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Old center pull brakes.........(3 posts)

Old center pull brakes.........knobbydad®
Jun 8, 2001 10:28 AM
I've got an old mid 80's cheapy road bike that has center pull brakes on it. I can not get any power out of these things. The lever goes almost to the bar and they still lack stopping power. the pads are adjusted about as close to the rim as possible. Is there some kind of magic to getting these working better. This is just a beater bike and I don't want to put any money into it. Thanks in advance.
re: Old center pull brakes.........Andy M-S
Jun 8, 2001 1:31 PM
If you can get some 'aero' style brake levers and use those, you'll see a marked improvement. Also, if the bike has so-called 'safety' levers (these are supposed to allow you to brake while on the bar tops) remove them, and that will also improve braking performance.

I went through this with an old '70s bike several years ago. The new levers, at $20 for the pair, were one of the best investments I ever made.
New levers are a good ideaCalvin Jones-Park Tool
Jun 8, 2001 4:23 PM
As stated here, new levers are a good idea. Those are not the best of brakes, but can be made to work. Consider new pads in they are old.

As for the levers, you need some with more travel. You will then need more force with your hand. Measure from the lever pivot to cable pivot. You want something that is greater.