I think poor stopping of MAFAC brakes is another cycling myth. I have a lot of French bikes, most have MAFAC, and they all stop just fine. Frankly, I'd give MAFAC's a slight edge over Campy NR brakes. Unlikely Jacque Anquetil would have used MAFAC if they didn't work effectively. The one thing that is true is that unless MAFACs are set up just right, they do squeal. One amusing experience in this respect is that I once bought a card of MAFAC-clone "Vipre" French-made brake pads, and the card proudly proclaimed in French what seemed to translate "The pads that squeal." Maybe my translation was off, but they seemed to be boasting that their clones squealed just like the originals As to stopping with steel rims in the wet, I don't think any brake with the hard rubber pads typical of the 60's through 80's does that very well. I wonder if the pad material was different back when steel rims were the norm.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
"P.C. Kohler" <email@example.com> wrote: Hmmm... two major components on my beloved '69 PX-10 are on the "Death Bike" shopping list. I hasten to remind all here that my machine had a replacement allen bolt Pivo stem that I swapped out for a spec Ava one. I think the hollow stem is way cool too. Great for gum chewers to snash their wad, too. As for Mafac "Racer" brakes, what's the problem? French racing bikes are design to go. Fast. Not stop. You guys have never been on French roads I guess. And there is nothing like that certain thrill, after months of fiddling and experimenting, when one actually gets the things to stop squeeling. I wouldn't trade my Ava stem or silent as death Mafacs for anything. Except a '54 Stella No. 4 Lousion Bobet TdF replicae of course. And that came with.... Mafacs.
Washington DC USA