Re: [CR]Universal Model 61 Centerpull Brakes

Example: Racing:Beryl Burton
From: "Thomas R. Adams, Jr." <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Universal Model 61 Centerpull Brakes
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 16:28:25 +0000

It wouldn't surprise me if this was a standard set. This would be a useful feature on older bikes.

The '49 Ephgrave I'm piecing together and the '54 Major Nichols have substantially different reach front to rear. A mid 70's standard/long reach Dura Ace sidepull caliper wouldn't quite reach in the back on the Ephgrave, while the front's were at the top of the slot. Switching to a set of Mafac center pulls with longer adjusting slots solved the problem (Thanks, Baron). I had to hunt around for a extra long reach Universal 68 caliper for the rear on the Nichols. It has at least a centimeter more maximum reach than a Campy rear brake. I can see where a brake set with different reach front to back would make sense.

We discussed possible reasons for this before, and the best sounding theory was that maximum reach in the rear was a 'free' benefit for fender clearance, but overly long fork blades adversely affected handling. So the savvy builder would maximize fender clearance in the rear and minimize fork blade length in the front, given the reach limits of the brakes intended for the bike. These limits have shrunk a few millimeters over the years, so Presto! A 'modern' brake set often won't quite reach the rear rim, leaving the owner saying bad words and hunting for drop bolts and center pulls.

Tom Adams, Shrewsbury NJ

>From: "Louis Schulman"

>Reply-To: Louis Schulman

>To: ""

>Subject: [CR]Universal Model 61 Centerpull Brakes
>Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 11:42:16 -0400 (EDT)
>I recently acquired a very nice "pair" of Model 61 Centerpulls. I say
>"pair" with some reserve, because the front are short reach, and the
>rear, long reach.
>Is this a "pair"? Were different reach Model 61 sets available? Was
>it common to have one reach on the front, and a different reach on the
>back? Why would a bicycle be made this way?
>Enquiring mind wants to know.
>Louis Schulman
>Tampa, FL (where over 100 people spontaneously showed up for a
>traditional 4th of July holiday ride!)