Why short reach brakes became popular: They offer more leverage, so better braking. While I am a fan of long reach brakes (we can't really call them normal anymore, can we?) and have a number of bikes that take them, plus some spares, it only makes sense to use a better brake on a frame that doesn't need big tires or fenders. Shimano began improving the efficiency of their Dura Ace brakes in the early '80s and everything has followed suit from then. I have two tandems with short reach Dura Ace brakes only, and nothing stops faster than those. Many of my Campy long reach brake finds have been "take offs" from people changing to either cantilevers or one of the Shimano dual pivot long reach brakes (yes, you can still get these in the RX-100 model) which gave greater stopping power and required less hand pressure. And by the way, we still build a number of custom frames (Davidson) to take these brakes so that they can have fenders and 700 x 32 tires. Hopefully Shimano will keep making them for a little while anyway. Wayne S, are you listening? I have a couple pairs of NOS Campy Long reach Gran Sport and one NR if anyone is interested in some. $200 and $369.
Elliott Bay Bicycles