Mafac brakes and brazed on bosses

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Gary Jacobson, Apr 15, 2003.

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  1. I am considering all possible configuration for an audax or sport -tour frame that I will have made.
    Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long enough
    to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd feel
    different about a side pull.

    So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the arms.
    I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays.

    Will I need stiffer fork and stays than standard? Any one with experience with this set up? Any
    problems with, or positive aspects to this plan/idea? Would any brand centerpull fit a "standard"
    centerpull boss braze on. Where Universal "better" than Mafac? ANy real difference in the various
    Mafac offerings.

    Many thanks.

    Gary Jacobson Rosendale, NY
     
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  2. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    > Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long enough
    > to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd feel
    > different about a side pull.

    They did and they're easily available on the web and at several shops. They're the old single pivot
    standard reach Record brakes. Shimano also makes a standard reach dual pivot in two grades.

    >So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the arms.
    >I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays.

    Why chain stays? The pivots normally would be brazed to the seat stays. This arrangement has been
    used for many years on French bikes and works very well. I have a couple of bikes like this myself.
    See www.paulstubblebine.com/philbrown The braze on pivots will fit most centerpulls. I've used
    Mafac, Dia Compe and Weinmann on the road and tested Universals. All fit. There are many differences
    in Mafac brakes over the years. Best to use the regular old Racer available in the discard brake bin
    at many shops because the straddle cable is easier to find today. Others (Competition and 2000) use
    odd cables that are very hard to find and hoarded by those (like me) who use them. Racers come in 4
    different reaches so you may be able to tailor it to your frame. Phil Brown.
     
  3. Thanks for your response. I meant to say seat, not chain stay. GJ

    "Phil Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long
    > > enough to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd
    > > feel different about a side pull.
    >
    > They did and they're easily available on the web and at several shops.
    They're
    > the old single pivot standard reach Record brakes. Shimano also makes a standard reach dual pivot
    > in two grades.
    >
    > >So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without
    the
    > >bridge to hold the arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain
    stays.
    >
    > Why chain stays? The pivots normally would be brazed to the seat stays.
    This
    > arrangement has been used for many years on French bikes and works very
    well. I
    > have a couple of bikes like this myself. See www.paulstubblebine.com/philbrown The braze on pivots
    > will fit most centerpulls. I've used Mafac, Dia Compe
    and
    > Weinmann on the road and tested Universals. All fit. There are many
    differences
    > in Mafac brakes over the years. Best to use the regular old Racer
    available in
    > the discard brake bin at many shops because the straddle cable is easier
    to
    > find today. Others (Competition and 2000) use odd cables that are very
    hard to
    > find and hoarded by those (like me) who use them. Racers come in 4
    different
    > reaches so you may be able to tailor it to your frame. Phil Brown.
     
  4. Bob Taylor

    Bob Taylor Guest

    I had my custom Bilenky touring frame built with U-brake bosses at the rear. These brakes were
    originally intended for mountain bikes so there is lots of clearance for road size tires. The
    biggest advantage to me was that they don't stick out to the side like cantilever brakes do so I
    don't have to move my panniers way back. U brakes are pretty much the same as you were describing, a
    centerpull brake without the bridge, they mount to braze on bosses. The bosses are not the same as
    cantilever brake bosses but are available from the places that sell frame braze ons.

    The Ubrakes themselves are still made by Dia Compe and perhaps others. Back in the 80's they Shimano
    and Campy make them and you could probably find some NOS ones. I have both Campy and Shimano Ubrakes
    but I don't want to sell the ones I have.

    The brakes work very well and they use the same brake shoes as most Vbrakes.

    Bob Taylor

    "Gary Jacobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am considering all possible configuration for an audax or sport -tour frame that I will have
    > made. Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long
    > enough to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd
    > feel different about a side pull.
    >
    > So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    > arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays.
    >
    > Will I need stiffer fork and stays than standard? Any one with experience with this set up? Any
    > problems with, or positive aspects to this plan/idea? Would any brand centerpull fit a "standard"
    > centerpull boss braze on. Where Universal "better" than Mafac? ANy real difference in the various
    > Mafac offerings.
    >
    > Many thanks.
    >
    > Gary Jacobson Rosendale, NY
     
  5. Bill Putnam

    Bill Putnam Guest

    "Gary Jacobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am considering all possible configuration for an audax or sport -tour frame that I will have
    > made. Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long
    > enough to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd
    > feel different about a side pull.

