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New brakes on an old bike...

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New brakes on an old bike...

Old 01-24-11, 01:37 PM
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Jubokko
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New brakes on an old bike...

I have an old 70's Fuji Gran Tourer that needs new brakes. I've been looking at brake sets that may work, but I'm not sure if the age difference between the bike and brakes matters. (How they attach and what not?)

Can anyone recommend any good choices? Preferably not expensive... Thanks!
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Old 01-24-11, 02:52 PM
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I'm going to assume your bike has caliper brakes (single pivot sidepulls or centerpulls) that use a nutted mount. You'll need to measure the current reach. Dual pivot sidepulls in a nutted version, like those from Tektro, will be a great upgrade.

Sheldon Brown:
The effective length of the arms of a caliper brake. This is measured from the centerline of the center bolt diagonally down to the middle of the brake shoe. Reach is commonly expressed as a range (allowing for the fact that the brake shoes are adjustable, typically over a 10-15 mm range.) For more information, see the article about caliper brakes.
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Old 01-24-11, 03:03 PM
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Measure diagnoally? What is meant by that?
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Old 01-24-11, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Measure diagnoally? What is meant by that?
Ha! I don't know. Sheldon wasn't infallible. I didn't even read that before I pasted it here. My apologies.

Here's how I do it. Remove the wheel. Hold a straight edge perpendicular to the seat tube from the center to center of the brake pads' current position. Then, use a ruler or caliper to measure from the straight edge to the center of the brake bolt.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:00 PM
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I get why he used the word "diagonally" although it might sound like it's not a straight line. I'm actually surprised. I always thought these measurements were taken from the center bolt to the plane running between the center of the two brake pad attachment bolts. Sheldon might have called that measuring vertically.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
I'm going to assume your bike has caliper brakes (single pivot sidepulls or centerpulls) that use a nutted mount. You'll need to measure the current reach. Dual pivot sidepulls in a nutted version, like those from Tektro, will be a great upgrade.

Sheldon Brown:
+1
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Old 01-24-11, 05:24 PM
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not to second guess you; but it's rare that brakes need replacing (unless damaged or you just want to upgrade)....

will a thorough cleaning, set of new shoes, cables and housings do the trick?
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Old 01-24-11, 05:29 PM
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I replaced the DiaCompe CPs on my 1975 Schwiin Voyaguer with Tektro dual pivots 73 mm reach, nutted version from Rivendell. Great brakes. Buy 2 fronts since the bolt is longer than the bolt on the rear brake.

The CPs were sticking and I got tired of the rear cable using a cable stop attached to the the seatpost clamp.
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Old 01-24-11, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumpic View Post
not to second guess you; but it's rare that brakes need replacing (unless damaged or you just want to upgrade)....

will a thorough cleaning, set of new shoes, cables and housings do the trick?
I agree replacing worn 30+yo pads can do wonders.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:34 PM
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Thanks!

I'm just looking for some new ones... everything but the frame was in pretty bad shape. I'm making it a single speed so I'd thought I'd spruce it up with some new bits and pieces.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:01 PM
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Oh a Hipster bike? well post some pics of the current brakes attached to the bike and we will point out what you need. if you really want new calipers Tektro will likely be you best bet.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:53 AM
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Something else that john touched upon is whether you get the recessed (new style) or nutted (older style) version. Most of the bikes people talk about on this list, I believe would take the nutted version. I have only really been able to find the Tektro nutted version for new replacements, but I'm there there's tons of NOS options out there too.

Some more info here: https://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brake-calipers.html

Question: I thought it was shown that single pivot brakes just didn't work as well as center-pull or dual-pivot. what are people's thoughts on this? Is the difference that big? I personally like the look of the DiaCompe 750 centerpulls or the blingy 610 variety that I see at Velo orange...
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Old 01-25-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I get why he used the word "diagonally" although it might sound like it's not a straight line. I'm actually surprised. I always thought these measurements were taken from the center bolt to the plane running between the center of the two brake pad attachment bolts. Sheldon might have called that measuring vertically.
+1. A "vertical" measurement would be from the center of the brake bolt to the center of the rim. A measurement from the brake bolt to the brake shoe would be diagonal. It makes a lot of sense to measure this way if you assume sidepull brakes where the shoe, regardless of adjustment, pivots around the brake bolt. On dual pivot brakes, and centerpulls, this makes less sense.
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