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Better braking on an 82 Conti

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Better braking on an 82 Conti

Old 05-16-13, 04:03 PM
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Better braking on an 82 Conti

Wanted to know what I can do to improve the braking on my old roadie. I use this strictly for fitness and distance rides, and use my MTB for commuting and hauling stuff. I Switched to a set of generic Shimano aero brake levers and they don't seem to have the "stopping power" of the stock brakes, but they do the job.

What can I do to improve the braking? When I look at the brakes (not riding on the bike) I notice the pads make good contact but the brake pieces seem to "flex" instead of digging in more. Anything I can do to correct this? They are the stock center pull brakes and have some new generic pads on them, I have some aluminum Weinmann rims on the front and rear.

Should I look at different pads? New brake arms? Possibly using the wrong brake levers (I read somewhere about pull and length and stuff)?

Anyway, I appreciate the help a head of time!
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Old 05-16-13, 04:16 PM
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Kool stop brake pads made a big difference on my Torpado with Universal brakes. If you don't need period correct, hard to go wrong with throwing on some newer dual pivot calipers.

what are the brakes you have? Pic would help
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Old 05-16-13, 04:24 PM
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Centre pull brakes were never the best you should be able to fit a decent pair of side pull calipers. Either find some old shimano 600 or Dura Ace calipers on ebay to keep it retro or even better get some modern dual pivot brakes, something like shimano 105 should be fairly cheap.
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Old 05-16-13, 04:31 PM
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Do you have new cables and housings with good ferrules? Properly adjusted toe-in? Brakes adjusted close to the rim?

Try cleaning the rim surfaces with a scouring pad.

I happen to really like centerpull brakes. I can always adjust them so they skid an aluminum wheel and they give really good modulation.
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Old 05-16-13, 07:19 PM
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In addition to Kool-Stop pads, you might want to look at the brakes themselves to ensure there's nothing binding, the return springs are strong, and that the pivots, spring slides, etc. are properly cleaned and lubricated.

The Shimano levers should work okay with the center-pulls, assuming you have them located in the right place on the drops and that the cables aren't binding anywhere on the housing or on the ferrules. If you determine that the old gear is binding up, you may have to swap out the cables, housings and/or other bits for something more suitable for your current levers.

Pictures would be helpful here.
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Old 05-16-13, 10:00 PM
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I'll post pics tomorrow but they are Shimano RX100 levers and the stock center pull calipers with some newish cheapie pads. I stopped by my LBS and he has a treasure trove of NOS parts from the last several decades. There has been a bike shop there for 60 years. I will have to see what else he might have hidden there.
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