    Campy did make a side pull that had adequate reach for 28 mm tires and fenders-the old Record
    brakes of the 70's. There were other manufacturers at the time that made side pull brakes that were
    also quite useful-Dia Compe is one manufacturer. If you want to run 38 mm or wider tires and
    fenders, then sidepulls may not be to your liking, but the old "normal reach" 47-57 mm quality side
    pull brakes are quite adequate for a loaded touring bike unless your hands are very small or weak.
    New aero style levers and modern slick cables will give better braking than original equipment for
    this set up.

    > So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    > arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays.

    This was done on some of the high end custom touring bikes decades ago.

    > Will I need stiffer fork and stays than standard? Any one with experience with this set up? Any
    > problems with, or positive aspects to this plan/idea? Would any brand centerpull fit a "standard"
    > centerpull boss braze on. Where Universal "better" than Mafac? ANy real difference in the various
    > Mafac offerings.

    I don't know of any need for stiffer forks and stays than standard, as this is similar to a
    cantilever set up. Perhaps it could be a concern with some of the exotic lightweight tubing
    available today, but this would be a good question for your frame builder. The Mafac center pull
    brakes are known for being more flexible than others such as Weinmann, so if you go that route you
    might consider using parts off an old Weinmann brake set.

    Personally I find the old Campy Record "normal" 47-57 mm reach brakes fine for loaded touring or
    just about any use you might have for a road bike using fenders with tires of 32mm width or less.
    They have less of an issue of position error with brake pad wear vs. other brake designs, and can
    track a bent wheel better.

    See the faq

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.15.html

    Bill Putnam
     
  6. I like the idea of campy "long reach" vintage calipers. Finding them or Dia compe seems nearly
    impossible. Along the idea of U brakes, I'd like to see what the Campy OR offering looks like.

    GJ

    "Bill Putnam" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Gary Jacobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I am considering all possible configuration for an audax or sport -tour frame that I will have
    > > made. Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like
    cantilevers,
    > > especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long enough to accommodate
    25-28
    > > tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd
    feel
    > > different about a side pull.
    >
    > Campy did make a side pull that had adequate reach for 28 mm tires and fenders-the old Record
    > brakes of the 70's. There were other manufacturers at the time that made side pull brakes that
    > were also quite useful-Dia Compe is one manufacturer. If you want to run 38 mm or wider tires and
    > fenders, then sidepulls may not be to your liking, but the old "normal reach" 47-57 mm quality
    > side pull brakes are quite adequate for a loaded touring bike unless your hands are very small or
    > weak. New aero style levers and modern slick cables will give better braking than original
    > equipment for this set up.
    >
    > > So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without
    the
    > > bridge to hold the arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain
    stays.
    >
    > This was done on some of the high end custom touring bikes decades ago.
    >
    > > Will I need stiffer fork and stays than standard? Any one with
    experience
    > > with this set up? Any problems with, or positive aspects to this
    plan/idea?
    > > Would any brand centerpull fit a "standard" centerpull boss braze on.
    Where
    > > Universal "better" than Mafac? ANy real difference in the various Mafac offerings.
    >
    > I don't know of any need for stiffer forks and stays than standard, as this is similar to a
    > cantilever set up. Perhaps it could be a concern with some of the exotic lightweight tubing
    > available today, but this would be a good question for your frame builder. The Mafac center pull
    > brakes are known for being more flexible than others such as Weinmann, so if you go that route you
    > might consider using parts off an old Weinmann brake set.
    >
    > Personally I find the old Campy Record "normal" 47-57 mm reach brakes fine for loaded touring or
    > just about any use you might have for a road bike using fenders with tires of 32mm width or less.
    > They have less of an issue of position error with brake pad wear vs. other brake designs, and can
    > track a bent wheel better.
    >
    > See the faq
    >
    > http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.15.html
    >
    > Bill Putnam
     
