Hi Jan, Does changing the pads eliminate the intolerable screeching of the Mafacs? I've tried different rims but to no avail. Josh Berger Bronx, NY In a message dated 3/31/2004 8:48:50 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes: In my experience, a well set up Mafac centerpull, preferably on brazed-on pivots (but not necessarily so) exceeds a Mafac cantilever in feel and brake performance. I don't own dual pivots, but from the little I have used them, they cannot compete with the Mafac centerpulls for feel and modulation. And the brake power of the centerpulls is more than enough.
Of course, for any brake to work well, you need good pads (Matthauser canti pads work great), good, well-lubed cables and careful assembly and set-up. Not to forget decent rims (not chromed steel). Bike-boom bikes with Mafac centerpulls lacked all of these factors, and so a very good brake got a bad reputation.
Just back from intervals on my Mafac centerpull-equipped Rivendell - on a 10% hill with numerous turns, which that ends in a stop sign at the bottom.
Weinmanns work well, too. I once rode a fully chromed Ren=E9 Herse with
internal cables and all the options. On the way home, I stopped at
the health food store to get some groceries, and the guy selling the
homeless paper had the same brakes on his junkyard bike as the Herse:
Weinmann 610 centerpulls! I like the idea that one of the cheapest
and one of the most expensive bikes in town share at least one part.
I didn't ask how his brakes worked with kinked cable housing, chromed
steel rims and upturned handlebars.
Jan Heine, Seattle
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly