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The process of mounting modern brake calipers on a vintage steel frame

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The process of mounting modern brake calipers on a vintage steel frame

Old 11-26-14, 01:29 PM
  #1  
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The process of mounting modern brake calipers on a vintage steel frame

I have been reading up on retrofitting vintage steel frames with modern brake calipers but I want to get some first hand advice/experience from other members. I would like to mount modern Tektros or Shimano brake calipers on my Fuji Supreme rebuild since the Dia Compe side pulls just don't seem to have adequate stopping power. I want to use dual pivot calipers but as I have learnt most are equipped with shorter mounting bolts and recessed nuts. I have read about slowly expanding the mounting hole using a variable speed drill and progressively larger metal drill bits until the recessed nut fits inside but I REALLY do not want to screw up the frame. I have a spare pair of Tektro aero levers and a spare set of Shimano 600 levers to match up with modern calipers. If this drilling option is not recommended please advise me or please let me know the best way to do this and if anyone has done this first hand. Also if buying new Koolstop brake pads and putting them on the original Dia Compe's is a better option let me know.
Thanks!
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Old 11-26-14, 01:40 PM
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You can get Tektro R559 that are nutted, about $70 for the pair.

Given theat the Fuji Supreme is an entry level bike, I would suggest trying new pads first along with cleaning the rims, rather than $70 for new calipers. Those Dia Compe calipers should be adequate in most cases. You might replace your cables/housing too if they bind at all.
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Old 11-26-14, 01:51 PM
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Thanks OddJob, a source of good info as always. I know that it is entry level but I was just building this for a friend as a gift since he has helped us out with a lot of home renos. I did clean the rims and ran all new cables and housing also. Do you happen to know which KoolStops would fit these calipers?

Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
You can get Tektro R559 that are nutted, about $70 for the pair.

Given theat the Fuji Supreme is an entry level bike, I would suggest trying new pads first along with cleaning the rims, rather than $70 for new calipers. Those Dia Compe calipers should be adequate in most cases. You might replace your cables/housing too if they bind at all.
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Old 11-26-14, 02:13 PM
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Have you already tried aero brake handles, noncompressible calbe housings, and KoolStop brake pads? These strategies will make a world of difference.
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Old 11-26-14, 02:27 PM
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All he above. Don't drill the frame that is a real hacker thing to do.

I personally don't really care much for the DP brakes.
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Old 11-26-14, 02:54 PM
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Agreed no drilling it is. I will get some KoolStops to go with the aero levers and the noncompressible housing that I already have. Thanks everyone. I figured drilling was a bad idea but I wanted go hear it from the experts.
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Old 11-26-14, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I personally don't really care much for the DC brakes.
Spoken like a true Campy aficionado!

I think you need the Weinmann X pads.
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Old 11-26-14, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
All he above. Don't drill the frame that is a real hacker thing to do.

I personally don't really care much for the DP brakes.
Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Spoken like a true Campy aficionado!

I think you need the Weinmann X pads.

OH that was a mistake Dia Compe brakes are OK I meant DP as in dual pivots.

AH I see what you did there.
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Old 11-26-14, 05:03 PM
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Leseee.. I have ridden all manners of single and dual pivot brakes over the last 40 years including Campy Mirage to Record, RSX/SORA to Dura-Ace and everything in-between. And a bunch of different Tektro brakes and rebadged Tektros. I have ridden a range of older Dia-Compe brakes and Suntour Superbe Pro, Sprint etc. Plus older Campy single pivots including Record, Gran Sport, Victory etc.

The very best of the single pivot brakes: Dura-Ace 7402, which included first class hardware, and longer caliper arms for extra braking power.

The best of the dual-pivots is Dura-Ace 7403; they are heavy, but are stiff and have superb modulation and stopping power. Also excellent: the first generation of Shimano 600 dual-pivots.

The very best of the single pivot brakes are inferior to the very worst of the dual pivots. There is absolutely no overlap. I use some old and cheap Shimano RX100 calipers that are worlds better than any single pivot brake I have ever used.

Dia-Compe: strip them off of your bike and deposit in the trash. Seriously. Bury them deep so that no one will be tempted to fish them out and risk their lives again. Flexy arms, pathetic cheap hardware, and the infuriating ability to be continuously mis-aligned. All models. They are hopeless. Installing new brake housing and new pads improves these moderately, but your life is too precious to be riding on this junk.
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Old 11-26-14, 05:32 PM
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I will be the counter point and say drill if you want use recessed brakes.

