1982 DiaComp brakes very weak



D

DougA

Guest
I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
wasn't much help.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Doug
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
"DougA" <[email protected]> wrote:

>I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
>levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
>wasn't much help.
>
>Any suggestions?


Change the pads. The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
no reason they'd stop in the '00's..

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame
 
A

Arthur Harris

Guest
"DougA" wrote:
> I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
> levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
> wasn't much help.


Try replacing the old cables and housings; they may be gunked up. Modern
teflon housings make a big difference. A set of aero levers may also help.

What kind of pads did you use? Some Shimano pads are terrible. Try the
salmon colored Kool Stop Continentals.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html#continental

Still, don't expect those brakes to have the stopping power of modern dual
pivot brakes.

Art Harris
 
E

Evan Evans

Guest
Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> "DougA" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
> >levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
> >wasn't much help.
> >
> >Any suggestions?

>
> Change the pads. The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
> no reason they'd stop in the '00's..
>
> Mark Hickey
> Habanero Cycles
> http://www.habcycles.com
> Home of the $695 ti frame


Nothing in the 80's worked well compared to today. We just didn't know
how bad we had it. I can remember grabing those brakes in the rain &
not slowing at all! I'm not sure how i lived through it.
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

> "DougA" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
> >levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
> >wasn't much help.
> >
> >Any suggestions?

>
> Change the pads. The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
> no reason they'd stop in the '00's..
>
> Mark Hickey
> Habanero Cycles
> http://www.habcycles.com
> Home of the $695 ti frame


I have suffered through a great number of these low-end cobby Dia-Compe
brakes, and their performance just isn't there.

I had a set on my Bianchi commuter (yet another mid-80s road bike), and
could not get them to work with any strength. I bought a set of Shimano
RSX dual-pivot brakes, mounted one on the front (using my usual
reach-adjustment tricks), and the braking difference was dramatic, even
using the same set of pads.

My impression is that while Dia-Compe may have made some nice high-end
gear, these low-end Dia-Compe brakes were a plague that infested a great
number of low- and mid-range road machines. They are, in my experience,
not easy to adjust for good performance, and my observations of the
brakes make me suspect they are not nearly as stiff as better brakes (of
which I hold up something like the Shimano RSX as a good example). I
leave it up to the engineers to figure on whether I am detecting a
failure of materials, process, or design, but I don't think it's my
imagination.

If you're looking for some modern dual-pivot brakes, Nashbar seems to
have one of the best deals around with their Jake Brake long reach
dual-pivots, but Harris has some nice deals on modern brakes too:

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakes.html

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
C

cashrefundman

Guest
Mark Hickey wrote:
> "DougA" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>>I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
>>levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
>>wasn't much help.
>>
>>Any suggestions?

>
>
> Change the pads. The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
> no reason they'd stop in the '00's..
>


Wash your rims too if they are dirty

CRM
 
B

Bruce Frech

Guest
Weak in what way? Brakes take force applied by your hands and via levers
and cables apply that force via the pads onto the rims. Is there enough
force? Do the pads not grip? Do the brake arms flex too much? Do the
cables have too much friction or do they stretch too much? Do the levers
bottom out before much force gets to the rims? Are your fingers too weak to
overcome the friction in the housing? Is the lever ratio such that the
ratio of your force to that applied to the rims is too small or is it too
large?

Note that some think the dual pivot brakes work better. What they do have
is a higher ratio on one side, hence the same force at the lever results in
higher forces at the rim, but less motion of the pads. Thus you have to
have them adjusted closer to the rims. They have different motion and
different force levels on each side so they push the rim sideways after
making contact.

Bruce


"DougA" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
> levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
> wasn't much help.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Doug
>
>
 
X

XTR40

Guest
>Change the pads. The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
>no reason they'd stop in the '00's..
>
>Mark Hickey
>Habanero Cycles
>http://www.habcycles.com
>Home of the $695 ti frame


No reason they'd stop? Well put!
 
A

Alex Rodriguez

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
>
>
>I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
>levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
>wasn't much help.
>
>Any suggestions?


Which pads did you get? What kind of rims do you have? You probabably should
also change the cables and casing. Your old ones may be inhibiting your
braking performance.
---------------
Alex
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
gouga-<< I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes
and
levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
wasn't much help.

Any suggestions? >><BR><BR>

Modern dual pivot brakes, Like those from shimano or Campagnolo.

