> The best braking set-up for a classic cycle in my opinion would be Mafac
> Centrepulls on brazed on pivots. Next Mafac Cantilevers and finally normal
> bolt-on Mafac Centrepulls.
> Tony Oliver would always fit the first option as a standard to his frames.
> You could have what you wanted but this was his prefered choice.
> And we all know that Mafac Centrepulls brakes were the standard racing
> choice for donkeys years, through the 50's-80's. Has any other make of brake
> been so popular in racing circles for such a length of time?
Actually, Universal sidepulls outdid Mafac with regards to popularity among the racing elite as they remained basically unchanged from the 30's until the 70's. A Universal mod.39 and mod.68 Super are more similar to one another than is a 1950's Mafac being compared to a late 1970's Mafac. I also believe that the last Mafacs to appear among the pros was actually in the 70's not the 80's.
I have a question about Mafac brakes: What are the differences between the 'raid' model and the 'racer' model. Is the raid simply a racer where the bolt-on attachment was simply removed?
Contrary to what has been said by others recently, I feel that brakes are actually the components that have made perhaps the greatest improvement to overall racing performance. New brakes, including all of the accessory elements like brake pads, cable housing, cables, lever hoods and rim treatments, have greatly improved performance. Without these improvements, none of the old school brakes worked terribly well. With large and strong enough hands, and all these new accessory elements, I agree that you can get old school brakes to brake virtually as well as modern ones, but what is overseen in this is the amount of energy spent and all those people with either small hands or not overly strong hands. Under racing conditions or riding a fully loaded touring bike or tandem, the energy spent braking becomes quite extreme and this is a readily measurable quantity, anybody denying this is simply lying to themselves. The same goes for brake modulation.