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ideas sought to make campy delta brakes WORK ?(11 posts)

ideas sought to make campy delta brakes WORK ?wes_london
Jul 5, 2001 9:51 AM

i have always drooled over the look and design of the campagnolo c-record "delta" brakes but would like them to be more than just speed modulators.

they need constant centering, squeal terribly in the rear and generally i have got used to how efficient newer brake calipers are.

i have new 2001 p speed veloce shifters and cables but hankered for the delta's as a nice touch to complement a newly built up semi-retro colnago master piu with all the nice chromework.

i have found some new brake pads and would appreciate any insight or web page listings in regard to getting the best out of these anchors. id love to keep them as the bike looks hot and many people comment on their aesthetic suitability.

ciao, wes.
They never did..TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2001 12:20 PM
They never really did work; I don't imagine you'll be able to improve on them any.
They never did..Larry Meade
Jul 5, 2001 1:37 PM
The best way to deal with Delta brakes:
1) Loosen the mounting nut completely so that the brake is just sitting in the mounting hole in the frame.
2) Gently grasp the brake and pull from the frame until it is completely removed.
3) Install a new Record or Chorus dual pivot brake caliper.

This should fix all of your problems with Delta brake performance.

You guys are all wet.Kerry Irons
Jul 5, 2001 6:57 PM
I had Delta brakes on my bike for a decade and had no problems with adjustment or braking power. They ARE harder to clean in that they come completely apart and have lots of moving parts, and they ARE harder to adjust cable length because you have to have the cable the right length BEFORE you clamp it, but the pads can be adjusted for angle against the rim, which eliminates squealing. They ARE heavy, and I don't miss them, but I don't understand the complaints. BTW, my wife still rides with them, and hers work just like mine (bought a year apart) so I didn't "get lucky" with the particular units I had.
You guys are all wet.Larry Meade
Jul 6, 2001 4:27 AM
Um Kerry, I was just joking...jeez

General vs. specificKerry Irons
Jul 6, 2001 7:05 PM
Larry, I wasn't trying to pick on you, and probably chose the wrong spot to enter my post. However, the the context of the other comments (they never did work, why they never will work, etc.) your message seemed another condemnation. Nothing personal, and sorry if it seemed like I was after you and you alone.
General vs. specificTJeanloz
Jul 7, 2001 10:42 AM
I'm sorry if some devoted Delta brake afficianados take offense, but in my experience, a perfectly adjusted Delta doesn't have nearly the stopping power of a decent dual-pivot brake. And they're heavy to boot. If you have other experience, or have been able to make them stop on a dime, that's great- but I can assure you that you are in the minority.
re: ideas sought to make campy delta brakes WORK ?Jofa
Jul 5, 2001 2:26 PM
There's a general description of the Delta's design problems here:

That won't help you make them work well, but may make clear why they never will.
Despite all this I'm still a fan of the Delta simply on the principle that they look nice, and I like the propensity for Italian companies such as Campag to follow flights of fancy against all reason. I'd restrict them to a bike which isn't used for going downhill much, or fast in traffic.
wow - i expected more ridicule than ive got so far ;-)wes_london
Jul 6, 2001 1:07 AM
my point being that if i wanted an absolute and pure ride i would have used a different set-up.

aesthetics are a strong point with me and having not ridden for over 10 years and having found a need for excersize and something to have fun with here in nyc i set my sights on riding a styling peice of bike. i remember being in absolute awe of the colnago master piu when i first saw it and have never had the cash to afford c-record delta's. i consider it a long to realize dream to have finally put together the bike i knew that i had to have before i passed on. im sure teenagers are now daydreaming about current bikes that influence their stylistic sensibilites - think about when you first saw that sweet deRosa or pinarello or tommasini or olmo etc and how you may ride something superior now but never has you pining as much as that first "way to expensive for your means" bike crush. the only other image that sticks as strongly in my head is hinault atop a look (and perhaps daisy duke). i did consider many new bikes, and apart from a lemond, cinelli and the odd litespeed nothing tightened my balls as much as the colnago piu did when i was a lot younger.

dont get me wrong or confused as a retro-grouch. aero is in my blood with regard to levers. my front wheel is a rolf pro, bar/stem
follows an homage to cippo (cinelli integraler), ti post and selle seat, reflex tub rear with revo spokes and world class 7075 t6 hub, black fsa cranks with a secret (ssshhhh!) ultegra bb. of course i went stupid again with a set of campy aero bottle cages.
wheels manufacturing helped me keep the stream of campy 9 speed flowing. it sounds like a frankenbike but it draws a lot of admiration and i definately like its look.

in the end i well know that the delta's are limited but if there are any tricks in getting them to perform a bit better then id like to try. im not going to see more dawns that farmers in trying to get miracles out of them but why not ask if anyone knows a better way.

if in the end my passion is more than fleeting and a few months down the track i have sufficient fitness to do some club races then ill be all out for a balanced bike that performs in all areas and is efficient. but for now i enjoy the superficial, shallow and swanky bits that i call my bike.

you make the best soup with an old chicken.

ciao, wes
Jul 8, 2001 10:26 AM
Unfortunately, never having used Delta brakes, but always wanting to, I can't offer techie assistance. I can, however, give you tons of moral support. My current ride is all tricked out with the latest gear, except for the old Campy aero bottle and Cobalto brake calipers. They don't work as well as new stuff, but damn, they look sweet. The way I see it, continuing to use them is providing a public service to the poor slobs on your back wheel. At least they get to see some classic eye candy while behind you, instead of the all too generic new stuff that's on every new bike. Keep fiddlin' with those Deltas, and keep the faith.
wow - i expected more ridicule than ive got so far ;-)lickity split
Sep 3, 2001 2:37 PM
* remove them
* polish them
* put them on your fireplace mantle or desk at work
* look at them and be thankful that somebody still thinks of the bike as a brush and the world as a canvas .... and are willing to make beautiful "stuff" just because they can
* ride on