Peter Chisholm
Vecchio's Bicicletteria
1833 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO, 80302
(303)440-3535
http://www.vecchios.com
"Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
 
D

David Damerell

Guest
Evan Evans <[email protected]> wrote:
>Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
>>"DougA" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
>>>levers. They are dangerously weak.

>>Change the pads.


He has; but try Kool Stop Salmons...

>>The 80's DiaCompe brakes worked fine in the 80's -
>>no reason they'd stop in the '00's..

>Nothing in the 80's worked well compared to today. We just didn't know
>how bad we had it. I can remember grabing those brakes in the rain &
>not slowing at all!


Steel rims in the rain? Not the fault of the brakes.
--
David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
 
B

Bruce Jackson

Guest
[email protected] (Evan Evans) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

> Nothing in the 80's worked well compared to today. We just didn't know
> how bad we had it. I can remember grabing those brakes in the rain &
> not slowing at all! I'm not sure how i lived through it.


The early 1980's was arguably the height of classic bicycles and equipment
(though some might argue that the 1970's were the height and that 126mm
6/u7 speed spacing ruined everything). Everything just plain worked. Yes,
some gear had its quirks but these quirks were known by every knowledgable
mechanic and rider. Frames were usually steel and cyclists rode them for
years. Campy came out with a new gruppo every decade and friction
shifting meant that you could throw a rear wheel on your bike without
wondering if it was compatable with the rest of your drivetrain. Riders
were skilled enough to take one hand of their handlebars when they shifted
and experienced enough to know how far to push their shift lever to find
their next gear. Before clipless pedals, friends could take each other's
bikes for rides without worrying about their cleats being incompatable
with their friends "pedal system."

Brakes had more power than anyone needed. Anyone who couldn't lock up the
rear wheel or do a standie on the front wheel just wasn't trying. Quality
brakes had a stiff lever and riders modulated them by their force not how
far they squeezed, much like the difference between braking in an
automobile with manual rather than power brakes. I ride old single pivot
brakes from the '80's and I've been rear-ended several times on group rides
by cyclists who couldn't stop their bike as quickly with modern dual pivot
brakes. Skill of the rider is far more important than the mechanical
advantage of the brakes.

I will agree that we have had some progress since the 1980's. Clipless
pedals are a bit more comfortable than clips and straps. Indexed gears
are easier to shift and with my advancing age my hearing is not always
keen enough to hear if I'm a little out of gear any more. With 9 speeds
I no longer have a whole box of different freewheels for different
events; I can just use one cluster with low, high, and close enough
gears for almost any ride. This is progress but as I like to say, for
everything you gain you give something else up. Even with all the toys
we now have I find myself longing for the time when bicycles were simple
and long lasting machines rather than complicated ones that are obsolete
more quickly than a copy of MS Windows.
--
Bruce Jackson - Sr. Systems Programmer - DMSP, a M/A/R/C Group company
 

StarryMan

New Member
Jul 18, 2004
55
0
0
Great take on this discussion of brakes. Definitely the best route for this original post writer is to swap out the brake pads but as said he/she hasn't seen any improvements on changing pads. Sure you can get better pads... The caveat is the cost of some of the really good brake pads from 3rd parties. Have you seen the prices? And then there's the adjustment such as usual alignment and toe-in. Ever put 3rd party brake pads in? You think DiaCompe original pads are a pain to adjust on narrow rims? In general they aren't very good at seating in on the brake arm. Usually because of the bolt, washer flat or conical, and lock nut are designed to work with everything in which case leads to difficult adjustment of the pads and/or constant out of adjustment.

In my opinion, putting in new brake pads can be sorta spendy if you want pads that are test proven yet find some new problems. I'd recommend keeping what you have until you can invest in dual pivots. I have some bikes with the old side pull such as the old Super Record with the blue dot on the front bolt (classy) and two Modolo Speedys (remember these italian babies?). I don't use DiaComps because my bad taste for DiaComp designs in Suntour products of old. DiaComps springs are so weak. While I think side pulls provide good brake progression, my issue I take is the left/right alignement. Due to the nature of the design, after a few rides and wheel changes you have to go in with the cone wrench and tweak it a few mm. While no biggie, it's just one more thing to do. And who out there loves break rub??? I know I don't. With dual pivots, you will still have some alignment problems but overall they stay aligned longer when installed correctly the first time around.

With side pulls I've done everything from using 3 different types of locktite and used rubber and steel serated washers and side to side is going to be off by next week.

