ah, so YOU are the one driving the prices up! You've got a free run now, though... I've got me cables Now all I need is some kind soul to put up some braze-on cantilevers... me thinks I've got a long wait ahead. Are you planning on Resilion brakes for your Fothergill? BTW, I've looked at that thread a few times now - very nice. I was really impressed by the way you brought the downtube transfer out.

I've tried matching paint and it was a nightmare so although I might fill the fork crown hole temporarily, in the long run I'd like to get it brazed and repainted.
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Old 01-06-11, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dawes-man View Post
Ah, so YOU are the one driving the prices up! You've got a free run now, though... I've got me cables Now all I need is some kind soul to put up some braze-on cantilevers... me thinks I've got a long wait ahead. Are you planning on Resilion brakes for your Fothergill? BTW, I've looked at that thread a few times now - very nice. I was really impressed by the way you brought the downtube transfer out.

I've tried matching paint and it was a nightmare so although I might fill the fork crown hole temporarily, in the long run I'd like to get it brazed and repainted.
Yes, I was thinking of putting Resilion brakes on the Fothergill, with 26 x 1 3/8 wheels. Partly that was because I bought a set of GB Coureur brakes on ebay and they got lost in the mail. Even after I gave up the hope of ever seeing them, I wouldn't bid on another pair of caliper brakes because there was always this chance they Coureurs would turn up. But then they arrived after all! Only ten or twelve weeks in the mail. So now I'm building up the Fothergill with parts appropriate to the early 50's. I'm hoping to take it for its first ride next week! There will be photos....

Is your Thanet's paint original?
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Old 01-06-11, 12:34 PM
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Then it's on to me, then, to hunt down a set of Resilions for my pre-war Hobbs of Barbican Continental Superbe. Clamp-on type, in my case.
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Old 01-06-11, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
Then it's on to me, then, to hunt down a set of Resilions for my pre-war Hobbs of Barbican Continental Superbe. Clamp-on type, in my case.
Yes, indeed. What do you have on there now? I think Resilion brakes are pretty cool, but I am going to stop bidding on them. You may want to remind me of this periodically... I am easily tempted.
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Old 01-06-11, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Yes, indeed. What do you have on there now? I think Resilion brakes are pretty cool, but I am going to stop bidding on them. You may want to remind me of this periodically... I am easily tempted.
I may have to save first anyway. Right now, I have no brakes on there whatsoever, which would be hazardous if I had not astutely left off all the other components as well. I tried tracking down all the right pre-war bits for a while, but it made my brain hurt and my wallet cringe.
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Old 01-06-11, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Is your Thanet's paint original?
No, it isn't. The PO had it done by CycleArt. I'm looking forward to seeing your Fothergill! BTW, just posted a too-late message to your thread...
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Old 01-06-11, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
Right now, I have no brakes on there whatsoever, which would be hazardous if I had not astutely left off all the other components as well.
Thanks for that! It"s nice to start the day off spluttering your tea over the keyboard...

Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
I tried tracking down all the right pre-war bits for a while, but it made my brain hurt and my wallet cringe.
Yes, indeed! Life was cheaper when I was started off, interested in 1980s machines.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:12 PM
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Dawes man,
Splendid bike. I have no idea, just to be up front, but if I may hazard a guess you may find completely obvious ...just because I like a good engineering problem? To get that splitter collar on after the cables were crimped together, the assembly must have been assembled in pieces and those lead cable ends, either the two after the split or the one, must have been crimped on or otherwise attached after all the pieces were put together. My guess is the single was put on last. How, I do not know. I know, probably obvious, but...how did they attach those ends?...cast in place? ...more likely a heavy form press. ...and how to take it apart without cutting the cable end off? I don't see a way. Interesting.

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Old 01-07-11, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
My guess is the single was put on last. How, I do not know. I know, probably obvious, but...how did they attach those ends?...cast in place? ...more likely a heavy form press. ...and how to take it apart without cutting the cable end off? I don't see a way. Interesting.
I've just been having a good look at how it's made. Until your post I hadn't considered how it may have been put together, just how impossible it looked to take apart.

I think you are right that the single cable must have been crimped in last. I wondered if the splitter case might have a seam in it, showing that it had been 'wrapped' around the assembled cables but it's definitely one piece and looks like its cast out of brass. If it had been fitted last they would have had to chrome it in place. I think they must have crimped the double cables together and then used a, perhaps specially made, long-nosed crimper of some kind to crimp the single cable between them inside the casing. The lower end of the crimp is 10mm deep within the case with the single cable adjuster as far in at the top as it will go.

Apart from all that, it's a very well made piece of kit. The splitter case and telescopic spring cases are chrome plated brass, the threads, cable end ferrules and adjusters are brass and the nuts and wires steel. Although the cable casings are cracked and frayed here and there the wires are good and the springs strong. Good for another 60 years, I wouldn't wonder.

Something has just occurred to me, that perhaps back in the day dealers were equipped to un-crimp the cables, replace a part and re-crimp it all together again. I can also imagine that with it all being so well made, over-engineered even, it never needed doing.

