Old Campy single pivots

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Suzy Jackson, Feb 3, 2003.

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  1. Suzy Jackson

    Suzy Jackson Guest

    Hi all,

    Just a comment on my old brakes.

    I've been riding my old roadie this last week, on account of doing a course in the city, and having
    nowhere secure to keep my bike.

    It's a lot of fun. 7 speed 13-21 cassette, downtube shifters, and good old trusty Campy Athena
    single pivot brakes (circa 1987).

    Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    never would have said they were great, but then I'd not have bagged them either. However now, after
    getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm amazed how I survived so long with these brakes.
    They're deadly! In order to get them to slow the bike, you have to apply an amazing amount of force
    at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian today on the way home, because I didn't yank hard
    enough on the lever.

    Anyways, that's my rant for the day.

    Regards,

    Suzy

    PS: before you say it, no they're not binding or anything. They move fine, it's just that they
    don't actually stop the bike

    --
    ---
    Suzy Jackson [email protected] http://www.suzyj.net
     
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  2. nferyn

    nferyn New Member

    Joined:
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    Hi,

    I've got campy single pivots of the same era (1980something, pre delta record) and although you have to apply more force to stop, I like the way they very smoothly slow down your bike. Hardly any chance to lock up your wheel. I recently got a new bike with dual pivot campy centaur brakes: excellent stopping power, but much more difficult to 'tune' your braking. A compromise between the two systems would be ideal.

    Greetz,


    Niek
     
  3. On Mon, 03 Feb 2003 23:52:39 -0500, Suzy Jackson wrote:

    > It's a lot of fun. 7 speed 13-21 cassette, downtube shifters, and good old trusty Campy Athena
    > single pivot brakes (circa 1987).
    >
    > Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    > never would have said they were great, but then I'd not have bagged them either. However now,
    > after getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm amazed how I survived so long with these
    > brakes. They're deadly!

    I just retired my old single-pivots (these were the originals, from the late '60s, and no, they
    aren't for sale). I had been using them on my fixed gear, but found a pair of Chorus dual-pivots at
    a swap meet and now these await my great restoration project.

    But they aren't to blame here. The issue is lever pull -vs- pad travel, pure and simple. The
    dual-pivots require more cable-pull for a given amount of pad motion. So, a given cable pull exerts
    more pressure on the pad, and so the same finger pressure exerts more pad pressure.

    But the same thing could be arranged by changing the levers as changing the calipers. More
    mechanical advantage, stronger braking.

    The downside of this "improvement" is that you have to adjust the brakes so that the pads are a lot
    closer to the rim than in the old days. We could sometimes ride home with a broken spoke, and maybe
    not even notice it, since we had between 1/8" and 1/4" of pad clearance. No longer. Now you need
    true rims. Good thing spokes are better now.

    For me, the big advantage of dual pivots is that they don't get out-of-kilter and drag a pad on the
    rim. The old Campy sidepulls were better in avoiding this than what came before, but still would
    rotate on you. Dual pivots adjust with an allen key, and stay there. They're prettier, too.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | You will say Christ saith this and the apostles say this; but _`\(,_ | what canst thou say?
    -- George Fox. (_)/ (_) |
     
  4. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "Suzy Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    >never would have said they were great, but then I'd not have bagged them either. However now, after
    >getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm amazed how I survived so long with these brakes.
    >They're deadly! In order to get them to slow the bike, you have to apply an amazing amount of force
    >at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian today on the way home, because I didn't yank hard
    >enough on the lever.

    Check out the brake pads. They're hard as a rock. Replace them with nice new pads (which are pretty
    pricey, BTW), and you'll be amazed at how wonderful those stinky Athena brakes become!

    There IS a difference in mechanical advantage with a dual pivot though
    - so it will always take a bit more pull to stop with the single pivot brakes... but I like the
    extra pad to rim clearance they give me, and don't really need to extra umph anyway.

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

    Pete Biggs Guest

    nferyn wrote:
    > I've got campy single pivots of the same era (1980something, pre delta record) and although you
    > have to apply more force to stop, I like the way they very smoothly slow down your bike. Hardly
    > any chance to lock up your wheel. I recently got a new bike with dual pivot campy centaur brakes:
    > excellent stopping power, but much more difficult to 'tune' your braking. A compromise between the
    > two systems would be ideal.

    There is an ideal compromise, and I use it. It's very simple: DP front, SP rear. The posh option is
    Campagnolo Chorus/Record "Differential" brakes, cheapo option is to use existing front DP brake and
    find an old used SP caliper.