So the bottom line... get some dual pivots if you are going to do it right. OR do it completely right and get a dual pivot in the front and a side pull in the back. It gives a very balanced brake. Sorta like a preset brake balancer found on performance cars. I have a feeling someone is going to do an endo using the above method. ha ha

Nicholas
 
H

Harris

Guest
StarryMan <[email protected]> wrote:

> Definitely the best route for
> this original post writer is to swap out the brake pads. The caveat is
> the cost of some of the really good brake markets from 3rd parties.
> Have you seen the prices?


Are you kidding? The Kool Stop (salmon) Continentals are $5.95/pair and
they last a LONG time.

Art Harris
 
A

ajames54

Guest
"DougA" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
> levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
> wasn't much help.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Doug


Try changing the cable housing... I'm sure that it must have been
changed at least once since new, but over time it gets softer.. and
when you pull the brake leaver you also compress the housing,, when it
gets really bad you can loose a lot of force simply in housing
compression.

(and a 10 buck repair is often to be preffered to an 80 buck repair.)
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On 19 Jul 2004 08:48:18 -0700, [email protected] (Bruce Jackson)
wrote:

>[email protected] (Evan Evans) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
>
>> Nothing in the 80's worked well compared to today. We just didn't know
>> how bad we had it. I can remember grabing those brakes in the rain &
>> not slowing at all! I'm not sure how i lived through it.

>
>The early 1980's was arguably the height of classic bicycles and equipment
>(though some might argue that the 1970's were the height and that 126mm
>6/u7 speed spacing ruined everything). Everything just plain worked.


But a lot of stuff is so much better nowadays. I'm not talking about
the obvious stuff like clipless pedals and integrated shifter. But
things like chains, cog profiles and cable housings. I've got some
old stuff on some bikes, but it's modern housings and chains and cogs
all the way. The old stuff was noticeably worse.

JT
 
D

Donald Gillies

Guest
"DougA" <[email protected]> writes:

>I have a mint 1982 Norco Montery SL that has DiaComp side pull brakes and
>levers. They are dangerously weak. I have replaced the pads but this
>wasn't much help.


1. Make sure the brakes are properly adjusted. Using the barrel
adjusters at the cable stops, bring the brakes about 1-2 mm from
each side of the rim. Get the rims trued if needed.

2. Make sure there is no excess cabling, because i've seen instances
where pulling the brakes actually moves the cable quite a bit,
before the cable starts to move in the housing, and this is just
wasted motion thats not contributing to pulling those two brake
caliper arms together.

3. If you still have problems, suspect the pads. get pads at least
42 mm in length. Regular 3-bump 36 mm pads on cards at bike shops
cost $0.40 each wholesale and are sold for $2.50/ea by the bike
shop. The 600% markup does not imply that its a quality item.

koolstop pads are recommended, at about $7 per pair.

4. Try new cables. Get teflon lined cable housing, and fine-woven
cables.

5. If all else fails, I think that Nashbar has inexpensive dual pivot
brakes for $25/pair.

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA
 
R

RonSonic

Guest
On 19 Jul 2004 08:48:18 -0700, [email protected] (Bruce Jackson) wrote:

>[email protected] (Evan Evans) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
>
>> Nothing in the 80's worked well compared to today. We just didn't know
>> how bad we had it. I can remember grabing those brakes in the rain &
>> not slowing at all! I'm not sure how i lived through it.

>
>The early 1980's was arguably the height of classic bicycles and equipment
>(though some might argue that the 1970's were the height and that 126mm
>6/u7 speed spacing ruined everything). Everything just plain worked. Yes,
>some gear had its quirks but these quirks were known by every knowledgable
>mechanic and rider. Frames were usually steel and cyclists rode them for
>years. Campy came out with a new gruppo every decade and friction
>shifting meant that you could throw a rear wheel on your bike without
>wondering if it was compatable with the rest of your drivetrain. Riders
>were skilled enough to take one hand of their handlebars when they shifted
>and experienced enough to know how far to push their shift lever to find
>their next gear. Before clipless pedals, friends could take each other's
>bikes for rides without worrying about their cleats being incompatable
>with their friends "pedal system."
>
>Brakes had more power than anyone needed. Anyone who couldn't lock up the
>rear wheel or do a standie on the front wheel just wasn't trying. Quality
>brakes had a stiff lever and riders modulated them by their force not how
>far they squeezed, much like the difference between braking in an
>automobile with manual rather than power brakes. I ride old single pivot
>brakes from the '80's and I've been rear-ended several times on group rides
>by cyclists who couldn't stop their bike as quickly with modern dual pivot
>brakes. Skill of the rider is far more important than the mechanical
>advantage of the brakes.
>
>I will agree that we have had some progress since the 1980's. Clipless
>pedals are a bit more comfortable than clips and straps. Indexed gears
>are easier to shift and with my advancing age my hearing is not always
>keen enough to hear if I'm a little out of gear any more. With 9 speeds
>I no longer have a whole box of different freewheels for different
>events; I can just use one cluster with low, high, and close enough
>gears for almost any ride. This is progress but as I like to say, for
>everything you gain you give something else up. Even with all the toys
>we now have I find myself longing for the time when bicycles were simple
>and long lasting machines rather than complicated ones that are obsolete
>more quickly than a copy of MS Windows.



