Ultegra Frustration!!!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by nurul, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. nurul

    nurul New Member

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    Have the Ultegra STI Group from 1998.Yes the one where the brake lever caps rattled and eventually fell off but to be fair on Shimano they sent me new caps and some quality lube oil in a snazzy injector style cannister but when taking of the old caps a grub screw flew off and was never found again so i never fitted the caps.
    ANYWAY since I bought the group in 1998 the brakes have not worked. The front is just about acceptable but the rear which I used for descending controlling before and during bends is nothing short of appalling at all speeds and rear brake levers almost touch the bars whithout much effect.
    I have visited various Bike shops but they all suggestthe obvious. I have used different wheels and rims, Campag Moscow(1998), Mavic Cosmos(2001), Mavic Elite (2003) and have even changed the block on the rear calipers to Dura ace and even after anodising on the Moscows had worn through no change.I did experiment with my Rolf Vector Pros from my other bike and it did slightly improve but generally even after lubing where cables go into the out casings, no response.
    Those Ultegra Dual Function STI calipers and levers are just cack and should be called Single Function as the only thing which works well are the shifters.
    To put things into perspective they are worse than my single pivot Dura ace SLR brakes from 1990 and my 2000 Chorus Campag calipers with Record carbon levers feel like disc brakes compared to them they are SO powerful.
    So in conclusion:
    IT'S NOT THE PADS
    IT'S NOT RIM COMPATIBILITY
    I'VE OILED THE CABLES
    IT'S NOT AGE (as they have done 2000 miles)
    THEY HAVE SEEN LITTLE USE, NO CRASH DAMAGE, NO ABUSE.

    Any suggestions???????????????????????????:confused:
     
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  2. big_h

    big_h New Member

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    Hi

    We use a attenuator (a liitle pulley that increases your brake pull travel on the tandem. This might work for you in giving more control. Not sure if theses will work with calliper brakes as they are designed to be used with V-brakes. There is also a contraption available (I will post a photo) that works with a small lever arm. Negative though is you sit with two pieces of cable.

    Hope this helps

    Big H.
     
  3. Julian Radowsky

    Julian Radowsky New Member

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    Two things I can think of is:
    1] The position of the STI levers on the handlebar.
    If the levers are too low down, towards the curve, then when you squeeze the brakes there will not be enough lever travel before the levers are flat against the handlebar.
    If you place the STI levers further up the handlebar, more towards the flat top, then the travel of the brake levers is longer, but this might cause shifting reach difficulty if you have small hands (especially in the drops)

    2] Crappy cable housings
    If the cable housings are not stiff enough, then they will flex as you squeeze the brake lever, the travel and force on the brake lever is being used to flex the housing rather than pull the cable through the housing, this will result in the brake caliper not being pulled hard enough.

    [I am assuming that you have adjusted the brake pad to rim distance appropriately - about 1 to 1.5 mm on each side]
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    That is just nonsense.
     
  5. TimBooth

    TimBooth New Member

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    Best solution is to swap to Campag brakes. They are infinitely better - Shimano brakes are just a poor design, I'm afraid.
     
  6. Julian Radowsky

    Julian Radowsky New Member

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    Not nonsense at all, move the sti levers too far along the bar and you DO change the travel distance for the brake lever - the curvature of most bars today is not a perfect arc, they are parabolic!.
    Try it for yourself before you reply with another of your smartass answers!
     
  7. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah, and it does not matter, unless there is excess slop or flex in the system that is better addressed by another fix. With close pad to rim clearance it takes little lever movement to get the maximum braking effect if everything else is right. Moving the lever also increases the reach to it which some cannot handle.It also makes for poor lever position with respect to comfort for many. Do as you wish, but it's a goofy solution, and there are better alternatives.
     
  8. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Designs fine,crapy pads,thats all. Shimano brakes with better pads are as good as Crapy brakes.
     
  9. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I suggest a new set of housings and cables.
    You can go with Shimano DURA ACE like these:
    http://tinyurl.com/28xb7
    I suggest that you read and follow the article on cables at Sheldon Brown's site:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html
    Clean the pads regularly and/or change them to KoolStop Salmon.
    Clean the brake area on the rim with ScotchBrite.
    There are better brakes, pads, and levers; but I have worked with this vintage Ultegra brakes and levers and was able to lock up either or both wheels at high speeds.
     
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