    ~PB
     
  6. Scic

    Scic Guest

    >From: nferyn

    > ...Hardly any chance to lock up...
    I recently got a new bike with dual pivot campy centaur brakes: excellent stopping power, but much
    more difficult to 'tune'...

    Just increase the distance from pad to rim incrementally until you get the feel you're looking for.
    Your choice of pad will also affect braking pressure.

    Sig Chicago
     
  7. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    >From: Mark Hickey

    >"Suzy Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    >>never would have said they were great, but then I'd not have bagged them either. However now,
    >>after getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm amazed how I survived so long with these
    >>brakes. They're deadly! In order to get them to slow the bike, you have to apply an amazing amount
    >>of force at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian today on the way home, because I didn't
    >>yank hard enough on the lever.

    (M.H. replied):

    >Check out the brake pads. They're hard as a rock. Replace them with nice new pads (which are pretty
    >pricey, BTW), and you'll be amazed at how wonderful those stinky Athena brakes become!

    Maybe something like this, "orbital" holders:

    http://[email protected]/harris/brakeshoes.html#threaded

    "Non-abusive toe-in capability", black pads are available too, I believe. --Tom Paterson
     
  8. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "David L. Johnson >" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 03 Feb 2003 23:52:39 -0500, Suzy Jackson wrote:
    >
    > > It's a lot of fun. 7 speed 13-21 cassette, downtube shifters, and
    good
    > > old trusty Campy Athena single pivot brakes (circa 1987).
    > >
    > > Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading
    a
    > > couple of years ago, and never would have said they were great, but
    then
    > > I'd not have bagged them either. However now, after getting used to
    my
    > > nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm amazed how I survived so long with
    these
    > > brakes. They're deadly!
    >
    > I just retired my old single-pivots (these were the originals, from
    the
    > late '60s, and no, they aren't for sale). I had been using them on my fixed gear, but found a pair
    > of Chorus dual-pivots at a swap meet and
    now
    > these await my great restoration project.
    >
    > But they aren't to blame here. The issue is lever pull -vs- pad
    travel,
    > pure and simple. The dual-pivots require more cable-pull for a given amount of pad motion. So, a
    > given cable pull exerts more pressure on
    the
    > pad, and so the same finger pressure exerts more pad pressure.
    >
    > But the same thing could be arranged by changing the levers as
    changing
    > the calipers. More mechanical advantage, stronger braking.
    >
    > The downside of this "improvement" is that you have to adjust the
    brakes
    > so that the pads are a lot closer to the rim than in the old days. We could sometimes ride home
    > with a broken spoke, and maybe not even
    notice
    > it, since we had between 1/8" and 1/4" of pad clearance. No longer.
    Now
    > you need true rims. Good thing spokes are better now.
    >
    > For me, the big advantage of dual pivots is that they don't get out-of-kilter and drag a pad on
    > the rim. The old Campy sidepulls were better in avoiding this than what came before, but still
    > would rotate
    on
    > you. Dual pivots adjust with an allen key, and stay there. They're prettier, too.

    Do you really need to use the allen key? I just rotate the calliper by hand, and it seems to stay
    put. I like the dual pivots better than my Campy NRs, but then again, whenever I use the NRs, I use
    them with STI levers so its not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. Even if I went back to DT
    shifting, I would never resurrect my NR levers because I cannot afford to buy the wildly expensive
    gum hoods. Even when the NRs were "current production," the gum hoods were expensive -- and they
    didn't last that long. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  9. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Jay Beattie wrote:
    > Do you really need to use the allen key? I just rotate the calliper by hand, and it seems to
    > stay put.

    Depends how tight the bolt is and how close you like the pads. The allen key (centering adjuster) is
    needed for _fine_ adjustment if the main bolt is properly tight.

    I used to just rotate by hand but found the caliper eventually worked loose because I wasn't doing
    up the bolt enough.

    ~PB
     
  10. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > "Suzy Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    > >never would have said they were great, but then
    I'd
    > >not have bagged them either. However now, after getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm
    > >amazed how I survived so long with these brakes. They're deadly! In order to get them to slow the
    > >bike, you have to apply
    an
    > >amazing amount of force at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian today on the way home,
    > >because I didn't yank hard enough on the lever.
    >
    > Check out the brake pads. They're hard as a rock. Replace them with nice new pads (which are
    > pretty pricey, BTW), and you'll be amazed at how wonderful those stinky Athena brakes become!
    >
    > There IS a difference in mechanical advantage with a dual pivot though
    > - so it will always take a bit more pull to stop with the single pivot brakes... but I like the
    > extra pad to rim clearance they give me, and don't really need to extra umph anyway.