  7. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Gary Jacobson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am considering all possible configuration for an audax or sport -tour frame that I will have
    > made. Brakes are a hang-up. Don't like cantilevers, especially, nor V-brakes, and side pulls long
    > enough to accommodate 25-28 tires and fenders are not thrilling me. Maybe if Campy made them I'd
    > feel different about a side pull.
    >
    > So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    > arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain
    stays.
    >
    > Will I need stiffer fork and stays than standard? Any one with experience with this set up? Any
    > problems with, or positive aspects to this
    plan/idea?
    > Would any brand centerpull fit a "standard" centerpull boss braze on.
    Where
    > Universal "better" than Mafac? ANy real difference in the various Mafac offerings.

    That's been done and has an elegant look to certain old people ( me). I have seen that done on
    regular metric gauge Reynolds to good effect so I wouldn't be afraid to try it. Maybe just shoot
    some spray paint on the damaged area and ride a season to see if you are happy with them before
    investing in a pricey refinish service.

    Mafac Racers are a bit more "open" for tire clearance than Competitions. Classic-era Racers take a
    regular gear wire for the transverse wire ( except the later double-ended-wire models which are to
    be avoided). Competitions also use a hard-to-find cross wire. Universals have good clearance too but
    are a more brittle material. Their cross wire interchanges with Weinmann and those aren't too hard
    to find. I do not know if a Universal #61 fits a standard "Mafac" type boss.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  8. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    > I do not know if a Universal #61 fits a standard "Mafac" type boss.

    It does. Phil Brown
     
  9. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    > The Mafac center pull brakes are known for being more flexible than others such as Weinmann, so if
    > you go that route you might consider using parts off an old Weinmann brake set.

    The flex comes from the bridge the arms mount on. With brazed on pivots they're very solid.
    Phil Brown
     
  10. Gary Jacobson <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I like the idea of campy "long reach" vintage calipers. Finding them or Dia compe seems nearly
    > impossible. Along the idea of U brakes, I'd like to see what the Campy OR offering looks like.

    I guess I don't understand why the current Shimano or Tektro long reach dual pivots are
    objectionable. Failing that, Campy single pivots are presumably available somewhere (ebay?) and
    Diacompe 500 long reach sidepulls were common as dirt on late 70s - 80s bikes, hence still around,
    used. The cheapest of those have no QR, and the better 500's have a slightly cheesy QR, but it works
    fine. Diacompe and Weinmann centerpulls also have acres of tire clearance. None of which is to
    discourage you from braze-ons and Mafacs if it floats your boat. Just don't use a stamped steel
    front cable hanger.
     
  11. Bill Putnam

    Bill Putnam Guest

    Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>... ...
    > I guess I don't understand why the current Shimano or Tektro long reach dual pivots are
    > objectionable. Failing that, Campy single pivots are presumably available somewhere (ebay?) and
    > Diacompe 500 long reach sidepulls were common as dirt on late 70s - 80s bikes, hence still
    > around, used.

    At the risk of repeating myself see the FAQ

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.15.html

    here's an excerpt from this:

    "The offset arm (the short one) sweeps its pad upward into the tire so that this pad must be
    adjusted as it wears. The brake cannot track a crooked wheel with, for instance, a broken spoke, and
    because it has a high ratio, it does not work at all when the quick release is accidentally left
    open. And finally, it runs out of hand lever travel 40% faster with pad wear than the former single
    pivot brake. Its low pad clearance and narrow flange spacing of current wheels make the brake drag
    when climbing hills standing, so that racers often ride with the rear quick release open."

    Used Campy Record brakes come up on e bay, Dia Compe 500's can be found regularly in the trash (at
    least around here) or at swap meets-I bought a complete set of NOS Dia Compe 500G brakes a couple
    years ago for $5.