I also find dual pivot superior, but putting good pads on any brake can make a big difference

The process is in detail at Installing and Adjusting Caliper Brakes

but is it really simple and only removes shavings of metal it is more reaming the hole than drilling and is easily done with a hand drill

1. with an 8mm or 5/16 drill bit drill out the BACK HOLE ONLY on the fork
2. get a long recessed bolt and use it to mount the REAR Brake to the fork
3. mounts the Front brake to the rear using nuts.

More important is to get brakes that have the reach for the wheel you are using, especially if you are also doing a 700c switch.
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Old 11-26-14, 07:13 PM
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Tektro makes a recessed to nutted conversion kit for $20 if you have other Tektro calipers. I have converted 3 sets. All 539 and 540's.
This can be found at Tektro web site, small parts, Road Caliper Retro Mounts.
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Old 11-26-14, 07:32 PM
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If your braking system has enough stopping force to lock up either wheel with reasonable effort, while having good modulation feel between zero stopping force and maximum, then it is perfectly adequate for your needs, IMO.
Individuals' needs may vary, depending on loaded bike mass (tandems & touring bikes come to mind), hand strength, and what they consider "reasonable effort".
A given lever and caliper combination can be made better or worse than nominal, depending on pads, cables, and adjustment.
I've not had occasion to "dial in" a set of the ubiquitous entry level vintage Dia Compe & Weinmann sidepull brakes; but I have two bikes with vintage Weinmann centerpulls that have ample braking performance, not to mention several with Shimano single pivot sidepulls that likewise have ample braking performance.
BTW, I've used the same recipe given by squirtdad above for installing recessed-style brakes on non-recessed frames, and it works like a charm.
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Old 11-27-14, 12:03 PM
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Great info Squirtdad. I think that I will try this initially on a beat up frame that I have sitting around that will never be used for a build. It is a purely practice frame so that if mistakes are made there will be no heartbreak or loss. I hear the pros and cons and both are extremely valuable in the learning process. More options to try and only in this manner will I discover what suits me best. I really do want to give it a try to see how it goes. It may not be for most builds but it may be a good fit for some...


Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
I will be the counter point and say drill if you want use recessed brakes.

I also find dual pivot superior, but putting good pads on any brake can make a big difference

The process is in detail at Installing and Adjusting Caliper Brakes

but is it really simple and only removes shavings of metal it is more reaming the hole than drilling and is easily done with a hand drill

1. with an 8mm or 5/16 drill bit drill out the BACK HOLE ONLY on the fork
2. get a long recessed bolt and use it to mount the REAR Brake to the fork
3. mounts the Front brake to the rear using nuts.

More important is to get brakes that have the reach for the wheel you are using, especially if you are also doing a 700c switch.

Desertdweller, I checked the Tektro site but they are currently out of stock so I sent an email. How difficult was it to replace the bolts? Was there any specific challenges that you encountered while doing this conversion?

Originally Posted by Desertdweller View Post
Tektro makes a recessed to nutted conversion kit for $20 if you have other Tektro calipers. I have converted 3 sets. All 539 and 540's.
This can be found at Tektro web site, small parts, Road Caliper Retro Mounts.
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Old 11-27-14, 12:05 PM
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This is precisely why I want to convert to dual pivots. It is not as though the stock lower grade DC brakes provide any value to this Fuji Supreme and as far as I can tell the DP brakes will only improve the bike both aesthetically and functionally. At least they will provide the mounting nuts and washers.

Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Leseee.. I have ridden all manners of single and dual pivot brakes over the last 40 years including Campy Mirage to Record, RSX/SORA to Dura-Ace and everything in-between. And a bunch of different Tektro brakes and rebadged Tektros. I have ridden a range of older Dia-Compe brakes and Suntour Superbe Pro, Sprint etc. Plus older Campy single pivots including Record, Gran Sport, Victory etc.

The very best of the single pivot brakes: Dura-Ace 7402, which included first class hardware, and longer caliper arms for extra braking power.

The best of the dual-pivots is Dura-Ace 7403; they are heavy, but are stiff and have superb modulation and stopping power. Also excellent: the first generation of Shimano 600 dual-pivots.