    They originals can be expensive but you'll get better braking with the Kool Stop copies. These
    blocks are black, fit perfectly and have raised letters with the "Kool Stop" name. A quick pass with
    a razor blade and you'd have a hard time telling them from the originals - until you apply the
    brakes and notice they stop better! Four for $20, or about the same as any other KS pad.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  11. Bill Putnam

    Bill Putnam Guest

    Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Suzy Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago... I'm
    > >amazed how I survived so long with these brakes. They're deadly! In order to get them to slow the
    > >bike, you have to apply an amazing amount of force at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian
    > >today on the way home, because I didn't yank hard enough on the lever.
    >
    > Check out the brake pads. They're hard as a rock. Replace them with nice new pads (which are
    > pretty pricey, BTW), and you'll be amazed at how wonderful those stinky Athena brakes become!
    >
    > There IS a difference in mechanical advantage with a dual pivot though
    > - so it will always take a bit more pull to stop with the single pivot brakes... but I like the
    > extra pad to rim clearance they give me, and don't really need to extra umph anyway.
    >
    > Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame

    As Mark says, improvements can be made with new brake pads, the Kool Stop salmon colored pads often
    being noted as the best and least likely to get aluminum bits embeded which grind up your rims in
    short order. Also, Sheldon Brown has a nice web page on improvements in braking via high quality
    slick cables and proper installation http://www.sheldonbrown.org/cables.html , and he discusses how
    the aero style brake levers can give more responsive braking from the top of the hoods. More
    discussion on the characteristics of different types of brakes can be found at
    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.15.html

    The mechanical advantage of dual pivot vs. single pivot will make a difference in the amount of
    lever pressure needed, all things being equal, but to say that a single pivot Campy brake is
    "deadly" leads me to question how well your brakes are set up or if you have especially weak hands.
    I've never had any problems braking up to the limit imposed by going over the handlebars. This is
    with 22 year old Campy Record brakes, at times with a loaded touring bike weighing 40 kg (90 lbs,
    tent and cooking kit included). This includes mountain descents in the French and Swiss Alps in the
    rain, though not in as steep terrain as Jobst does on some of his tours.

    Bill Putnam
     
  12. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >There IS a difference in mechanical advantage with a dual pivot though
    >- so it will always take a bit more pull to stop with the single pivot brakes... but I like the
    > extra pad to rim clearance they give me, and don't really need to extra umph anyway.

    According to Jobst its about 40%, definitely noticeable. Of course if you're a flatlander then well,
    probably doesn't matter.

    Personally I like Dual Pivot brakes, though I go for the original Shimano brakes, never tried the
    Campy clones. I have some bikes with Single Pivot, include some similar to what Suzy describes, yeah
    they work but I don't trust em on a steep downhill in the rain.

    I think the real issue is that single pivot brakes were designed at a time when people rode in the
    drops much of the time. Now people seem to ride on the hoods and dual pivots are better for braking
    from the hoods because your hand leverage is worse than from the drops.

    jon isaacs
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>, Bill Putnam
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >As Mark says, improvements can be made with new brake pads, the Kool Stop salmon colored pads often
    >being noted as the best and least likely to get aluminum bits embeded which grind up your rims in
    >short order.

    I think Salmon pads are great but I suspect black pads would be more likely to deliver the brake
    feel that the original poster was looking for as they are softer. (That and adding some slop in
    the cable.)

    I suspect the original pads are adjusted "too well" (too tightly) and the pad material has hardened.

    --Paul
     
  14. Bfd

    Bfd Guest

    "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:eek:[email protected]...
    > > "Suzy Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > >Now I rode with these brakes for close to ten years before upgrading a couple of years ago, and
    > > >never would have said they were great, but then
    > I'd
    > > >not have bagged them either. However now, after getting used to my nice Chorus dual pivots, I'm
    > > >amazed how I survived so long with these brakes. They're deadly! In order to get them to slow
    > > >the bike, you have to apply
    > an
    > > >amazing amount of force at the lever. I nearly mowed down a pedestrian today on the way home,
    > > >because I didn't yank hard enough on the lever.
    > >
    > > Check out the brake pads. They're hard as a rock. Replace them with nice new pads (which are
    > > pretty pricey, BTW), and you'll be amazed at how wonderful those stinky Athena brakes become!
    > >
    > > There IS a difference in mechanical advantage with a dual pivot though
    > > - so it will always take a bit more pull to stop with the single pivot brakes... but I like the
    > > extra pad to rim clearance they give me, and don't really need to extra umph anyway.
    >
    >
    > They originals can be expensive but you'll get better braking with the Kool Stop copies. These
    > blocks are black, fit perfectly and have raised letters with the "Kool Stop" name. A quick pass
    > with a razor blade and you'd have a hard time telling them from the originals - until you apply
    > the brakes and notice they stop better! Four for $20, or about the same as any other KS pad.