Cycling also was an inexpensive sport. A serious bike wasn't cheap, but as you
say they lasted forever and the little bits that needed replacing regularly
didn't cost much at all.

Seems that's gone the way of so many other things with the
Price/Advertisable-Features ratio dominating the design and marketing decisions.

Ron
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 03:59:42 GMT, RonSonic <[email protected]>
wrote:


>Cycling also was an inexpensive sport. A serious bike wasn't cheap, but as you
>say they lasted forever and the little bits that needed replacing regularly
>didn't cost much at all.
>
>Seems that's gone the way of so many other things with the
>Price/Advertisable-Features ratio dominating the design and marketing decisions.


It's simply not true that cycling is more expensive now than it was in
the 1980s. You can buy bikes for less money in real dollars that work
better than material back then. Even a "serious bike." And they'll
last just as long in terms of providing equal performance.

Sure, maybe "the best" stuff is more expensive now, but that's not
comparing apples to apples as the best stuff now is way way way
better.

JT
 
B

Bruce Jackson

Guest
John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

> It's simply not true that cycling is more expensive now than it was in
> the 1980s. You can buy bikes for less money in real dollars that work
> better than material back then. Even a "serious bike." And they'll
> last just as long in terms of providing equal performance.


Here are some prices best I can remember them from circa 1984

Columbus SL bike with Campy SR parts: $1,500
Clement Criterium Cotton sewups $30
Vittoria CX sewups $45
Several decent training sewups were ~$10
Michelin Supercomp clinchers $10
SunTour New Winner freewheel $35
Sedisport chain $5 (when you buy by the box)
Skinshorts most were $10 - $40 depending on quality

Thinking in terms of adjusted dollars.

You can get a pretty nice bike for $2,739.

You can still get good hand made sewups for $55-$82 (I assuem anyway)
but I don't know of any $18 sewups worth riding any more (I haven't
been shoping for them though)

Clinchers have gone up more than infation. Good clinchers are more
than $18 and while they are pretty colors now they don't work as well
as the old black ones and they wear more quickly.

You can get gear clusters for $64 though today all you get are cogs
since the freewheel is built into the hub. I'm pretty sure that
individual cogs are more now though I don't remember what they cost
back then.

Chains have gone up a lot. Most people spend $20-$40 on chains now
and they don't last as long now since they are narrower. Chains used
to be cheap enough to throw away when they got dirty (and most of the
racers I knew bought Sedis chains by the box and did this).

$18-$73 is the range most shorts fall into today best I can tell.

> Sure, maybe "the best" stuff is more expensive now, but that's not
> comparing apples to apples as the best stuff now is way way way
> better.


While bikes are pretty similar in cost, consumables (tires, chains,
cogs) have gone up more quickly than inflation.

The real problem now is obselencence. In the 1980's it was conceivable
to ride the same parts for a decade. Now with indexing and adding
a new cog every few years everything gets obsolete long before it
is worn out. When you have an orphaned drivetrain you may have to
junk it as soon as one part breaks or is worn out since you may not
be able to find a replacment.

Is cycling better or more fun than it was 20 years ago? Not that I can
tell. Everything in the early 1980's worked well enough that it didn't
detract from the enjoyment or sportingness of the ride. Brifters, and
more cogs are only incremental improvements from the rider's point of
view and detract from the simplicity and durability of the drivetrain.
It is debatable if dual pivot brakes are actually an improvment, they
have higher mechanical advantage so they don't require as much effort
but they have to be adjusted closer to the rim and don't track a damaged
wheel as well. Aero wheels may shave seconds off time trials but are of
dubious value for training or recreational rides.
--
Bruce Jackson - Sr. Systems Programmer - DMSP, a M/A/R/C Group company