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need better brakes for 70's Raleigh Grand Sport(8 posts)

need better brakes for 70's Raleigh Grand Sportrichpierce
Dec 3, 2002 7:55 AM
I have an old Raleigh, 27", I use it as a single speed. It came with center pull Diacompe brakes and they lack stopping power. I can't use modern double pivots like Shimano Ultegra etc- the reach is too short and the pads don't reach the rims. I have a cheesy single pivot for a rear brake but it lacks power and wants to rub on one side.


Is there a better/best way to set up the center pull diacompes (change straddle cable length, angle, whatever)?

Are there some retro brakes out there that are more powerful? I literally cannot lock the rear wheel.

Wish I had canti studs but I am not going to do it.
Try a pad swap first. But if your rims are steel...retro
Dec 3, 2002 8:17 AM
A swap to some good aftermarket pads might help. If not, Rivendell has some standard reach brakes that may work w/your wheels and frame. I forget the specs, but they can tell you on the phone. I think they're Diacompes, maybe Suntour NOS.
Are your rims steel, though? Some of those old 27-inch bikes came with steel rims, and they'll never stop as well as aluminum.
they are aluminum....richpierce
Dec 3, 2002 10:11 AM
maybe my pads are hardened. Good idea.
Try Kool stop padsLone Gunman
Dec 3, 2002 6:01 PM
improves braking dramatically.
Try new cables and housingMika Hakkinen
Dec 3, 2002 1:03 PM
If properly set up, you should be able to lock up the back wheel with almost any cheap brake. Usually the problem with brakes is that there is too much friction between the cables and housing. With modern low friction cable housing even old centerpulls can give quite reasonable braking. Check out this link.
yikes maybe I need to go back to my old leversrichpierce
Dec 3, 2002 3:14 PM
Maybe it's the aero levers and their setup. I may have to go back to the old, non-aero levers with "cheater bars"! might be just the trick for cyclcocross!
agree ....Spirito
Dec 3, 2002 1:37 PM
im riding a mate's fuji with dia compe centre pulls and they work very well actually.

the levers and calipers are original - the pads, housing and cables are all new but LBS standard fare. i have had little experience setting these style of brakes up but they seem to have plenty of power.

it never hurts to scrub the existing pads down a little and run some fine grit paper over the rims just to clean the contact points up a little as well.

i would try to get the best out of what you have rather than build a brake parts arsenal - especially as some of the older stuff is getting a little pricey.

re: you guys are geniusesrichpierce
Dec 10, 2002 7:47 AM
I swapped back to the original brakes and levers and it's stopping about 3x faster.