Re: [CR] Who has trouble stopping with vintage sidepulls?

(Example: Production Builders:Peugeot)

In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:27:23 -0500
From: "Harry Travis" <>
To: Daniel Artley <>
Cc: Classic Rendezvous <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Who has trouble stopping with vintage sidepulls?

This matter of stopping ability comes down to behavior in unexpected and changed situations. Drive in areas where highways become multiple lane to allow trucks to stay in the slower curb lane they can climb, and you may also see runaway escape routes on the other side of the road, filled with deep pea-gravel to arrest the progress of trucks whose brakes have over-heated and failed on long descents.

Same unexpected risks for bicycle brakes. The difference between wet and dry performance of pads can be enormous. The best brake pads would minimize the loss of performance in the unexpected wet.

But, I suspect the majority of what everyone has been writing about is really down to the selection, maintenance and retention of brake pads past their use-by date because they are period-correct. The worst brakes would be those so hard to set up that they discouraged maintenance of the pads.

Harry Travis Washington, DC USA

On 1/21/09, Daniel Artley <> wrote:
> I guess that I'm lucky that I was a child of the seventies when I really
> got into nicer bikes. My first bike w/ caliper brakes was a new 1966
> Schwinn Supersport w/ Schwinn approved Weinmans and I never gave a thought
> about braking. Then my UO-8 w/ Mafac racers and chrome rims, perfectly OK
> till the rims got wet, then a bit scary. Then I moved up.
> It's only now that I've gotten the vintage bug and wish to ride authentic
> bikes from before my learning curve. So far I've just got the vintage
> fixed gear on the road that started with a pair of GB Coureur Plus's.
> Good thing I was riding fixed, my speeds weren't high and foot braking
> helped out too. Still a panic stop couldn't come near to what I'd been
> used to. Next the Synchron dual pivots. Better braking, but what a mushy
> feel, and just watching the calipers moving around on those nylon pivots
> ... no wonder Mafac racers were such an improvement. The bike now has
> what was a NOS set of long reach Universal calipers that besides being
> more minimal, seem to stop the bike just a bit better. I've got the take
> offs in the bins for my next build, a Carlton International soon to be
> built up with a Sturmey FW. Should be nice for climbing most of the hills
> around here, but I'll be certain to start braking near the top of the
> steeper ones!
> Happy trails,
> Dan Artley, thinking it would be better to be off work riding on this
> Sunny, cold day in Parkton, Maryland USA
> Archive-URL:
> vous.10901.1026.eml
> Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 14:50:59 -0700
> From: Mitch Harris <mitch.harris(AT)>
> Subject: [CR] Who has trouble stopping with vintage sidepulls? ( http://sea
> vintage+sidepulls%3F%22&amp;SearchPrefix=%40msgsubject&amp;SortBy=MsgDa
> te%5Ba%5D )
> Curious if anyone has trouble stopping with vintage single pivot
> sidepulls. I read on list here that they don't stop well, or only
> modulate or slow a bike, or are only for racers who merely need to
> moderate speed occasionally.
> ...Lots of stuff ...
> --Mitch Harris
> Little Rock Canyon, Utah, USA