Re: [CR]Now: tuning Campy brakes

(Example: History:Norris Lockley)

From: "ternst" <>
To: "Thomas Adams" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Now: tuning Campy brakes
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 08:06:56 -0800

The brake lever / brake adjustment is like we've done for years. I would hope that like Dale, etc., all the good bike mechanics would be doing the same. Maybe that's why Mafac had the wide bar to lever distance, so when pull was applied there would be enough room to squeeze and not bottom out on bar because of brake cable compression and arm / block sponge feel. Ted Ernst Palos Verdes Estates, Ca

----- Original Message -----
From: Thomas Adams
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 7:47 AM
Subject: [CR]Now: tuning Campy brakes

> I'll echo Dale's tips, especially to make sure the levers have some travel
> before the pads contact the rims. Not only does this provide greater
> mechanical advantage, but most perople can apply more force with a "more
> closed" fist than with the fingers spread and reaching for the levers.
> This is counter intuitive: you'd think the tighter the pads are to the
> rim, the more braking power available, but there needs to be some movement
> in the mechanism for optimal force.
> And if that doesn't work (and assuming cables and calipers are running
> freely without drag), add some oversize aftermarket brake pads. Grippy
> pads will pep up any brake set, and you can switch back to the real Campy
> pads for display or show, if needed.
> I frequently offend local list members by sticking sticky red Kool Stop
> pads on vintage bikes, because at 240 lbs I need lotsa whoa power. These
> have worked well for me:
> Made a tremendous difference on a set of Universal 68 brakes. Went from
> braking action equivalent to reversing props on the Queen Mary to being
> able to stop okay. Still not equal to modern dual pivots, but okay. You
> may need to buy one of the thinline variants if your fork blade clearances
> are tight. If that doesn't work, and you need still more stopping power,
> switch to centerpulls.
> Tom Adams, Shrewsbury NJ
> wrote:
> Hi Kyle:
> You wrote: << But if your brakes are REALLY hard to work -- so bad
> that you fear for
> your safety -- one thing that you should look at is the tension
> adjustment. You
> can adjust the tension on those brakes pretty easily, and make sure you
> have
> good lubrication on the pivots. >>
> Thanks for your posting, it prompts some thought. I don't quite
> understand, how is the tension adjusted? Do you mean by bending the
> springs for less force exerted by them? I know that the Campag springs
> are strong suckers...
> As a side note, I approached a customer of mine (whose business is
> spring manufacturing for textile machines) some years ago, with the
> idea of making springs of less strength for Campag brakes. Unforunately
> he didn't have the ability to do springs like that.
> But I am interested in your approach.
> Failing less burly springs, for easiest operation of Campag brakes, I
> have always "addressed the basics" by absolutely optimizing the cables
> & housings, making them the shortest length possible while still making
> graceful loops, properly "dressing" the housing exit ends, properly
> lubing internally and using lined housing, etc., etc. The Koolstop-made
> black replica pads seem to work very well (and look right!) Also a good
> trick is not setting them up so as to have short brake lever action; if
> the brake lever can closer approach the bar before activation, better
> mechanical advantage is available...
> Dale Brown
> cycles de ORO, Inc.
> 1410 Mill Street
> Greensboro, NC 27408 USA
> 336-274-5959
> Giant, Specialized, Orbea, Bianchi, Felt, Litespeed, Landshark,
> Colnago, Townie and other exotica.
> National Bicycle Dealers Association Board member
> -----Original Message-----
> From: kyle-chrisbrooks
> To:; CR List
> Sent: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 07:39:04 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: RE: [CR]Campy standard/long reach (57mm) calipers?
> I too wish Campy would come out with a modern longer reach brake.
> Regarding the Nuovo Record brakes: Many people complain about the
> effort on
> them. I use both earlier and later versions of the brakes, but haven't
> noticed
> much difference between them. But while I do notice the effort to be
> tougher
> than modern brakes -- and even contemporary offerings from SunTour or
> Shimano --
> I've never had any near-death experiences. My favorite pads for these
> are from
> Aztec and are somewhat similar to KoolStops, but I don't think the ones
> I like
> are available anymore. I occasionally see them on Ebay, and sometimes
> with the
> name Madison on them -- but they work well, and you can adjust the
> toe-in very
> easily. But if your brakes are REALLY hard to work -- so bad that you
> fear for
> your safety -- one thing that you should look at is the tension
> adjustment. You
> can adjust the tension on those brakes pretty easily, and make sure you
> have
> good lubrication on the pivots.
> Kyle Brooks
> Akron, Ohio
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2006 at 10:25 PM, wrote:
>> I have a pair of Campy N. Record calipers from the early 70s, and am
>> not all that thrilled with the braking on them, particularly the hand
>> effort required, even with new pads.
>> Does anyone have any suggestions on others to try? Were later campy
>> models better in this regard?
>> I'd really rather not go to the modern shimano or tektro calipers,
>> and campy doesn't even make 47-57mm reach these days as far as I can
>> tell, but I had a pretty close call on a ride a few days ago and was
>> thinking ugly brakes might not be the worst thing compared to being
>> plastered on the back of a van.
>> thanks,
>> Baird
>> __________________________
>> Baird Webel
>> Washington DC
>> _______________________________________________
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