The very best of the single pivot brakes are inferior to the very worst of the dual pivots. There is absolutely no overlap. I use some old and cheap Shimano RX100 calipers that are worlds better than any single pivot brake I have ever used.

Dia-Compe: strip them off of your bike and deposit in the trash. Seriously. Bury them deep so that no one will be tempted to fish them out and risk their lives again. Flexy arms, pathetic cheap hardware, and the infuriating ability to be continuously mis-aligned. All models. They are hopeless. Installing new brake housing and new pads improves these moderately, but your life is too precious to be riding on this junk.
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Old 11-27-14, 01:04 PM
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Go to hardware store, get a long nut and threaded rod, and extend the brake bolt to reach through the fork crown. Might use some blue locktite to keep it all snug since inside the crown is a hard place to check.

I think the call for more powerful brakes is overdone. Good pads, close adjustment of the pads, clean rims, and single pivot brakes will stop fine. In a panic stop, you will squeeze harder than you think possible.
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Old 11-27-14, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by greg3rd48 View Post
Great info Squirtdad. I think that I will try this initially on a beat up frame that I have sitting around that will never be used for a build. It is a purely practice frame so that if mistakes are made there will be no heartbreak or loss. I hear the pros and cons and both are extremely valuable in the learning process. More options to try and only in this manner will I discover what suits me best. I really do want to give it a try to see how it goes. It may not be for most builds but it may be a good fit for some...





Desertdweller, I checked the Tektro site but they are currently out of stock so I sent an email. How difficult was it to replace the bolts? Was there any specific challenges that you encountered while doing this conversion?
Very straightforward. The main thing is to control the caliper as you remove or reinstall the spring. Be careful not to loose the small white Teflon bushings. I used needle nose vise grips covered with inner tube I had thoroughly cleaned with alcohol (makes it a little sticky).
hope this helps..
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Old 11-27-14, 05:53 PM
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If you are still searching:
go to Ebay search Tektro r539 old-school 10mm $45.50 shipped. Best price I am aware of.
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Old 11-27-14, 06:13 PM
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I am using Tektro R539 side pulls with R340 levers on a 1984 Raleigh Gran Tour, a definite upgrade from the single pivot Shimano 600s that were on there. These are the nutted version and I believe all told the cost was around 80.00. I am also using the Shimano style holders and pads from Kool Stop which are usually around 20 - 25.00 a pair but well worth it, the brakes are quite good with excellent modulation and stopping power. I have Dia Compe 750 center pulls on another bike as well as some good canti brakes on a newer bike, both with Kool Stop pads and the Tektro setup on the Raleigh is the most effective.
















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Old 11-27-14, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Leseee.. I have ridden all manners of single and dual pivot brakes over the last 40 years including Campy Mirage to Record, RSX/SORA to Dura-Ace and everything in-between. And a bunch of different Tektro brakes and rebadged Tektros. I have ridden a range of older Dia-Compe brakes and Suntour Superbe Pro, Sprint etc. Plus older Campy single pivots including Record, Gran Sport, Victory etc.

The very best of the single pivot brakes: Dura-Ace 7402, which included first class hardware, and longer caliper arms for extra braking power.

The best of the dual-pivots is Dura-Ace 7403; they are heavy, but are stiff and have superb modulation and stopping power. Also excellent: the first generation of Shimano 600 dual-pivots.

The very best of the single pivot brakes are inferior to the very worst of the dual pivots. There is absolutely no overlap. I use some old and cheap Shimano RX100 calipers that are worlds better than any single pivot brake I have ever used.

Dia-Compe: strip them off of your bike and deposit in the trash. Seriously. Bury them deep so that no one will be tempted to fish them out and risk their lives again. Flexy arms, pathetic cheap hardware, and the infuriating ability to be continuously mis-aligned. All models. They are hopeless. Installing new brake housing and new pads improves these moderately, but your life is too precious to be riding on this junk.
Lol. This is wrong on so many levels.

Its true dual pivot technology is an important leap. But single pivots are not all junk. I have a pair of suntour superbe pros that are not significantly any worse (functionally) from most modern dual pivots. Weight wise youll save with the new dura aces, but i feel no stopping advantage the DA has that the SPs dont.
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Old 11-28-14, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Leseee.. I have ridden all manners of single and dual pivot brakes over the last 40 years including Campy Mirage to Record, RSX/SORA to Dura-Ace and everything in-between. And a bunch of different Tektro brakes and rebadged Tektros. I have ridden a range of older Dia-Compe brakes and Suntour Superbe Pro, Sprint etc. Plus older Campy single pivots including Record, Gran Sport, Victory etc.