    Bill Putnam
     
  12. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    [email protected] (Bill Putnam) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>... ...
    > > I guess I don't understand why the current Shimano or Tektro long reach dual pivots are
    > > objectionable. Failing that, Campy single pivots are presumably available somewhere (ebay?) and
    > > Diacompe 500 long reach sidepulls were common as dirt on late 70s - 80s bikes, hence still
    > > around, used.
    >
    > At the risk of repeating myself see the FAQ
    >
    > http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.15.html
    >
    > here's an excerpt from this:
    >
    > "The offset arm (the short one) sweeps its pad upward into the tire so that this pad must be
    > adjusted as it wears. The brake cannot track a crooked wheel with, for instance, a broken spoke,
    > and because it has a high ratio, it does not work at all when the quick release is accidentally
    > left open. And finally, it runs out of hand lever travel 40% faster with pad wear than the
    > former single pivot brake. Its low pad clearance and narrow flange spacing of current wheels
    > make the brake drag when climbing hills standing, so that racers often ride with the rear quick
    > release open."
    [...]

    Yes, but the original poster said that he preferred brazed-on centerpulls to long-reach dual pivots.
    On a centerpull, don't both arms sweep their pads upward into the tire? Unless you have quick
    releases at the brake lever (as on Campagnolo brakes), there is no quick way to adjust center pulls
    when you break a spoke, right? I'm not sure how centerpulls compare to dual pivots in the other
    respects discussed in the FAQ, but I do think the original poster may not have thought through the
    question of whether centerpulls are better than dual pivots.
     
  13. Gary Jacobsen wrote:

    "So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the arms.
    I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays."

    THAT sounds like a marvelous idea, from a design standpoint. But there has to be a reason no
    manufacturer has come up with it already. Centerpulls were the most powerfull brakes going in their
    day, so it seems that it would be a somewhat obvious evolutionary step.

    Can't wait to hear how it comes out, if it can be done!

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  14. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    > I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays."
    >
    >THAT sounds like a marvelous idea, from a design standpoint. But there has to be a reason no
    >manufacturer has come up with it already. Centerpulls were the most powerfull brakes going in their
    >day, so it seems that it would be a somewhat obvious evolutionary step.
    >
    >Can't wait to hear how it comes out, if it can be done!
    >
    >May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    It's been done for a very long time, Chris. Phil Brown
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, Chris Zacho "The
    Wheelman" wrote:

    > "So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    > arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays."
    >
    > THAT sounds like a marvelous idea, from a design standpoint. But there has to be a reason no
    > manufacturer has come up with it already.

    Sounds like a cantilever brake to me...

    --

    -John ([email protected])
     
  16. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" wrote:
    >
    > > "So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    > > arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays."
    > >
    > > THAT sounds like a marvelous idea, from a design standpoint. But there has to be a reason no
    > > manufacturer has come up with it already.

    "John Thompson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Sounds like a cantilever brake to me...

    The cantilever "cantilevers" out away from the frame, a normal centerpull's arm crosses inside over
    the tire. Yes, they are quite similar - mirror or inside-out versions of one another.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  17. Pete Geurds

    Pete Geurds Guest

    As stated, it's been done in the past. Calls for four more brazing operations requiring some level
    of precision. Probably why production bikes didn't get them.

    Pete

    >"So I am thinking about using something like a Mafac centerpull without the bridge to hold the
    >arms. I'd have bosses brazed on to fork and chain stays."
    >
    >THAT sounds like a marvelous idea, from a design standpoint. But there has to be a reason no
    >manufacturer has come up with it already. Centerpulls were the most powerfull brakes going in their
    >day, so it seems that it would be a somewhat obvious evolutionary step.
     
  18. Phil Brown wrote:

    "It's been done for a very long time, Chris. Phil Brown"

    By whom (besides custom builders). I haven't seen any of the major manufacturers make these,
    Shimano, for example.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  19. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    >By whom (besides custom builders). I haven't seen any of the major manufacturers make these,
    >Shimano, for example.

    First, Many French makers did this, not just the high end guys like Herse and Singer. But on a more
    prosaic level, Centurion made such a bike, the Pro Tour in the 80s. and the bosses I use are made by
    Dia compe, not a company known for esoterica. Many bikes in Japan use braze on bosses. Phil Brown
     
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