Last edited by Dawes-man; 01-07-11 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 01-07-11, 04:48 AM
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Resilion cables were normally supplied complete - I have never heard of dealers replacing parts of a Resilion cable. These days one or two people I know here in the UK have replaced parts of Resilion cables but you need a heavy soldering iron - the joints are soldered.
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Old 01-07-11, 06:23 AM
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Cool stuff here: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...26tbs%3Disch:1

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Old 01-07-11, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hilarystone View Post
Resilion cables were normally supplied complete - I have never heard of dealers replacing parts of a Resilion cable. These days one or two people I know here in the UK have replaced parts of Resilion cables but you need a heavy soldering iron - the joints are soldered.
Thanks for the info. Please see my PM to you.
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Old 12-18-14, 06:42 AM
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Bump. Yeah, I know the thread is almost four years old, but the brakes in question are way older.

So, who uses Resilion brakes now? @Dawes-man, @Velognome... anyone else?

I finally got my hands on a good complete set, and want to replace the brake pads. The original pads are intact, and work pretty well considering their age (75 ears old?). I put Kool-Stop V-pull pads in the front shoes, but need something thicker for the rear. Has anyone else done this? What did you use?

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Old 12-18-14, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Bump. Yeah, I know the thread is almost four years old, but the brakes in question are way older.
Vintage threads about vintage bikes are very 'now' when they're useful... I do searches all the time

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I finally got my hands on a good complete set, and want to replace the brake pads. The original pads are intact, and work pretty well considering their age (75 ears old?). I put Kool-Stop V-pull pads in the front shoes, but need something thicker for the rear. Has anyone else done this? What did you use?
Hilary Stone has some of the thicker pads on his site - "Fibrax 253 Fatter thickness for rear brakes 12" - 'bout halfway down the page:

Hilary Stone Spare Parts Brakes

There are some Shimano pads that slip right into the Resilion holders but I've neither seen them nor used them so don't know how thick they are...

Ah, yer t'is - "In fact Shimano V brakes pads will fit Resilion brake shoes."
From Classic Lighweights: https://www.classiclightweights.co.uk...ion-story.html

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Old 12-18-14, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawes-man View Post
Hilary Stone has some of the thicker pads on his site - "Fibrax 253 Fatter thickness for rear brakes 12" - 'bout halfway down the page:

Hilary Stone Spare Parts Brakes
Ah, yes, thanks! That's a pretty reasonable price. CyclArt has pads as well, for sale on eBay, not cheap.

I realize Fibrax is still in business, but they no longer make Resilion pads. So my concern is, how old are the blocks in Hilary's stock? I know, silly question, since (a) it's not likely to be answered, and (b) he has what he has, and it's unlikely anyone else has newer stock.


Originally Posted by Dawes-man View Post
There are some Shimano pads that slip right into the Resilion holders but I've neither seen them nor used them so don't know how thick they are...

Ah, yer t'is - "In fact Shimano V brakes pads will fit Resilion brake shoes."
From Classic Lighweights: "A Real Engineering Job" - The Resilion Story
That's what I'm asking. I put Kool-Stop V-type pads in the front, and they fit nicely (though they could be a little longer).

I guess I'll order V-Type-2, which are supposed to be a little thicker, for the rear. I believe I can put a spacer under the brake shoes if I need them closer to the rim.

I'll let you know how it works!

BTW, do you have yours working now?
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Old 12-18-14, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'll let you know how it works!
Yes, please do!

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
BTW, do you have yours working now?
Embarrassingly, no. I have all the parts and got the rear working but when I started working on the front I discovered the mounting hole in the left leg is not quite perpendicular to the wheel. I've been figuratively scratching my head ever since...
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Old 12-19-14, 04:23 PM
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So, I've got a small collection of parts plus a complete set up. One cable is frayed, I too would like to repair it and if possible all the cables. 70+ year old cables make me nervous.

There must be a way to reconstruct the cable assembly without destroying all the bits and pieces.

Not having thetrustworthy cables , I have not got around to needing pads so no help from me rhm.
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Old 12-19-14, 04:47 PM
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Looks like you might need a proper nicopress tool to build one of these cables up.

Search Results from Aircraft Spruce

You can probably buy the raw cable and nicos at Ace Hardware (I would go for stainless nicos if I were you, you can find those at Thimbles/Sleeves from Aircraft Spruce).
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Old 12-19-15, 07:05 AM
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I'm using my 80 year old cables. They seem really well well made, and mine are not damaged.

Not having taken mine apart, I don't know how they're put together. The ends should be easy enough, whether you crimp or solder them on, but the Y-connection might be complicated. I think, if I needed a new cable, I'd try to build it completely new, using commonly available parts, I.e. from BMX brakes etc. Finding the ferrules with the right thread might be a challenge, though.

By the way, my front brake works f fine with a Koolstop V-brake pad. As mentioned above, they fit the holder nicely (just a little too short). In the rear, where a thicker pad is needed, I put two Koolstop pads in each holder. Just the ordinary Weinmann style ones. Works fine.
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Old 12-19-15, 07:17 PM
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So, it's been a year, the cables are still on the table......waiting for a 3 day Nor-Easter to blow in, then I'll start on 'em....that's what I tell myself anyway.
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