The very best of the single pivot brakes: Dura-Ace 7402, which included first class hardware, and longer caliper arms for extra braking power.

The best of the dual-pivots is Dura-Ace 7403; they are heavy, but are stiff and have superb modulation and stopping power. Also excellent: the first generation of Shimano 600 dual-pivots.

The very best of the single pivot brakes are inferior to the very worst of the dual pivots. There is absolutely no overlap. I use some old and cheap Shimano RX100 calipers that are worlds better than any single pivot brake I have ever used.

Dia-Compe: strip them off of your bike and deposit in the trash. Seriously. Bury them deep so that no one will be tempted to fish them out and risk their lives again. Flexy arms, pathetic cheap hardware, and the infuriating ability to be continuously mis-aligned. All models. They are hopeless. Installing new brake housing and new pads improves these moderately, but your life is too precious to be riding on this junk.
I'll take all of those dangerous Dia-Compe brakes and dispose of them properly. Just pay postage and a small handling fee (for opening the parcel and recycling). This may include Weinmann and Mafac as well - so I'll take those also. I do this as a public service to end the menace of bad vintage brakes. No thanks are necessary.
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Old 11-28-14, 12:41 PM
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Brakes are simple machines. All things being equal (such as pads and levers) the brakes with the greater mechanical advantage provide the most stopping power. Dual pivots simply have longer caliper arms, which provide more leverage.

The downside to this is that you have to run the pads closer to the rims. Obviously you could make single pivot brakes with longer arms, but since they are more prone to mis-alignment, you'd be constantly fussing with them rubbing on the rims. Dual pivot brakes are self-aligning, so that once you set them up, they stay put.

They are simply better.

I read a bunch of harping about new pads and cables transforming old brakes. Marginally true. But if you take dual pivots and install great pads, then they still dramatically outperform all of the old stuff.

I have a 5 pound bag of Suntour Superbe Pro single-pivot calipers somewhere. No point in using these. A $30 set of dual pivots is better than the old brakes in every way.
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Old 11-28-14, 01:10 PM
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Just wondering out loud here, does "outperform" mean something besides less effort needed to squeeze the brake levers for the same stopping force?
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Old 11-28-14, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Brakes are simple machines. All things being equal (such as pads and levers) the brakes with the greater mechanical advantage provide the most stopping power. Dual pivots simply have longer caliper arms, which provide more leverage.

The downside to this is that you have to run the pads closer to the rims. Obviously you could make single pivot brakes with longer arms, but since they are more prone to mis-alignment, you'd be constantly fussing with them rubbing on the rims. Dual pivot brakes are self-aligning, so that once you set them up, they stay put.

They are simply better.

I read a bunch of harping about new pads and cables transforming old brakes. Marginally true. But if you take dual pivots and install great pads, then they still dramatically outperform all of the old stuff.

I have a 5 pound bag of Suntour Superbe Pro single-pivot calipers somewhere. No point in using these. A $30 set of dual pivots is better than the old brakes in every way.
For bulk, I'll waive the handling charges. PM me.
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Old 11-29-14, 06:55 AM
  #24  
shelbyfv 
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I'm with the drill and modern dual pivot option. Since the frame in question is not precious enough to warrant a correct period resto, you might as well enjoy the easy set up and pad replacement. I've used Tektros and Shimanos, 105 through DA, all work fine with Kool Stop salmons. Get whatever has the correct reach and looks good to you.
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Old 11-29-14, 07:31 AM
  #25  
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How many people in this thread are unaware that Tektro makes brand new nutted mount dual pivot calipers?? I have a set sitting right here on my desk? There's no longer ANY NEED AT ALL to drill any frame for decent brakes. Most of the time if you drill for the rear brake the frame is pretty much done for anyway, as there is only a thin piece of tubing with a hole through it in the first place. Making the hole even bigger not only leaves hardly any material to hold the brake securely, it also destroys the frame for future use with nutted brakes as well? Someone did that to my Moto Grand Record frame. Sorry I just just don't get all the "go ahead and drill it" responses here.,,,,BD
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