    Similarly others here have stated that the "better" replacement pad for CAmpy single pivot brakes
    are the Kool Stop Salmon colored Continental pads, like the ones here:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html#continental
     
  15. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    > They originals can be expensive but you'll get better braking with the Kool Stop copies. These
    > blocks are black, fit perfectly and have raised letters with the "Kool Stop" name. A quick pass
    > with a razor blade and you'd have a hard time telling them from the originals - until you apply
    > the brakes and notice they stop better! Four for $20, or about the same as any other KS pad.

    I can attest to that advice; I just put on a set of koolstops on my Record differential brakes last
    week, and they're night & day compared with the OEM pads. Great stopping power, and great control.
     
  16. On Tue, 04 Feb 2003 11:12:21 -0500, Jay Beattie wrote:

    >> you. Dual pivots adjust with an allen key, and stay there. They're prettier, too.
    >
    > Do you really need to use the allen key? I just rotate the calliper by hand, and it seems to
    > stay put.

    Like someone else said, the allen key is just for fine adjustment. I get the caliper on tight, close
    to the right adjustment, then use the allen key to fine-tune.

    > I like the dual pivots better than my Campy NRs, but then again, whenever I use the NRs, I use
    > them with STI levers so its not quite an apples-to-apples comparison.

    They would be better with the old Campy levers.

    Even if I went
    > back to DT shifting, I would never resurrect my NR levers because I cannot afford to buy the
    > wildly expensive gum hoods. Even when the NRs were "current production," the gum hoods were
    > expensive -- and they didn't last that long.

    Yeah, I remember being shocked at the price when I had to replace them once. The new hoods sure last
    a lot longer.

    You can get generic gum hoods, but usually they are very expensive, or already rotten.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored _`\(,_ | by little
    statesmen and philosophers and divines." --Ralph Waldo (_)/ (_) | Emerson
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "David L. Johnson >" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > On Tue, 04 Feb 2003 11:12:21 -0500, Jay Beattie wrote:

    > Even if I went
    > > back to DT shifting, I would never resurrect my NR
    levers because I
    > > cannot afford to buy the wildly expensive gum hoods.
    Even when the NRs
    > > were "current production," the gum hoods were
    expensive -- and they
    > > didn't last that long.
    >
    > Yeah, I remember being shocked at the price when I had to
    replace them
    > once. The new hoods sure last a lot longer.
    >
    > You can get generic gum hoods, but usually they are very
    expensive, or
    > already rotten.

    I believe there are reproductions around, but they're still made of gum rubber. I can't understand
    why someone doesn't just make these in urethane, which is cheaper to make in small volumes, and
    lasts practically forever. I guess the retro-geeks want the "real" thing, and everyone else just
    buys new brake sets.

    Matt O.
     
  18. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]>> wrote:

    >Dual pivots adjust with an allen key, and stay there. They're prettier, too.

    I dunno about "prettier"... I think my monoplanar Campy calipers on my road bike are a LOT sexier
    than the DP brakes I have on my time trial bike. More importantly, the are lighter, and look more
    aero. Ahhh, bliss.

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

    A Muzi Guest

    > > On Tue, 04 Feb 2003 11:12:21 -0500, Jay Beattie wrote: Even if I went
    > > > back to DT shifting, I would never resurrect my NR
    > levers because I
    > > > cannot afford to buy the wildly expensive gum hoods.
    > Even when the NRs
    > > > were "current production," the gum hoods were
    > expensive -- and they
    > > > didn't last that long.

    > "David L. Johnson >" <David L. Johnson <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Yeah, I remember being shocked at the price when I had to
    > replace them
    > > once. The new hoods sure last a lot longer.
    > >
    > > You can get generic gum hoods, but usually they are very
    > expensive, or
    > > already rotten.

    "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:EWY%[email protected]...
    > I believe there are reproductions around, but they're still made of gum rubber. I can't understand
    > why someone doesn't just make these in urethane, which is cheaper to make in small volumes, and
    > lasts practically forever. I guess the retro-geeks want the "real" thing, and everyone else just
    > buys new brake sets.

    The synthetic ones are made by Ame among others. Ten bucks vs. about $70 for n.o.s. originals.
    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
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