Yeah, when I reread my statement in the archives I thought it was unduly harsh. They were typical of parts in the 1940s and 1950s. Their finish wasn't obsessed over so much as now. Campagnolo really raised the bar in the 1950s with their durability , ability to be overhauled and fit and finish.
But when you look at Weinmann brakes from the early 50s, you can see a real quality difference. As an example, check the elaborate sheet metal forming of the lever body on a Weinmann compared to a Universal lever body. Universal lever body's had a bad habit of developing cracks where they clamped to the bar. (My uneducated guess is that Universal used the wrong aluminum alloy for their extrusion.)
Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, CA
Charlie Young wrote:
> First: Chuck, you are the best archive searcher among us!
> Second: I wonder how many agree with the statement excerpted
> from your original post below regarding the quality of the
> Universal brakes. I have several sets of Universal Mod. 77
> brakes and don't find them to be any less capable than the
> Campagnolo Record brakes of the period. What period do you
> (or the component buyers of the time) consider to be
> characterized by poor workmanship or quality?
> In contrast, the Mod. 125 brakes are poorly finished and
> obviously deviate from the Model number = Year of
> introduction scheme. I'm curious about when they were
> introduced. No doubt they were intended for lower line
> applications and competitive pricing relative to japanese
> Charlie Young
> Honeybrook, PA
> > The workmanship and quality of Universal brakes was
> > uniformly poor until the CX sidepull of the 1980s but
> > nobody was buying them by then. The Weinmann (Swiss)
> > side-pull from the early 50s for example had much nicer
> > workmanship and quality.
> > Chuck Schmidt
> > SoPas, SoCal
> > ==========================================================
> > =================
> > Chuck Schmidt
> > South Pasadena, CAa